This Week in History

An interesting scenario played out in the pages of both Grande Prairie newspapers, The Frontier Signal and the Grande Prairie Herald, starting the week of December 9, 1915 and continuing until the 16th. Hardly a topic for the Christmas season, the first item was an editorial in The Signal describing the establishment of a brothel in the village of Grande Prairie. The actions taken to rid the village of this evil are described, including a raid of the premises and a court case. The next item was in the Herald, an editorial asking “Is There a Reason”,  which was followed by another editorial in The Signal stating “There is a Reason”. The Frontier Signal had the last word on December 16th with an item titled “Clean Town Vindicated”.

The articles themselves are interesting reading, however, I was surprised to find that the entire situation did not get one word of mention in the news pages of either paper. I found it very odd that a raid and a court case did not warrant a news story. I searched both newspapers from the beginning of November and found nothing. I also found it curious that the editor of  The Frontier Signal  named and criticized court officials and a police officer, and called witnesses in court liars, yet there seems to have been no repercussions. This may indicate that what the editor claimed was true, so there was no basis for chastisement or worse, and it looks to me like everyone just wanted the whole thing to be forgotten.

The editor of the Herald did not touch at all on the original situation, but spoke only about comments made regarding the police.  He quoted from The Signal,”…the Mounted Police should be driven from the province”, but I was unable to find the statement in the original editorial. There are also inconsistencies among the items that appeared in The Signal. I think there was a lot more to this story than what was reported in the editorial pages! Oh, the scandal!

An excerpt from The Frontier Signal editorial, December 9, 1915:

Are we to assume that Inspector Field is unfriendly to the village officials or friendly to vice or just that he is on tap to do what his Constable here wants him to do.


Not the least disgusting feature was the continuous association of the local Mounted Police Constable with the accused in open court and the open espousal of her cause. He might have left the King’s uniform off while rendering such services.

View the the full article here.

 View the Grande Prairie Herald editorial “Is There a Reason?”, December 14th, 1915


       View The Frontier Signal editorial “There Is A Reason”, December 16th, 1915


View The Frontier Signal editorial “Clean Town Vindicated”, December 23rd, 1915

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