Born in Lanark County, Ontario, Archie McPhail went west in 1879, where he obtained employment as a construction worker on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Becoming impressed with the country he bought virgin prairie land and established a home in the Brandon area two years later.
In 1904 he was appointed special immigration agent for the Canadian government, following which he was sent to Great Britain to try and induce Scotch and English youths to immigrate to Canada. While there he became interested in Large White hogs and purchased a number, which formed the first importation to western Canada and the foundation for his Evergreen Farm herd.
In 1916 he was appointed superintendent of Institutional Farms for Manitoba, and in this capacity set about to improve the livestock on these farms. That he succeeded is attested by the fact that many animals produced on these farms have been exhibited at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Throughout his lifetime, Mr. McPhail maintained a keen interest in young people and this prompted him to take an active part in the organization of Boys and Girls clubs and in serving as instructor and leader at their club meetings.