from "Katie Kerr (Cook) – By her daughter Doreen"

In Alix, Alberta, Coal Mining, Farming, Lamerton, School, Settlers on March 27, 2020 at 12:14 PM

From “Katie Kerr (Cook) – By her daughter Doreen”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

It all began in Argyllshire, Scotland, where James Beaton was bornin 1816….

The future Mrs. Beaton sailed from Scotland and they were married in Buffalo, New York, in 1861….

Their family were Hugh, John, Dougald, Katherine and Bell….

Katherine met and married a surveyor, James Kerr. They farmed near Oil City and had a family of four, Effie – 1887, Eva – 1889, Kitty Bell – 1892, and James, 1894; then twins Clarence and Clayton – 1898, who died within three months.  Within a few months Katherine’s husband passed away, followed shortly by her mother and father…. [She] died in 1901 leaving four small children who were given homes with family and friends…. Bruce and Martha Cook…had no children so Katie was to make her home with these strangers…..

In April 1902 Bruce Cook headed for Alberta by C.P.R…and went to a farm south of Alix.  Here he built a home and sent for Martha and Katie…. Soon after arriving in their new home Katie developed a beautiful case of measles…. Their wealth consisted of six cows, two horses and a colt which had been purchased at Morningside.

The winter of 1902 – 1903 was long and very cold, so when spring arrived, they made a trip to Lacombe for groceries and supplies.  The road, or what there was of it, was in reality one long mud hole taking two days to make the trip one way.  As well as going to Lacombe there were trips to Lamerton, also for groceries, but even more important, for the mail.

Coal was obtained from the Larkin coal mine, and wood was cut on the Cook property…. In 1911, the family built a home in Alix, known as the Thorp house [1974].  Bruce Cook died in 1913.

During these years Katie received her education…. Among her memories are such events as the Railway being built from Lacombe to Stettler in 1905…. The first store and Post Office burned one very cold night, and the first doctor of the area, Doctor Wilson, lost everything.

The first school in Alix was only one room, and of course the heating system consisted of coal and wood. 

The Ball team was active….  The first minister was Mr. Barner….

In 1916, Katie returned to Ontario and took a business course in Sarnia, becoming reacquainted with her sisters and other relatives.  She returned to Alix in 1918 and clerked in Wally Peacock’s store, and later was stenographer in the Municipal Office….

Mrs. Cook and Katie lived together until 1930 when Martha passed away.

At this point Katie joined her brother, Jim Kerr, and his wife a Turner Valley.  Here she met and married an oilfield driller by the name of Angus McLeod.  Their only child [was] a girl called Doreen….

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