from “The Oscar Westling Story”

In Alix, Alberta on February 6, 2017 at 12:21 PM

From “The Oscar Westling Story – By Oscar Westling”

As a boy of 11, I left Lake Lillian, Minnesota, in September of 1901, travelling by train with my mother, Anna, sisters Alice and Eleanor and brother Ed.

My father, John Erick, travelled ahead with a freight car of cattle, horses, farm implements and household belongings…. We were moving to join other members of the Westling family (my grandfather Erick and my uncles) who had been in Canada for two years…. I really believe my father left Minnesota because of the terrible cyclones and tornadoes that would hit the area…. Another thing I remember is the number of hobos that frequented the district….

Pete Wickenberg met us at Lacombe and drove us by horse and wagon to my grandfather’s (just south of where Westling church is now [1974]) and we stayed there while a house and barn were built on N.E. 13-25-4.  At this time the land was solid timber and heavy bush, and it took 5 men three days to clear the spot….

More and more settlers came to the district and a church and school were built.  I attended Westling School for a few years, but I cold never hear very well.  My sister Evelyn was born, and another sister Bernice, also a brother who died in infancy.

My father passed away and I was left to support the family.  To earn cash, I rode horseback to Ponoka where I worked for Mr. Bitner on a steam engine and eventually got my own engineering papers.  We broke land where the present Albert Hospital is situated and I also worked in a blacksmith shop shoeing horses and sharpening plough shears until late at night for three dollars a day.

Now my brother Ed and I decided to buy our own threshing outfits….

We did a lot of threshing around the country, and I remember them as some of the best years of my life….

Many things I would rather forget, like the flu and typhoid epidemics.  Many times I have met the doctor off the train in Clive and driven him around to the different homes.  But there were the good times too, the building “bees”, picnics and barn dances, and I found some spare time to play ball and fish.

In 1914, I got my first car, it was a right hand drive and had smooth tires.  Our roads were just trails, but the car got through…..

In 1928 I married Hilda Beresford from Huntington, England…. We had two daughters, Esme… and Margaret….

From Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive History Club, 1974

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