Allan’s Early Years

Lund, Vicki J. "Allan’s Early Years." Country Press, 31 March 2010, 15.

Adapted from "Times Past to Present"

Store in Allan owned by Wendelyn Deibert (husband of Mary Wald).
A field in the Allan area from a bygone era.

The town of Allan had its beginnings just over one hundred years ago as the promised land of several Russian immigrants and their families who had begun their journey in the United States. Near the end of the nineteenth century, they left their native homeland because their rights and privileges began to be restricted by their government. They sold all of their belongings and headed for the Dakota where they received three quarter sections of land for free from the United States government. The land where they settled was dry and unforgiving and farming was not going well for them. They had all been farmers in their homeland and the future looked bleak.

The government of Canada began to promote colonization in the west around 1900, specifically in the North West Territories, which included Saskatchewan and Alberta at that time. They advertised in newspapers in the Dakotas and so it was that in 1903, nine families headed to the immigration centre of Rosthern in the District of Saskatchewan, NWT.  Three of the immigrants were elected to head south into Assiniboia to seek out space that would be big enough for all of the families to homestead together. The groups traveled through Saskaloon, Hanley and Dundurn but could not find sufficient space so they decided to give up and head back for Rosthern, One of the gentlemen decided to stay in Saskatoon for just one more night, where he learned of some land south-east of Saskatoon. After having a look at it the next day, he returned to Rosthern with the news and the group decided to head out to their ‘promised land'.

On June 1, 1903 the families of Joe Heisler, F. F. Boechler, Karl Silbernagel, Joe Kraft, Martin Leicr, Nick Hauck, Joe Zachers, Ignatz. Garman and Joseph Volk loaded up their wagons and headed for their new homesteads. It was a lone haul from Rosthern to what is now the Allan district and by the time they finally settled in, it was too late to plant their crops. They spent the first summer breaking the land, but there was enough "wild" hay to keep their animals fed well through the winter. The postal district of Curzon, Assimboia, North West Territories was "the land that the Lord had prepared" for them, with farming the following years being prosperous. In 1904 many farm-related businesses began to appear out of necessity and the post office was established on a local farm approximately four miles southwest of what would become the village of Allan. In 1907, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway completed tracks to Saskatoon and purchased a. parcel of land from John G. Klotz, built a railway station and established the town site of Allan. By 1915, several business were established and the village was well on its way to becoming a town.

Article courtesy of Stephen P. Kraft, Portland, Oregon

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