MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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Oliver Aldridge and
Rachel (Anderson) Aldridge

Chief Mountain Country
pages 224 - 225

Oliver Aldridge, son of William Aldridge and Anna (Rolph) was born at Bear Lake, Utah, September 24, 1885. He came with his parents to Canada in 1888. His brothers David and Charlie and a sister Mary also came. They brought some horses and cattle with them and lived at Taylorville, Whiskey Gap, and Milk River. They later moved to Waterton Lakes where his father planned on raising cattle, but due to the severe winter and shortage of hay the cattle died, so the father and the boys took up fishing and hunting for a living.

While at Waterton, Oliver and his father, while on a hunting trip, discovered oil at Oil City. The family gathered this oil from the stream with gunny sacks, and sold it in bottles to people in the Cardston District as oil for machinery and as medicine. A well was drilled at Oil City, the first oil well in Alberta.

They returned to Cardston where he attended school when Sterling Williams was the Principal.

At the age of 16 years he went to Blairmore intending to work in the mines, but one trip into the mine changed his mind about becoming a miner. He then went to Nelson, B.C. and worked on the Steamer International, where he learned to be a Steam Engineer. When the boat sank he returned to Cardston and worked for the Town of Cardston when they were installing the water system. At this time the Town was also putting in the first power plant. Since Oliver was a Steam Engineer he helped install the machinery. It was to be only a temporary job, but the council asked him to stay on and operate the steam power plant. His job with the Town of Cardston lasted for 49 years.

When the steam plant was converted to a diesel plant he helped install the plant and operated it until Calgary Power took over and the machinery was sold.

He served the Town of Cardston as engineer, lineman, policeman, and janitor and worked on the water system. He worked as lineman during the day and did police duty at night. He was asked to guard prisoners. One night a prisoner beat him very badly and as his health would not permit him to work, he was forced to resign.

Rachel Anderson was born July 16, 1883 at Cookstown Co. Tyrone, North Ireland. Her mother and three sisters and herself came from Ireland to live in Cardston in 1907. Oliver and Rachel were married July 13, 1911 at Cardston. They had three children; two sons and one daughter. They made their first home at the Engineer's Residence near the power house and then moved to 629 Main Street where they lived until Oliver's passing, November 2,1960.

Rachel lived with her daughter at Camrose, Alberta, until her death November 27, 1974. She was buried at Cardston, Alberta.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup