Erik Butters

Wild Wild West to Ranching 

Mr. Butters (Erik) shares many wonderful stories as he follows four generations of his families that resides in the MD of Bighorn area. Taking you through the turn of the century; the Great Depression; drought; and into the modern era; Erik talks about the strong men and women of his family; lives linked by hard work, horses and cattle. Butters Ranch and Family History

Erik’s grandfather and Eb’s son Laurie Johnson was born in 1895.  Laurie helped in the butcher shop but only wanted to be a cowboy and took any work he could get that involved horses enlisting in the army in WWI and training officers how to ride.   In 1925 Eb and Mary bought property north of cross field where Laurie met a school teacher named Jean Lamont living nearby and the two were married in 1927. 

Erik Butters

Eric Butters
The new couple lived, rented and leased where ever they could during the depression and drought that followed.  Laurie went away to work on the Banff / Jasper Highway development while Jean decided she wanted land and as such decided to homestead her own property in 1932.  She pawned her silver and sold 2 horses to obtain the $200.00 in fees required. Fulfilling the homestead requirement to live on the property 90 days each year for 3 consecutive years, Mary farmed out her kids to friends and family and moved to the homestead alone and proved her homestead. 

Farming and Ranching on Butters Ranch

Farming and Ranching
In 1936 Erik’s grandfather came back to Alberta, purchased his own homestead and with only $10.00 Laurie and Jean cut their own lumber; bartered for nails and windows; built a home; moved the family and concentrated their efforts at SW 17-27-6-W5. 

Municipal District of Bighorn Interview highlights of Erik Butters February 14, 2017. 

For full interview, watch the complete Oral History Project playlist for Erik Butters.

For more history regarding the Butters Ranch, please see the Donna Butters (Johnson) Oral History Interview.