Alexander Bannerman Warburton
Premier from 1897 to 1898
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ALEXANDER BANNERMAN WARBURTON WAS BORN in Summerside on April 5, 1852 and by the time death
ended his career in 1929, he had served as Premier of PEI, as a member of the Federal Parliament
and twice as a Judge.
He received his early education in Summerside prior to attending St. Dunstan's University, King's College and Scotland's Edinburgh University. After studying law in England and PEI, he was admitted to the Island bar in 1878.
Hoping to follow his father's footsteps (the senior Warburton had served as a member of the PEI Cabinet before Confederation), he ran for public office in 1890 but suffered defeat in his first attempt. However, he won election on two subsequent attempts, in 1893 and again in 1897. Following the resignation of Frederick Peters in 1897, Mr. Warburton became Premier, a post held until he accepted a position as a Judge of the PEI Supreme Court one year later.
Under pressure from the Liberal Party, he eventually resigned his Judgeship and offered for election to the Federal House of Commons in 1904. He was defeated but was successful in his second bid four years later. He was defeated in the election of 1911. He dropped into relative obscurity until he was named Judge of the Probate Court in 1920, a position he held to his death on January 14, 1929.
Premier Warburton maintained a keen interest in education, serving as a member of the Charlottetown School Board for a number of years. In 1905, he filled an important gap in the history of the Island with publication of the book Prince Edward Island, Past and Present - a text still used by people interested in history. This was followed by a further publication in 1923, A History of Prince Edward Island.
Another interesting note about Premier Warburton was his sense of esthetic beauty. In 1884, he and Judge Fitzgerald started the movement which resulted in tree planting in Charlottetown and within a few years, more than 800 trees had been planted along main thoroughfares and in Queen and Rochford Squares. Many of these trees are still standing today, a silent memorial to these men of foresight whole sense of perspective helped shape the heritage of the Island.
Warburton is buried in the People's Protestant Cemetery in Charlottetown.