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From the Archives of Western Newspapers

Posted on January 18, 2024 by Sunny South News

By Samantha Johnson
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

January 17, 1881 – The Bulletin (Edmonton)

On Thursday evening last, The Hotel was crowded with settlers to attend the meeting called for in the last issue of this paper. A subscription list was the first order of business, the money raised to be used to build a home for Dr. Verey so he can procure medicines suitable for this country. $115 was immediately subscribed and it is expected that will be doubled. Next up was the issue of mail from and to the outside world, but most particularly the need for a money-order office in Edmonton. It was agreed a petition be drawn up and sent to the Postmaster General.

In a recent issue of the Canadian Illustrated News is a photo of Edmonton as it was 50 years ago, although the editor did not take the trouble to tell their readers so. It shows the old windmill, which has been replaced by two steam saw and grist mills. The rest of the photo is equally antiquated.

The Battleford Herald recently had an elaborate epistle, which was remarkable for its bad orthography and flighty syntax. Perhaps the people the editor mentions, who have emigrated to Edmonton, could not endure the superior tall yarns. He is evidently mad because Edmonton is the recognized metropolis of the great northwest.

January 14, 1909 – The Frank Paper

A resident in Bellevue is in receipt of a letter from an uncle who is a quarter-master sergeant at the military hospital in Valletta and was an eyewitness to the marine disaster off the island of Malta a few weeks ago. The Sardinia was in trouble by 11:15 a.m. and when she came alongside the breakwater it could be seen she was burning and officials signaled for her to get out of the harbour lest she explode some of the magazines. She turned slightly, but flame and smoke were towering 200 feet high and then something exploded, carrying away the bridge and chart house. The ship ran around in circles before coming aground with less than half of the 200 on board rescued.

A story is currently circulating regarding the tactics of the socialist element of the United Mine Workers of America as they attempt to defeat McDonald in his bid for re-election as secretary of the district board, which encompasses Alberta, Saskatchewan and part of North Dakota. McDonald was the only high official who refused to embrace the socialist doctrine. The vote of the locals in the Blairmore district took place on Dec. 14, but for some reason the count was not done until Dec. 31. Votes from Talvorton, SK were thrown out and those from Bellevue, Michel and Hillcrest were the only three, out of 30, where McDonald did not carry the vote, although the socialists are saying he was defeated. The election will be protested at the annual convention in Lethbridge, which will likely lead to widespread dissension in the organization.

January 14, 1914 – The Vulcan Advocate

The newly elected council met and unanimously decided they were unable to hire both a labourer and a constable and the decision was made to combine the two jobs again. Then a lengthy discussion/argument ensued as to if the person should be paid on a contract and commission basis or by salary, one councillor for the former method and two for the later. The salary won out as the combined position entailed many kinds of work and deciding on a commission basis would be difficult. Council was then unable to agree on $75 per year, the same as was paid for the position last year, or an increase to $85 per year and the amount of the salary was held over until the next meeting.

A chinook blew in following the New Year fall of snow and melted all six inches of the white stuff within a day. The wind was severe and blew over the barn at the school, but no damage was done and the building was soon righted.

Mr. George Cooper, along with his wife and brother-in-law, are newcomers to the district and have settled on one of the CPR ready-made farms south of town. Cooper has farmed in New Zealand, Australia and, most recently, Lincoln, Nebraska. He said the opportunities Canada is offering are far and above any he’d seen in other countries and mentioned land in New Zealand was selling for $150 per acre. He plans to rear chickens and hogs rather than growing grain and believes, given the good railway facilities, he will be able to create a viable stock raising business.

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