from “Valentine F.Neis – By B. Parlby”

In Alix, Alberta on September 15, 2016 at 9:20 PM

Born in 1846 at Hessendarmstead, Germany, he came to America with his parents when he was only 5 years old.  The voyage across the Atlantic took 42 days in the sailing craft of that time.  The family came directly to Illinois…

Neis came to Canada in 1886 and spent 4 years in the gold mines of Findlay Creek, B.C.  From there he came to Calgary in 1890….He must have had some first hand knowledge of the Buffalo Lake area before this, for it was he who told the Westheads about the good ranching country which attracted them here….

Valentine Neis must have taken up a homestead near Lamerton as early as 1891, or possibly earlier, for numerous entries in Walter Parlby’s diaries for 1892 mention his coming through along the Buffalo Lake Trail…. [T]he diary lists both Valentine and his brother,Henry, as amongst the group who helped in the building of St. Monica’s Church in 1895.

There were only a very few white settlers here at the time, and necessary supplies had to be brought from west of Ponoka….. He met his future wife and they were married in 1897….

Neis continued to do hundreds of miles of travelling through the country, Wetaskiwin to Ponoka, doing custom threshing with his horse power outfit which was the first threshing machine in the district, or witching wells….

Thanks to the Calgary Daily Herald, Sat. Nov. 28, 1936 and the Herald Magazine, Sat. Jan. 25, 1964, and Glenbow Archives.

This article is from the book Pioneers and Progress, a history of the Alix-Clive area printed in 1974 by DW Friesen and Sons Ltd., Calgary.  Copies of it and of its follow-up Gleanings are available for sale at the Alix Public Library, Alix Wagon Wheel Museum, and Alix Home Hardware




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