alixwagonwheelmuseum

Billy and Alice Kraft Family

In Alix, Alberta on March 16, 2017 at 7:42 AM

From “The Kraft Family – by Margaret Kraft Kenworthy”

Wm. (Billy) Kraft left his birthplace, Hespeler, Ontario, at the age of fourteen years.  He travelled westward by pack train and learned to shoe horses as he went along on his long journey which ended in central B.C.  Then he began an eastward trek through Bella Coola, the Caribou country and Fort Steele.  He travelled by Cayuse and pack horse, and lived and mingled with the Chinook …for ten years, speaking their tongue fluently…. He worked his way eastward till he reached Red Deer in 1890, and from there took up squatter’s rights and homesteaded … S.W. of Alix… clearing the bushland and toiling to build a home and a cattle ranch.  He settled there before the survey and later his land was No. 16,17, 21 and part of 9.  His home was a sod-roofed log shack, as it was called in the early days.  Billy fed cattle for Pat Burns as well as for himself, his brand was OL Bar.

Alice Grigg left her home in Exeter, Ontario to come west to teach.  She taught[at] the first school[in] Blackfalds in 1894 and was paid the magnificent sum of $264.99 per year.  She returned east in 1895 but returned to teach again at the Canyon School in 1896…. Billy Kraft forded the Red Deer River twice a year to haul food and supplies from Blackfalds or Red Deer, so met Miss Grigg.  They married in 1896…. They lived and had four children in the log and sod home till it burned down in 1909…then a large six roomed home was built of native timber, chinked and whitewashed….  Seven children were raised here…. All the children attended school at Stanton, Stone and Alix.  Birth registrations of Berta, John and Harry are at Lamerton; Margaret’s is at Bullocksville, a now extinct hamlet, at that time (1908)  managed by Mr. George Ralston.  Elmer, Helen and Louise were registered at Alix.

Billy Kraft was a well known gardener and was most famous for his large cabbages and pumpkins….

Parents of Mrs. Kraft, Wm. and Fanny Grigg, came west in the ‘teens and for many years Mr. Grigg ministered at Hickling, Alix, Stone, and Stanton.  He drove a black pony hitched to a spanking black buggy and he, attired in black cloth, was a figure to be remembered as he made his rounds…. The first wedding he performed at the manse was that of Flora Keeton and Ike Sweet.

From Pioneers and Progress, Alix and Clive Historical Club, 1974.

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