Ogema Main Street (1912) looking South
The first settlers arrived in 1908, but it wasn't until 1911 that a post office was established with the name of Ogema. Ogema was incorporated as a town in 1912 when it reached a population of over 500 people. Many of the settlers came from Ontario; some came from the United States and some came from the British Isles and other parts of Europe. The pioneers had selected the name Omega, which is the Greek word for end, since at that time, the settlement was at the "end of the rail line." When making application for registration of the town name, they were told by the authorities that there was another town with that name and that two communities with the same name would not be allowed. The settlers then changed the name Omega to Ogema, which gave the town an original name, yet retained all letters of the original name. The name Ogema is a Cree Indian word meaning "big chief." The lots for the town of Ogema were sold by the Canadian Pacific Railway, who were then building a branch line through the wilderness of southern Saskatchewan.
The Big Butte located South of Ogema
The Town of Ogema is located in south central Saskatchewan, approximately 115 kilometres south of Saskatchewan's capital city, Regina. Ogema is located midway between Weyburn and Assiniboia on Highway 13, which runs through the southern part of the province. The Red Coat Road and Rail short-line railway runs through Ogema and brings producer cars to the farmer-owned Ogema Elevator Ltd. The Rural Municipality of Key West, which includes the town of Ogema, is located centrally in the southern part of Saskatchewan on the Missouri Coteau. The coteau is characteristically composed of rolling hills and shallow sloughs known as knob and kettle topography.
The Ogema area is an internal drainage basin. This means that spring melt-water and rainwater drain into low areas within the region, rather than into a river or stream system. Typically, these sloughs mark regional low spots and are fed by a series of interconnected sloughs called kettle chains. In effect, the Ogema area is a basin.
Our system is made up of a variety of soils including Ardill clay loams and Sceptre heavy clays. Generally, the area south of Ogema is Class 4 and 5, suitable for grazing, while the area north of town is 60% Class 3, suitable for annual crop production, with bands of Class 4 and 5 running in a north-to-south direction throughout the municipality.