Truax-Traer Coal Co., Page 2

Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

Truax-Traer Coal Company Ltd. Page 2

Photos below were contributed by Mr. Duane Bill from Calgary AB.

Info from Duane
“I was raised & spent the first 18 or so years of my life on an acreage just south of the Truax Traer mine site.
My Mom's cousin Erna Waiczullis passed away last June.
In taking care of her estate I came across several photos (advertising most likely) which may be of interest to you.
An additional note; Erna & her mother ran the boarding house at the mine & were present when the mine closed down.”

Truax Traer Tipple Picture- Caption/ ad on right

Bucyrus-Erie 320-B working in the Truax-Traer Mine Pit near Estevan before moving to Western Dominion at Taylorton

I believe this is Walter Myron Truax obviously one of the owners of the mine.

"Happy" Wilson, Madeline, and Walter Myron Truax, ca 1941

Joe Imbery, J.P., Fred Just, Erna Waiczullis, Nick, Ole Hildahl
If you know the full name of J.P., please let me know

Marie ?, ca 1938

Truax-Traer Letterhead

Truax-Traer Nail Clippers given away as an ad promotion

I had information that the Truax-Traer mine equipment was moved to the Taylorton area, but no more than that was known.
Now thanks to Duane's pictures and captions, we now know the Great West Coal Co., that bought the Truax-Traer mine, moved the Equipment ca: July 1939, to their Western Dominion Mine,
and were going to start strip mining there.

Moving buildings to Western Dominion, 1939

Moving Dragline (Model unknown at the moment) using Caterpillar Crawler Tractors, ca 1939

2 Caterpillar crawler tractors pulling dragline, ca 1940

Dick Hassard working on a Caterpillar “Sixty”, Crawler tractor, named after the 4 cylinder, 60 HP motor.

Pictures of the Bucyrus-Erie 320-B, moving out of the pit at Estevan, below

320B Shovel Duane Bill's description of this photo
“By looking at the topography ( in the pictures above) I believe this was when the shovel was leaving the Truax mine.
If you recall the North/South road between the spill piles, just prior to reaching the surface of the valley
on your right hand side was a sloped areas that looks like that shown in the photo to me.”

Photos below were contributed by Mr. Duane Bill from Calgary AB.

More Photos and description of the 320B machine

Info below was on my Index site- this might be duplicated info on page 1 or 2. sorry if it is

In 1930 this American Company bought out the Big Lump Coal Co. 
First Major Stripping for Coal was done by this company with a Bucyris Erie 320B 1 1/2 cu. yd. shovel.  
This company opening was the start of the 1931 strike, by under cutting coal prices, for the underground mines to compete with. 
I have always had trouble researching this company's origins.
 I do know they bought out many mines in the area, and where tough competition for the other remaining mines.
I think they gave Mr Brodie, and Mr Wilson 
something to think about at night. 
They had their own way in the district until Truax arrived.
In 1955 this company was #491 on the Fortune 500 list
They eventually became 
the 4th largest Lignite producers in the world.
Elmer Merton Truax, (1873-1936), son of Newton Curly Truax
founded the Company, in Columbus, Burke Co. ND
with his brother Arthur Harlan (Harold) Truax who joined him,
and Harold later became the head of the company,
 which operated in Illinois and ND, as well as Virginia later.  
The Truax-Traer Company started ca 1919-1920
between 1920-1930 they required more investment cash
and joined with Glenn Wood Traer

see My Truax Traer Strip Mine page for their bio's
Truax-Traer Company donated a trophy
used at the Woodlawn Golf Club in Estevan.

Sept 13, 1930 article describes the mine

Sept 13, 1930
This is the big shovel that The Truax Mine used
The use of this Strip mining shovel in the district
was the cause of the strike/riot in 1931
June 25, 1931, Mr. Eleazer William Garner
was Managing Director of Truax-Traer

Nov 10, 1931 all the Executive meeting in Estevan

Dec 5, 1934, E. W. Garner on the stand
Grandson of Elmer Truax, Mr. Bill Truax, tells me
the Company was sold and nationalized during WWII
by the Canadian Government.
I found a reference in 1943, 
it was sold to Coal Sellers Co. Ltd. Head Office in Calgary AB
but they might have just been managing and handling
the coal sales for the Government.
They possibly bought or became managers
of the Truax Traer mine in 1943
John I. McFarlane was President ca 1940 and 1941, (maybe more)
Offices in Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Regina that I have found.
Richard Bedford Bennett, KC, (July 3, 1870 – June 26, 1947)
Prime Minister of Canada, 1930-35, during the depression,
was a shareholder as early as 1932 in this company.
John I. McFarlane was previously
 head of the Canadian Wheat Board, ca 1931.
In 1931 he was part of what was called
 the “Northern Syndicate Ltd.” formed in 1925 to 1949
with R. B. Bennett, and Patrick “Pat” Burns, (1856-1937) 
of Burns meat fame, and a former Senator, 
Burns is buried in St. Mary's Pioneer Cemetery, Calgary.
Northern Syndicate Ltd., formed by Prof J. O. Howells, 
total of 7 Calgary citizens.  All 7 lived in Calgary AB
did they own this Co?  just nothing to show who owned it.


  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 12:29
  • by dlgent