50 years of progress

By Sandra L. Brown

April 6, 2017 12:00 AM

SO SICK The Lloydminster Hospital, circa. 1920s - 30s. LLOYDMINSTER REGIONAL ARCHIVES PHOTO

In Saskatchewan’s Jubilee year, the RM of Wilton No. 472 published a booklet recording their 50 Years of Progress (1905-1955). 
Dedicated to the pioneers of its municipality, Lloydminster played a significant role.
Records indicate a committee meeting designated four divisions within the local improvement district. 
At this time taxes were 2.5 cents per acre; road workers received the hourly rate of 40 cents per man and four-horse team, 35 cents per man and ox team and 20 cents per single man.
In 1906, it was discussed as to the feasibility of establishing a municipality; however this was tabled for a later discussion. 
Gophers were a considerable problem for farm folks and 15 pounds of poisoned grain per quarter of land was provided.  A man employed in each division was paid two dollars per day to poison gophers. 
A bounty of half a cent per gopher tail was also paid.
At a 1908 meeting held at the Britannia Hotel in Lloydminster, applications for seed grain loans were considered and recommended. 
The question of establishing a creamery was brought forward. 
Mr. Gee, the owner of the local brick plant, expressed his opinion that “A creamery was the only safeguard against absolute loss of income occasioned by damage by early frosts.”
The RM of Wilton No. 472 was officially formed from the four area districts in 1909. 
Incidentally, the name of Wilton originated from a district in England.
Coming into effect in January 1914 a hospitalization scheme gave the resident ratepayers, their families, and hired help services in either the Lloydminster or Lashburn Hospitals.
This was the result of council approving a one-seventh share in both hospitals. 
In return both hospitals agreed to charge the municipality a ward fee of two dollars per day. 
Interestingly, the RM of Wilton No. 472 was the first Saskatchewan municipality to begin this service.
Drs. Hill and Cooke, of Lloydminster, were appointed the medical health officers. 
Their retaining fee was $25 plus they were paid for any service according to regular schedule fees minus 25 per cent.
By June 1915, the Lloydminster Hospital requested an expansion which was approved the following year thereby increasing the bed capacity to 24. 
The services of both hospitals were being abused and further regulations were approved. 
Hospital costs for dentistry, outside area cases and maternity stays greater than six days were no longer being covered.
Legislature passed an act in which automobiles paid a yearly tax of $10 or $15 to the provincial government.
The premier requested that each municipality receive a fair portion to go towards their roads. 
Problems came up during the war years and justifiably, those in active service who were in arrears of land taxes saw them cancelled in 1917. 
In 1928, the Lloydminster hospital board requested taking a ratepayers vote for the construction of a new hospital. 
This request was denied. 
Council approved part of the municipality be included in the Lloydminster School District No. 1036 in anticipation of the amalgamation of the village and town. 
For the prevention of infectious and contagious diseases, council agreed to pay the cost of vaccinations for resident ratepayers in 1932.
Free hospital X-rays continued to be available to residents. 
Outbreaks of smallpox occurred, mixed farming was readily encouraged, land was slowly being fenced and at times roadwork stopped due to financial restraints as the depression years set-in. 
In 1942 a straw vote was taken in regards to a proposed medical and surgical scheme. 
With only 35 percent of eligible voters turning out, results were 114 for and 118 against.
An Amusement Tax Bylaw came into effect in 1952 which enabled a tax of five cents per person attending the C&H Drive-in, which opened along the meridian highway. 
A committee was appointed the following year to discuss the proposal and costs of building a home for seniors in Lloydminster.
Containing photos of residents, the first threshing outfits, buildings, and statistics; this publication showed how far reaching Lloydminster’s involvement was and how it affected the development of its neighboring districts. 
Past evidence reveals we were never a stand-alone community on the prairie. 
We worked together. 
This attribute remains in effect throughout our progress.

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