Bonham Family – Content Stampede

In Alix, Alberta on May 1, 2017 at 6:41 AM

From “Bonham Family Corrections – by Hazel (Bonham) Wold”

My Grandfather, William Bonham, married Anna Liz Thompson in Ontario, their birth province.  They had three children, Ezra, Annis, and John.  They all went to the United States, where the children grew up in the State of Kansas.

In 1902, William Bonham came to Lacombe along with his son John…. Their married daughter, Annis Ames and husband also came with them….

The men did carpentry work in and around Lacombe for a year to keep going.  Then, in the spring, William and John Bonham homesteaded adjoining quarter sections about two and a half miles east of Alix, near what was later called Troon water tank on the C.N. Railway.  William and son John built a frame house on his quarter section.  The lumber for this was all hauled out from Lacombe on the C.P.R. grade before the rails were laid.  Wherever there was to be a bridge or culvert, there was “slew” or mud.  So lumber had to be unloaded and carried across a bit at a time.  This homestead was known as the “Hurley” farm in 1929 and 1920.

William’s daughter and her husband homesteaded on a quarter section about two miles east….

John Bonham lived with his parents as he could do this and still “prove up” on the adjoining quarter section.

Times were hard, as they said, and money scarce!  However, game was plentiful.  Partridge, ducks, rabbits, etc. added meat to the garden vegetables, along with pork they raised, and a barrel of sauerkraut made in the fall and kept frozen in the tool shed in winter.

In the summer, the big social event of the community was the celebration or stampede at Content from the 1st to 4th of July inclusive.  This was when there was still a ferry where Content Bridge is.  There was a small town there which later moved to Delburne with the coming of the railway.  However, then, people came from miles around and camped out on the flat above the ferry near the town for the four days of stampede.  They had a midway, too.  Also, a dance floor was laid with a tent top or covering.  John Bonham was an old time fiddle player.  His sister payed the banjo, her daughter played the Spanish guitar.  Others who were musical also played for the dancing too, which went on in afternoon and most of the night.  I am told it was here that my parents first met, as my mother played organ or piano, also autoharp.

  • From Gleanings After Pioneers and Progress, Alix – Clive Historical Club, 1981.

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