Thomas Walter Edwin Sowter

Civil Servant
Portrait of Sowters a young man of barely 20 years of age, T.W. Edwin Sowter began work, on the last day of February, 1880, with the Topographical Surveys Branch of the Department of the Interior.  But this was not his first job, as one of his obituaries points out that he had taught school for a brief time before this.  Clearly then, T.W. Edwin Sowter had not received any formal training in either archaeology nor palaeontology.  At the Department of the Interior, he was employed as a clerk and until April of 1882, he was a temporary employee, likely a standard period to allow his supervisors to become convinced of his worth. 

In 1882, he was earning the princely sum of $700 annually.  He remained with the Topographical Survey Branch until at least 1908, but in 1909 a new division within the Inside Service of the Department of the Interior appears to have been created to archive the growing volumes of information relating to the department's activities which centered primarily around the administration and distribution of land grants in the former Hudson's Bay Company territory of Ruperts Land.  In 1909, T.W. Edwin Sowter is listed as a Class 3-A clerk with the Survey Records Branch and at that time was earning $1200 annually.  The last record which was available in the Civil Service List of Canada is for the year 1918.  By then he was earning $1300 annually and remained with the Survey Records Branch.  At this time, Sowter was 58 years of age.  According to his obituary notices he continued to work, presumably with the Department of the Interior, until approximately 65 years of age or about 1925.

T.W.E. Sowter
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