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Thomas H. McGuire

The Honorable Thomas H. McGuire


1902 - 1903   Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the North-West Territories

Thomas Horace McGuire was born in Kingston, Ontario on April 21, 1849. He received his education from Queen's University and was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1875. Mr. McGuire practiced law and served as alderman in Kingston, Ontario. He also became the editor of the Kingston Daily News and Canadian Freeman.

In 1887 he left the St. Lawrence River, and what promised to be a lucrative career, for the spirit of adventure and the banks of the North Saskatchewan River to accept an appointment to the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories (salaries of the prairie judges were then $4,000 per annum).

The Yukon grew quickly with settlers seeking their fortunes in gold and in 1897 the Ottawa Government found it necessary to establish the judicial machinery known as the Territorial Court of the Yukon Territory in the Yukon Judicial District. It was to that district that Mr. Justice McGuire was assigned. In 1898 he returned to Saskatchewan and in 1902 he was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the North-West Territories. The appointment was given to Mr. Justice McGuire even though Justice Richardson had seniority. This promotion created an uncomfortable situation on the bench and less than a year later Chief Justice McGuire resigned.

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