Friday, December 21, 2012

Ceremony held to dedicate headstone for NWMP officer Archilles Rouleau

Chris Davis and Curator Farley S. Wuth

A ceremony marking the burial place of former Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) officer Archilles Rouleau was held on Tuesday morning, December 18, 2012 at Fairview Cemetary, Pincher Creek.

Rouleau served with the NWMP in Fort Walsh and Fort Macleod during the pioneer era and retired in 1885. Upon his retirement he homesteaded in the Fishburn District east of Pincher Creek.
Rouleau passed away in 1936 but a headstone was never placed on his grave.  The efforts of the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and local historians have worked to correct this situation.  His burial place was identified and a headstone was donated by Eden's Funeral Home to mark it.

Legion Padre Reverend Dave Goff performed a dedication service at the gravesite as local Legion members and law enforcement officers stood by as an honour guard.   a Chris Bohnet of Eden's Funeral Home was also in attendance.  Local Curator Farley S. Wuth read a history of Archilles Rouleau, which appears below.


Archilles Rouleau
Updated by Farley Wuth

Archilles Rouleau was born in St. Romauld, Quebec to parents of French-Canadian ancestry.  His birthdate, according to the 1901 Dominion of Canada Census, was listed as January 16th, 1859.  However, his 1936 obituary claims that he was 79 years of age when he passed away which concurs with his NWMP personnel file of placing his birth in 1857.  Rouleau’s religious affiliation was listed as Roman Catholic.

An ex-Northwest Mounted Police Constable, Regimental Number 497, from Quebec, Mr. Rouleau served as a Constable with the Mounties at Fort Macleod (G Division).  He enlisted on September 22nd 1880, and took his discharge five years later.  When he joined up, he was listed as being five feet ten inches in height and weighed 164 pounds.  His previous occupation was identified as being a farmer.  He served the Force with distinction and upon retirement, returned a cloth cloak as part of his official uniform.  Rouleau’s wages for 22 days of work in September 1885 came to $15.40, a per diem rate of pay of seventy cents.  While the Force was happy with Rouleau’s work, his personnel files indicate that it failed to immediately pay him an allotment of three hundred dollars for his role in keeping the peace during the 1885 Northwest Rebellion.  This he had wanted instead of accepting script.  It was only when he officially applied for the allotment as a senior in poor health in 1931—32 that it was awarded to him.

Upon his 1885 retirement, Archilles Rouleau went into a homestead partnership with William H. Metzler on the N.E. ¼ of Section 27 Township 5 Range 28 West of the 4th.  When Mr. Metzler and he dissolved their business arrangement, Rouleau carried on and homesteaded this quarter.

Mr. Rouleau never married but he did have a nephew, Charles, reside on the homestead with him as of the early 1900s.  Charles was born on July 29th, 1879.  He too was listed as a rancher in the 1901 Census.  Judge Rouleau, who served during the 1930s, was a brother of Achilles.  He resided back home in Quebec.

An eighty acre lake on the west of Rouleau’s property bears his name.  During the early part of the First World War, picnics were held on his property and some of the sportsmen had a trap and clay-pigeons installed.  This proved to be a great attraction and many from Pincher Creek came to test their skills.

When Mr. Rouleau retired, he rented his homestead for a time and it was later bought by John McGlynn.  As of the early 1970s, Henry McGlynn owned this property.  Moving to Pincher Creek in the 1920s, Rouleau boarded with Mrs. Marie Rose Smith for a good many years.  At one time, he had a room in the Scott Block.  He passed away on Thursday, June 11th, 1936 at St. Vincent’s Hospital.  His funeral was held from St. Michael’s Church the following Saturday.  His passing was picked up as a news item in both the Pincher Creek Echo and as a Canadian Press story for the dailies.

Source: Adapted from “Archilles Rouleau”, Prairie Grass To Mountain Pass, Pincher Creek: Pincher Creek & District Historical Society, Published 1974, Third Printing 1981, pp. 450 – 451; Death Of A. Rouleau[:] North West Mounted Police Veteran Passes”, The Pincher Creek Echo, Vol. XXXVI, No. 47, Thursday, 18th June 1936; Library and Archives Canada, North West Mounted Police Personnel Records 1873 – 1904, Record Group 18, re Achille Rouleau; Provincial Archives of Alberta, Homestead File for Achille C. Rouleau, Accession Number 1970.313, Film 180614, File 2011; and Census of Canada for 1901, Historical Data re Archilles and Charles Rouleau.  Updated by Farley Wuth, Pincher Creek, January 2010, one page.


  1. Anonymous5/1/13

    Re: family tree for Charles-Borromee Rouleau
    Hi - just found the tribute for Achille Rouleau(while seeking the family tree for Judge Charles-Borromee Rouleau and Edouard-Hector Rouleau. May I suggest that Achille is not a brother, but possibly a cousin to Charles and Edouard. Go to: to see the complete family page for Joseph Rouleau and Euphrosine Patoine from L'Isle-Verte, Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec.

    I believe Achille Rouleau can be found in the Canada Census of 1871 with the family of Fancois Rouleau. He appears to be the 6th child, age 13, born about 1858? in the province of Quebec, Dist. #160 Dorchester East, Sub Dist. Ste. Claire. I suspect that Achille is a cousin to Charles and Edouard.

    The biography of Charles-Borromee Rouleau can be found in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. He was born 13 Dec 1840 at L'Isle-Verte and died 25 Aug 1901 in Montreal on his way to Europe.
    I have a smal interest in Rouleau family history - my husband belongs to the Gabriel Rouleau family tree - 9th generation.
    sincerely Helena Rouleau

  2. Thank you for your valuable input Helena, I will make sure our local curator sees it too, the same Farley Wuth in the article. He's also been updating Prairie Grass to Mountain Pass, a local history book, and this might make it to him in time for the updated version.

    - Chris Davis


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