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Olds, Settlement

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) reached Olds in 1891 and homesteads were acquired rapidly. CPR officials, who were in charge of selecting names for the points along the railway, suggested "Shannon". This request was declined by David Shannon and the town was then named after J.C. Olds, a CPR traffic manager. Olds worked for a number of railways in Canada and the United States and in 1886 he returned to Canada to join Canadian Pacific as a traffic manager.

In 1900, Olds officially became a village in the North-West Territories (before the province of Alberta was created). The dry years up to 1901 were difficult for the settlers; these times were called the "Rabbit Years," because only rabbits and gophers were in abundance.

The children of the district began their schooling in the home of Mrs. James Marshall in 1891 and she acted as the teacher. In 1892, the school was moved to the Immigration Building and in 1893, a building was purchased for $300 and converted into a school. By 1902, the community was able to build a brick public school, which was replaced in 1930.

In 1902, a large number of settlers came in from Iowa. On January 1, 1905, the village officially became a town. In 1913, the Olds School of Agriculture and Home Economics was built. Students took courses in agriculture and home economics to train themselves into future farmers and homemakers.

Olds

Olds

Settlers

Settlers