HISTORY OF BREDENBURY
There are two stories with regard to how Bredenbury got its name. One is that a Lord Bredenbury, of England owned stocks in the first railway company known as the Manitoba Northwestern Company.
The second story is that a group of settlers stopped here to eat. All they had to eat was Saskatoon berries and bread, so they settled on the name Bredenbury.
Below is a part of a quotation from a small booklet written in 1912: “In the up building of Western Canada there are certain conditions which here and there combine in a common centre to the advantage of one town over another. Bredenbury is one of these points so favored. Among these conditions the backing of the railway companies looms large and to Bredenbury is now assured the substantial support of the Empire’s greatest railway – the Canadian Pacific.
Bredenbury has a strategic location. It is situated about 225 miles southeast of Saskatoon, 160 miles northeast of Regina and 250 miles northwest of Winnipeg and while it is conveniently accessible from all points, it sufficiently distant to secure to it a distributing territory of considerable area.
Bredenbury is now the second divisional point west of Winnipeg on the Winnipeg-Edmonton branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway and as such is naturally the centre of extensive railway operations. Those who are familiar with the causes that make for development in the West know that the selection of a town to be a railway divisional centre is a substantial factor of progress and the beneficial effects of this are already apparent at Bredenbury.
Railway activities in addition to the work incidental to a divisional point are also anticipated and among the new branches expected is the C.P.R. extension from Esterhazy to Kamsack, through Bredenbury. The Railway Company has built a six-stall brick round house, with appropriation for additional accommodation, and provision has been made for an electric lighting plant and a compressed air plant. At a cost of $20,000 a waterworks system has been constructed to Cut Arm Creek and this is now in operation. Evidence that the importance of Bredenbury as a growing town is becoming apparent is contained in the expressive opinion of a prominent C.P.R. official, who says that “Bredenbury is to be a model terminal.”
As a farming district, Bredenbury takes its place among the best in the West and the crops are uniformly good. In 1920, 260000 bushels of grain were shipped from this station and it is expected that the completed figures for the grain shipments of 1911 will fully maintain Bredenbury’s record.
As contrasted with the monotonous appearance of many of the prairie towns of the West, Bredenbury presents a pleasing change of landscape. The town site is situated on a perfectly level tract of sandy ground with a nice scattering of shade trees, which, if carefully preserved, will make the town a beauty spot. The roads and streets show no effects from heavy rains and the location is ideal for residential purposes.
A year ago, Bredenbury was little more than a name on the map of Western Canada and had no population to speak of, there being just a grain elevator and one store on the town site. By way of comparison and in evidence of the almost remarkable development, it may be stated that at the time of writing Bredenbury possesses two general stores, two hardware stores, two lumber yards, two livery stables, drug store, butcher shop, bakery, laundry, boarding house, lunch counter, pool room and bowling alley, two real estate agents, veterinary surgeon, doctor and a branch of the Bank of Toronto. Many of these stores are most substantial in appearance and would do credit to a town five or ten years old. Some important civic improvements have already been inaugurated and by next spring all roads throughout the town site will have been graded, a modern lighting system established, a substantial town hall erected and granolithic walks laid down. A new school will be built this year, or early next spring, and the Methodist and Presbyterian denominations have already established churches. Bredenbury has long distance connections by telephone and telegraph.
A government telephone system is now under construction. In addition, four rural telephone lines are projected and one of them will be constructed this fall. It will thus be seen that although Bredenbury is young, as judged by the calendar, it possesses commercial, railway, social, residential and civic advantages which combine to make it an eminently desirable point in which to reside or engage in business. Town lot values have naturally been favorably affected by the growth of Bredenbury and many outside investors have acquired property interests here.
Tributary farming operations naturally form one of Bredenbury’s most important industries. The total adjacent area is equivalent to about 70000 acres of first-class land, highly suited to general farming purposes. Of this, 25000 acres are now occupied by actual settlers and 15000 acres are under active cultivation. There are 45000 acres of good prairie land awaiting settlement, which can be purchased on very easy terms at prices ranging from $10.00 to $20.00 per acre. Improved farms can be purchased on the same easy payment plan at from $415.00 to $30.00 per acre. The attraction of Bredenbury from a business standpoint is explained partly by the fact that not less than one thousand prosperous farms make the majority of their purchases here, and it will be seen that there is a splendid field at Bredenbury for commercial enterprise. The principal crops are Wheat and Oats while Flax also is coming into favor. The quality of the grain and the yields are uniformly good. Cattle raising is also largely engaged in and is rapidly developing into a most important industry. Good wells are the rule throughout Bredenbury and the entire tributary faming district, the water being of the finest quality. Firewood is plentiful and for many years to come, at least, the fuel question will not materially trouble the residents of Bredenbury and district.”
Below is some information found in the old minutes
· Bank of Toronto bank opened.
· Five street lights were purchased $55.00/lamp.
· First poll tax $2.00/head.
· Put in concrete plank sidewalks for $5000.00
· Got first doctor for $55.00 per year.
· Purchased 10 acres of land for cemetery for $500.00.
· Formation of school district.
· Bredenbury became a town.
· Municipal tax rate was 10 mills.
· There was a town Band.
· Authorization of boxing matches.
· First fire engine purchased for $420.00
Bylaw “it shall not be lawful for any person to drive or lead any horse, mule, ox, or any one or more of them hitched to any vehicle and cross sidewalks within town limits.”
Town policeman hired, $50 per month.
Mill rate was 12.5 mills, and the school mill rate was 15 mills.
Speed limit for automobiles was 10 miles per hour.
Municipal mill rate was 12.5 mills. Patriotic levy, 1 mill.
Year of great “flu epidemic” Council closed all shows, schools, churches and public gatherings. Residents were not permitted to leave town.
Making of cinder walks throughout town was approved.
Dances were still prohibited due to flu.
Horses were not allowed to stand out too long in winter and no sleighs were to be left on streets.
The tax rate was 20 mills and school 20 mills.
Discussion was had about telephone service.
Purchase of a second fire engine.
CPR was given an easement for their pipeline, which passed though part of town.
Municipal mill rate was set at 22 mills, school was at 30 mills, and debentures at 6 mills.
Municipal mill rate was 35 mills, school 35 millls and public revenue was 3 mills.
Talk of an electric light plant.
Permission to construct a curling rink.
Municipal mill rate was 20 mills, school also came down to 30 mills. The Public Revenue remained at 3 mills.
Permission was granted to put up electric light poles for households who wanted electricity.
Wrote the Department of Highways requesting a highway between Bredenbury and Saltcoats.