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Series S13 - Knight Sugar Company records

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Knight Sugar Company records

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  • Textual record

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  • 1900-1918 (Creation)
    Knight Sugar Company

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Physical description

2.42 m textual records

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Administrative history

The Knight Sugar Company was set up in 1901 to act as the umbrella company for the ranching, farming, real estate speculation and sugar beet refining operations of the Knight family, headed by Mormon elder Jess Knight and run by his sons Raymond and William Knight.

In 1901, Raymond and William Knight purchased 30,000 acres east of Cardston, Alberta for a cattle ranch. Later that year, Jesse Knight purchased 226,000 acres of land in the area as a land speculation to draw Mormon immigrants from Utah. The scheme was founded on Jesse Knight's 12-year contract with the Canadian Northwest Irrigation Company and the Alberta Railway Irrigation Company to develop irrigation infrastructure in the area to make the land suitable for farming. Knight sold his land to Mormon families in 10-acre parcels and built the sugar beet refinery to attract beet farmers.

The refinery never broke even during its operations, and once the 12 year contract with the irrigation companies was over, Knight Sugar sold off the refinery and shipped it to a new site in Utah or Montana.

It is not clear exactly when Knight Sugar Company as a legal entity ceased to exist, though records continue until 1918.

Custodial history

The records were obtained by the BC Sugar Museum as part of the records acquired from Bryan Baker in the mid-late 1970s. The records had been found in the mid 1970s in the old Knight Sugar Company warehouse outside Raymond, Alberta (and adjacent to the Canadian Sugar Factories refinery in Raymond).

Scope and content

Series consists of records documenting the operations of the Knight Sugar Company, the first sugar beet refinery operations in Western Canada. The series includes operational records of the Raymond, Alberta sugar beet refinery, mostly related to the shipment of sugar, payments to employees and suppliers, and equipment maintenance. A small volume of the records relate to the ranching and agricultural operations of the company.

The records largely consist of correspondence and invoices, organised by the BC Sugar Museum into subject files. The series also includes cheque registers, receipt books, shipping books, and equipment reports.

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Physical condition

Many of the records are in very poor condition. Some records (particularly some of the ledgers and cheque registers) are fragile, and have been subjected to a variety of damages, including dirt, possible vermin infestation and water. Some of the records are fragments only.

Immediate source of acquisition


Order established by the BC Sugar Museum. The Museum included some Knight Sugar Company records relating to the company's ranching operations in the series for the Knight-Watson Ranching Company records.

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