William Samual Lee


Along with “Kootenai” Brown of Waterton Park fame, William Samual Lee was one of the first Caucasian residents in this part of the country. He was a member of the prospecting party which in 1868 lost their pliers in the stream that later came to be known as Pincher Creek. Lee then opened up a trading post on what is now Lee’s Creek, just north of the American border near Cardston. He supplied the post from Fort Benton in Montana, exchanging whatever the First Nations wanted for bison hides and fine furs. It seems the Hudson’s Bay Company recruited Lee in 1870 to set up a trading post for them at the forks of the Oldman River and Pincher Creek, near where the town of Brocket is today. While at this location, he imported a small herd of cattle from Montana thus becoming southern Alberta’s first rancher. When stage coaches began traveling the trail between Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod, they crossed the Oldman at Lee’s ranch, so Lee obligingly set up a rest station. Lee married Rosie, a Kainai woman in 1871.

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