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Moro Family

In the early 20th century, Barons, Medicine Valley, and Stettler were the principal Estonian settlements in Alberta. However, other small locations throughout Alberta attracted Estonian settlers. One such location was Peace River, a tract of land in northern Alberta largely uninhabited by settlers.

Karl Moro’s flour mill was built in 1923, facilitating agricultural production in the Medicine Valley. Brothers Karl and John Moro emigrated from Estonia to Canada in 1904. In his native Estonia, Karl had once belonged to the Tsar's household infantry unit. Accompanying the two brothers were Karl's wife, Mary, and their three sons, August, George and Oscar. Initially Karl and John acquired homesteads three miles north of Eckville. Tragically Mary suffered a stroke in 1921 and passed away three years later.

Karl built a flour mill in 1923. A short two years later, his sons Oscar and August formed a partnership and purchased the flour mill from their father. In 1928 Karl and his son George moved to the Peace River area where Karl opened a modest market garden while his son found employment at a local sawmill. Oscar sold his portion of the flour mill business and followed his family north. Here he opened a new flour mill and later a farm machine shop. Karl continued operating his market garden until he passed away in 1959.

The Moro flour mill in Eckville was rebuilt in 1932. Oscar married Sophie Tipman of Eckville. Oscar and Sophie eventually retired to Saltspring Island, British Columbia. Meanwhile, August continued to operate his flour mill in Eckville until 1947, when he sold the business to the Eckville Co-operative Association. In addition to grinding grain into flour, the mill provided electricity for the town of Eckville. Anyone with home electrical problems would seek August's help.

August and Lily Moro celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in Red Deer, 1987. August built a new home in Eckville and pursued opportunities in the sawmill industry. He married Lilly Waisanen of Calgary in 1927. Their honeymoon was a modest yet romantic automobile excursion from Calgary to Eckville. They had three children: Clarence, Norman and Alice. Clarence worked in construction in Edmonton and raised a family of three along with his wife Martha. Norman worked for P.J. Toole and Cote Real Estate in Calgary. He married Lorraine Dancer of Winnipeg and together they raised two girls. Alice was born in Eckville and later moved to Calgary. She married Calvin Kenzle and they raised two daughters.

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