Dick and Ella Waddy

In Alix, Alberta on December 5, 2016 at 9:49 AM

From “Richard Edmund Victor Waddy – By Ella Waddy”

Richard Edmund Victor (Dick) Waddy opened his eyes to look upon this beautiful world at Calgary, Alberta on September 18th, 1906, the second born of six children to Julia and Percy Waddy.  Percy had been with the royal North West Mounted Police…..

At the age of 14 in 1922 he lost his father in an unfortunate hunting accident, after which he went to live with an uncle, Jack Waddy, who was an Indian Agent at The Pas, Manitoba.  Here he stayed and attended school…. [H]e returned to Rockyford where he worked for two years….

Dick and another lad about the same age headed North, stopped at Alix where they got work  The friend obtained a job at the North Star Coal Mine owned by Ed Bray, while Dick got work with Roy Hoppus who owned a Livery Barn, and a breaking outfit.  Dick went out to haul a load of hay one day and fell off the high load breaking his arm…. When he was well again he came back to Alix, then went to work at Alec Larkins’ where he was employed during the summer.  In the winter, he mined at the North Star Coal Mine for Ed Bray.  In 1925 he went to work on the Nielsen farm operated by Jack and Monto.  He worked hard but had many good times with the family.  He became very fond of Grandma Nielsen who nursed him through scarlet fever….

During these years, he met Ella, a second cousin of the Nielsens.

Ella Lucille Bavender was born near Union, Iowa U.S.A. on February 22, 1909 to Richard and Myrtle Bavender…

In March 1922 the family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Bavender, Ella aged thirteen and Stephen five, moved to the Johnny McCutcheon farm nine miles south of Clive…. Steve and Ella attended North Star School.  They returned to the States for the winter for several years.

Dick and Ella had a very exciting courtship.  He loved to ride in the local rodeos.  He would climb up the board corral, slowly settle into the saddle while Ella would sit chewing her finger nails. The big door swings open wide, out comes that animal, bucking, snorting and kicking.  How relaxing when he was removed from the saddle!

We also had many thrills and spills with the cutter (sleigh) in the winter.  Sometimes we would drive forty miles in a night to a dance or party.  I can still hear the tinkle of the sleigh bells through the cold crisp air on a winter’s night. They sounded so beautiful.

On April 14th, 1932, Dick and Ella were married at Lacombe United Church Parsonage….

A few days later we moved to our first home, a rented farm north of Stanton School, known as the Jim Whyte farm…. We had quite a collection of horses to start our farming.  When Dick started the first morning some snorted, some bucked and went their different directions, up, down, sideways and backward. We had a very interesting year as 1932 was the worst of the depression years.  We grew a beautiful wheat crop, it graded No. 1 and was sold for 31 [cents] per bushel.

We lived very cheaply, we recall one month our grocery bill was $2.50.  We lived off the land as there were lots of wild prairie chicken for meat and plenty of wild raspberries and saskatoons.  We grew a good garden, kept a cow, pigs, and chickens….

We could not afford to buy gas for our car so we took the engine out of it and put a tongue in and hitched up the old grey mares, Nellie and Naggie.

This article is taken from “Alix Agricultural Society”, published in Gleanings, (the follow-up book to Pioneers and Progress), Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1981. Both books are available for sale at Alix Wagon Wheel Museum, Alix Public Library, and Alix Home Hardware

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