By Clarence Karr
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Extra info for Authors and Audiences: Popular Canadian Fiction in the Early Twentieth Century
36 In Cartwright he exemplified his paper’s advocacy of good citizenship by playing football, performing on the horn in the town band, and transporting local boys to baseball games in his buckboard. As local institutions sprang up, he played a prominent role. He was on the executive of the Board of Trade and the Cartwright Rink Company. After selling the newspaper in 1910, Stead moved to High River, where he and a partner established the Alberta Automobile Company, a McLaughlin-Buick agency. This move reflected his passionate interest in modern technology.
Growing up with the region as it evolved from the remote frontier to which the family had journeyed by train through the United States, followed by a 120-mile wagon ride to the homestead, to a land of sophisticated cities and transportation networks, Stead embraced the modern optimism of the settlement era. 39 By 1905 his newspaper featured comics and fashion advice. Yet he was also concerned about the type of society being established. Could viable communities be maintained in this restless age of acquisition and competition?
A liberal in both his politics and his religion, he lived, preached, and wrote a message of love, caring, tolerance, and progress. Believing that true religion was “the heart of God in contact with the heart of man,”32 he espoused a modern faith in which there was no division between the sacred and the secular, and with which individuals could transform the world. From the intensity of his faith came the strength, the courage, and the conviction necessary to pursue a hectic schedule of parish work, community and national service, and writing.
Authors and Audiences: Popular Canadian Fiction in the Early Twentieth Century by Clarence Karr