Several years ago Leduc honoured Arthur Moberg by naming a neighbourhood park after him. The park sits along 46 Street sandwiched between 54 Avenue and the beginning of Leduc’s Industrial Park. Today the name remains but many of today’s residents are unaware of the contribution that Arthur Moberg made to the development of Leduc. Who was Arthur Moberg?
Arthur’s Dad, Erich Moberg, was born in Sweden in 1874. As a young man he immigrated to Hamilton, North Dakota in the 1890’s. As a new century was approaching, he decided that his fortune was to be found in Canada. With the help of a fellow Swede, Andrew Lindberg, Erich made his first payment for a homestead in the Calmar area. He worked hard and was often disappointed when he hauled grain into Leduc only to find out that he had to take his grain back because the market had closed up during his trip.
One day Erich met Christine Anderson, the daughter of early pioneers to Calmar, and fell in love. They were married in 1901 and by 1916 they had three children. Mabel born in 1906, Stanley in 1913 and Arthur in 1916. There is a story about the time the family took in the Edmonton Fair and a three-day rain hit the Fair causing them to pitch a tent before they could return home. It would take them two days to reach their homestead through the muddy roads.
In 1918 Christine died, at the age of 36, leaving Erich with three children to raise. Erich continued to farm until he established a dairy in Leduc. Erich eventually remarried (Lena) and remained in Leduc running the dairy for the next 48 years before he retired.
Arthur as a young child was fascinated by the advent of the automobile and anything mechanical. He watched Leduc grow as he delivered milk and was 13 years old when he first saw the town’s new 1928 GMC Fire Truck. Then there was the day when he was still a teenager and was the only one around capable of driving a Model T when a fire struck the community. He was handed the assignment of driving to the fire and it was the beginning of his volunteer efforts for the fire department.
In 1941 Arthur married Esther Brochert and they had a son, named Lloyd, born in 1945. Unfortunately Esther was killed in a car accident in September of 1967. Arthur, like his Dad, would remarry, as Alice Hallan would become Mrs. Moberg.
Arthur continued to volunteer for the fire service and once was elected to be fire chief, but turned it down to remain as the brigade captain. In all he attended over 1,000 fires during a 45 year fire fighting career. His last call was to a home behind the Waldorf Hotel during Christmas time. Ironically it was the same building that he went to on his very first call, but this time they couldn’t save it as it burnt to the ground before they could bring it under control.
In 1977 the Leduc and District Chamber of Commerce elected him as Leduc’s Citizen of the Year in recognition of his, “untiring dedication to the fire department.” In 1980, at the age of 65, Moberg retired. Two years later while he and his wife, Alice, were visiting Banff he became ill and unfortunately died of a massive heart attack before help could be reached.
When the city began to name neighbourhood parks, Arthur’s name was one of the first to be approved for a park located not far from the proximity of his and his Dad’s dairy farm.