Local Business History Index
History of Vold, Jones & Vold Auction Company The Star Press

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The Development and History of Local Business in Ponoka County
No discussion of the history of business development in rural Alberta is complete without first recognizing the farmers and the role they played as both business owners and consumers.
Each homesteader who came to the County of Ponoka was in fact not only a settler, but also an entrepreneur. The economies and planning that made a business successful were just as important on the farm, with one very important exception - the weather. No matter how much planning and hard work went into a farm operation, the owners and managers were at the mercy of the many acts of God. Over the years, the County has seen many of these - from hail to floods, tornadoes and freak snow storms.
Secondly, without the homesteaders, there would have been very little demand for the many businesses that opened in the County of Ponoka to provide the variety of supplies and services they did.

Town of Ponoka Merchants from 1901 to 1902
BARBER SHOPS
Mr. Jennings
Myrle Martin
Mr. Hurtz
--
BLACKSMITHS
Rochan
Starkeys
Pete Horn
--
DRY GOODS/GROCERY
Algars
Fowlers
The White House
Henry Dick
HOTELS
Royal
Leland
Alberta
--
IMPLEMENT AGENTS
Courtwright
W.E. Turner
Unknown
--
LIVERY STABLES
Fairfield
Gerkhe's
--
--
LUMBER YARDS
Courtwright
Mundy Lumber Co.
--
--
MEAT MARKET
Ivor Larson
--
--
--
MILLINERY
Mrs. Joe Stretch
--
--
--
NEWSPAPER
Mr. Picairn
--
--
--
RESTAURANT
Trelkeld
McCann
Mrs. Cook Meyers
--
SADDLERY
Lorn Dodds
--
--
--
UNDERTAKER
L.B. Matisch
--
--
--

Locations of Town of Ponoka Businesses
BLOCK 1
Lot 3, 4 Lot 5, 6
Lot 7, 8 R.K. Allan Furniture & Hardware Alexander & Tugman Feed Mill Co.
J.P Horn Blacksmith
Lot 5, 6 Lot N1/2, 6
S. Cornish Paint Shop
Larsen & Peterson Livery J.B. Shea Vacant
Lot 1, Block 10
Lot 8 Lot 7
W.E. Turner Machine Shop & Office
Edmonton City Dairy
B.F. Chapman Vacant
BLOCK 2
Lot 9
Lot 8
Lot 1,2
F.E. Algar Ltd. General Store
Mr. Coultior Restaurant
Headley & Few Theatre
C.W. Segerstrom Real Estate Lot 9, 10
Lot 2 O.L. Webster Real Estate C.W. Fields Photography
Mrs. L.G. Headley Millinery Lot 11, 12 Lot N1/2 22
Lot 5
W.H. Smith Secondhand Store J. B. Shea Vacant
C.L. Farnum Real Estate Office G.F. Brown Harness Lot 24
Lot 6 Lot 12, 13 Geo. Gordon Printing
C.H. Cummings General Store A. Reid General Store BLOCK 6
Lot 7 Lot 19, 20 Lot 1
Batson & Cox Hardware Larsen & Peterson Livery R.H. Albrecht Feed Mill
Lot 9 & 10 Lot W1/2, 21 BLOCK 7
Kleckner & Morgan W. DeWilde Pool Room Lot 5, 6, 7
Lot 11 & 12 Lot 22 Revelstoke Sawmill Co. Lumber Co.
Leuberts & Sellers Hotel W.L. Steele Lumber Lot 10
Lot 12 & 13 Lot N 1/2, 23 Geo. E. Bowker Undertaker
Kennedy & Russell General Store Campbell Drug Co. Druggist BLOCK 10
Lot 14 Campbell & Bell Doctors Office Lot 11, 12
T.W. Franks Solicitor Lot E 1/2, 23 Herbert Rees Machine Shop
Woodland Dairy T.J. Durkin Gent's Furnishings BLOCK 11
Lot 15 Lot W1/2, 24 Lot 1, 2
E. Roberts Restaurant
M.G. Neff, Jeweller Alfred Barrett Creamery
Dr. Taylor Dentist
Fritz Bachor Butcher Lot 3, 4
Lot 16
Frt. pt. 24 H.C. Taylor Feed Mill
Larson & Peterson Livery
Miss Harris Millinery BLOCK 20
Lot 17

Lot 24

Lot 1, 2, 3
Jas. Jones Restaurant
H.E. Pendleton & Sons Meat Market Alexander & McKelvey Marble Works
BLOCK 3 BLOCK 4 C.P.R. Freightways
Lot 1 Lot 1 Alberta Pacific Elevator Co.
Canadian Bank of Commerce Alexander & Tugman Machine Sheds Wetaskiwin Produce Co.
Lot 2 Lot 2 Alexander & Tugman Coal Sheds
A. Christianson Secondhand Store Mah Poy Restaurant Revelstoke Lumber Co. Coal Sheds
Shively Shoe Repair Lot 4 G.D. Clark Coal Sheds
Other Mah Chung Laundry Town Hall
Dr. Graham Doctor's Office -- T.W. Hutchinson Office
-- -- Henry Nelson Insurance Agent

Town of Rimbey Merchants in 1932
BARBER SHOP
Lloyd Newsom
Bob Lewis
BLACKSMITH
Nels Robley
--
CONVEYANCER / REAL ESTATE
B.W. MacGillvary
--
DRAY (Mules)
Bill Savage
--
DRUG STORE
White Brothers
--
ELECTRIC SUPPLIER
E.A. Draper
--
GARAGE / AUTO REPAIRS/ AUTO DEALERSHIP
Don Field
Jim Pringle
HIDE DEALER
L.P. Robinson
--
HOTEL
Harry Taylor
--
LIVERY STABLE
Starks Webb
--
MEN'S STORE
Archie McLees
--
MILL / LUMBER YARD
EA. Drader
--
MOVIE THEATRE
Sharpe
--
SHOE MAKER / HARNESS REPAIR
Ben Gunn
--
UNDERTAKER
Cliff Hewit
--

Rural Businesses
Usona Store
Owners Years Additional Information
Mr. McClinton
1937
Original location was N.W. corner 23-44-26 - this building burned down. MR. McClinton had come from Pigeon Lake where he operated a bakery. This business also served as the Post Office for a while.
William Carlson
--
Rebuilt after fire at N.E. corner 31-44-26
Mr. and Mrs. Naslund
1949 to 1953
--
Ray and Anna Peterson
1953 to 1958
--
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bailey
1958 to 1960
--
Mr. and Mrs. William Baron
1960 to ??
--

The Star Press
Ever the businessman, Mr. Leroy E. Brownlee ran several businesses in the Ponoka County area.
During the 1920s he operated a wood sawing and feed grinding outfit.
In the 1930s he built and ran a sawmill and shingle mill on his homestead.
In 1940 he built his own printing press and started a printing business which he called The Star Press. He wrote and printed four books, which he sold by mail: Farm Blacksmithing, Building Farm Lumber Saw Mills, Building a Shingle Saw Mill, and Circular Saw Hammering. He printed flyers, handbills and posters for local businesses and organizations, and from 1950 until at least 1951 he published a monthly one-sheet newspaper, North Country Times, which covered news in Hoadley, Bluffton and Rimbey districts.
From 1949 until at least 1958 he printed a lonely-hearts newsletter, entitled The National Hobby and Trader, which had a Canada-wide circulation, and reached the lovelorn as far away as Missouri.
Information courtesy of the Glenbow Archives who hold the Leroy E. Brownlee Fonds.


Looking for more information ? Check out these sites....
Come, visit our Archives site for more bakground info about the County of Ponoka
County of Ponoka ARCHIVES
Come, visit our Historical Archives for more about the development of the County of Ponoka
Visit the Alberta GenWeb Project
Visit the Canada & Alberta GenWeb Projects...
Visit the Canada GenWeb Project
Deb's logo... All articles & graphics were developed, compiled or created by D.A. Owens. 1997 - 2003. All Rights Reserved. The information provided is for research purposes only, and it's accuracy is subject to confirmation. Commercial use of this information is prohibited.