G. E. Stiles – Lloydminster

The token ”G. E. Stiles Lloydminster / “Good For 5 Cents In Trade” is a previously unrecorded token. The questions are who was G. E. Stiles, and the more important question for collectors of Alberta and Saskatchewan tokens, is which province does it belong to?

token ”G. E. Stiles Lloydminster / “Good For 5 Cents In Trade”

History of Lloydminster

The Lloydminster area was first settled in April 1903 with the arrival of the Barr Colonists from England. It was established as a British utopian community with the vision of sobriety for its citizens and an opposition to non-British settlement.

The Barr Colonists were part of a colonization project set up by Isaac Montgomery Barr and Rev. George Exton Lloyd. They recruited over 2,600 people and sailed for Canada on a former troop carrier designed for less than half that amount. They landed in Saint John, New Brunswick and this is where Barr temporarily went awol, only to reappear in Saskatoon after Lloyd managed to get everybody there. About 1,500 colonists moved on to Lloydminster, named by the settlers after Lloyd.

The newly founded hamlet was located astride the fourth meridian on the North West Territories. When the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were established in 1905, the fourth meridian also became an inter-provincial border and the village of Lloydminster was split in two. The Alberta portion was incorporated as a village in July 1906 and the Saskatchewan portion was incorporated as a town in April 1907. They each had their own municipal council, office and fire department. Common sense prevailed in 1930 and they became a town in both provinces.

Lloudminster sports team photo

Ontario, October 15th, 1882.[1]  While their family story shows that he immigrated with his family circa 1884 to Brandon, Manitoba, and then in 1889 to Innisfail, Alberta, he is still actually in the Ontario census for 1891.[2] Their move West was in 1892.[3]

From advertisements found in the Lloydminster Times, he opened a pool room and bowling alley on Church Street in April of 1907. There was also a barber shop operated by David Kent,[4] in conjunction with George’s operation.  It was the first bowling alley in the village and after its eventual demise, Lloydminster was to be without bowling until Turner & Guest built some lanes as part of their billiard parlour and pool hall operation in 1928. Both businesses were for men only, no ladies permitted.[5]

In July 1907, after he had been in operation for a few months, he married Jennie May Dodd of Innisfail[6] and brought his bride back to Lloydminster. He was active in the community and involved in both baseball and hockey. In December 1909, the business was sold to Fred Atkinson[7] and George and Jennie moved to Innisfail.[8]

Clipping from the Lloydminster Times in April 1907 regarding G.E. Stiles pool room and bowling alley
Clipping from the Lloydminster Times in Dec 1909 re Fred Atkinson's shaving partlour new year deal

The missing year of Georges life, 1910, is shrouded in a bit of mystery.  Family members recollect that he had also been a fur trader during his time in Lloydminster, and that he had also operated a Ford dealership in Rocky Mountain House, but that is based on recollections for which there is no documentation. The recollections also suggest that he married Jenny in 1911, but the documentation shows 1907.

Unrelated to the token, but the next step in George’s life was his going to work for his brother.  Joel Herbert Stiles had become a pharmacist, opening a drug store in Bassano in 1909, later becoming a Rexall agency in 1912, with branch stores in Jenner, Duchess, and Hussar.  George joined his brother in Bassano in March of 1911, eventually becoming the store manager.  He and Jenny had three children. Alice Dodd Stiles was born March 1911, Herbert Edmund Stiles, April of 1913, and William Alfred Stiles, September 1917. William who was with the RCAF died in England in 1944. George continued working with his brother until his retirement in 1936.[9] He later lived at Lawrence Lodge in Calgary, and died June 18th, 1947[10] and was buried at Queen’s Park Cemetery.[11]

Alberta or Saskatchewan?

Back to the burning question – is it Alberta or Saskatchewan? It is not listed in either Stewart or Tannahill.  Church Street was later to become 50th Street, and the bowling alley was about one half block west of 50th Avenue. The latter street being right on the inter-provincial border. Hence the token is Albertan. Later uses for the building was as an implement agency by Wid Lindsay, and later as a egg buying station operated by Frank Brooker.[12]

In conversation with Al Munro, we now know that  that there is a cancelled version of this token, with the “E. Stiles” of G. E. Stiles ground off. This was probably done by Stiles, so that he would not be responsible for its future acceptance. Another possibility may be that Frank Atkinson, the new owner, removed the name, so that he could continue to use the token.

For the moment we have not one token, but two new Albertan R10 tokens. Interesting to note that the Stiles token was probably in the hands of, if not in the collection of, an early Canadian numismatist and researcher.  Judge W. A. D. Lee of “Ships, Colonies & Commerce” fame, had his law office in Lloydminster at the same time that Stiles was in operation.[13]


Mary Stiles http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/s/t/i/Paul-A-Stiles-ON/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0420.html

Mary Stiles http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/s/t/i/Paul-A-Stiles-  ON/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0420.html

3 “Joel Stiles obit”  The Calgary Herald,  27 Aug 1957 p33

4  Fred Atkinson advertisement, Lloydminster Times, 23 Dec 1909 p1

5“Hockey”JamesA.Hill https://bay169.mail.live.com/default.aspx?id=64855#!/mail/ViewOfficePreview.aspx?messageid=edafa8ce-ab4a-11e1-be5f-001e0bcc07ce&folderid=66666666-6666-6666-6666-666666666666&attindex=0&cp=-1&attdepth=0&n=1738563072

The Sunday New, Edmonton 3 Aug 1907 p4

7 Fred Atkinson advertisement, Lloydminster Times, 23 Dec 1909 p1

Bowden News, 4 Nov 1909 p9

9 “The George Edgar Stiles Family” by May G. Stiles

10 “George E. Stiles Obit”, The Calgary Herald 18 June 1947

11 Queen’s Park Cemetery Records http://www.afhs.ab.ca/data/cemeteries/search.php

12“Hockey”James A.Hill https://bay169.mail.live.com/default.aspx?id=64855#!/mail/ViewOfficePreview.aspx?messageid=edafa8ce-ab4a-11e1-be5f-001e0bcc07ce&folderid=66666666-6666-6666-6666-666666666666&attindex=0&cp=-1&attdepth=0&n=1738563072

13 W. A. D. Lees Advertisement, Lloydminster Times, 4 Feb 1909 p1