History of Luseland

 

The Town of Luseland was incorporated in 1954. Happy '50th' Birthday, Luseland

50th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Luseland


On January 1st 1954 the Village of Luseland, with a population of 600 residents, was incorporated as a town, On the 20th of January that year two thirds of the eligible voters turned out to elect their first town council.
Sam Onerheim was proclaimed Luseland's first mayor by acclamation and the following citizens were elected to the first town council:
William (Bill) Hohman
Robert (Bob) Finley
Y.W. (Wells) Pelton
J.B. (Bud) McMaster
Don Dillingham
Doug Bell
Hazel Love was the Town clerk and Mrs. Alma Black her assistant.


Following is a very short list of a few of the prominent residents living and working in Luseland in 1954. Many of our older citizens will recognize these names:
The residing doctor and health officer for our town and surrounding community was Dr. E.R. Graham who had held this office since 1913 and continued to serve our community until 1958, a total of 45 years.
Mr. George McKay was the town constable.
H.E.Christianson was the manager of the Royal Bank. --the Union Bank had been taken over in the 20's
Wibb and Vern White operated the Pool Hall.
Peter Prediger ran the blacksmith shop.

T. C, Eyre was the pharmacist and operated the Luseland Drug Store.
Whites had a Barbershop and Poolroom.
Bob & Jim ran Finley Bros-Hardware, Furniture, Gift, Parts, General Motors and I.H.C. Dealerships
Wells Pelton had the Ford Mercury Agency
Bud McMaster had the Case Dealership
Doug Bell was in Bell Agencies with his father, Randy, selling Insurance.
Joe Hingwing-proprietor of the Luseland Cafe
Don Dillingham was the Post Master
Bud Dunlop was the C.P.R. Station Agent.
Herman Hoff had a garage business.
Sam Onerheim ran the Theatre and Model Meat Market and Locker Plant
Peter Peters had the O.K. Economy store.
Alf Osterhold and Marie ran Beck's Grocery and Dry Goods
Gordon Holton had a Jewelry and Giftware store.
Lyle and Clara Davis ran a Cafe where Sr. Citizen center is now.

 

 

Click on picture to enlarge

 

 

Train load of people visiting the area being promoted for settlement by the Luse Land & Development Company in 1909.

 

Efforts of the Luse Land Co. to reserve homestead lands for members of the German Lutheran Church-On Sept. 23, 1907, S.J. Luse wrote the Hon. Frank Oliver, Minister of the Interior, with a proposal to purchase the odd sections and even ones, if possible, to establish a church and bring in 60-100 families for one community within the next two years. They would put up a bond and pay for the land in five to eight years.- He stated that all German Lutheran denominations in the U.S. would back them. On Oct. 8, 1907 a further correspondence marked "Personal" informed Mr. Oliver that they could secure lands from the Canadian Northern and had arranged to make a deal for the odd sections, providing they could secure the remaining homesteads in Twp 35, and 36, Rge 24, 25 and Twp 36, Rge 26. They wanted as much as possible to have an exclusive German Lutheran settlement.
At this time a letter to Mr. Oliver from Rev. Beuchner, Secretary of the Lutheran Colonization Co., stated that they had been to Saskatchewan and selected five townships in the Battleford District and asked that the homesteads left be reserved for their people for at least a year. On Nov. 15, 1907, the Commission of Dominion Lands reported that the above requests has been given careful consideration and they had no doubt that the German Lutherans would make very desirable settlers but it was contrary to regulations to reserve homestead lands in the manner suggested.
On Jan. 15, 1908 Mr. S.F. St. John, the Canadian representative for the Company, wrote to Mr. Oliver that he had closed a deal for 100,000 acres in Twp. 35 and 36 Reg. 17-27 inclusive W3 and also a deal with the Evangelical German Lutheran Church for settlement of a colony of their people therein. He requested that all homesteads within the townships named be set apart to June 1, 1908. The Co. had been assured by the Grand Trunk Railway in Winnipeg that they could have all the settlers to the area by that time. However, Jan. 22, 1908, Mr. Oliver wrote to the Luse Land Co. that they had to refuse their request to reserve homestead lands for the company as, according to regulations, any suitable application must be allowed. Regardless of the decision the Luseland area was indeed fortunate that these same people did arrive, took their chances and were many of the first settlers. Theophiel Meier is reported as the first baby to be born after their arrival.
Mr. Luse made it a practice to bring his prospective purchasers out to view a homestead at no cost to them and where they could visit with a pioneer farmer and ask questions. The Company built the first building in Scott before the Grand Trunk Pacific reached there. Here the would-be purchasers were met by a dozen Reo Chain cars and some double seated buggies which the company used for showing the land. It was not their policy to sell a man more than he could pay for nor did they encourage sale of land for speculation. They were colonizers and much preferred the man who would move onto his land and improve it, for then they knew the land would eventually be paid for.
Land was sold on a five years contract, 115 cash, the balance in five equal annual payments with the privilege of paying any part, or all, at anytime. If a purchaser was unable to carry out his agreement the land was taken off his hands at no loss to him. It was their policy to give the purchaser every assistance possible.
Early each spring they arranged to have all the cars of settlers' effects gathered in St. Paul to be consolidated into a fast train, frequently as many as three such trains leaving at the same time. They left St. Paul on the first and third Tuesday of each month. On arrival in Canada each car would be left at the point nearest the land purchased by the settler. The settlers going into a district travelled together so by the time they arrived they were acquainted with those who would be their neighbors, which was excellent psychology for people coming to a new way of living in a sparsely settled area.
The Company settled nearly 3,000,000 acres of land. A large portion of their land was purchased from the Railroad Co. at $3 to $8 an acre. They were unable to buy land from the government which preferred to throw the land open to homesteaders; this in later years proved very expensive for the taxpayers of Canada. The Company advertised lands in Saskatchewan for sale through the publication of a small monthly magazine "The Last West". It had such sales pitches as;

-Man is made from dust
Dust settles
Be a man
Settle in Saskatchewan."
or

"Reap golden harvest at $1 per bushel from $15 land."

These small magazines gave persuasive descriptions of the geography, soil, climate and markets as well as carrying testimonies from those already settled in the new land such as Fred Dean and Harlow Bros.

Click for history Through the Years

Written by Randy Bell, & published by Luseland, Salvador and District centennial Committee

 

 

Click here to link to an online version of Luseland Hub and Spokes (a History of Luseland, Saskatchewan, Canada, 1905-1983) through ourroots.ca, Canada’s Local Histories online, the website that brings Canada’s history to life.

 

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