Early Government

Elk Point Village Founded in 1907

(Original June 30 1939, reprinted May 1, 1952) (The following commentary on the founding and incorporation of Elk Point comes from the pen of Mr J.C. Jensen, one of the first councillors of the village. It was taken from the original record of the Village and forms part of it minutes.)

The name of Elk Point was first applied to the post office in 1907. The office was located about a half mile east of its present site and was operated by Mr. Charles Hood. The exact origin of the mane Elk Point is obscure as none of the old timers now left in the community can give us any enlightenment on that question. A bout two years later the office was move to the crossroads just west of where a small settlement was being established. The hamlet now forming assumed the name Elk Point under which it was incorporated in 1938.

With the advent of the railroad in 1927 the hamlet began to grown and the business section moved to its present location. Many of the old buildings were moved to new sites. Previously, all freighting was carried overland by team and truck from Vegreville, 80 miles to the southwest, Vermilion fifty miles to the south or St Paul, 23 miles to the west.

In 1929, the hamlet became a Municipal Hospital centre. Two rural municipalities had been formed a few years previously. They were Laurier and Lincoln. The major portion of Elk Point lay within the Laurier Municipality. The eastern portion was administered by the Lincoln municipality. The Hamlet experienced its greatest expansion during the depression years that is from 1932 on. Incorporation into a village area was being considered. It was now felt that the village had now grown to the extent where local needs could best be served by a local council. The hamlet also felt as a whole that it was not receiving enough consideration from the respective municipal councils regarding local improvements in view of the relatively large tax roll within it present limits.

In 1934, Mr. C.A. Johnson sent a questionnaire to every ratepayer within the proposed village area, requesting the recipients to vote for or against the idea of incorporation. Of 48 straw ballots there were but two dissenting voters. The dissenters felt that as they were owners of large unoccupied and unsubdivided area which would be included in the proposed area, their tax burdens would be excessively increased.

However, in February of 1937, I, as secretary for the local Board of Trade, took steps to bring the issue to a head. The department of Municipal Affairs, on receipt of a petition, had notices of the proposed incorporation posted. Two ratepayers again objected, and the department let the whole matter drop. Apparently they felt that unanimity should exist in the hamlet before any encouragement from them was forthcoming.

In February 1938, the procedure was repeated, and this time no dissenting voice was raised. The department posted notices on April 27th, 1938 that a village was being erected and a month later the official declaration went into effect and the newly elected council of Mayor D.C. Nelson, Councillors, Dr. A.G. Ross and J.C. Jensen, Secretary H. MacQuillan began to function as such.

We have functioned barely a year and as the first council we feel at this date, that justifiable pride can be taken in the solvency of the village finances, and in the local improvements that have been carried out. We do not claim infallibility but we have sincerely tried to provide the greatest good for the greatest number. We feel a pride in our village, We hope that it may grow more beautiful, become ever more conscious of a civic pride and truly be a community of which the younger growing generation can always look back to as a sphere of pleasant memories. Our aim is to foster the feeling beyond our confines, that we need them as well as they need of us. To the councillors who follow in our steps we dedicate the proposition.

Dated at Elk Point, Alberta, this 30th day of June 1939.