In 1911, land was purchased from Hugh Fletcher by C.N.R and since it was the highest point of land on the railway between Saskatoon and Calgary, it was registered in the Land Titles Office as Highland.  Main Street was laid out to run East and West.  Homesteaders and others gravitated to the location and in Fall of 1911 the first lumber was stock piled by A.M. Dunn, who was first to own a store.

In 1912 M. Henry Ballf established his blacksmith shop, L.A. Flett started a livery stable, the Crown Lumber Co, with L.L. Speelman as manager opened a lumberyard, as well as the Canadian Bank of Commerce. These were soon to be joined by butcher Jack Harrison, realtor ‘Dad’ Wallace, barber George Chambers, implement dealer A.J. Campbell, restaurateur Dock Keith and his waitress Verna Smith.

Just seven miles northwest was the “Delia Stopping House” on the Stettler Trail.  A.L. Davis operated this establishment named after his wife, Mrs. Delia Davis.  The Davis homestead became the site of the Delia Post Office.

The homesteaders petitioned for and secured a post office called the Delia Post Office. This post office was moved three times before finally settling into the Dunn store in Highland. Due to the confusion because of the two names, the authorities were prevailed upon to sanction the one identity and the settlement became Delia.

On October 26, 1913 the first mixed train went through Delia.  The Railway was making their final survey; they decided the streets had to run parallel with the railroad.  Businesses would have to pick up and move and that they did!

1914 a school was begun in a small building on Main Street; the first Village Council was elected.

A telephone toll office, providing long distance service only, was located in Highland in 1913. In 1914 this office was connected into an exchange and had two local subscribers. In the years that followed, facilities were extended to the entire village and a separate main trunk line linked the settlement to the outside world.

The Merchants Bank of Canada opened the Bank of Montreal in March 1919.  April 25 the village council purchased a 58-gallon chemical fire engine for $475.

On May 14, 1928 the first bus service came to the village going from Hanna at 7:15 am to Calgary at 3:15 pm with an hour stopover for lunch in Strathmore.

The depression of the thirties saw businesses being started and abandoned, while others changed owners and managers many times

On January 6, 1942 the worst fire in the history of Delia happened when the whole east side of main street was ravaged by fire; eleven businesses were lost, nine of which were occupied at the time.

“The railroad came through – how we watched as it came just one mile north of the homestead and Highland was born, only later to become Delia.  Buildings followed, then a town school.”

From the Delia Craigmyle Saga, page 37, a story by Margaret Burke, whose family homesteaded and operated a dairy.

Page Updated: (will be updated in the spring of 2018)

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