Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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AITKEN, ROBERT TRAVEN D., lawyer and police magistrate; b. Maple, Ont., 23 Apr 1873, s/o William Cuthbert Aitken and Jane Noble; brother of William Maxwell Aitken; m. 1st, 1901, Jean Agnes Sarah Thomson, d/o Samuel Thomson and Jane McCurdy, and 2nd, 1912, Alleen K. Leeson, of Calgary, Alta; d. Newcastle, 22 Feb 1939.

R. Traven Aitken, the eldest brother of Lord Beaverbrook, was educated at Harkins Academy and the universities of New Brunswick and Dalhousie (BA 1895, LLB 1897). Admitted as an attorney in 1897, he became the law partner of Allan A. Davidson Jr. In 1898 he enlisted in the militia. Soon after the town of Newcastle was incorporated in 1899 he was named town clerk. In 1900 he also became county clerk.

Aitken's first wife, Jean A. S. Thomson, died in 1905, and in 1907 he withdrew from his many public activities and left the Miramichi. In the next several years he lived for various periods in California, Nevada, and Alberta. During World War I he served in a staff capacity with the Canadian military and retired as a major. He then practiced law in Montreal for a time before returning to Newcastle in 1924 to stay. He soon became active again in different local organizations, including the Conservative party, the Canadian Legion, and the Highland Society. In 1933 he was appointed police magistrate for Newcastle, and he retained this position until his death five years later.

Two daughters were born of Aitken's first marriage and one of his second. His second wife, Alleen Leeson, died in a tuberculosis sanitorium in Burlington, Vermont, in 1935. He was survived in 1939 by his three daughters.


[b] PPNB [m] Advocate 5 Jun 1901; Leader 10 May 1912 [d] Leader Feb 1939 / Advocate 13 Oct 1897, 26 Apr 1905, 5 Jun 1935; Leader 26 Jun 1974, 31 May 1994; World 13 Feb 1907