(This story is one of a series entitled “One Person’s Journey” telling how people from all walks of life, including a few rogues and rebels, have left their marks upon the world. To see a list of others featured in the series, click here.)
Henry Wise Wood was the first in a series of semi-mystical visionaries – William Aberhart and Ernest Manning followed in his footsteps – who rose up when called upon to give voice to the concerns of western Canada. At a time when 70 percent of Albertans lived on the land, Wood was the most influential farm leader in this province. He could have had the premier’s job for the asking when the United Farmers of Alberta swept to power in 1921. Yet for reasons that remain unclear to this day, Wood never sought political office. Instead, he expanded his role as farm leader and became a pivotal figure in the creation of wheat pools in Alberta.