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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

- Page 36

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 22, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 16 TH6 UTHBRIDGE HERAID Tueldoy, Augult 3Z, 1972 1', Few people realize even to- day thai the economy (if War- ner and district was built on the livestock industry and not on grain farming. Cereal grains are usually re- garded as the builder of tlic re- Ricm, because the Warner area has some of ilie best grain land to tie found in North America and it produces some of the biggest crops in the southland. Among ttio first settlers in Hie Warner district wore the ranch- ers who had moved up from the U.S., while sorno came from Eastern Canada. According to federal govern- mont regulations enacted in 1R8I, there were conditional land leases available Crown land leases on which the charge v.'as ono cent per acre per year. These rate.s were avail- able for up to acre.-; per unit. In 1000 a portion of the new for Warner was sur- veyed by E. J. Rainbath. This was followed up with an addi- tional survey in 1903 by W. II. Young. Rail line The Alberta Coal and Irri- gation Company, successor to the North West Coal and Navi- gation Company, with hacking from the Gait interests in f'lng- land, was in Ihe process of Imilding a narrow-gauge line to Great Falls, Mont. For building the rail line, the Gaits received grants of land, but they had little use for the land without people. O. If. Kerr nnd Company, land agents at Minneapolis, wero appointed by the Galls to act on their behalf There was instant response. Settlers came from Eastern Ca- nada, the midwoslern U. S. and a few from Utah. Land lhat was sold oulright nl the Lime '.vent for an acre. Lease arrange- ments were worked out for mUL-ii of the balance. A. L. Winner was in charge of southern Alberta operatiuiw for Kerr and Company at the time. As a tribute to his efforts for a job well done, the new settlement miles north nf Hie U.S. border was named after him The ranchers came iniUallv there was an abund- ance of grass and there was no need to expend hard-lo-comc by cash for equipment. But, the grain producers gram growing IOOK noiu .imi wasn't long Ijcfore Warner was one of the biggest grain ship- ping poinls on Ihe prairies. Scores of south Albcrtans, al- ready established on home- steads of their ovai, abandoned their holdings and moved to Ihe Warner district after seeing some of the big grain harvests. It was at the end (if the First WoliJ War in that established itself as king around Warner. It wasn't until IfW lhat all the gran-pro-Jucirtf lands in Ihe district were laV.cn in ami it was in lhat the district pro- duced its fir.sl million-bushel crop. The spot where Warner h.is developed was initially named Erunlon a rat1, line siding along the line. It was incorporated as a village in 1910 with an area of 200 acres anil a population of Hrunlon first The name of the sctllemenl was changed when the Minne- apolis real cslale firm brouglit in an influx of sctllcrs from Ihe mid-western U. S. A large part of Warner's early growth v.ns registered in 1907. To serve early needs as a grain marketing and distribution centre, four com- panies built six elevators wilh a capacity of bushels of grain. An average grain crop for the districl at the lime was around the CW.CKiO-bushel mark. Proof of Ihe Warner district's potential as a top grain grow- ing centre is indicated by the large number of farms in Ihe area which have been handetl down through family genera- tions. Spunky town Despite some setbacks In earlier years like drought and prairie fires Warner and districl have managed to over- come all obstacles. A 1915 prairie lire destroyed a sub- stantial portion of Ihe business district of the community. Drought and poor crops follow- ed, forcing some operators from Iho land. Nevertheless, Warner anil district were called upon tn shoulder a substantial relief load during Ihe big depression and drought of the 1930s. Warner's business life lias- kept pace with the transforma- tion from the hor.se and buggy days to today's machine age of highly .sophisicalcd farm equip- ment. At least one of Ore major farm equipment dealerships in tlie town holds the distinction to- day of being the Ihird largest ill Canada. A big step forward for the community came in Ihe late 11'V.O.s when Ihe highway passing Warner the Sunshine Trail received a coal of gravel. move- was seen as a great boost for tourist travel. {'.ivir. works The iivslallalion of water works an'', sewage system was nexl on the civic inmprovcment listing. Wells became the prim- ary source of water and contin- ual until the 19Ms, when the village tapped Ridge Reservoir south of Raymond. The wells have been retained for emergency use, and the vil- lage now hns completely re- vamped water and sewer sys- tem. During 1901. when county form of government was being organized, tho village be- came the seal for (he province's first Ihe Counly of Warner. Educational facilities have since IKJCII built for all kinds of students. The village il-sclf has grown lilllo since il was fovinded. To- day's population is still only 410. Hut, this population Is backed by the most stable econ- omy to found anywhere in tho south country. Next Chinook published September 5 ;