Following disorganization, life in the settlement formerly known as the village of Bow City revolved around the Prairie Coal Company mine. The remaining community quickly evolved into a coal camp, serving the mine and the rapidly decreasing number of farmers in the Eyremore area.
The Calgary Herald reports that Alberta’s longest serving municipal politician has called it quits. Cecil Wiest of Enchant, a councillor for Division 6 in the M.D. of Taber, is stepping aside after 46 years of service. Before he goes, the “Mayor of Enchant” offers some sage advice for those who follow him:
Indeed, the axiom that all politics is local couldn’t be more true than in this agricultural hub in the heart of southern Alberta.
Councillors can’t hide from a bad decision in hamlets of a couple hundred people.
“Just remember who put you in,” lectures Wiest, speaking the next day at the kitchen table of his Enchant home.
“It wasn’t yourself, your wife or your family,” Wiest said. “It was really the people that put you in there. You need to remember, you listen to them. They come first. I was put in there by the people, for the people.”
Today’s politicians would do well to remember this.
By September 1916 officials in Edmonton had opted to pull the plug on the village of Bow City. In a letter dated September 8, Deputy Minister Jno. Perrie asked A.D. Fidler to “go into the matter with the ratepayers sometime before the end of the year so that the necessary arrangements can be made for the disorganization of the Village which seems the only thing that can be done”.
As the year drew to a close the village that Pierce had once promoted so vigorously now appeared on the verge of extinction. As the residents of Bow City dispersed like tumbling kochia weed, thoughts of the little outpost on the prairie were likely the furthest thing from mind of the politician, farmer and real estate agent from Wadena, SK.
Earlier that year, Pierce was being implicated at the centre of a bribery scandal that threatened to bring down the Liberal government in Saskatchewan of which he was a sitting member.
The exodus from the Village was swift and unrelenting. By 1916 only the Bow City Trading Company, Campbell Bros. Hardware, Brewer’s Livery Stable, the post office and seven houses remained in the village. Even the newly–elected secretary-treasurer of the village, former lumber merchant “Colonel Sam” S.E. Armstrong, plied his trade down the trail in Retlaw. The situation was so utterly hopeless that in 1916, the village neglected to conduct a census, lest the virtually non-existent status of the community become know.