The Council of Fifty was organized by Joseph Smith in March 1844 to determine a resting spot for the Saints and to promulgate Smith’s quest for the presidency of the United States. Not all on the council were LDS. How many non-Mormons served on this council?
There was also a significant flow of capital from Utah in addition to that provided by the Church and by the individual settlers themselves. Most important in magnitude was the capital supplied by the Knight interests. Jesse Knight had made a fortune in the silver mines of the Tintic District in Utah. His oldest son, who was interested in the cattle business and was engaged in that industry in Payson, Utah got “Canada fever” in 1900 through a chance contact with Apostle John W. Taylor. With his imagination fired by the report of the country given him by Mr. Taylor, Ray Knight went to Canada. He said, in recounting the story to the writer, that the county was the answer to the cattleman’s dreams. It was a stockman’s heaven. “I rode about,” he said, “with the stirrups literally dragging in the grass—miles and miles of it.” He was so excited that he persuaded his father to come to Canada and look over the proposition. His father who was one of the prime movers in many a project in Utah, thought he saw in Canada a magnificent opportunity for the investment of capital and accordingly arranged for the purchase of about three hundred thousand acres of land in the vicinity of Raymond. The land was purchased from the Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company at a bargain price provided he would build and operate a sugar factory. Three thousand acres were to be plowed that fall. Four thousand acres of this land were actually plowed in the late summer and fall of 1901. In order to get his much land plowed, Ray Knight went to Utah June first and bought 240 work horses. In addition he hired every local man and team he could get, paying them $3 per acre for plowing the land. Since the factory was not ready in 1902, wheat was grown on the land. In 1903 it was planted to sugar beets, but the volunteer wheat forced the abandonment of most of the beet crop.
Lowry Nelson, The Mormon Village (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1952), 234-235.