Gibbons

Gibbons 

Current population: 2848

HISTORY:

The following is an excerpt from the book “Our Treasured Roots” – A History of Gibbons and Surrounding Areas.Rich in heritage, Gibbons is named after one of the most energetic, determined pioneers to ever settle in this area.   In April of 1892, William Reynolds Gibbons decided it was time for himself, his wife and his three young sons to head west from their home in Orillia, Ontario. Loading the family possessions into a box car, they left Orillia by train, to arrive in Calgary on May 12, 1892. Being adventurous, the Gibbons’ decided to continue their journey north to Edmonton. They boarded the very first train to travel from Calgary to Edmonton. However construction of the railroad was not fully complete and the Gibbons’ along with other passengers, assisted the railroad crew in laying the last ties and rails, enabling the train to reach the new Edmonton platform. The Gibbons’ bought property and built their first home on a parcel of land which is now the site of   the Public Library. Edmonton was rapidly becoming a large centre. And in order for it to expand its roadways, a portion of the Gibbons land was required. Deciding to re-locate in a less hectic and more peaceful setting, W.R. Gibbons and his family moved to a country homestead near Sunnyside in May of 1893. After clearing the land, digging many wells and building a new family home – a new problem was encountered. the property lacked an adequate supply of natural water for farming and cattle raising. Once again, the Gibbons’ set out in search of more promising land. On July 25, 1895 they secured a homestead along the Sturgeon River. With an adequate supply of natural water to meet their farming and cattle raising needs, the Gibbons built a new home and soon gained respect for their willingness to assist other farmers and settlers in the community. The Gibbons’ house was the first stop on the Athabasca Landing Trail just before the turn of the century and people were often found sleeping on the floors en route to Athabasca as Mrs. Gibbons was well known for her good cooking and hospitality.

 

The Settlement of Gibbons has served as an agricultural resource service centre for the surrounding agricultural area for many years.  Between 1889 and 1894, William R. Gibbons and other families settled in what is now the Town of Gibbons.  In 1914, the railway line from Edmonton was extended along the east boundary of the Gibbons’ farmstead.

 

Community development began in 1915.  Stores, churches, schools, stables, a bank and a lumber yard soon emerged as the settlement’s population began to grow.  In 1919, the first grain elevator was built adjacent to the railway line.  Gibbons was a Hamlet under the jurisdiction of the Municipal District of Sturgeon until January 1, 1959 when it received it’s incorporation  as a Village.  In 1977, Gibbons received it’s incorporation as a Town.”

Information taken from the Town of Gibbons website.