Archives & Library

Archival materials at MusŽe HŽritage MuseumThe Musée Héritage Museum Archives acquires and preserves archival material significant to the memory of St Albert and area. Our holdings include over 100 metres of material including personal papers, oral histories, municipal records, business and community organization records. The material includes thousands of photographs, negatives and slides as well as ledgers, manuscripts, letters, maps, cassette tapes, videocassettes and digital files. Archival holdings are rare, original and unpublished so much care is taken to preserve the material. The archives is also in the process of digitizing its holdings so the material can be more easily accessible to the public.

In addition to the archives, the Musée Héritage Museum has a special library. This library consists of over 1000 books that are unique to the history of Alberta and St Albert. The books are non-circulating but available for reading at the museum.

To get information about archives in general, the Archives Society of Alberta has created a tutorial to explain the many aspects of archives: www.archivesalberta.org/webtutorial/openme.html

Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd., The Cattle Commission Company

Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd. ledger book, 1928.

Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd. was incorporated on December 11, 1925, with Henry Weiller looking after the company’s finances and Lee Williams supervising the frontline operations. While the company dealt mainly with cattle, they were chartered to buy and sell, import and export, and slaughter hogs, sheep, poultry, and all other livestock and livestock products.

As their business expanded, Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd. acquired ranches and farms to carry on the trade of livestock rearing and manufacturing.

One of the ranches of Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd., 1957.

By 1927, in addition to the main office in Edmonton, the company had introduced branches in Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Lloydminster, and St. Paul (Minnesota), Chicago (Illinois), and Fargo (North Dakota) in the United States.

Lee Williams business card

Lee Williams: The Man’s Word Was His Bond

Lee Williams (centre) with other ranchers, 1978.

Lee was a mover and shaker in the cattle business from the beginning of his career. In 1912, he moved from New York to Edmonton to work for Swift & Company working his way up from construction to livestock purchases. In 1916, Swift Canadian Co. transferred Lee to Winnipeg where Henry Weiller recognized his talent in the field. A year later, Lee began working with Weiller in a livestock commission business named, Wood, Weiller & McCarthy.

In 1925, the resignation of partner, McCarthy signaled the start of Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd. Following Weiller’s passing in 1956, Lee took on both the administration and frontlines of Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd., and continued the company’s legacy for nearly 30 more years. He was a highly respected cattleman and business mogul, known to finalize hefty financial agreements with nothing more than a handshake while remarking, “a man’s word is his bond”.

Correspondence with Edmonton Journal and H. Marianych, 1979.Correspondence with Jermome Kawalsky, 1978.

Various correspondence with customers (please click on letters to view)

 

Lee Williams: Horseracing in Western Canada

Lee Williams autographed Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame prog

 

In a letter addressed to one of his grandsons, Lee confessed that he initially sought after a career in veterinary studies at Cornell University, which could offer some insight as to how deeply he cared for his horses. Alongside his work for Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd., Lee was an adamant horse enthusiast, and was known for his contributions to various organizations including the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, just to name a couple.

News clipping of Lee Williams and Sonama, 1959.

 

 

The Weiller and Williams Co. Ltd. fonds consists of an audio recording with narrations recalling two of Lee’s most successful horses, Frank’s Mistake and Air Cadet. You will hear the story of how Lee came to purchase Frank’s Mistake and with him won the 1949 Western Canada Handicap (sampled in the audio below), followed by the live commentary from Air Cadet’s victory at the 1949 Polo Park Handicap.

 

 


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