If it was not for a man from Switzerland, the community of Stettler would be a very different place. It was thanks to a man by the name of Carl Stettler that the community was born, and he had a big hand in helping it prosper in those early years.
Born in Switzerland on June 6, 1861, Stettler’s father was a well-known politician who served in the Swiss Legislature for 16 years. From his father, Stettler would learn a great deal about administering of government affairs. Eventually, he would come to the United States in 1886. For the next two decades, he would live and work through the country until he came to Alberta in 1903 and homesteaded a few kilometres to the east of where Stettler is today.
As a homesteader, he would found the community of Blumenau in 1905, and would serve as the first postmaster of the community. Also in 1905, the CPR was coming through with the railway and it was decided to move the new community of Blumenau to where the railway would be. At this time, Blumenau had two general stores, a lumberyard, hotel, blacksmith shop, bakery and a feed store.
Stettler moved the town and became its postmaster, and CPR agent. In recognition of this, the CPR named the town in his honour. Immigrants began coming into the area thanks to Carl Stettler advertising in Swiss and German communities throughout Europe. His daughter would succeed him as postmistress. Stettler also served as the President of Liberal Association.
When the first council of Stettler was formed, he was serving on it. He would also build the National Hotel, which unfortunately was lost to fire in 1908. After the fire, he would sell the property the hotel was on and move to Castor where he built two hotels and started the Castor Coal Company with a capital of $25,000. His holdings were quite valuable and for a time he could have sold them for a decent amount of money but he held onto them. Unfortunately, tough economic times came and he almost lost everything except for a few lots of land at Rochon Sands.
He would remain in the community for a decade until he moved back to Stettler in 1919.
On Feb. 1, 1920, he was visiting Memphis, Tennessee to attract buyers in property at Stettler, when he passed away from blood poisoning. His remains were brought back to Stettler and buried there.
Information for this column comes from Botha Memories and Wikipedia.