Friday, November 24, 2017
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Princeton

Bob Kennedt and Danny Smith Bob Kennedt and Danny Smith

 

The Princeton District centres approximately in the north half of Township 32, Range 16 and the south half of Township 33, Range 16 and is about 20 miles northeast of Hanna. It was settled first by ranchers N. Lund and A. Alspach on S.W. 24-32-16.

The first homesteaders came in the summer and fall of 1908 and 1909. From towns, cities and countries across the sea, and after many a wearisome mile they landed at Stettler. From there it was a two day trip by horses and oxen to what was later to be known as Princeton.

They were greeted by tall grass and beautiful flowers. The grass was so tall in fact that little girls five and eight years old could run through it and not be seen. The only way they could be detected was by the ripple they made as they ran. It rubbed the boots of horseback riders as they rode. There wasn't a horse or tree from horizon to horizon - nothing but the Stettler trail heading off over the hill. The nearest trees for building sod houses and barns were at the Hand Hills. Firewood was mainly the brush around Victoria Lake and was scarce and precious.

The first post office in the district was called Dowling lake and was located on Bob Watts place at N.W. 24-32-16. Bob Watts was the first mail carrier and the town of Watts was named after him. The post office was later moved to Brinkman Townsends and finally to Stanley Price's where it was disbanded.

In an incredibly (1n 1912) short time, Princeton School District was formed and the first school was built. This school remained in operation - with a roll call of up to thirty-five children - until 1941 when it was replaced with a new building. The new school has since been replaced with a bus but the building is still serving the district as a community centre. A Miss McGuire was the first teacher in the school and a Mrs. McGuire the last.

The Princeton Telephone Company was formed in 1918. This was a great boon to the early settlers as it brought neighbors much closer and communications was much quicker and easier - if the phone was working.

Text courtesy of The Hanna Herald

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