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.

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