Archive for July, 2017|Monthly archive page

Florence Rachel (Lagore) Rouse

In Alix, Alberta on July 23, 2017 at 5:39 PM

Florence Rachel (Lagore) Rouse Aug. 29, 1890 – Sept. 30, 1973)
Florence Rachel Lagore was born in Logan, Ohio on August 29, 1890, to George and Susannah Lagore.  The family came from Ohio to Lacombe North West Territory via an immigrant train in 1900.  They traveled in the passenger car on the same train as the box car that contained their stock, machinery, household furniture, and whatever else they wanted to bring.  Arriving in Lacombe, they moved to a bare piece of land north of Bentley called a Homestead.  They had much hardship getting to this land through mud and bog and had to leave some of their belongings behind along the way.  Their first house was built in one day.  It consisted of one room from rough lumber with a sod roof that always leaked when it rained on most afternoons.  That sufficed as their home until they got better logs, hewed them smooth and made a four room house with boards for a roof.  The first school Florence (Flossie) attended was a country school between Bentley and Rimbey and the children walked three miles each way, summer and winter, as they did not have anything to drive.  There were seven children: Arthur (the oldest) stayed in the USA, but Jim, Mary, Florence, Earl, Pete and Bob all came to Canada with their parents.  Twins, Hannah and Susannah had died with whooping cough when they were only a few months old.
In 1905, the family moved to Alix and started a restaurant where the Nelson Hotel later stood (north of the lumber yard).  Florence and her sister, Mary, did the cooking did the cooking, waiting on tables, and the dishes.  The Todds, McDermands, Bonhams and Sandersons are just a few of the families that came in to eat.  This is where Florence met Charles Rouse.  It was that fall in 1905 when the first CPR train went through to Stettler and they all went out to greet it.  On March 27, 1907, she married Charles Rouse on his father’s farm.  Their honeymoon consisted of going to Stettler and moving into a new home that Charles and his father, Louis, had built for them.
In the spring of 1908, they heard things were booming in Montana and moved there.  However they were disillusioned as times were tough.  Myrle Ann was born on June 16, 1908, in Glasgow, Montana and when she was only three months old they moved back to Stettler.  The women came by train, and Louis and Charles by horse and wagon and sometimes on foot alongside their outfit as they hit blizzards and various elements.
They were in Stettler seven years and during that time two sons were born: Glen William on April 5, 1910 and Frederick Gordon on May 8, 1914.  In 1915, they moved back to the farm south of Alix, and lived there thirty more years until 1945 when Charles fell ill.  They milked cows, made butter, raised pigs and chickens for meat and eggs.  Florence was glad to say good-bye to the washboard when she got her first washing machine in 1915.  She was known for her home baking especially her bread and buns.  They also picked fruit in the bushes and on the river banks, lugging pails of saskatoons, chokecherries, pincherries, cranberries and raspberries.They grew big gardens with lots of vegetables and potatoes and made ice cream every weekend for Sunday family dinners.  Winter nights were spent reading, playing cards, and Charles was talented on both the violin and organ so they would sing and dance, and he taught Myrle the organ and Glen the violin.
Three daughters were born during this time on the farm: Oletta Margaret on January 21, 1917 (died February 25, 1917 from consumption, pneumonia, a very sad time for the family), Ethel Etta on October 4, 1918 and Ruby Winona on November 22, 1920.  They held church out of their kitchen, and were a family of very strong faith.  When Charles became ill in 1923 with the Spanish flu, it was their faith in God and prayers that carried them through and healed Charles.
In 1945, they moved into Alix due to Charles’s failing health (found later to be bone cancer) and Florence nursed him at home for 2 years until just before his death on November 28, 1947.
She continued living in her own home on Lake Street for another 26 years after he died, keeping busy with the things she knew and loved best: her family and friends; she belonged to the UFWA and the Alix UCW working and baking for many banquets, weddings, funerals, etc, with those members.  She never missed a Sunday church service unless she was ill, and did a lot of baking (especially her delicious buns) and serving lunches for the volunteer workers tearing down the old Alix United Church and building the new one.
In the late 1940s and the 1950s she took in boarders to help with her finances as well as to have their company in a lonely house. She enjoyed them all and even had the music teacher from near Ponoka come once a week to teach music lessons on her family piano.  She loved working in her garden and raspberry patch and had a beautiful weed free garden and flower garden.  Vivid memories of Grannie Rouse are the smell of freshly baked buns and better still eating them warm,  and most of all her Faith.
She was one of our early pioneers and endured many hardships throughout her life.  Caring for many sick family and friends without the aid of close hospitals and antibiotics.  Many who became very ill with the “Spanish Influenza” and “consumption (pneumonia) died, and she lost a baby daughter in 1917.
In 1927, he oldest son contracted Polio and spent almost a year in the University Hospital in Edmonton, and because it was so far away, they did not get up to visit very often.  She knew what it meant to raise a family where the schools were primitive, living conditions were crude, and medical facilities were a long drive away … the sleepless nights she must have spent nursing her children, family and friends through illnesses.
Her home was always a pleasant and hospitable place – and she was always ready with a cup of tea or coffee, a cookie and a kind word for a friend, neighbour, and anyone in need.  She was always ready to baby sit if needed and she did a lot for her grandchildren as well as her great grandchildren.
During her long lifetime she developed a strong,deep faith and did a great deal for her church.  Her open Bible was always on her kitchen table or her bed stand.  A Scripture she often read to us was Psalm 128.
Florence passed away in hospital on September 30, 1973 at 83 years of age.
She was a caring, loving person, who knew the struggles of life, and trusted God to carry her through, and He did.  She was a very big part of our family and lives, and taught us how to treasure the truly important things in life.
We miss her very much.
Written by her Grand-Daughter, Twyla Sissons-Janssens (nee Rouse)


Stampede at Content

In Alix, Alberta on July 21, 2017 at 6:37 AM

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.

  • “Bonham Family Corrections – by Hazel Bonham) Wold”From Gleanings After Pioneers and Progress, Alix – Clive Historical Club, 1981.

Edith Mary (Van Nest) Rouse

In Alix, Alberta on July 16, 2017 at 1:17 PM

Edith Mary (Van Nest) Rouse  (Jan. 13, 1915 – Dec. 4, 2003)
Edith Mary Van Nest, second child of Andrew and Lydia Van Nest, was born in Redcliff, Alberta.  Andrew and Lydia had moved west from Ontario while Andrew worked on the railroad, and during the First World War was employed at the Redcliff ammunition factory when Edith was born.
Her mother had been a dressmaker in Ontario before she was married so when they could afford the material, Edith had fancy homemade clothes.  After the war they moved to Rosedale where her dad ran the hoist in the coal mine. Then in 1920 they bought a farm where Edith and her older brother, Hector, grew up. They milked cows, made butter, and raised chickens.She rode her horse “Old Dan” to Livingstone School, a country school three miles away.
In 1929, at age 14, her appendix ruptured, and she nearly died.  She spent six weeks in hospital.  In 1933 the family moved to Alix (Strohschein farm) and raised silver and black foxes to sell for fur, which was in big demand back then.  Hector and Edith went to a dance at Carroll School in 1934 and that is where she met Glen Rouse, the “Love of Her Life.”
Edith went to Calgary to secretarial school and worked as a maid to pay her way through.  Glen and Edith were dating during this time although they didn’t see each other often.  After she graduated she helped out on the fox farm and late in 1936 they moved to a farm near Rimbey, which is still in the family today, where they raised foxes and later farmed.
On June 30, 1937, Edith and Glen were married in her home.  If there was one thing that characterized Edith, it was her strength of character.  She met Glen after he had contracted polio.  Yet despite his very strong handicap, she fell in love, married, and spent the rest of her life trying to make it easier on him and deeply in love with him.
The new couple made their home in Stanton and then in Alix where Glen was teaching.  During this time, Glen was in an orchestra and they went to lots of dances and made many new and dear friends  They also were charter members of the Maccabees and had lots of meetings and functions.  The community was always a big part of their lives and Edith taught Sunday School for many years, was leader of the Brownies and later Girl Guides.  She and Nancy Drushka were leaders of the Alix 4-H Clothing Club.
She was always baking for some function, as well as for the Alix UCW’s turkey suppers, weddings, funerals, etc.  When the new Alix United Church was being built she never missed a day either taking lunch or coffee and cake to the volunteers working on it, and Glen never missed a day working on it.  Often she was helping or making crafts for someone and feeding anyone who was hungry.
On May 11, 1942, Twyla May was born and Edith enjoyed sewing, so she and Lydia made Twyla many, many cute outfits.  On May 4, 1946, Charles Glen was born and completed their family (he got lots of outfits too.)
Through the years and Glen’s many career changes, Edith faithfully kept their house a home. All in all, Glen and Edith lived in Alix 35 years, while Glen was a teacher, owned and operated “Rouse Brothers’ Grocery” (Peacock’s Store before) where she helped when need (she had 2 small children then).Later they bought Harold Edgar’s Hardware Store and in 1951 tore it down, dug out the basement, built a new store and called it “Alix Hardware”. (The original store, pus an addition, is still a hardware store today, owned by Curt and Donna Peterson, Glen and Edith’s nephew and wife.  Edith and Harry Simmons kept the hardware running , after moving all the goods to the old UFA building while the new store was being built. (Glen, family, and friends built the store.) Then in the new store, she and Harry were fixtures as Glen was busy installing furnaces he sold, helping Bob Whitfield, the electrician, and Creighton Smith the town plumber as well as building three new houses, spearheading and helping to tear down and build a new Church, renovating the Alix Pharmacy, etc. etc. so Edith worked alongside of Glen, and ran the store with Harry Simmons when Glen was away working.
They always had a ribbon going for someone’s shower in and around Alix, and collected hundreds of dollars for these Brides and Grooms to be with the names of everyone who had donated typed on the ribbon.  Glen typed many names on those ribbons over many years.
Next, they bought the Alix Pharmacy from Elizabeth Baardseth and Walter Ekman and called it “Rouse’s Sundries”. They worked there together for many years and enjoyed the people who were their customers there.
They retired to Red Deer in 1974 and traveled to Hawaii and later Arizona for the winter.  Retirement was good and they enjoyed doing everything together. Therefore, it was very hard on Edith when Glen died on May 6, 1994, after a year-long battle with cancer. That August, Edith moved back to alix, into “Lakeview Manor” and kept busy with her Church and helping out family and friends when needed. Then, after six years, in 2000 she moved to the Willow Creek Lodge in Stettler and eventually to the Pines Lodge in Red Deer, to be closer to Twyla.
On September 30, 2003 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died on December 4, 2003.  the biggest part of Edith’s life was God, her husband and her family.  She loved people as well and always made them feel at home with their tea and coffee and the food she always had ready.  She had that special ability to look through any situation and see the real person in the midst of it all.  She was blessed to have two children and their spouses, five grandchildren and their spouses and ten great-grandchildren.  She is greatly missed, but we all know she is having a wonderful time in Heaven with her Lord and Saviour and her beloved Glen.  Written by her daughter Twyla Sissons-Jannsens (Nee Rouse)

Decades of Fashion Alix Wagon Wheel Museum

In Alix, Alberta on July 12, 2017 at 10:28 PM


Decades of Fashion

In Alix, Alberta on July 11, 2017 at 10:26 PM

from the Decades of Fashion exhibit, the museum’s Canada 150 Event.DSC00646 (2)

Pioneer Waffle Iron & Bed-Warming Pan

In Alix, Alberta on July 9, 2017 at 10:11 AM

Alix Wagon Wheel Museum Collection

museum pioneer waffle iron

museum warming pan

Decades of Fashion

In Alix, Alberta on July 6, 2017 at 10:23 PM

from the museum’s clothing collectionDSC00647

Lamerton Parish Parish Paths

In Alix, Alberta on July 5, 2017 at 8:36 PM

In 1960, the Lamerton Parish of the Anglican Church celebrated its 50th anniversary and published Parish Paths, with W.R. Newsom Editor and Publisher.  Most of the writing was done by Mrs. Beatrice Parlby.

Excerpt from “St. Monica’s Mirror” in Parish Paths.

St. Monica’s, the oldest of the three churches by at least 15 years….

…in 1894 at the vestry meeting at Westhead’s… plans went ahead rapidly.  By November 8th Rev. H. Goodman and Charles Westhead , having been elected to choose a site, decided on the S.E. quarter of Section 28, Tp. 40, R22, W4th within a mile of the shores of Buffalo Lake…. For the rest of the fall and early winter church services were held at the home of… Alice and Alfred Inskip….

Nothing was done during the winter, but early in the spring of 1895 the work began in earnest.  Men rode from miles around, taking their lunches with them, so they might spend the whole day at the building.  More than a dozen lent a hand….

During early April, a succession of “bees” was held.  Volunteers cut more logs, others squared them at the church site and raised them into place.  A diary entry for the 25th of April states that “Taylor, Parlby. Hawkins, Cook Ness and Gadsby drove to Lacombe for lumber.”

[On] June 29th the opening was held with Canon Cooper and Rev. H. Goodman officiating…. The body of the church was made from hewn logs, the roof was shingled, quite exceptional at that time as many of the homesteaders shacks were roofed with sod.  Nails, shingles, windows and other materials had to be hauled by team and wagon from Lacombe, a journey of 34 miles each way on prairie trails.  The creeks swollen by the spring thaw had to be crossed over pole bridges or often forded….

On May 16, 1897 two years after the building, the little church was consecrated by Bishop Pinkham… and became St. Monica’s Anglican of the Mission of Lamerton, for the towns of Mirror, Bashaw and Alix did not yet exist.




Decades of Fashion

In Alix, Alberta on July 4, 2017 at 10:25 PM

Alix Wagon Wheel Museum has many clothing items, shoes, hats and accessories.DSC00648

from “Ole J. Sorum” by Hilmer & Nellie Sorum

In Alix, Alberta on July 2, 2017 at 3:15 PM

From “Ole J. Sorum” by Hilmer and Nellie Sorum

Ole J. Sorum was born in Nordreland, Norway, on May 3, 1841.  He emigrated to America in 1853.  As they came by sail, they were seven weeks on the ocean because of stormy weather.  He first settled in Iowa.

He married Isabella Maria Housen, also born in Norway.  She came to America when she was 16 years old.  They moved to North Dakota with their family in 1879 travelling by covered wagon….

In 1902, Ole and his sons John and Martin came to Lacombe and from here they located homesteads.  They went back to Minnesota for a year; then in 1903 they came back to homestead N.W. ¼ of 21-39-21 in the east Ripley District…Their home was a stopping place…. Mr. Sorum died in 1920 … and Mrs. Sorum died in 1923….

Their first child was John Martin, born in 1868, in Iowa.   He married Annie Johnson and they had two daughters….  John came to Canada in 1903 and took out a homestead.  Then in 1903 they came by train to Lacombe….

Their first daughter was Pearl and she attended Ripley School until the South Buffalo Lake School was built.  She married Alvin Thompson.  He operated a hardware store in Alix for a few years.  She also gave music lessons….

Orvilla was the second daughter of John and Annie, born in 1900, she came with her parents and attended South Buffalo Lake School.  She married Albert (Bump) Ray….

Martin O. Sorum… was born born on February 28, 1872…. On December 13, 1895, he married Annie Halvorson.  When his father and brother came to Lacombe, he also picked out a homestead…. He went back to Thief River Falls for 2 years.

In July 1904, they left for Canada.  They had to cross a lake, so they loaded all their belongings on a barge.  This was pulled by a boat for several miles to reach the railway.  A storm came up and the waves splashed over the barge, so they had to pull in behind an island for protection until the storm died down.  They drove nine head of cattle around the lake with a horse.  Everything, belongings, implements and cattle were then loaded onto a box car and freighted to Lacombe. Mr. and Mrs. Sorum moved to Edmonton in 1936….

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