In 1906, Martin George Clever and second wife Jennie quit their native Iowa to homestead in southern Alberta, north of the Little Bow River.
Clever’s offer of free lots on his property attracted businesses and created the instant hamlet of Cleverville.

When the Canadian Pacific Railway started planning its Kipp-Aldersyde line, the company tried to buy Clever’s remaining property through a third party. Clever was no dummy; he knew who wanted his land and demanded a better price.

The CPR responded by buying another farm west of Cleverville and developing it in 1910 and Cleverville vanished as quickly as it appeared.

Its buildings and people moved to Champion, and all that remains is a stone cairn on a lonely highway that reads, “Village of Clevervillle-1906-1910”

Champion was named for Henry Thomson Champion (1847-1916), a Winnipeg banker and onetime chairman of the Winnipeg Stock Exchange.

Born in Toronto, Champion came west during the Manitoba Insurrection of 1870 as a sergeant in the Wolseley Expedition, then remained in Winnipeg for the rest of his life. If he had no other Alberta connection, at least Champion lived on Winnipeg’s Edmonton Street.