The People on the Museum Wall: Elliott Galt
“The Father of Lethbridge” – this was the tribute paid to Elliott Torrance Galt upon his death in 1928.
Elliott Galt was sent into the North West Territories in 1873 as an assistant Indian Commissioner. In 1879, he noted the coal deposits along the Oldman (then the Belly) River that were being mined by Nicholas Sheran. Knowing that coal would soon be essential in supplying the needs of the pioneers, the Northwest Mounted Police and, eventually, the Canadian Pacific Railway, Galt sent samples of the coal back east to his Father.
Working with his father, Sir Alexander Galt, Elliott Galt helped establish the coal mines in Coalbanks, now Lethbridge. It fell to Elliott, particularly after the death of his father in 1893, to manage the various companies set up by the Galts to exploit the coal discoveries, to build railways, and to construct irrigation systems.