James Lauder was born on March 26, 1843, in or near Glasgow, Scotland and was a Scottish Baker by trade. He and his wife, Hannah and children came to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1874. On May 30, 1881, they left Winnipeg for Edmonton. On the 15th day of September 1881, the family arrived in Edmonton, after a journey of three and a half months. The last 354 miles to 7 days as it was one of the wettest season for many years.
James Lauder and a son, Thomas G. Lauder, homesteaded in the district now called Lauderdale until about about 1885, when James Lauder opened a bakery. He served the North West Mounted Police at Fort Saskatchewan and bread was delivered to the Fort by horse and wagon. James Lauder passed away on March 6th, 1924 at the age of 81 years. Mr. Lauder had 7 daughters and 4 sons. One daughter was Edmonton’s first telephone operator.
The Lauder family originally homesteaded the area within the Lauderdale Community League’s jurisdiction. The Lauder’s were active in the community from the 1880’s on and one of the family, Thomas, went on to become Edmonton’s Fire Chief.