Town, pop 474, located 44 km SW of Kindersley at the junction of Hwys 21 and 44. For decades, Eatonia’s slogan has been “the Prairie Oasis,” as tree-planting efforts led by the community’s first doctor resulted in the early beautification of the town. The first settlers began arriving in the Eatonia district around 1906. With the advent of rail lines through Kindersley to Alsask (in 1910–11) and south of the river to Leader (in 1913), larger numbers of people began to arrive in the region. Settlement was interrupted by World War I, but resumed through the 1920s. In 1918, as the railway progressed westward from Eston toward the Alberta border, the townsite of Eaton (Eatonia’s original name) was established. Businessmen began erecting buildings, and people from the German settlement to the south began relocating to the new community. That same year a weekly newspaper, the Eatonia Enterprise , first went to print (it was absorbed by the Kindersley Clarion in 1965). In 1920, the village of Eaton was incorporated, its name honouring the family of the Canadian retailers, the T. Eaton Company. The name of the community was changed to Eatonia in 1921 to avoid confusion with the community of Eston, some 50 km to the east. Other than a setback experienced during the 1930s, the village grew steadily, and in 1954 was incorporated as a town. From the late 1950s through to the early 1970s, Eatonia had a population of over 600. Today, Eatonia is a trading centre for a region whose economy is largely based upon grain farming, ranching and hogs, with some oil production occurring to the northwest. Eatonia’s CNR station, built in 1924, is now a heritage property.

David McLennan