Alexander W. Matheson
Premier from 1953 to 1959
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ALEXANDER W. MATHESON WAS born on June 11, 1903 at Bellevue, Prince Edward Island. He
received his early education in the local school and Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown. On
graduation, Alexander Matheson followed the traditional method of entering the legal profession
by reading law with practising lawyers for a number of years. In 1933, he was called to the Bar of
Prince Edward Island and maintained a legal practice until he was named a judge.
Matheson first entered the political arena during the administration of Premier Thane A. Campbell first winning election in 1940. He won re-election in the general elections of 1947, 1951, 1955, 1959 and 1962. He was named to the provincial cabinet as Minister of Health and Welfare in 1948 and served under Premier J. Walter Jones in that portfolio until 1953. Upon the appointment of Premier Jones to the Canadian Senate in 1953, Alexander W. Matheson was sworn-in as the twenty-first Premier of Prince Edward Island on May 25, 1953. He remained Premier and Attorney-General until 1959 when his Liberal Party was defeated at the polls.
In September of 1961, Premier Matheson resigned as party leader but was re-elected leader by a large majority of party members. He left politics in March of 1965 resigning as party leader and Liberal House leader. In 1967 he was elevated to the bench and named County Court Judge for Queen's County.
Among the many honours afforded Premier Matheson during his term in office was a Doctor of Laws degree conferred on him by the University of New Brunswick in 1958.
One of the most important programs of the Matheson administration was a vigorous policy of rural electrification. At the beginning of his Ministry, only the larger communities had electrical service, but by 1959 the patterns of the power lines had reached to the remotest areas of the Province, causing what has amounted to a revolution in the pattern of rural life in Prince Edward Island.
Alexander W. Matheson died on March 3, 1976. He is buried in the Sherwood Cemetery in Charlottetown.