Dewey Lee Blaney

Dewey was born in Roanoke County, Virginia in 1897. He moved with his parents, brothers and sisters to Salem, VA in 1906. He was hired to work for the Barnett family in their home and feed store.

Dewey came to Alberta with the Barnett’s in 1915 to a farm in the Bottrell area. He worked for them for 4 additional years before moving on to work in Dog Pound and Bottrell area.

Later, he found work with the Hogarths tending teams of horses on the Banff-Jasper Highway construction and again with local ranchers in the Cochrane area.

Dewey loved children and as Ivan in “Skippin’ Sugar Cookies”, says spent a lot of money on them.

Dewey passed away in 1970 and is remembered here in Cochrane in St. Andrews Cemetery and Dewey Blaney Park.

from an article in Big Hill Country


Dewey Lee Blainey (1897 - 1970)

Long after Dewey passed away he inspired me.

He was around Cochrane alot when I was small and I also saw him at the Cochrane Racetrack site where he lived. He worked for many ranchers in the area including my grandfather J.W. (John) Boothby.

Dewey inspired my interest in history. I read in Big Hill Country that his grandfather was a slave.  That small piece of information made me realize that the Civil War and slavery were not long ago even though 1861-65 sounded so many years passed.

That small fact also made me realize that the study of history helps understand why we are the way we are today.

by Mark Boothby

8 thoughts on “Dewey Lee Blaney”

  1. Excellent slice of history Mark. Because I don’t have a long time here in Cochrane I would have liked to seen a map of where he lived included in this very interesting tale.

  2. I enjoyed reading Ivan’s account of Dewey Blaney. We moved to Cochrane in 1974 so sadly didn’t get to meet Dewey. Also the history of the shot tower.

  3. I’m wondering about the spelling of his last name. Was it Blaney or Blainey? Looking into some more information about him.

  4. I had the opportunity of knowing Dewey quite well. We lived across the street from John and Nancy Boothby so we saw Dewey often. He was always a good friend to us kids. He loved to tell stories which fascinated us. Dewey and my dad Tom used to dig graves by hand. Dewey worked days and Dad worked nights. Dewey would not dig in the dark! I remember one story about Dewey digging. The grave was just about done so was over Dewey’s head. Anyway a lady was looking for a particular grave and passed by the open grave. Dewey stood to say hello. I guess he really surprised her and she started to run and broke one of her high heels. Dewey was quite taken back and quite hurt. As I got older we still had lot’s of interaction and stayed in touch. I always had time for Dewey and and considered him a friend.


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