Stettler Cigar Factory, Stettler location. (Contributed photo)

Our Town Stettler

History of Stettler Cigar Factory

By Carson Ellis For the Independent

Started by Homer Carder in 1912, the Stettler Cigar Factory was a successful operation almost right from the start. It imported Cuban tobacco leaf for use in its product and employed about 50-70 people between the factory staff, and the office staff.

However, in 1917, the owners of the Stettler Cigar Factory, ventured to Vancouver to open a branch operation there. Soon after, it was decided to operate entirely out of the port city. The original building was closed, and most of the equipment was packed up and moved to the larger building. They also increased the company’s staff to 150 men and women. This put the factories’ output at 20,000 cigars per day.

Once the Water Street building, (which was given the designation of #10, to make the company sound larger, even though it was their only branch) was up and running, it was noted as being the largest tobacco factory west of the Great Lakes, and it’s output, was equal to the cigar manufactories west of Ontario.

The successful business, however, didn’t last. By 1922, it went under and filed for bankruptcy. This seemed to be the end of the Stettler Cigar Factory. But Homer’s son Fred Carder managed to broker a deal with Otto R. Brenner of Montreal, a man with 40 years experience in the cigar business between Ontario and Montreal. Brenner purchased the factory and incorporated it as Van Loo Cigars in May of 1922. The newly renamed company had an operating capital of $50,000, and much of the Stettler Cigar Factory staff, who were laid off months before, were hired back with Fred as general manager.

In February 1923, Fred Carder filed with courts, requesting a judge direct Brenner to redistribute their shares, allotting him half. In April 1923 he took the stand claiming he had brokered a deal with Brenner for the factory. Carder claimed that when the shares of the Van Loo Cigar Company were going to be distributed in January, he was to receive half of them. Until then, he would assume the position of manager, and receive a salary of $300/month. According to Carder’s testimony, when the shares were issued in January, Otto split them amongst himself and his brother, and then let him go in late January.

Although no witnesses for the defence were called, their official stance was that there had never been a partnership agreement. By the end of April, Justice Morrison, who had originally granted a temporary injunction, decided that Carder’s claims were unsubstantiated and officially dismissed the case.

Back in Stettler, the building known as Carder’s hall, which sat near the end of Alberta (50th) Ave., was still a central part of the community. Dances and special events were held there, including a grand ball hosted by the Stettler Chapter of the Eastern Star. In the 1920’s. It also served as a temporary hospital.

 

Stettler Cigar Factory, Vancouver location. (Contributed photo)

Just Posted

Settler has fun-filled day planned for Canada Day

Fireworks, entertainment at West Settler Park

Changes coming to this year’s Big Valley Jamboree

Camrose’s popular country music festival ‘enhances guest experience’

Scenic trail ride raises funds for STARS air ambulance

Battle River Ride for STARS hopes to reach this year’s goal

Stettler gears up for annual Communities in Bloom challenge

As the 2011 National Champs, the Town now competes in the international category

Officials declare July 12th as ‘Collector Car Appreciation Day’

Collector Car Appreciation Day was launched back in 2010

VIDEO: Top NHL draft prospects Hughes and Kakko know they’ll always be linked

The two are on course to be selected No. 1 and No. 2 at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Friday

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Fighter Jets light up Bucs’ to take AFL first place

38-3 loss puts Central Alberta into second place in the AFL

PHOTOS: Scamp the Tramp wins World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

‘He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,’ his Californian owner said.

Deals on paid time off for domestic violence ‘beginning of a wave,’ says expert

Philippines was the first country to pay for domestic-violence leave, starting in 2004

Calgary Flames select forward Jakob Pelletier with the No. 26 pick

The 18-year-old winger from Quebec City had spoken with the club earlier in the day and knew they were interested

Central Alberta RCMP constable found not guilty of sexual assault

Justice Grant Dunlop acquitted Const. Jason Tress following a week-long trial in Red Deer Court

Inuit sue feds over experiments that included skin grafts

Plaintiffs allege they were also prodded with sharp instruments to assess their reaction to pain

Most Read