REPORT ON TOWNSHIP 50, RANGE 9, WEST, THE FOURTH MERIDIAN
This township is very favourably situated as the village of Mannville is located within its limits at the southeast corner of -section 25. The village of Minburn is also very conveniently located for the settlers living in the south westerly part of the township, being only two miles west of the township in the northwest quarter of section 14-50-10. Both villages are on the Canadian National railways which connect Edmonton, North Batfleford, Saskatoon and Winnipeg and which, turns almost east and west across this township. The train and mail services are good, there being a daily through passenger train each way, and a daily local freight and passenger train one way.
The population of Mannville is about 400. All lines of business essential to serve the requirements of a farming community are fairly well represented there. In particular the village can boast of a weekly newspaper, two banks, five elevators, one flour mill and a creamery. The Mannville municipal hospital, supported by the village and three near-by municipalities is located at this point.
The population of Minburn. is about 150. The established businesses to serve the surrounding farming community are three general stores, one bank, three elevators and a few other businesses in proportion to the above. There is a good school at this point and classes are given up to and including grade 12.
SURFACE AND SURFACE COVERING
The surface of the township is gently rolling, gently sloping or nearly level. Birch Creek, which is a small stream flaws easterly
through sections 19, 20 and 21 and northerly through sections 27 and 33. The land slopes gently to-wards the creek forming -a wide open shallow valley. The surface of the township is largely prairie, although in places there is' a considerable growth of young poplar and willow from 6 to 12 feet in height. Of the surface 51 per cent is cultivated, and 5 per cent is poplar and willow bush 6 to 12 feet in height, the remainder being open prairie land.
The soil of this township varies greatly. The varieties of soil comprises loose black fine sandy loam, sandy loam, fine sand, clay, muck and sandy loam with gravel.
The settlement of this township commenced about twenty years ago with the greater amount taking place just prior to and at the time of the construction of the railway through this district. There are about fifty families living on farms in the township, all of whom are English speaking and the majority of whom are of Canadian, American, English, Irish or Scotch descent. This township forms a part of the municipality of Melberta which comprises 9 townships. From the condition of the roads it would appear that the township has received its fair share of local improvements. Within the township the Provincial Government has constructed about 35 miles of telephone lines, and as a consequence many of the settlers have the advantage of this service.
By far the greatest amount of winter feed for stock is obtained from oat and rye hay and from straw. A limited amount of wild hay is secured from the low slough lands in dry seasons, and a limited amount of fodder is obtained from sunflowers which source of feed is in the experimental stage.
CROPS AND STOCK
The chief grain crop of this district is wheat with secondary crops of oats and rye. The fodder grown is chiefly oat and rye hay. As a general rule crops are successfully grown and harvested although a few partial failures are reported due to drought and frost. The vegetables commonly grown in western Canada are grown in this township although not raised extensively for sale. Mixed farming is carried on by about one-half of the farmers. All are well supplied with horses, and those engaged in mixed farming have about 30 head of cattle and a few hogs numbering up to about fifteen each. Because of the creamery at Mannville and the fair amount of open range, dairying is carried on successfully.
Most of the farmers use lignite coal which is shipped in from Edmonton, and which costs from $6 to $8 per ton at Mannville or Minburn. A limited amount of poplar wood is used.
Good-water is obtained from wells 20 to 70 feet deep. Birch Creek serves as an important source of water for stock. The drainage of the land is generally good, but most of the water does not leave
the township since it finds its way to the low areas to form small sloughs and ponds.
POST OFFICE AND SCHOOLS
All of the settlers get their mail from either Mannville or Minburn. The schools to serve the educational needs of the children are situated at the following points: at Mannville, Minburn, at the northeast comer of section 20 and at the southwest corner of section 4.
The township is very favourably situated with reference to shipping facilities. The soil is generally good with 50 per cent now under cultivation.
R. H. KNIGHT,
Dominion Land Surveyor.