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COUNTY OF WETASKIWIN No. 10 - Excerpts taken from the "Story of Rural Municipal
Government in Alberta 1909 to 1983" by the Association of the Municipal
Districts and Counties
Contributed for use in Alberta Digital Archives by Darlene Homme
This County is a combination of the M.D. Montgomery No. 458, the M.D. of
Bigstone No. 459, the M.D. Columbia No. 460, the L.l.D. No 76, which, at the
time of its entry into this County, included the M.D. Columbia No. 460.
M.D. Montgomery No. 458
The M. D. Montgomery had its inaugural meeting on the 3rd of January 1916. C.D.
Enman was appointed secretary-treasurer as he had been secretary-treasurer of
the L.l.D. which the municipality replaced. The first elected council of this
municipality included: Division One-J. G. Wilcher; Division two-C.
A. Johnson; Division three-Amos Doupe; Division four-A.S. Craig; Division
Five - T.B. Jevne; and Division six-E.R. Rasmusson, who was elected Reeve. The
name Montgomery was chosen as H.J. Montgomery was the MPP for the constituency
of Wetaskiwin at that time. Remuneration for councillors was set at $3.00 per
meeting with a limit of 10 meetings a year, and 10 cents per mile for each mile
necessarily travelled to and from the meetings. This mileage rate remained the
same until 1953 when the 12 cent limit was made statutory. There were four
changes made at the election for councillors in 1917: Division One-Lee Bussard,
Division Two-D. E. Widen, Division Five-S. I. Groves, and Division Six-John
Maygard. After this only spasmodic changes were made, in fact there seems to
have been very little desire for the job of councillor. In 1918 a road grader
was purchased at a cost of $30000. Two years later the J.D. Adams Company
demonstrated a leaning-wheel grader and two were purchased. The first Government
Grant for roadwork was received in 1922 and amounted to $1,200. At the May
meeting in 1932 the municipality purchased its first tractor, a Monarch, for the
sum of $7,365. In 1932 a municipality joined with the city of Wetaskiwin to
erect a community hospital and an Act was passed by the Legislature to authorize
this. In 1943 this municipality was amalgamated with the M.D. Bigstone to form
the enlarged M.D. Wetaskiwin No. 458.
The first meeting of a council for L.I.D. No.23-T-4 was held in the Post Office
at Falun on the 17th of March 1905. Councillors present were L. P. Larson, J. H.
Unland, Gust T. Forsell, Victor E. Wollin, and 0. G. Olson who was elected
chairman. L. P. Larson was elected secretary-treasurer. His bond was set at
$500.00 which had to be signed by two ratepayers of the Northwest Territories. A
tax of 314c per acre was levied, 70c to be paid in cash and the balance worked
out at $1.50 for man, $3.00 for man and team for a 10 hour day.
L.I.D. No 459
The first meeting of council for L.l.D. No 459 was held on the 31st of January
1913. J.A. McRae was elected chairman and L.P. Larson was elected secretary-
treasurer. It would appear from the minutes that the first meeting of the M.D.
Bigstone No. 459 was held on the 12th of July 1918 and that the council of
L.l.D. No. 459 carried on until the 6th of March 1919.
M.D. of Bigstone No. 459
The M.D. Bigstone No. 459 was formed to take over L.I.D. No. 459 and held the
first meeting on the 6th of March 1919.
Division One- Gus Hebach;
Division Two- M. H. Unland.
Division Three- J. Hanson;
Division Four- J. Olson;
Division Five- August Johnson; and
Division Six- F.B. Green.
John Olson was elected Reeve and E. N. Rattray was appointed secretary-
treasurer. A motion was passed that the secretary-treasurer must provide a bond
signed by two resident settlers in the sum of $1000; this was done by J.A. McRae
and Frank Kadlec. This bond was to be in addition to the bond that was required
by the Department of Municipal Affairs. His salary was set at $400 a year but he
was also to levy and collect the wild land tax at his own expense and to keep
the 5% commission paid by the government for its collection. E. N. Rattray was
also appointed assessor at a meeting held on the 8th of August, 1919, at a
salary of $600 which was to be paid in five equal payments of $120 for which
notes were to be given and 5% interest for any not paid at maturity. Until this
time taxes had been levied at so many cents per acre, however, the Equalization
Board increased the assessment by 50%. The first Court of Revision was held on
the 26th of June 1921 and the rate of taxation was set at 7 mills on the 29th of
July 1921. An interesting decision was made at the Court of Revision held on the
20th of June 1922, the C.P.R. had appealed the assessment on the large holdings
of land they had in the municipality as being too high, it was moved and passed
that the C.P.R. lands assessment be reduced by the sum of $18,913, the reduction
between their sale price and the assessed value, orovided that the company
accept this offer within ten days, snd this the company naturally did. At the
ratepayers meeting held in 1932 the following is a record in the minutes of a
discussion which took place: "The question of electing councillors at large was
brought up for discussion . Some speakers censored the council for failing to
pass the necessary by-law as was recommended at the last annual meeting.
Ratepayers from all parts of the room took part in the discussion and at times
the debate threatened to become quite heated. Allegorical references to articles
of bedroom crockery were hurled back and forth but seemed to be laden more with
good humor than personal bitterness. The following motion was put before the
meeting-that this meeting recommend to the council that they put before the
electorate of this municipality at the first opportunity a by-law changing the
present method of electing councillors by division to election of councillors at
large. The debate on this motion continued for some time. When the chairman
called for the vote the motion was lost. The final meeting of the council of the
M.D. Bigstone No. 459 was held on the 28th of January 1943. The secretary read
the Ministerial Order issued at Edmonton on the 8th of January 1943 dissolving
the M.D.BigstoneNo. 459 and the M.D. Montgomery No 458 and merging the two units
into one enlarged district to be known at the M.D. Wetaskiwin No. 458, to become
effective on the 1st of February 1943. The final entry in the minutes of that
meeting is "and then we proceeded to have a good party to mourn the passing of
M.D. Columbia No. 460
The M.D. Columbia No. 460 was established by sec. 6, chapter 49, of the Statutes
of Alberta, 1918, "every small local improvement district existing on the first
day of March 1918 is hereby declared to have on that date become a Municipal
District." The council elected in January 1918 was deemed to be the council of
the municipal district until February of the next year and consisted of:
Division One-J. Midtdal; Division Two-C. Olson; Division three- F.L. Ward
(Chairman); Division Four-R.S. Hunter; Division Five-N.L. Stevenson; and
Division Six-J.G. Robertson. John Gilbert was appointed secretary-treasurer.
There were two changes in the council elected in February 1919; Division 1
elected John Bakken, and Division 6 elected J.E. Bunney. F.L. Ward was elected
as Reeve. Further to this the municipal district was under an administrator for
some time but was not disorganized by an Order in Council until the 30th of May
1939 when it became part of L.I.D. No. 76.
Municipal District of Wetaskiwin No. 458
The M.D. of Wetaskiwin No. 458 which, at that time was known as an enlarged
municipal district, was established on the 11th of March 1943 and consisted of
the M.D. Bigstone and M.D. Montgomery. It was divided into 7 divisions. This
municipal district extended from the easterly boundary of range 22, west of the
4th meridian, to the 5th meridian, which was the westerly boundary of Bigstone.
In 1945 the number of the M.D. was changed from No 458 to No 74. The Department
of Municipal Affairs, by order in council in January 1955, added L.I.D. No. 76
to the M.D. Wetaskiwin extending the boundaries on the west side of the
municipality to the westerly boundary of range 7, 'Nest of the 5th meridian, and
ordered that the present council carry on until the Statutory meeting in April
1955, when the new slate of councillors elected in March 1955 for the 7
divisions into which the M.D. Wetaskiwin was divided, would take office. The
Community Hospital built in 1932 was increased in bed capacity twice and a
nurses home erected. It became a Municipal Hospital and was finally pulled down
and a new one built. This is now too small and an addition is to be built in
1967. In 1966 an Auxiliary Hospital was built on the site of the old hospital
with a capacity of fifty beds, and is a joint project including also the town
and County of Leduc. A seed cleaning plant was built on the municipality lands,
3nd commenced operations in 1949; the municipalities share of the cost being
$10,000. The Breton Municipal Hospital District was established in 1961. The
area west of range 1 to west of range 7 being taken from the Wetaskiwin Hospital
District and added to the Breton District. On December 16, 1957 the Wetaskiwin
School Board attended the council meeting for a discussion on an application
being made for a change to the county system. After considerably much discussion
a show of hands was called for and was unanimous for the change. On a second
vote being taken as to the date of the change it was decided that it take place
on the 1st of January, 1958, only two voting against. The M.D. Wetaskiwin No. 74
became the County of Wetaskiwin No. 10 on the 1st of January, 1958.
County of Wetaskiwin No. 10
In order to get the school supplies and records under one roof with the County
it was found necessary to enlarge the County office. An addition was added to
the County office which more than doubled its size and also offices were made to
accommodate the Field Supervisor, Police Chief, and Superintendent of Public
Works. A very suitable building was also purchased for a garage and workshop for
school maintenance and a warehouse was built for the Agricultural Service Board
for seed, chemicals, etc. Since becoming a County there have been twenty-four
modern teacher residences built and five modern houses have been purchased at
the various school sites. Three of the schools do not require teacher residences
as they are adjacent to the City of Wetaskiwin, and the Town of Millet, but one
was built at Millet. Most of the schools have had additions or improvements made
to them three of the ten elementary schools have industrial art shops and
household economics facilities. Also a regional high school has been built at
Falun so that today with the present busing facilities, children in this County
have just about all of the educational facilities offered in any urban school
A county crest designed by Ron Maslin was authorized by Lt. Governor Grant
MacEwan in May 1969.
In October 1970 a county recreation board was formed. This was an advisory board
that reported back to council.
Two years later, the county entered into an agreement with the City of
Westaskiwin to develop and operate a municipal airport jointly with the city.
An I.B.M. computer was purchased in 1978 to handle taxes and other county
Construction began on a new school in Millet, for use in addition to the
existing school. On March 23, 1981 the new school, named the Griffiths-Scott
School, was officially opened. The name was chosen in commemoration of two
former teachers in Millet.
That same year, the seed cleaning plant constructed a seed sacking and storage
facility at the existing plant. The county agreed to help financially towards
On January 1, 1982, the Winfield Homemakers Service was taken over from the
Wetoka Health Unit. A co-ordinator was appointed and funding was provided by the
Family and Community Support Services.
Alberta Environment provided funding towards the sewer installations in the
Hamlets of Gwynne and Alder Flats. Funding has also been applied for to install
a water system in the Hamlet of Winfield, hopefully by 1983-1984.
The councillors for the County of Wetaskiwin No. 10 as at November 24, 1982,
are: Cal Hughston (Reeve), Melvin Ballhorn, Ranold Johnson, Clayton Monaghan
(Chairman of the Board of Education), Tom Thurber and Wallace Wilson. There is
one vacancy on council, which will be resolved by a by-election to be held early
in 1983. The Village of Millet school representative is Eric Jahour. County
Administrator: John McGowan. Superintendent of Schools: Wm. Hunchak.