My father, Mr. Edmund Colter Baines, was born in Preston, Ontario, 1872. He was called Ed, and after called Grandpa Ed, for children loved him, and he loved children. He married Florence Mary MeCartin in 1909. They had six children: Mary Florence, born in 1911, died 1981; Edward, known as Teddy, born in 1912, died in 1943; Albert, born in 1914, died in 1915; Gordon, born in 1918, died in 1951.and a son and daughter born in 1915.
Dad was the oldest and longest living grain buyer in the Province of Alberta. Dad started at Coalhurst in 1928. He was there until about 1947 or 1948. 1 can recall so clearly those early years of the farmers bringing their wheat to the elevators in a large wagon drawn by four large work horses. I can see still the wheat pouring into pits - it was always interesting. How progress has improved methods.
I remember my father telling me how he had once been caught and pulled by the belt, up to the box where the wheat was poured. Here he waited for the freight train so he could be released when the box cars were loaded. The most unreal and terrible event was the explosion at the mine. I had been to town and didn't get back to the elevator until about 4 or 4:30 p.m. Dad, of course, was upset with me, but when I told him what had happened he went right away over to see if he could help. It was indeed a sad, sad accident. But the people showed and proved their understanding and caring for each other.
I worked with my father as an apprentice for a few years, at that time there were three elevators there - The Alberta Pacific, The Alberta Pool and Ellison (where Dad was). He was a good buyer and knew his wheat. We had to commute from Lethbridge to Coalhurst every week.
Coalhurst was a small town but the people were always kind and willing to share with each other. It was a lovely little place, but not trouble-making. I think it has grown and is indeed a good place to be.
I think the people of Coalhurst and those in the surrounding county can be proud of themselves.
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