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Yerburgh, Richard Eustre Vertue

In Alix, Alberta, Churches, Farming, Hickling, Lamerton, Pioneer Farming, Settlers on February 4, 2020 at 8:57 AM

From “Yerburgh, Richard Eustre Vertue – as told by R.E.M. Yerburgh and H. Parlby”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Rev. R.E.V. Yerburgh (Dick) was born in England in 1879, came to Canada early in 1906 and bought the S.E. ¼ of 14-40-22.

He married Gladys Eileen Marryat, a daughter of Colonel Ernest L. and Mrs. Marryat, on December 11, 1906 in the little log church of St. Monica’s near Lamerton.  The marriage ceremony was going very smoothly when suddenly the whole congregation were startled by a hoarse but determined voice, “This marriage must stop!  Miss Marryat is going to marry me!”

A young Englishman by the name of Burrows had risen at the back of the church and drawn a revolver.  Quickly several of the men present took the interrupter in hand and hustled him out of the church.  Then the ceremony went on.

Three children were born to this marriage:

  1. Richard Eustre Marryat Yerburgh, January 12, 1908.
  2. Robert, born April 1, 1910 and died at about six weeks old.
  3. 3. Ernest Robert Marryat Yerburgh, born November 4, 1910.

Tragically the mother did not survive, but died on November 6, 1910, and her husband was left with two small sons. Members of the Marryat family living near came to his assistance in caring for the little ones.

Some time later Dick Yerburgh returned to England and took as his second wife Mary Eleanor Thorhill on April 18, 1915.  Returning to Canada and Alix they settled down on the land.  “Mary Yerburgh” as she is called by her old friends became in every way a real mother to “Dickie” and “Bob.”…

With the Yerburghs came Celia Giles, later Mrs. John Mansbridge….

The Rev. R.E.M. Yerburgh (Dickie) writes… “Our house was called “The Hill” after Dad’s old school…. Water was a problem and the remains of many old wells were scattered around…. My last remembrance was of water being hauled from a well dug close to a small slough on the way to Dartmoor Ranch. (Parlby’s).”

Like a lot of other people, I expect, we were chronically hard up, and one year about all the meat we had was that of rabbits which Dad shot.  The next year came the disease that killed off the rabbits every few years.  That year there was very little meat.   I remember my father spotting a partridge or a prairie chicken, and to make sure he got it he stalked it, but got too close and blew it to pieces,”

In 1916 the Yerburghs sold out and went to Victoria B.C. to live.

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