This issue marks my first anniversary of editing the Looking Back column. With that I am doing something different this week. As many of you know, our community lost a valuable asset in the loss of JoAnne Foley on Feb. 21. She was quite a multi-talented wonderful woman who did extensive historical research. She had enthusiasm for whatever she worked on, be it music or research, and she would work tirelessly at what she did and with great dedication. In the time I knew her she taught me a lot about Stevens County history and aspects of doing historical research.
JoAnne wrote a 225 page concise history book of Alberta titled Keeping Track Of Alberta, which was printed in 1998. It contains every little morsel that could be known about Alberta, including everything from history, business, genealogy, to miscellaneous items such as fun facts. I would like to share some content from her book:
History of the town's name: Alberta has had three names from 1882 to present. First it was named Wheeler, after Homer D. Wheeler who was the owner of the land when the first Elevator was built in 1882. Next, a Post Office was established in 1884 and the name changed to Clearfield. Finally, Alberta got its name in 1896. Andrew Hardin was the postmaster in 1896 and suggested that it be named after his daughter, Edith Alberta Hardin.
Baseball: There has been reference before 1900 of the interest everyone had in it.
If you get a chance to look at her book, it is well worth reading.
I leave you with JoAnne's introduction found on the first page of her book:
Alberta is a special town-
This we all agree.
But what the reasons are
Are different for you and me.
Some may have had a business
Or a family who lived here.
Others, maybe friends,
And these you still hold dear.
Although, there are fewer living here
Than in the years before
The people are just as friendly
Who greet you at every door.
And so, this book is dedicated
To every one of you
Who care about Alberta
And love it as much as I do.