Oluff Inkster was born in a log house
in southeast Edmonton on March 25th, 1885, one of ten children
of Mr. and Mrs. Robert James Inkster.
Mr. Robert James Inkster was a pioneer freighter farmer and
hunter of the west and a native of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.
Mrs. R.J. Inkster was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in
1864 as Charlotte Mary Olsen and was of Danish descent.
Oluff Inkster attended public school (log shack type) in east
Edmonton until 1898 when he decided to try his hand at farming.
By 1902, he was convinced he was not cut out to be a farmer and
took a job on a survey party with
Robert W. Lendrum, ALS, DLS performing township
subdivision surveys. Upon the retirement of
Mr. Lendrum in 1904, Oluff began
work with Driscoll & Knight, surveyors and became articled to
the former in
obtaining his DLS commission in
and his ALS commission the following year.
He attended the University of Alberta College of Engineering
from 1908 to
completing three years of his course and was compelled to defer
his studies the fall of
when the fourth year class was cancelled due to a lack of
equipment and students.
he carried on a private practice with
offices in south Edmonton performing township subdivisions city
and townsite surveys and miscellaneous engineering surveys,
including the location of the Lacombe to Rimbey Railway Line.
He was married in Edmonton on July 16,
to Florence Elizabeth Randall.
Oluff joined the army in
serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the Infantry
Corps and the Canadian Survey Company. He retired with the rank
of sergeant in
after having been decorated with the military medal (M.M.).
He returned to private practice in Edmonton in
doing engineering and survey work for Alberta Government
Telephones, The Lethbridge Irrigation Works, and the Alberta
Government Highway, in both northern and southern districts.
After the death of his wife in
he moved to Regina and was employed with the Saskatchewan Power
Corporation on High Tension Line Construction, and was made an
associate member of the American Institute of Electrical
He obtained his SLS commission in Saskatoon in
he married Amy Field in Regina.
Oluff returned to Alberta in
and carried on in private practice until
when he joined the RCAF as Works Office on the construction
and maintenance of airfields throughout Alberta. In
he played a vital role in the locating and constructing of
airfields on the Northwest Staging Route from Edmonton to
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.
Upon his discharge from the RCAF in
he returned to private practice in Edmonton taking over the firm
of Driscoll and Knight and Cautley from the then active partner
Mr. R.H. Cautley.
he sold his firm to Phillips, Hamilton & Associates and
continued a part time practice, performing miscellaneous legal
and engineering surveys for Imperial Oil Limited.
He began a semi-retirement on Galiano Island. BC in
In the summer of
he was engaged by the survey firm of Hamilton & Olsen Limited to
supervise the legal survey of some two hundred miles of
right-of-way for the Trans Canada Pipe Line Company in west
He was voted a Life Member of the Alberta Land Surveyors’
and was honoured at the "Old Timer Stag Luncheon" during the
annual meeting in January of the same year.
The above is based on discussions with Oluff on Galiano
Island when we visited him and Amy in the mid to late 50s.
Honorary Life Member,
- Places Named by/for O.