Agriculture

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Farming

When R.P. Ottewell's oat crop of 1882 came in at over 100 bushels per acre, he proved to the world the potential for this area. In 1901 Thomas Daly of Clover Bar won first prize for his oats at the Paris Exposition. It is also recorded that Daly grew the first apples in Alberta.

George Ball of the Salisbury District was elected president of the Dominion Sheepherders Association, and won many prizes for his Suffolk sheep. George Uren from the Bremner district won various prizes for his registered shorthorn cattle, as well as his draft horses. Charlie Bremner won Dominion prizes for his Clydesdales.

A.R. Gillies came to the Clover Bar area in 1910 from Ontario. He specialized in Yorkshire swine, short-horned cattle and poultry, raising up to 5,000 chickens. He and his brother did germination and hybridization experiments that produced seed grains with shorter growing seasons, and other necessary qualities suitable for our northern climates.

The threshing crews

Working on the threshing outfits provided outlets for homesteaders either as a source of income or helping to pay their own threshing bill.

  • The Clover Bar Colonization Company sold its steam threshing outfit to R.P. Ottewell who worked as the engineer on the crew.
  • Further south Wallace Ball ran the threshing machine while his brother Willie, was the engineer. They had a crew of 18 men harvesting in the Salisbury - Wye districts.
  • In North Clover Bar, in 1904, Walter Marler ran a steam outfit for his father, Sam.
  • Further east, in the Partridge Hill district, Virgil Lawrence ran a steam powered threshing outfit for 18 years. The steam engine is now to be seen in the Fort Saskatchewan Museum.
  • The Josephburg district was well supplied with steam engines and threshing outfits with John Burg and Alex Schneider both running large outfits.
  • The East Clover Bar and Ardrossan areas were looked after by several outfits including the crew of Mitchel Hanlan, Sr. His crew of 20 men who often worked to mid-December, custom threshing.
  • In the Colchester and Ellerslie areas, the Henschel brothers, and Otto and Ludwig Schiewe were two of the larger outfits.

Dairy farming

Meanwhile, as Edmonton's population grew, the demand for fresh milk products increased. Strathcona and Clover Bar farmers quickly started to increase their herds to fill this need. People like Syd Ottewell and others in the Bremner district had built up large enough dairy herds to require the building of a butter and cheese factory in the district in 1906. It was the Colchester - Salisbury district that was eventually to be nick-named the Dairy Belt of Alberta.

Before 1910, Herman Graunke, Adolf Job and Fred Fuhrhop had started delivery of milk from their dairy herds. Later Henry Fuhrhop, John Fried, Emil and David Paul, Adolf Hoppe and Robert Simpson joined them. By mid-century, the Seutter families, Stannard brothers, Hipkins, Wannacotts and Grays had producing herds.

William Christie of the Colchester district, over a 12-year period, won the Alberta Department of Agriculture Provincial Trophy for butterfat production 10 times. The Stannard brothers also won various competitions.

At one time four milk-and-cream-purchasing dairies were found in Strathcona County between 17 Street and 50 Street. Henry's Dairy, Fitt's Dairy, Bracky's Dairy and Gibb's (Blindline) Dairy were all needed to prepare milk, cream and butter for consumption in the City of Edmonton.

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Last updated: Friday, December 01, 2017
Page ID: 41153