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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 22, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 20Dec00

By 'Editor, LDSCaNews'

LDS Pioneer Remembered In Local History

LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA -- In the late 19th-centry, many brand-new Canadians were quickly realising how harsh life was in an area of the country which had been painted as a land of plenty.

In order to maintain control over the entire territory, the Canadian government had to quickly settle the west. They knew the dry, timberless land would not appeal to locals, so they started large marketing campaigns in eastern Europe and the United States, emphasising free land.

All the free land suffered from drought and lacked timber to build houses. It didn't take long for settlers to realise they could divert water from rivers and streams to irrigate their land, making it possible to till. To encourage men to help on the projects, often pay was given out half as money and half as land.

Many men worked long hours in order to end getting large parcels of land. Peter Christensen, 36, left his family behind and was sent on a mission by the LDS Church to help on such projects. Peter did more than dig canals however - he had over 400 mouths to feed as a part-time cook as well.

His work paid off. He had received a quarter section of land as part of his pay. As soon as he received his pay, he sent for his family, and travelled up to Canada by train.

Lethbridge Shopper, 26Nov2000



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