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Archive for April, 2019|Monthly archive page

The Harris, McMillan, and Beebe Family

In Museums, Pioneer Farming, Urquhart, Westling on April 30, 2019 at 10:39 AM

From “The Harris Story – by Ethel Harris”[nee Beebe]

From Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

How can one, in a few short paragraphs, reveal the true story of any pioneer family, the courage, faith, and endurance?  I am proud to have become a member of one such family when I married Ray Harris in 1925.

Ray’s parents, father Eph and mother Annie Harris [McMillan] were married in November 1889 at Bronson, Kansas – Father Eph was 16 and Mother Annie 18 years of age…. Forced by prolonged drought conditions in Kansas in the latter part of the 1890’s, the McMillan families sought better farming conditions, and found these conditions in the Urquhart District, Northwest Territories, Canada.  The families made a mass migration to Lacombe, arriving there with all their effects, on April 1, 1900.  From Lacombe, the journey to the various homesteads, near what are now Clive and Tees areas, was made by wagon. 

Grandfather McMillan had filed on land 3 ½ North East ofpresent village of Clive, while Father Eph had filed on a quarter section 1mile west of Grandfather’s (2 ½ miles North East of Clive.)  Ray at this time was 8 ½ years of age,Flossie 7, Frances 5, Norris 2 ½ – still a young family.  Louis was born here in Sept. 1901…. Busy years ensued and in 1903, Father received title to their land and Canadiancitizenship for the family.

School districts had been formed and teachers secured.  The Harris’ were in the Westling school district….   Father Eph [died] in Feb. 17, 1908….

Ray was now 15 ½ years old, and was faced with the heavy responsibilities of heavy farm management and labour.  Flossie, now 14, was a great help, while the younger ones were soon to realize they could be of help also….

from The Alix Free Press Mirror News-Record Sept. 2, 1938, vol XXVII, no. 16

In Alix, Alberta on April 27, 2019 at 8:49 AM

For the Dining Table

In Alix, Alberta on April 24, 2019 at 6:07 PM
There is also a collection of china.

Small appliances and tools of early kitchens

In Alix, Alberta on April 24, 2019 at 5:41 PM

from “Walter S. Waldron”

In Alix, Alberta, Bullocksville, Coal Mining, Hopedale, Pioneer Farming, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Satinwood, School, Settlers, Threshing on April 23, 2019 at 7:06 PM

From “Walter S. Waldron”

Pioneers and Progress Alix Clive Historical Club 1974

Walter S. Waldron homesteaded S.W. 18-38-23 west of 4th mer., part of which was on the river flats.  He came to Alberta in March, 1902 from Fontenelle, Iowa.  With him, he brought two freight cars of machinery and household effects, and three mules, Jess, Jim, and Jules, who earned their keep, since many horses got swamp fever and died.  Irvin Darner came along to help.

In May of the same year, his wife, Eva, with the help of her father, Jerry Evans, followed with the four children.  They were Archie, Anna, Rex, and Don, ages from six years to nine months.

Walter had the house well under way when the family arrived, and they lived in a large tent while the building proceeded.  The family then moved to the Bill Cundiff place so the children could attend the “Hopedale” School. A daughter, Dena, was born.

Later, when the homestead house was ready for occupancy they attended “Stone School.”

The first post office was Bullocksville and later, the mail came to a small store which was run by James Rice who had come from Ireland with his family. That place was called Fountainstown.  Later, George Collingwood and his mother had that post office.

There was hay made on the river flats for the stock which accumulated.   The garden was usually abundant and berries were plentiful.

Some of the land near the river was underlaid with coal and, with help, Walter strip mined it and hauled the coal to Red Deer, for cash.  The river made a good roadway in the winter time.  Many men came to mine for coal, from as far away as Lacombe.  Their company was always welcome and they would spend the night at the homestead since it was a two-day trip.

About 1908, Walter bought a threshing machine.  It was hand fed and run by a horsepower unit which required sixteen horses for operation.  Later he got a steam engine and did much threshing for neighbours, working sometimes deep into the winter and going as far west as Ken Thompsons’s on the flats, and east around Alix.  Prairie fires were a problem in the summer months, but everyone fought fire when necessary.  There was much hard work and hardships, but many good times as well.

Two more children, Ruth and Edith, were born on the homestead and later, another two: Haldon and Reba, all with the assistance of the inimitable Dr. Montgomery.

The homestead was sold to Mr. Headley as far as we can remember…. Walter and family moved to… the Satinwood district …1912.

Valentine Schnepf part 2

In Alix, Alberta, Pioneer Farming on April 22, 2019 at 9:03 AM

From “Valentine Schnepf” as told by Maggie (Schnepf) Sanderson part 2

It was in March [1911] when we came, of course, but when summer came, it was beautiful….

There were all kinds of fruit, saskatoons and wild strawberries you could pick by the pailful, great big ones.  Mom canned them by the quart.  Then raspberries, pinchberries and chokecherries: it would be purple with them.

How did we wash our clothes?  In those days you didn’t have washers and driers, and you carried your water from the well.  We made soap from grease and lye, Mom even made face soap; the only difference was she put perfume in it and made it like a cake of soap.  Then, too, you had to prepare all your own meat, butcher, make sausage, and smoke the meat. We baked bread using a starter, mostly.  My mother made vinegar so there was always plenty of vinegar.  We made butter with a dasher and a stone jar and later with a barrel churn  as thee was a lot of butter made .The smoked meat ws put in sacks and usually buried in grain, as it was cold and kept the meat from moulding.  The sausage and spare ribs were fried down, put in a stone crock, covered with lard and set in a cold place.  Yes, everything was done.  If you wanted vegetables and fruit for winter, you canned them.  You didn’t buy anything in those days.  We had a butter maker made from wood, it had a roller to work every bit of liquid out of it.

This article is from the book Pioneers and Progress, a history of the Alix-Clive area printed in 1974by DW Friesen and Sons Ltd., Calgary.  Copies of it and of its follow-up Gleanings are available for sale at the Alix Public Library, Alix Wagon Wheel Museum, and Alix Home Hardware.

Do you remember 100 Years of Fashion?

In Alix, Alberta on April 20, 2019 at 6:12 PM

Ads from Alberta Pool Elevators and from T. Wilton & Son, Alix

In 1930s Depression, Business, Pioneer Farming, Settlers on April 19, 2019 at 10:45 PM

from the Alix Free Press, September 16, 1938

from “The Walter Andersen Story – by Mrs. Andersen”

In 1930s Depression, Haynes, Pioneer Farming on April 18, 2019 at 11:27 PM

From “The Walter Andersen Story – by Mrs. Andersen”

We, Walter, Doris and daughter Evelyn Andersen, came to the Haynes district in November, 1936.  The Seal farm was being vacated by Corey Lakeman and family, who moved nearer Clive.

Our town was Chinook….

Walter’s relatives, the Fred Hobson family, moved to Tees… After our first visit to them on their farm we became interested in the north country.  It was beautiful there in June.  We were glad to hear we could rent a farm.  Most of our friends had moved north by then.

We had known Marion Jordan when he was agent at Chinook and found he was the C.N.R. agent at Haynes, so they helped us get acquainted, also the Ernest Seeger family were friends of ours before they came to the Sargent district, so we knew some people.

The first year wasn’t very lucky.  Our cows all died from eating a poison weed that came up early.  We had hoped to get a start in cattle, but we ended up buying a milk cow.  She later on had twin calves.  Walter Bredo’s threshing crew just got started nicely on our fields when snow came early and our grain had to stay out all winter.  We had a good garden and put away lots of vegetables and potatoes in our cellar; and the wild raspberries and saskatoons I had canned were a real treat, so we still weren’t discouraged, and liked our home.

Evelyn liked her school, and also went to Sunday School; with Mr. and Mrs. Bill Claxton….

The second year, our big barn was demolished by a freak windstorm…. We went to dances and concerts in Tees as well as Haynes, and enjoyed many good times….

Our last two years were spent in the town of Haynes.  We rented the Manse after having an auction sale in the fall.  Walter kept some machinery and did custom work for the farmers.  Evelyn finished school at Hopedale, and she and Doris Daly went on to Red Deer High.

We left in February, 1946, for San Diego….

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

from The Alix Free Press Mirror News-Record Sept. 2, 1938, vol XXVII no. 16 (1)

In 1930s Depression, Alix, Alberta, Organizations, Pioneer Farming on April 13, 2019 at 9:39 AM