Logans of Tofield, Alberta

Logans of Tofield, Alberta

The original source for this from “Tales of Tofield” is here (scroll down to reach Logan), and I have reproduced the text about the Logans below with permission of the Town of Tofield, AB, whose historical society collected and published the stories.

Robert Logan

Robert Logan, born in Winnipeg in 1864, became one of the first settlers on the western shore of Beaverhill Lake. He came here in 1886, having worked, prior to that time, for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Edmonton from 1864 to 1874 in partnership with John Norris. In 1886, he sold his share of the business to his partner and came to Beaverhill Lake area where he became widely known as friend and neighbour as well as a storekeeper. As well as operating a trading post, Robert Logan farmed and kept stock.

At one time, he owned thirteen quarters of land which he later sold to G.A. Trent. Moving into Tofield he built two large stores and became a noteworthy pioneer merchant. Later, he retired in Edmonton where he lived until his death. He left to mourn his widow, three sons and three daughters.

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His eldest son, John Robert, had been born in Winnipeg in 1874 and had come to Tofield with his parents in 1886. In January, 1897, John Robert Logan married Emma Rowland whose father was an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company from 1864-1875 during which time he worked as a special trader and interpreter. Rowland Road in Edmonton perpetuates the memory of William Rowland who had his home where Alex Taylor school was later built.

John Robert and his bride Emma, drove in a sleigh to the town of St. Paul on their honeymoon. Here John had a small store and a freighting business which operated between St. Paul and Edmonton.

To this marriage was born three girls and six boys. The eldest son, [William] Robert, was killed in April, 1917 at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

In 1902 the John Logan family returned to the Tofield district settling on a farm in the Summer School district. Here the Logan home became a “stopping place” for the men hauling coal from the Tofield mine to Chipman and Mundare. Frank Saver who used to haul freight, passengers, and sometimes mail also made the Logan home his stopping place. All such travellers carried their bedrolls, consisting of a large warm feather tick, which they spread on the Logan floor for the night.

In 1924, the Logan family entertained an escaped prisoner from the Fort Saskatchewan Jail for a few days. They were quite unaware of their guest’s record until they discovered his prison suit hidden in nearby bushes. Somewhere between the Fort and Logan’s the escaped prisoner had raided a clothesline and then discarded the evidence of his incarceration.

John Logan worked on the railroad in company with William Hopgood during a period of 1920’s, as well as working at Lake Wabamun. After selling his farm at Tofield, he and his family moved to Camrose and later to Dinant.

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John Logan served on the school board of the MacKenzie School District. His family name was frequently used to designate the area north of town where he had lived. Old timers refer to the area between the Lakeshore and Summer School as “Logan”. This name was given in the early 1890’s to the first post-office north of Tofield.

John Logan died on November 25, 1942, and his wife Emma, followed him on January 22, 1945. One daughter of the pioneer Logan family, Mrs. Myrtle Nerland, still lives in the Tofield district.


Posted 5 Aug. 2020