Edith Horton Henderson
Calgary, Alberta, 1883
Submitted by Clarence A. Davis
Edith Horton, born November 19, 1866 in London, England, came to Canada in 1883. In 1883 she travelled west by train from Montreal to Medicine Hat, by sternwheeler to Lethbridge, on packhorses and wagons to Fort Macleod and by stagecoach to Calgary. Edith Horton married Harold Morton Henderson in Donald, British Columbia in the fall of 1890.
The work in Donald for Candian Pacific Raiload was ending and so was Harold’s work there. The young family traveled to Vancouver where Harold obtained a position as City Administrator, which he held for several years.
Harold Morton Henderson then made a very important decision for his life time career. He decided to become a missionary for the Anglican Church. Leaving a very good job in Vancouver he moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where his ordination as an Anglican Missionary took place.
His first parish was Sintaluta where he built a fine stone church with help from his young wife.
As his sons, Cecil and Stanley, grew they became a real help in building churches which were erected in the years 1910 to 1912 at Worsley, Cypress Hills and Grassy Lake, also Bow Island in 1913 and Three Hills in 1916.
These were lean times for the family and for that young girl grown into wife and mother and church builder. The missionary’s salary and the meager money from collection plates did not provide food or clothing for the family. The family survived with gifts from their parishioners.
Following the building of the last church at Three Hills the family was rewarded by a move to St.Michael at Canmore in 1920 and to St. Barnabas at Calgary in 1924. He ended 30 years of dedicated sevice to his church but accepted the responsibility for three churches in Burnaby, British Columbia. These charges took up the next ten years until his death in 1943. One of the real Pioneers of Southern Alberta, Edith spent almost 43 years in Alberta.
Henderson’s grandson Gerald Webber’s paper given to The Southern Alberta Pioneers Historical Committee.
Editor's Note: An extended version of Edith's Journey to Alberta can be found on page 4 of the May/June, 2005 Chinook Country Historical Society Newsletter