Excerpts from Our District's Past
In 1801 the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company abandoned Fort George and Buckingham House and established new fur trading posts on Fort D 'Isle, located 18 miles upriver. When they arrived at this new site they discovered a small company known as the XY Company was already established on this wooded island.
Rivalry between the XY Company and the North West Company soon led to violence, when an: XY Company servant murdered a North West Company employee in 1802. The outcome of this incident led to the formation of the Canada Jurisdiction Act of 1803. This act empowered the Governor or Lieutenant Governor of Lower Canada to appoint Justices of Peace for the Indian Territory (the West). These newly appointed Justice's of Peace could make arrests and commit the parties to stand trial in Eastern Canada. Cases of a less serious nature were handled by the Chief Factors of each trading post. This act of violence which occurred at Fort D 'Isle in 1802 and which resulted in the formation of the Canada Jurisdiction Act of 1803 no doubt helped to bring law and order to our Canadian west.
Prior to Alberta becoming a province in 1905, the area in which we live was part of the No~th West Territories. In 1903, Corporal Robert Chanler (he later settled on a farm in the Lindbergh district) joined the Royal North West Mounted Police and started his training in Regina, Saskatchewan. Upon completion of his, training, he was posted to the Saddle Lake district where he purchased a quarter section (NW 16-54 - 20-4) and built a log building which served as his headquarters while patrolling the area between Saddle Lake. and Onion Lake on horseback. His 1904 land taxes, which added up to $4, were paid to the Government of the North West Territories in Regina, since Alberta at that time did not exist.
Alberta became a province in 1905 and held its first election on Thursday, November 9, 1905. This election resulted in a Liberal government. Alberta's first Premier was the Hon. G. Rutherford and its first Lieutenant Governor was the Hon. George V. Bulyea. During this first election there were only 25 constituencies compared to well over three times that many today. During this first Provincial election, Elk Point and district belonged to the Victoria Constituency which elected Francis A. Walker as its' first Member of the Legislative Assembly. During Alberta's next election in 1909 our district was part of the Pakan Constituency. In 1913, this constituency was renamed the St. Paul Constituency.
Another interesting item in our district concerns early flight. In 1919, W.R. "Wop" May, a First World War ace, landed in Elk Point and spent the day taking up passengers in his World War I vintage fighter plane. It was a two seater which had dual wings. In later years, "Wop" May became a famous bush pilot who operated out of Edmonton. He spent many years flying over our vast north country. In 1932 he helped track down Albert Johnson '½ the Mad Trapper of Rat River.
Speaking of the First World War, many early settlers joined the. armed forces and served overseas during this war, which began in 1914 and ended in 1918. Men such as Tom Wolf, Eric Arnott, Dr. F.G.Miller, Lloyd Lambright and Captain A.E.Edward volunteered their service. This war claimed 61,000 Canadian lives compared to 42,0 killed in World War II. The War of 1914-1918 was lowed by the Influenza in1919-20. It was strongly believed that the virus of this was brought back to Cana by returning servicemen. This Influenza claimed thousands of lives in Canada. Many far lies in Elk Point and district recorded deaths during the epidemic.
For many years now, children living in the country si rounding Elk Point have tended schools in Elk Point. wasn't always that way. Elk Point's first school was built 2 1/2. miles southeast of the hamlet in 1909 and for many years the children living Elk Point had to walk to the country school in order to get their education. About 1929 this country school was moved into Elk Point and a west wing added on to it. then became our high school. This school is still standing' is the east portion of what now the United Church Rummage Store.
Another item of interest took place in 1909 in the area of our present day golf course. A number of our early Settlers were on an outing land owned by George M. Goben, an auctioneer located our district at that time. While passing a portion of the Goben. farm, Mrs. Susan Goben remarked "Wouldn't that be a lovely spot for cemetery?" The following spring, Mrs. Goben died and George Goben, remembering her remark, decided to have his wife buried there. He donated part of his quarter section for a cemetery - one which is still being used today.