One of the first settlers to make his home in the Richdale district was Fred Madge, who still resides there. Fred squatted on the Berry Creek, south of the present village of Richdale in the spring of 1905.
At that time the land had not been surveyed out into sections, so many of the ranchers just moved in and located on some favorable spot and waited for the survey.
The railroad came in 1912 and the townsite of Richdale was surveyed out on land belonging to a Mr. Pierson. Previous to this the first post office for the district was on the farm of R.S. Wadell, just east of Richdale and near the C.N.R. water tower. Wadell had a grocery store in connection with the post office, and when the town started in 1913 he moved the store and became the first merchant in Richdale. The post office was taken over by Mr. Shankey.
The Alberta Pacific built the first grain elevator and the agent was A. Marshall. Buck Deviny had the first livery barn and Sam Maley worked for him.
Jim Smith built a hardware store in 1913 and when Richdale became a village he was elected reeve or "Mayor". 1913 was a boom year in Richdale. The Bank of Toronto was built and Mr. Hurlbert was the first manager. The Crown Lumber opened for business with Barney Rason as manager. Jim Stewart started a butcher shop and Wadell built the hotel.
The first school to be in operation in Richdale was held in the community hall in 1913. This was a kindergarten class organized by Miss Stella Shankey. She had 14 pupils. Later that year the school district was formed with R.S. Wadell, J. Ross and T. Deviny as trustees. W.A. Pinkerton acted as secretary-treasure and Miss A.B. Anglin was engaged as the first regular teacher. The children still attended classes in the hall.
In 1917 the school house was built and two teachers were engaged. They were Mrs. Dr. Byers and Mrs. Stewart. There was a total of 65 pupils attending school at this time.
Owing to crop failures in the district in 1918 the staff was cut to one teacher and W.A. Pinkerton carried on the teaching duties until 1925.
Text courtesy of The Hanna Herald