Welcome to Ranger Gord’s Round-Up

Hello, Good Day, Welcome and Howdy!

Ranger Gord” is Gordon E. Tolton: historian, historical interpreter, author, and general all-around goofball – making the history of western Canada accessible to all.

I am a free lance author living in Coaldale, Alberta, a small town in western Canada, not far from the Montana-US border.

My specialties are the history of settlement: the fur trade, early farming, ranching and the organized farm movement, the North West and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the North West Rebellion of 1885, and the political and military history of Canada and the United States.  Naturally, I’m a bit western in my scope, and somewhat in my lifestyle. Blame genetics. I was born this way.

Religiously, after a long hard think about the role of faith, and a walk in the wilderness, I follow the basic tenets of the United Church of Canada. I believe the world works the way it does for a reason BUT I have a long hard policy of sympathy for those who wish to follow their own path of belief or non-belief. Freedom of worship, or freedom from worship is a freedom that is not only mandated constitutionally, it’s also a right hard won by our ancestors. You don’t make yourself taller by stepping on someone else.

I am noted as the official problem with Alberta. Politically, I am pragmatic. If it works, I’ll be for it, If it doesn’t I’m against it. The building of a civil society depends on consensus, and hitting someone over the head is rarely a good policy in building alliances or good legislation. A good settlement is better than a bad judgement.

I care nothing for the color of one’s political underwear. If you want my vote, or my support, just don’t piss me off, represent me well, and we won’t have a problem.

Represent me badly, make bad policy and I promise you, I will be Very Hard to Get Along With. Emphasis intended. Politicians are temporary servants of the public trust. They can and will be replaced — and I tend to vote for the Least Undesirable candidate.

Always keep yourself in a position to be able to tell any one to go to hell.”
– George Lane, Alberta rancher

I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.” – John Wayne in “The Shootist”.

Having said all that, I’m really not all that hard to get along with. I might even be likable. That depends on you. Be good to me, I’m your pal. If you treat me wrong – put on your rain slicker. It’s about to get stormy.

My brain grows younger as my feet and knees age, but as it does, I write books, I like hot chili, cold snowy days, loud guns, quiet people, new computers, old trucks, slow horses, and fast tequila. In upcoming blogs, I hope to display the books I’ve written and published, and share some of my experiences and my adventures in documenting history.

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2 thoughts on “Welcome to Ranger Gord’s Round-Up

  1. Just read your book Cowboy Cavalry .On going through the book I was surprised to find that my great great grandfather was in the cavalry .Is name was William J Patterson Trooper, Regt.#59’No 1Troop I wonder if you would have any other information on him.My great grand father rancher outside of Lethbridge and than ran one of tte slaughter houses. His name was Fred Hopkins I have a picture of him in 1890 with two natives and five other people.

    • Hi, Jim.

      Well, the sum total of what I know about W.J. Patterson was in the book, which I believe I got out of either Lethbridge Herald clippings or the book, Pemmican Cub Roundup. Without digging into the bottoms of filing cabinets, I can recall that he worked on the Circle Ranch at the mouth of the Little Bow near Turin. I got to W.J. circuitously by eliminating a man with a similar name, James Colon Patterson (the spelling might be different) who was both the foreman on the Walrond Ranch, and later the Dominion Livestock Inspector. I was never able to find out if the two were related, but J.C. was born at San Angelo, Texas, near Waco, and followed the herd drives to Miles City, Montana, and thence on into Alberta, and stayed on. He is buried in the Catholic section of the Macleod cemetery (the south end). Fred Hopkins doesn’t ring any immediate bells with me.

      Thanks for the read, and the note.

      Ranger Gord

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