Benjamin J. Hales was born in Peterborough, Ontario on November 24, 1868. Hales lived in Peterborough until attending the University of Toronto, where he graduated in 1894. In 1897, Hales travelled west to teach at Broadview, North West Territories. He moved to McGregor, Manitoba in 1899, where he was Principal of the school, and in 1902, he moved to Hartney, Manitoba. Between 1907 and 1911, Hales devoted his time to working for the provincial Normal School that offered courses for prospective teachers in Portage La Prairie, Manitou, and Brandon. In 1911, the normal courses were established in Brandon and Hales moved to Brandon, where he resided for the rest of his life. Hales acted as the Principal of the Brandon Normal School from 1912 until his retirement in 1938. B.J. Hales married Elizabeth Lewis of Peterborough, who died in 1942. The couple had one daughter Marion Hales Doig. B.J. Hales was a well-known naturalist and author of several texts dealing with prairie flora and fauna. Hales also built a museum of Manitoban flora and fauna in the Normal School. Hales was an alderman on Brandon City Council from 1920 to 1923, and served as the chairman of the city's Parks Board from 1937 until his death in 1945. Hales was twice the president of the Western Manitoba Teacher's Association, and once the head of the Manitoba Educational Association. B.J. Hales was also a member of the First United Church and served on its board. He died on December 23, 1945 at his home in Brandon.
This fonds was accessioned by the McKee Archives in 1998. Previous custodial history is unknown.
Scope and Content
Fonds includes three books written by B.J. Hales, titled, "Selected Western Flora: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta"(1925); "Prairie Birds"(1927); and "Forests and Trees"(1925), all published in Toronto by The MacMillan Company of Canada. The fonds also includes two books of field notes concerning specimens held in the Brandon Normal School Museum, as well as a list of birds in the Atkinson Collection also located at the Brandon Normal School Museum.
Frank Robb was Assistant Secretary Treasurer for School District of Brandon No. 129 and Curator of the B.J. Hales Natural History Museum exhibition for Brandon's 75th Anniversary (1957). Robb left Brandon ca. 1969 and relocated to Minaki, Ontario.
Frank Robb sent the slides to Fred McGuiness ca. 1986. McGuiness gave them to Eileen McFadden at the McKee Archives in April 1986.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of 155 slides taken by Frank Robb, an inventory for the slides prepared by Robb and a letter from Robb to Fred McGuiness regarding the slides and memories of Brandon ca. 1950s.