Submitted by Our Town Stettler September 16, 2021
George R. Farmer was born in Salem, New England on November 21, 1873. His family relocated to Michigan when he was younger and when he turned 19 he spent the next five years working with his father in farming and lumber. After that, he spent 2 years working in the lumber industry in Minnesota.
In 1899, Mr. Farmer came, to what would eventually become, Alberta. He first settled in Calgary before relocating to Lacombe where he owned/operated a ranch. He also married his wife, Anna, while in Lacombe in January of 1902. Their first child named Ella Alberta was born in 1903, and Florence Pearl followed in 1905.
After six years of operation, George Farmer sold all his cattle, but retained ownership of the land. He opened his hardware store in Stettler in January of 1906 arriving only a few months after the railroad. Their daughter, Dorothy Olive, was born in December of 1906. Bernice Luciel was born in 1909, and followed a little later by Lawrence George.
Mr. Farmer sat on the Stettler's first Town council as well as other boards over his time in Stettler. In May of 1909, Mr. Farmer would open a branch of his store in the newly developing community of Castor. Between the two stores, Mr. Farmer would employ roughly 12 people.
George Farmer's house was one of the earlier homes in the community. It was built on the south-west corner of Hill (48) Avenue and Niblock (49) Street. Over the history of the town, the house has been used for many things including a private hospital, a church manse, and a hair salon.
Recently, it has been discovered that a well-known collection of photos identifying the members of the town’s first council actually mixed up Mr. Farmer with another member of the council. The photo has the names of Messrs. Farmer and Burdick reversed. This was discovered by family members of Mr. Farmer who were doing research into the man a few years ago.
Carson Ellis, Local Historian