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Card, Charles Ora

Charles Ora Card was responsible for starting the town of Cardston, Alberta. Charles Card arrived in Canada seeking temporary protection for himself and his fellow Mormons, fully expecting to return to Utah once relations between the Mormon Church and the federal government had settled down. However, in 1890 the Mormon settlement in southwestern Alberta had become so successful that Church leaders asked Card to remain there indefinitely.

Card was also a good businessman. By the time of the second wave of Mormon Immigration in the late 1890s, he had organized the Cardston Company Ltd., a joint-stock enterprise aimed at gathering enough wealth to stimulate economic growth and business in the Cardston region. The new company helped to create a flour-mill, cheese-factory, steam-threshing outfit and sawmill. Card's next enterprise was partnering the Church with the Alberta Irrigation Company out of Lethbridge to build an irrigation system which would bring water from a point near the United States border at the St. Mary's River and carry it through to the dry lands around Lethbridge. Not only was Card responsible for fulfilling the Church's part of the agreement, he played a major role in getting American Mormons to come to southern Alberta to farm the lands now being irrigated by the new canal. Many, in fact, accepted land in partial payment for their work on the canal. The project was completed in 1900 and, by that time, the continuing number of Mormon settlers from the United States, influenced by Card's spiritual and economic guidance, meant that new settlements would need to be established outside of Cardston. As a result, several new towns were created, including Magrath, Stirling and Raymond.

To learn more about Mormon Settlement in Alberta click here.

Charles Ora Card

Charles Ora Card