Home     Email     Canada     Databases     England     Ethnic/Religious    Ireland/No.Ireland  
L.D.S. Websites     Research Helps     Scotland     United States     Wales     World Databases 

Alberta Temple

Centre and Symbol of Faith

"The Alberta Temple- Centre and Symbol of Faith;
pages 5 - 23 - by V. A. Wood

Mormon Settlement in Southern Alberta

There were no Mormon settlements in western Canada prior to 1887. A record of their coming to what is now southern Alberta will be included in this chapter along with an account of the growth and development of a sufficient number of stable Mormon settlements by 1912 to warrant the announcement of a temple to be built. This was the first Mormon Temple built outside of the United States. The growth and change in the population from rural to mainly urban is shown. An account is also given of the growth in the church organization, and the influence and importance of the Temple to members of the Church.

Conditions in Utah, 1880

By 1870 almost all the available farm land in Utah was occupied. With many converts coming from Europe, the church authorities in Salt Lake City were looking for undeveloped areas where new settlements could be established. By 1880, Idaho Territory, Nevada, Washington Territory, Colorado, California and Wyoming Territory had Mormon settlements. In 1882, the United States government passed the Edmunds Act. The intent of this Act was to eliminate the practice of polygamy and to subject those breaking the law to heavy fines and imprisonment. In 1887, the Edmunds Tucker Act was passed and placed further restrictions on those practicing polygamy. The Church in the United States was dissolved as a corporation under this Act, and thus, all church property could be confiscated by the Government.

Charles Ora Card was a prominent citizen in Logan, Utah during the 1880s, and by 1885 he was being sought by U.S. Marshalls for practicing polygamy.2 Card was therefore looking for a place of refuge to elude the Marshalls and escape imprisonment. He counseled with John Taylor, President of the Church, and asked Taylor if Mexico would serve as an appropriate place to relocate. President Taylor had lived in eastern Canada prior to joining the Church, and advised Card not to go to Mexico but to go to Canada. President Taylor felt the Church members would receive justice and fair treatment under British rule. Taylor advised him to make an exploratory trip to western Canada to look for a suitable place of refuge and possible settlement, and then to report back to the First Presidency of the Church.

Early History of Land Settlement in Western Canada3

On May 2,1670, Charles II granted the Company of Adventurers of England (Hudson's Bay Company) the trading rights to, and the territorial rights to colonize and govern the area of Rupert's Land. This land included what are now the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory and portions of the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. The main objective for the Hudson's Bay Company was fur-trading and not colonization. As a result, fur-trading was fostered and the Company not only discouraged colonization and land settlement but in many cases took active measures to prevent it. (A few attempts were made to encourage agriculture at the trading posts, mainly for the purpose of supplying provisions and not for the purpose of encouraging settlement.4 On August 30, 1812 the first colony of white settlers, mostly Scottish and Irish, arrived under the leadership of Lord Selkirk and started a small settlement along the Red River in what is now southern Manitoba. The settlement progressed slowly and by 1871, after the Hudson's Bay Company surrendered control of the area, there were a mere 12000 settlers. Over 10000 of these were Indians or Metis.

In the early 1850s there was increased interest in settling the western area of Canada. There was also rising opposition to the monopoly the Hudson's Bay Company held over the vast territory of Rupert's Land. The potential use of this land for settlement and the possibility of its being annexed by the U.S. were two of the reasons for several investigations and reports conducted by the British and Canadian governments.5

The government of Great Britain sent Captain Palliser and the Canadian government sent Professor H. Y. Hind to explore the possibilities of agriculture in western Canada. Captain Palliser considered the land comprised two divisions: the fertile belt and the semi-arid belt. The fertile belt included the wooded northern area, the semi- desert area included the treeless prairie of the southern plains of what is now Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Professor Hind's report was more favorable to colonization than Palliser's but both felt that the treeless southern plains were unfit for settlement because of the climate, the soil and the absence of fuel.

After several years of negotiation, the Hudson's Bay Company's rights over this area were cancelled. In 1870 the Canadian government annexed and opened the territory for settlement. By June 8, 1870, all territory previously held by the Hudson's Bay Company was transferred to the Dominion of Canada. The Hudson's Bay Company was paid 300,000 pounds sterling to surrender all of its rights and privileges in Rupert's Land. The company did, however, retain a land grant of one-twentieth of the land situated in the fertile belt, certain blocks of land located in the vicinity of trading posts amounting to 50,000 acres, and the right to continue their fur trade.6

The land grant of one-twentieth of the land located in the fertile belt has had an important influence on the land policy of western Canada. At the time of the transfer of Rupert's Land to the Canadian government, the West, and especially the area later known as Alberta, was sparsely inhabited. After the transfer of the land to the Dominion government, the Dominion Lands Act was passed. This Act outlined the survey system and the method of land settlement to be followed. The grid system of survey used in the western United States was adopted; and since the territory of western Canada was not settled when the survey system was adopted in 1872, a uniform and integrated survey was feasible throughout most of the area.7

Surveying the land prior to settlement avoided much of the difficulties arising from squatter settlement. The 1874 establishment of the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP) also insured a more orderly settlement in western Canada than had been experienced in other frontier areas. Thus the Mormon settlers who came to southern Alberta in 1887, in fact all settlers who came to western Canada, were able to establish themselves in a fairly orderly way.

Southwestern Alberta Prior to 1887

Soon after 1870, several cattle ranches were acquired by sale or lease in the southwestern part of the area later to become Alberta. However, large numbers of settlers did not come to this area, or to western Canada, until after the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed in 1885.

By 1881 the Cochrane Ranch Company owned and leased a large area of land west of Calgary. The Cochrane Ranch Company suffered severe cattle losses during the first few winters in the Calgary area. As a result, its interest shifted south where in 1883, the company purchased approximately 66,500 acres in the "chinook belt"; located between the Belly and Waterton rivers. In addition, it acquired a grazing lease on nearby lands.

Prior to 1887, there were a few men located on small land holdings in the Lee's Creek, an area not far from where Cardston is presently located.8 The majority of these men had been discharged from the RNWMP while some had been formerly employed on nearby ranches. Included in this group were Fred and Vern Shaw, and E. N. Barker who later knew Charles Ora Card.9 The present Blood Indian Reserve, which borders the north edge of Cardston, was established in 1883 under Treaty No. 7, Adhesion 203. This reserve covers 541 square miles, and is the largest Indian reserve in Canada.

The Cardston area is located in the black and dark-brown soil zone which is fertile and good for agriculture. However, this area has a short growing season and limited rainfall. These two factors caused problems for the early settlers.

Exploratory Trip to Western Canada

Following the advice of President John Taylor that he explore settlement possibilities in western Canada, Charles Ora Card left Logan, Utah with J. W. Hendricks and Isaac E. Zundel on September 14, 1886. They went north to Spokane, then to British Columbia's Osooyos Lake area and up to the head of Okanagan Lake. They were looking for available land that had some possibilities of being irrigated, but found most of the desirable land already taken. While exploring British Columbia, they met a mountaineer named MacDonald who advised them to go to what is now southern Alberta. He said they would find "buffalo plains covered with grass and miles of fertile soil." The party went to Calgary by train, bought a wagon and a team of horses, and set out to examine land to the south.

Card and those with him were impressed with the land around High River and noted several desirable locations available for settlement between Calgary and Fort MacLeod. Notwithstanding, they continued southward. Eventually they reached the area between the Belly and Waterton rivers and were impressed with the land in the Stand Off area. Following this brief exploratory trip, Charles Ora Card returned to Utah and submitted a written report to President John Taylor. His report was favorably received and for the next several months Card engaged in gathering a party of settlers to go to Canada.

Over forty families initially promised to emigrate with Card, but only ten remained interested by the time he was ready to leave. Card left Cache Valley, Utah, on March 23, 1887 and on April 16 he and six other men crossed the border into Canada. However when the men arrived at the designated spot between the Belly River and Waterton River, the land was under lease to the Cochrane Ranch Company and consequently not available. E. N. Barker, a local rancher who had settled in the Lee's Creek area in 1884, and Herbert A. Donovan of the Cochrane Ranch Company, told Card other land was available in the Lee's Creek area. On April 26, Card reported that the group had inspected the land and it was unanimously agreed that the Lee's Creek location was the best available alternative.

While the land had been leased, the lease had expired in the fall of 1886 and in 1887 Card made claim to the land.l0After making claim to the area Charles Ora Card left instructions with the RNWMP to direct Mormon settlers to the area located approximately three miles up stream from where Lee's Creek flows into the St Mary's River. By May 1, the settlers had ceremoniously plowed the first furrow, started to cultivate the land and to plant crops. By June 3, 1887, there were 41 settlers in the community which was to become the town of Cardston.

The Town of Cardston Established

A town site was laid out in July 1887 by land surveyor, E. R. Miles. The town comprised three tiers of blocks. There were twelve blocks in all, and 8.5 acres in each block with four lots to the block. An official legal survey was made and registered in 1893. The new residents followed a construction pattern similar to that of other Mormon settlements. Many of the settlers grouped their houses together and cultivated the surrounding lands.

The naming of the town was evolutionary. From June 1887 to July 1888 the community was referred to as "Lee's Creek"; and from July 1888 to May 1889 both "Card" and "Lee's Creek" were used. However, the name "Cardston" was officially adopted in November 1889. Cardston was proclaimed a town on July 2,1901 and C. O. Card was elected as its first mayor on July 22,1901.

To the settlers, Cardston was a place of refuge. They came seeking to establish their homes where they would be free from prosecution and imprisonment, under U.S. law, for practicing polygamy. These first settlers were devout Mormons willing to sacrifice and endure hardship and privation for the right to worship as they believed. Many of these first settlers had been well-established in the Cache Valley area prior to coming to Cardston, yet, they were willing to forsake what they had to establish new homes in the frontier area of southern Alberta. These settlers were a homogeneous group . . . definitely loyal to the tenets of the Church. This religious "homogeneity made for effective social control in the community on the frontier.... Cardston was a colony with a purpose ... It was dedicated to a cause."11

For those who came later, southern Alberta (where land was available for settlement) was considered a place of economic opportunity. This was especially so after the new colony showed signs of permanency: "While the desire to escape persecution was the primary motive for the settlement of Cardston the attraction of economic possibilities was the basis for the new movement which began in 1899."l2

Church officials in Salt Lake City were anxious to see the new settlement become permanent and offered assistance in several ways. Financial assistance was given to purchase the townsite and in 1889 the Mormon Church bought 9,840 acres in Township 3 Range, 24 West of the 4th Meridian (Woolford area) and leased 18,400 acres in Township 2 Range 24 West of the 4th Meridian. This land was located east and south of Cardston. The land was operated as a church ranch for a short time, and the leased land was later purchased by the Church and sold to settlers.

The small group of settlers was isolated. A forty mile wagon trail separated them from the nearest towns of Lethbridge and Fort Macleod. They struggled under difficult conditions for several years to establish a stable community. Charles Ora Card was to the Cardston area settlers, what Brigham Young had been to the first Mormon settlers in Utah. Because of his practicality, his strength of character and his firm testimony, Card was both their spiritual and temporal leader. The Church leadership in Salt Lake City gave Card their full support as he accepted as a mission call the challenge to establish a Mormon settlement in southern Alberta.

With financial support from his wife, Zina Young Card, Charles Ora Card promoted, sponsored and invested in many projects that helped the colony to become well-established. These projects included a store, a saw mill, a small coal mine, a cheese factory, a grist mill, and a small irrigation project to irrigate land in the Aetna area. Not all of these projects were successful; however, all helped to fill the needs of the settlers at that time and contributed to the image of a stable community.

These early settlers had considerable irrigation farming experience. Soon after arriving in Cardston, they developed several small irrigation projects. In 1898, Card had the opportunity to assist in the construction of a large irrigation project.

Irrigation Development

In order to provide an outlet for their coal, Galt Coal Mines of Lethbridge entered into railway construction in southern Alberta. In return for their effort they received large grants of land from the Government. The company wanted some of the lands brought under irrigation to make them more attractive and productive. The Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company was formed to construct the main canal to irrigate these lands.l3 It was through the efforts of Charles Ora Card that in April 1898 the Mormon church entered into an agreement with the Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company to construct the main canal to supply water to irrigate large acreages of lands in the Magrath, Raymond and Stirling areas. Card advertised for men in Utah and other Mormon settlements to come and work on the project. They were to receive pay both in cash and in land.l4

Through these efforts, the Mormon settlers introduced irrigation to southern Alberta and in return were given the land they needed for settlement and agriculture.

New Towns, Villages Established

President Taylor had been right that members of the Church would receive fair treatment under British rule, and settlers continued to arrive in Canada. By 1901 the towns of Magrath, Stirling and Raymond had been established. During the 1890s and early 1900s the villages of Leavitt, Taylorville, Woolford, Pershing, Jefferson, Del Bonita, Rinard and Twin River were settled. By 1901, only fourteen years since Card had first entered Canada, there were 3200 Mormons in southern Alberta. The 1903 establishment of a sugar factory in Raymond contributed to the rapid growth of the town. That same year, Mormon settlers moved to the Grassy Lake and Burdett areas. Later Mormon settlers located in Wrentham, Coutts, Warner and Lethbridge. Mormon families also moved to Orton, Fort MacLeod, Claresholm, Champion, Stavely, Frankburg and Pine Coulee. By 1921 there were 407 Mormons living in Lethbridge.

In 1905 and 1906, the Mormon church negotiated and purchased the Cochrane Ranch, a block of 66,500 acres located between the Waterton and Belly rivers, for $6.50 an acre. Most of the land was later sold to settlers, and resulted in the establishment of the communities of Glenwood, Hillspring and Hartley. The western portion of the Cochrane Ranch was operated as a church ranch before being sold in the 1960s.

Mormons settled in Diamond City and Picture Butte when land in the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation area was made available in 1925. A few Mormons began to move north to Calgary and Edmonton in the 1920s, however, it was not until after 1950 that a significant number located in these cities. By 1931, approximately 90 percent of the Mormons were living in southwestern Alberta.l6, l7

The growth of the Mormon settlements was viewed with some apprehension and suspicion by non-Mormons in the surrounding settlements. However, there was no outright persecution as was experienced in the early Mormon settlements in the United States: "The Mormons [in Alberta] are viewed by outsiders as a peculiar people, and they on their part feel that outsiders do not understand them."l8 These feelings unified, isolated and strengthened the Mormon settlements.

In 1987, one hundred years after the first 41 settlers arrived at Lee's Creek, Cardston's population was approximately 3,500 people with another 9,000 in the surrounding trading area. A souvenir booklet published that year states:

And now - after 100 years, it is still a beautiful country, but in a different way. Where once only prairie grass, the wild rose, blue bells, shooting stars, and a myriad of other wild flowers decorated the landscape, now stands the town of Cardston with thousands of trees, beautiful lawns, gardens, handsome homes, stately churches, modern business blocks and malls, and newly paved roads. Now the rolling lands of the countryside undulate with the movement of growing grain where once only stirrup-high prairie grass vibrated with the western breeze. And still, after one hundred years, this fertile land gives unstintingly to those who use it wisely.l9

The Mormon pioneers laid the religious, social, and economic foundation for a stable community. The network of Mormon settlements throughout southern Alberta provided the justification for the building of a temple.

Growth of the Church Organization20

The new settlers realized the importance of having an organized branch or ward of the Church. They were mature men and women with experience in working in the different Church organizations. The members wanted to be sure that they and their families had proper instructions in church doctrine, opportunities to participate in cultural and recreational activities, and to maintain a link with the church headquarters in Salt Lake City. Therefore soon after they arrived in the new land, they proceeded to establish a church organization under the direction of their leader Charles Ora Card, who in 1887, was still stake President of the Cache Valley Stake in Utah.

The 1912 announcement of the building of a temple in Cardston indicated that the members of the Church in southern Alberta had shown by their numbers as well as by their commitment that they were worthy of a temple. The announcement was made just twenty-five years from when on the first Sunday in the new settlement the members held a Sacrament meeting in the tent of Josiah Hammer.

The church organization had grown steadily in the small community, and in turn, in the new Mormon settlements of southern Alberta. On October 7,1888, under the direction of Elders Francis M. Lyman and John W. Taylor, a ward was organized with John A. Woolf as Bishop, and Johannes Anderson and Thomas P. Lee as counselors. This new ward, designated the "Card Ward", was included in the Cache Valley Stake, Utah. Sterling Williams, son of Zina Card by a former marriage and a member of the first company of settlers, stated that after the ward was organized the feeling of permanency increased in the new settlement.21

In 1889 President Wilford Woodruff and Elders George Q. Can- non, Joseph F. Smith and Brigham Young Jr. of the Quorum of the Twelve, visited the new settlement. It was at this time the name of the ward was changed to Cardston. During the early years of the new settlement, many of the general authorities of the Church visited southern Alberta. The visitors showed a keen interest in the increase in the population, and the growth and development of the Church in this area.

Two Stakes Established in Southern Alberta

In 1890, President Card was released from all his Cache Valley assignments and was called by the First Presidency to remain in Canada and preside over the Northern Mission. On April 10, 1895, C. O. Card was called and set apart in Salt Lake City as president of the soon to be formed Alberta Stake. Elder John W. Taylor formally established the new Alberta Stake at the May 27, 1895 stake conference. There were three wards in the stake: Cardston, Aetna and Mountain View.

Due to Charles Ora Card's failing health, he was less able to take part in the temporal affairs of the new settlement after 1900. In 1902, he was released as stake president and set apart as patriarch. At this time the Alberta Stake had grown to include the following wards: Cardston, Aetna, Mountain View, Leavitt, Caldwell, Stirling, Magrath, Kimball, Taylorville and Raymond. President Card's health deteriorated further and on December 10, 1903, he left Cardston. Charles Ora Card returned to Logan, Utah and died September 9, 1906. Brigham Young Card, grandson of Charles Ora Card, stated: "C. O. Card and Zina Y. Card were unusual pioneers. The spiritual, economic and overall development of Cardston and southwestern Alberta today, is in no small measure, a product of their unique, dedicated, capable and unselfish leadership."22, 23

After the release of Charles Ora Card, Heber S. Allen was called and set apart as the new stake president. His counselors were Theodore Brandley and Edward James Wood.

The 1893 population of Cardston was 593 and by July 1901 it had increased to 631. The church membership in Alberta continued to increase after 1902, especially in Magrath, Raymond and Stirling. The Alberta Stake was divided by President Joseph F. Smith at a stake conference held August 30, 1903. H. S. Allen was called to preside over the newly formed Taylor Stake, with Theodore Brandley and J. William Knight as counselors. Edward James Wood was called to preside over the Alberta Stake with Thomas Duce and Sterling Williams as counselors. These two pioneer leaders served as stake presidents for thirty-three and thirty-nine years respectively. They were temporal as well as spiritual leaders of the Saints. Many new settlements in southern Alberta were established under their leadership. They were the only stake presidents in Canada until 1921, when the third Canadian stake was created in Lethbridge shortly before the Temple was dedicated in August 1923.

Heber S. Allen was one of the first settlers in Cardston. He was the first Government postmaster, and later involved in a Cardston mercantile business. When H. S. Allen became president of the Taylor Stake in 1903, he moved to Raymond, bought a farm and purchased another mercantile business. President Allen was recognized as one of the stalwart pioneer leaders in the development of southern Alberta.24

Edward J. Wood and his family arrived in Cardston on November 7, 1901 and with T. W. Woolf. T. A. Hammer. Robert Ibey and Sterling Williams, bought the Cardston Mercantile Co., Ltd. Edward J. Wood left the mercantile company in 1907 to become the colonization manager for the large tract of land acquired by the Church from the Cochrane Ranch Company. During his thirty-nine years as stake president, until he was 77-years-old, E. J. Wood's role was the same: "touring the wards and branches of the stake, teaching, preaching, encouraging, buoying up, bearing testimony, solving disputes, calming quarrels, discerning Saints in need of help, correcting, guiding and inspiring others to change their lives for the better. In reality, this was the spiritual work of his life."25, 26

Mormon Influence in Southern Alberta

The pioneers in the southern Alberta Mormon settlements were mostly engaged in agricultural and agricultural related industries, business and occupations servicing the rural population.

By 1912 the Mormons in southern Alberta were well-established both temporally and spiritually. The new settlers were generally industrious and were mainly responsible for establishing several stable agricultural communities. They took an active part in local affairs and in many projects that were a benefit to the communities where they lived. As an example, they were mainly responsible for the sugar factory construction in Raymond in 1903. By 1912, two stakes with several wards and branches were organized. Most members of the stakes were faithful in attending church meetings and in the payment of tithing and fast offerings. These Mormon settlers demonstrated by the hardships they endured, by their faith and by their sacrifices that they were individually and collectively worthy of a temple being built in this area.

By 1913, most of the available land had been taken and immigration to southern Alberta from Utah and Idaho had ceased, and there were approximately 7,000 Mormons firmly established in southern Alberta. An article written by Frank Steele for the April, 1914 edition of the Improvement Era states:27

The Latter-day Saints are largely responsible for the mighty transformation of southern Alberta from its wild, primitive state to the region of beauty and wealth which distinguishes it today.... It was in 1887 that Charles Ora Card of Logan, Utah and his resolute associates of brave men and braver women in the very southwest corner of what is now the province of Alberta, pitched their tents for the first time on British soil.... It was from this nucleus that the first Canadian colony sprang into existence. It is true that they suffered all of the hardships, privations and disappointments connected with such work. The history of those early days would oft times soften the hardest heart. But they were men and women of character, and in the gradual conquest of the wilderness, that feeling of ultimate victory spurred them on to greater achievements.

During the 1930s, many members of the Church who lived in the area served by the Alberta Temple suffered severe hardships and became discouraged. Some left the area to try to establish themselves elsewhere. In 1930, approximately 62 percent of the population of Alberta was classified as rural and 38 percent as urban. By 1970 this had changed dramatically, 80 percent of the population was classified as urban and 20 percent as rural. Since the 1940s the average size of farms in western Canada and Alberta has been increasing and the number of farms has been decreasing. Consequently, many of the small rural villages have disappeared. Several of the small rural wards and branches established prior to 1940 have been dissolved and these members have been included in the nearby remaining wards.

The population in rural areas has not substantially increased as it has in the larger urban areas of Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton. There has been a population surplus for the southern Alberta rural Mormon settlements. Young people have had to leave the communities where they were raised to find occupations elsewhere. These young people have mainly settled in the urban centres in Alberta, Canada and the U.S. This exodus of young people from the southern Alberta Mormon communities continues as the growth of the Church in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton in the last forty to fifty years is evidence. The first Lethbridge stake was established in 1921, Calgary in 1953, and Edmonton in 1960. In 1989 there are two stakes in Lethbridge, four in Calgary, three in Edmonton and one in Red Deer, thus, ten of the sixteen stakes in Alberta are located in large urban centres.28

Most of the pioneers in southern Alberta Mormon communities were active members of the Church who believed that keeping the commandments of the Lord was of utmost importance. It is a credit to the stalwart Mormon pioneer settlers of southern Alberta that their sons and daughters have strengthened and often formed the nucleus of the church organization in many urban centres.29 Some have served in leadership positions at church headquarters, as general authorities and in the auxiliary organizations. Many of these young people have gone on missions, to university, and established themselves in various professions.

The Mormon population in Alberta has increased from the 41 settlers who arrived in 1887 to over 52,000. The change in the structure of the Mormon population from rural to predominately urban has followed the trend of the general population growth of Alberta.

The problems confronting the members of today's Church are different from those faced in 1887. However, those members who are willing to sacrifice their time and energy by committing themselves to regular temple attendance, find that it helps them gain spirituality, guidance and inspiration to overcome the problems that concern them. Thus the Temple continues to serve as the spiritual centre to all the Mormons of Alberta and all church members of the Alberta Temple district.


1For more detailed information see: Wilcox, Archie G. "The founding of the Mormon Community in Alberta." Master's thesis, University of Alberta,1950. Hudson, James A. Charles Ora Card: Pioneer and Colonizer. Cardston, Alberta, 1963. Published by the author. Cardston and District Historical Society. Chief Mountain Country: A History of Cardston and District, Vol. II.1987. Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada. A History of the Mormon Church in Canada. This material was supplied by all of the stakes and missions of the Church in Canada. The material was compiled and edited by a committee appointed by the Lethbridge Stake and Dr. Melvin S. Tagg. Bates, Jane Elizabeth Woolf, and Zina Albert Woolf Hickman. Founding of Cardston and Vicinity, 1960. Published by William Woolf. It should be noted that only a small number of Mormons practiced polygamy, and since 1890 it has not been the policy of the Mormon church to practice or authorize the practice of polygamy.

Note: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the official name of the Church, however, the Church is often referred to as the Mormon church as well as the LDS or Latter-day Saint Church.

2Charles Ora Card was President of the Cache Valley Stake from 1884 to 1891, served as the building superintendent during the construction of the Logan Tabernacle from 1873 to 1877, and later filled the same role for the construction of the Logan Temple from 1877 to 1884.

3Most of the information on the early history of Alberta prior to 1887 was taken from:

Wood, V. A. "Public Land Policy for Alberta." Ph.D. thesis, University of Minnesota, October 1953. Please note: Alberta became a province in 1905, prior to that time it was part of the Northwest Territories.

4"Public Land Policy for Alberta," p.14. 

5"Public Land Policy for Alberta," p.17. 

6"Public Land Policy for Alberta," p. 21. 

7Survey System of Western Canada. See Appendix I. 

8Lee's Creek was named after Sam Lee who established a trading post in 1867 on the creek west of Beazer.

9Charles Ora Card: Pioneer and Colonizer p.198. 

10Charles Ora Card: Pioneer and Colonizer p.199 

11'Nelson, Lowry. "The Mormon Settlements in Alberta," Group Settlement Ethnic Communities in Western Canada Editor, C. A. Dawson, Toronto: The MacMillan Company,1936, p. 205.


13The directors of the company to build the canal included Charles Ora Card, C. A. Magrath, E. T. Galt and W. D. Barclay.

14"Two Hundred Men with Teams Wanted." See Appendix II. 

15Lehr, J. "Mormon Settlement Morphology in Southern Alberta." The Albertan Geographer, The University of Alberta, No.8,1972.

16Palmer, Howard Land of the Second Chance. A History of Ethnic Groups in Southern Alberta. Lethbridge Herald, 1972.

17West, Karen "Cardston: The Temple City." Canadian Geographical Journal. Vol. 71 (November 1965). See Appendix III.

18Group Settlement Ethnic Communities in Western Canada. p. 178. 

19"Souvenir of Cardston and District 100 Years 1887-1987." 

20In the Mormon church, local units are called branches or wards depending on their size. A Branch President and two counselors preside over a branch and a Bishop and two counselors preside over a ward. A stake is a larger unit consisting of several wards and branches. It is presided over by a stake president, two counselors and a High Council consisting of 12 men. The Church is presided over by the President and two counselors, a Quorum of Twelve Apostles, a Quorum of Seventies, and a presiding Bishop and two counselors. These are referred to as the General Authorities of the Church.

21Zina Card, wife of Charles Ora Card, was a daughter of President Brigham Young. Her first husband, Thomas Williams, died. She then married Charles Ora Card.

22Chief Mountain Country. Volume II, p. ll. 

23For more information see: Charles Ora Card, Pioneer and Colonizer; The Founding of the Mormon Community in Alberta; History of the Mormon Church in Canada, 1968; or Founding of Cardston and Vicinity. Cardston, 1960.

24 A History of the Mormon Church in Canada. p. 100. When President Allen was released as president of the Taylor stake on May 3,1936, after 33 years of service, a large gathering was held in his honor in Raymond. The Saints of the stake were given an opportunity to show their appreciation to this veteran leader and those associated with him. Heber J. Grant, president of the Church and his counselors Antoine R. Ivins, John H. Taylor, and their wives and Elders Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve were present for the occasion. President Heber J. Grant expressed appreciation for being present on such a memorable occasion and paid tribute to the faithful leadership of President Heber S. Allen. Elder Melvin J. Ballard said: "The members of this stake possibly do not realize the great leadership we have had in President Allen." 

25Nielson, Olive Wood A Treasury of Edward J. Wood. Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, p. 292.

This book gives a history of the life of Edward James Wood and quotes extensively from his diaries. The diaries have been reviewed and when quoted from, they will be noted as E. 1. Wood Diary and give the year of the citation. 

26A History of the Mormon Church in Canada. p. 77, compares Wood's leadership skill to that of Card: "President Wood's leadership of the stake was much like that of C. O. Card. He led the people in every phase of their lives."

27Steele, C. Frank, Improvement Era, April 1914. 

28In Alberta, there are also two stakes in Cardston, and one in Raymond, Magrath, Taber, and Fort MacLeod.

29When the Calgary stake was organized in 1953 and the Edmonton stake in 1960, all of the members of the two stake presidencies and the majority of the members of the High Council came from southern Alberta communities. For more information see: History of the Mormon Church in Canada.

Return to Cardston, Alberta
Return to Towns, Villages, Hamlets, and Cities

Home     Email     Canada     Databases     England     Ethnic/Religious    Ireland/No.Ireland  
L.D.S. Websites     Research Helps     Scotland     United States     Wales     World Databases 

Copyright © 2000
Mary Tollestrup