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- Legal name: Arsenault, Ulric
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Dates of existence
Ulric Joseph Octave 'Spud' Arsenault was born in Wellington, Prince Edward Island on April 21, 1899, the son of Gertrude (nee Cormier) and Joseph Felix Arsenault, who was an Acadian businessman and member of the PEI Legislative Assembly. His childhood was spent in Wellington PEI, Minnesota, Quebec City and Summerside PEI.
At the age of 16 he enlisted with the armed forces in World War One and served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the 105th, 26th, and 13th Battalions and was wounded in action in Amiens, France. He was discharged in 1919.
After farming and working on railways in Wellington PEI, he moved to western Canada in 1921, working on railways in Fort McMurray Alberta ca. 1921-1922, and for the Alberta Forestry Service as a fire ranger ca. 1922-1928. In the winters he had a cabin and trapline on the Athabasca River. In 1928 he began prospecting and mining with various companies including Dominion Explorers (1929), Eldorado Company (1931-1934), Althona (1935), Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company (1938), Ruth Mine (winter 1941/42), and Frances Lake, Yukon (1943-1944).
In 1945 Arsenault returned to the Yellowknife area to work as an independent prosepector, and staked some lapsed claims that he'd originally staked for Consolidated Mining, now the Spartan (Arsenault) group of claims. Working with friend Bill MacDonald this group of claims was purchased by Beaulieu Yellowknife Mines for $100,000 and 250,000 shares in a new mining company to be named Spud Arsenault Mines Ltd. Arsenault's story became a media sensation, but the collapse of the fraudulent Beaulieu Yellowknife Mines meant that the Spud Arsenault Mines project never materialized.
Despite prospecting again in Yellowknife in 1946 and 1976, Arsenault moved to Edmonton where he lived in semi-retirement for approximately ten years, and then moved to Vancouver Island.
Ulric 'Spud' Arsenault died in Victoria, B.C. on June 10, 1981 at the age of 82. His remains were buried in St. Paul's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Summerside, PEI.
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