A. Edwin Priest
A. Edwin Priest (1892-1972)
Alfred “Edwin” Priest was born 9 August 1892 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to Sea Captain Reuben Priest and mother Minnie Estelle McDaniel. Edwin’s family lived in 23 Moran Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He had 2 siblings, an older sister Sarah Estelle, and a younger brother Arthur Seymour.
Edwin became a prominent architect in Halifax and was known to be a major contributor in restoring the city after the Halifax Explosion of December 1917.
He graduated from the Victoria School of Art and Design and upon graduation, he worked as a draftsman and assistant to architects R.A. Johnston, and Herbert E. Gates. Later, Edwin would move to New York City to further his skills. He worked with prominent firms, Henry Pelton, office of Trowbridge and Livingston, and Edward Shire. After New York, Edwin moved back to Halifax to assist his father and brother with their business, Priest and Sons, a drafting and blueprinting company.
For a three year period (1923-1926) Edwin left his practise in Canada. He moved to Miami Florida to work with esteemed architect August Geiger. By 1927 he returned home.
Edwin was one of the founding members of the Maritime Association of Architects which began in 1927. In 1939, he helped organize a professional group the Nova Scotia Association of Architects, which he served as President in 1947.
In the Nova Scotia Archives you can view floor plans by Edwin for A.A. Thompson Residence on Black Street, Halifax in 1908, as well as a House Design from 1909.
Edwin was married to Katherine Elizabeth Lavers (1896-1978) also from Nova Scotia. Together they had 2 children, Bernice Elizabeth (1918) and Helen Estelle (1920). On 9 February 1923, Edwin left, on the ship Caraquet, for a visit to Bermuda. His wife Katherine was stated as living at 441 Brunswick St., Halifax, Nova Scotia and Edwin’s practice was located at 423 Robie Street, Halifax.
At the age of 80, Alfred Edwin Priest died on 26 December 1972 and he is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia along with his wife Katherine.
In UPEI’s Provenance collection, the book Blue Water, by Frederick William Wallace features a stamp “A. Edwin Priest registered Architect 423 Robie Street, Halifax, N.S.” On the inside cover is pasted a small Christmas greeting card with the words, Best Wishes for a Joyous Yuletide, from Father (Reuben) to Edwin, Dec 1922.
1891 Census of Canada; Census Place: Sherbrooke, Guysborough, Nova Scotia; Roll: T-6313; Family No: 73
1901 Census of Canada; Census Place: Halifax (City/Cité) Ward/Quartier No 5, Halifax (city/cité), Nova Scotia; Page: 19; Family No: 194. Library and Archives Canada. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2004. http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1901/Pages/about-census.aspxl. Series RG31-C-1. Statistics Canada Fonds. Microfilm reels: T-6428 to T-6556.
1911 Census of Canada. Census Place: 78 - Ward 5, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Page: 5; Family No: 52. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2007. http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1911/Pages/about-census.aspx. Series RG31-C-1. Statistics Canada Fonds. Microfilm reels T-20326 to T-20460.
1921 Census of Canada. Census Place: Halifax (City), Halifax, Nova Scotia; Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 44; Page Number: 14. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2013. Series RG31. Statistics Canada Fonds.
Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C.
Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957. Microfilm Publication T715, 8892 rolls. NAI: 300346. Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; National Archives at Washington, D.C.
Supplemental Manifests of Alien Passengers and Crew Members Who Arrived on Vessels at New York, New York, Who Were Inspected for Admission, and Related Index, compiled 1887-1952. Microfilm Publication A3461, 21 rolls. NAI: 3887372. RG 85, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted at New York, New York, May 1917-Nov. 1957.Microfilm Publication A3417. NAI: 4497925. National Archives at Washington, D.C.
Passenger Lists, 1962-1972, and Crew Lists, 1943-1972, of Vessels Arriving at Oswego, New York. Microfilm Publication A3426. NAI: 4441521. National Archives at Washington, D.C.
Library and Archives Canada. Form 30A, 1919-1924 (Ocean Arrivals). Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, n.d.. RG 76. Department of Employment and Immigration Fonts. Microfilm Reels: T-14939 to T-15248.
Voters Lists, Federal Elections, 1935–1980. R1003-6-3-E (RG113-B). Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Priest, Alfred Edwin. Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950. Accessed June 2017.
Alfred Edwin Priest. Billion Graves. Accessed June 2017.
Archives, N. S. (2008, January 25). A. Edwin Priest. Accessed July 11, 2017.