from “Cockrall Story – by Mary Ann Cockrall” (Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive History Club, 1974)

In Alix, Alberta, Churches, Pioneer Farming, Settlers on June 26, 2019 at 7:21 AM

Mr. Charles Alvin Cockrall was born September 7, 1877, at Red Cloud, Nebraska, and died January 10, 1942, at Alix Alberta. His wife, Minnie Floretta (Sibert) was born June 5, 1885, at Red Cloud … and died June 4, 1962 at Calgary…. Their children were Charles Frank… Paul Edgar…Floyd Elmer… and Irene Rachel….

Charlie and Minnie were married May 5, 1901 at Fullerton, Nebraska. They homesteaded at Annamoose, North Dakota… along with Mrs. Cockrell’s mother, and a friend of Charlie’s, Knut Knutson….

Mrs. and Mrs. Cockrall and Frank travelled by train to Lacombe, Alberta, arriving May 8, 1903 and then by wagon to the Lamerton area. They arrived at their homestead May 15. Their homestead was S.W. 1/4-4-40-22 West of the 4th. They brought a few household possessions, one team of horses, and cattle…. Charlie had to borrow $10.00 from a neighbour, Mrs. Wood, to file on the homestead. Charlie was told by another neighbour that he couldn’t file on this quarter as it was reserved for church property. So they went to see the recording clerk at Lacombe.

He asked the neighbour who the head of this church was. He answered, “Well, Jesus Christ, I suppose.” The recording clerk said, “Well, we aren’t doing business with Him today,” so Charlie was given the homestead rites [sic] on the quarter he wanted.

They lived in a tent until the log house was finished…. in which they lived the first winter. This was later used as the chicken house. It was located on the south side of the road allowance on some C.P.R. land. He next built a two story log house. They lived in this until they built the frame house from lumber Charlie hauled from the sawmill at Ponoka….. The barn was built in 1926 by Fred McGonigal and Bob Deen….

For a few years, Charlie freighted supplies from Lacombe for Joe Edminson who managed the trading post at Lamerton. The trip took two days and he received a sack of flour for payment, The road east from Lacombe was corduroy with many mud holes and sloughs on it. If you got stuck, you left part of your load until next trip. Charlie often told of a half load of barbed wire sitting by the side of the road all summer and no one took it….

There were many trips to the Red Deer River to pick highbush cranberries with the Gilmouths and Lairs. They would bring back flour sacks full. … They always had lots of roastin’ ears (corn) and fried chicken. If it hadn’t been for the lowly bush rabbits. many homesteaders would have starved….

An old [First Nations] trail and went through the Cockrall farm…. Their campground was west of the house. … [I]t was learned that they were making their annual pilgrimage to Lac St. Anne…and used all modes of travel, including Red River carts and travois.

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