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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

The Prominent Citizens Of Vermilion in 1907

Back in 1907, there were many people who were prominent citizens of Vermilion that helped that early community grow. I thought it would be interesting to cover some of those individuals.

W.J. Rutherford was a native of Stratford, Ontario. He had a ranch south of the Vermilion area at the turn of the 20th century. By 1907, he owned a ranch with 200 head of stock. Until 1905, his nearest post office was in Edmonton and his nearest neighbour was 50 kilometres away.

Joseph McKone was one of the directors of the Western Canada Trading Company, who played an important role in early Vermilion. He organized the Vermilion Fire Department and served as its chief in those early years.

Dr. George H.W. Ryan was one of the most popular and respected citizens of Vermilion during those early years. He had come from Ontario and had a medical degree from McGill University. He arrived in Alberta in 1905 and settled in Vermilion. He was a member of the first council. He also served with the Masons, Odd Fellows and other organizations.

F.C. Long was the druggist in the community at the time. He arrived in Vermilion in 1905, and opened up a general store. He had 11 years of experience in the industry by 1907.

The Hunt Brothers owned one of the best stores in eastern Alberta. They supplied settlers and homesteaders throughout the Vermilion area. They had only been in Vermilion for a few months by October 1907, but they were already one of the most profitable businesses in town.

H.S. Stiles was from Brantford, Ontario and had come to Vermilion via Saskatoon. He owned a plumbing and heating business and was respected in the community. A member of several organizations, he was said to take a keen interest in the town’s welfare.

Olla Larson owned the Vermilion bowling alley in 1907 and had been in town for two years. His bowling alley was said to be unrivaled of others in Alberta and many games were played against rival towns at it. He had come from Greenbush, Minnesota and said he liked the country around Vermilion. He also owned a homestead south of town.

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