75th Anniversary

2019: A Year to Celebrate

Reeve Jerry Wittstock's speech from Kneehill County's 75th Anniversary Event.IMG_0461

"Good afternoon. My name is Jerry Wittstock, Reeve for Kneehill County. On behalf of Council and our staff, we’d like to welcome you to our 75th Anniversary Celebration! Thank you for taking the time to join us in celebrating this momentous occasion.

Kneehill County was originally formed in 1944 when the individual municipal districts of Stauffer, Norquay, Ghostpine, and Carbon were dissolved to create the MD of Kneehill #278. (278 was later changed to 48 in March 1945.)

The first meeting of the newly organized MD of Kneehill was held on March 7, 1944, 75 years ago. 

In 1944, a sirloin steak cost 41 cents, a half-pound of bacon cost a quarter, a loaf of bread was 7 cents and you could get a quart of milk for ten. Employee wages at the County were typically 80 cents/hour, with a foreman making a dollar an hour. If you owned and drove a caterpillar engine, you could make up to $2.50 per hour. (And in talking to our staff, they don't think much has changed...) 

In 1944, we purchased our first motor grader, equipped with lights and a cab, for $10,000. Prior to that, roads were built and graded with teams of horses or equipment pulled by tractors.

 With the invention of the computer in the 1960s, technology began to rapidly advance and the County continued to progress, embracing new innovations and building over 900 kilometers of roads over the years, which require 10 divisional graders to maintain today—a big leap from that single grader purchase in 1944.

Road building is not the only area where we’ve advanced. Primarily a rural farming community, the County has evolved to meet the needs of our resident farmers, offering services such as snow plowing, dust control and gravel, planning and development, agricultural services such as weed and gopher control, drinking water and bulk water services, community services, cemeteries, parks, recreational facilities, fire and protective services.

Our rural quality of life has never been better, and will only continue to improve. (Though I sure could go for a 41 cent steak.) Our current success is due in large part to the hard work and support of past Council and staff members who served this County faithfully over the last 75 years. We thank you for your years of service. Kneehill County wouldn’t be where it is today without your dedication and sacrifice.  

We’ve seen a lot of changes, and come a long way in the last 75 years. But what hasn’t changed, what we’ve kept from those early days, is the foundation our ancestors built for us--the values we hold on to today. The pioneer spirit of resiliency, perseverance and hard work. Our sense of community, our willingness to help our neighbours. Our prairie pride, and our love of home.

With these in mind, here we are 75 years later, celebrating our past, embracing our present, and looking forward to the future of Kneehill County.

Thank you to our residents, neighbouring towns and villages, rural community hall representatives, former Kneehill County Council and staff and dignitaries from across the province for joining us to celebrate our 75th Anniversary!

We were honoured to have special guests Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs, and MLA Nathan Cooper take part in our celebration.

An event this special only happens every 75 years.
Thank you to everyone involved in making our celebration such a success!


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History Publication Opens in new window

Kneehill County's 75th Anniversary History Publication (PDF)