Interviewed by Lee Phillips April 15, 1973 at Enilda
Mr. Reynolds was born in England eighty-seven years ago and came to Canada as a small boy. He first lived in Winnipeg but as soon as he was old enough, joined the North West Mounted Police. He served in the force in Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, and Grouard. He was first stationed in Grouard around 1905 to 1915. He came via Athabasca Landing and by team and wagon on the south side of Lesser Slave Lake. The summer had been dry so the road was fair. It appears that in the early years the NWMP congregated in Athabasca Landing and the personal were dispersed from there as they were required.
Grouard had Government barracks for their police force, plus special quarters for Inspectors. These were always the best buildings in town, at that time. Mr. Reynolds remembers an Inspector — a Mr. Howard — and one of the magistrates was Sidney Travers.
Mr. Reynolds insisted that the police came in the mid-1800’s and covered all Hudson Bay and other posts in the north. There very likely was some kind of policing done before the R.C.M.P. came into being and he believes some of these were delegated from Lesser Slave Lake. He spent several months stationed at Sturgeon Lake one summer. There was a small jail at Grouard and the police could detain people if they wished. However if the sentence was over thirty days, the prisoner was taken to Athabasca Landing. He says they often persuaded the magistrate to make the sentence last at least a month so a member of the NWMP staff could have a trip out to Athabasca.
Mr. Reynolds said the force did not have very much work to do during his time on the force. Bootlegging was the most common offense and most of this was stopped at Slave Lake.
Mr. Reynolds joined the 49th Battalion and went overseas. When he returned after the war he settled on a farm in the Big Meadow District halfway between Grouard and Enilda and continues to live there today. He was Justice of Peace from 1925 until he was forced to retire at seventy-two years of age. His experience in the Police force was an important factor in administering justice properly while acting as Justice of the Peace.
He has many recollections of the native people using the Klondyke Trail from Kinuso to Lac St Anne on their summer pilgrimages. He recalls meeting Bredin and Cornwall several times in his line of duty while with the R.C.M.P.
He remembers the boat Nasco used on the Lake and Buffalo Bay. The boat was named after the company that owned it, Northern Alberta Steamship Company.
Mr. Reynolds still lives on his farm with his youngest son Sammy and his family. He has two older sons Harry and Henry. His health is good and he still retains his English accent, and enjoys reminiscing about the years gone by.