Welton and Lena Bronson Family

In 1930s Depression, Coal Mining, Farming, Haynes, Pioneer Farming, Railway on July 11, 2020 at 4:10 PM

From “Bronson Family – By Alice Elder”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Welton Amasa Bronson came west from Peterborough, Ontario in 1899.  He freighted for the Grand Trunk Railway west from North Battleford, using a four horse team to bring supplies to the rail crew.  In the coldest winter weather, he slept in a tent at night along the trail…. Finally, he settled on the NE ¼ of sec 4.T39.R24.W of 4, just north of where Haynes is now located.

He returned to Ontario to marry Anna Helena Stone in the fall of 1904, and they came back to start their life together on the new homestead.

In those days, Lacombe was the nearest post office and also the nearest place to purchase supplies.  Welton used to go to the Red Deer River, get a load of coal and early the next morning about 3 o’clock, start to Lacombe where the coal was sold. With the money obtained from the coal the necessary shopping was done …about once a month or when absolutely necessary.

Their first babies, twin boys, died within a few days of their birth, but on December 17, 1906, Roy Francis Stone Bronson was born.

There was always land to clear, and baking to be done…. In 1910 Welton and Lena decided to have a sale, rent their farm and go back to Ontario to be near their relatives.  After the sale, they rented their farm to E. Clare Sherburne and his wife Adah….

Welton had a near brush with death due to …typhoid fever.  After his recovery Welton, Lena and son Roy returned west in the spring of 1914 with one addition, Alice Julia Milissa Bronson born November 10, 1913 in Ontario.

In 1917 they got their first car, a Model T Ford….

Willard Clarke Bronson was born on April 21, 1917….

Lena was an excellent seamstress and she made all the family clothes; was often called upon to make wedding outfits for the brides of the district.  She made quilts of the pieces and rugs out of any garments too worn to be made over into children’s clothes.

There was a much-used Indian trail just north of the house….

Life was happy then, but early in 1920, on January 13, Lena died of pneumonia and pleurisy, and Welton was left to raise the family alone.

Roy and Alice went to school but two year old Willard needed more attention.  Often a housekeeper was hired to care for him and to help with meals.  Welton got word that his father-in-law James Clarke Stone, had just lost his wife due to a heart attack in Ontario and he was alone at an advanced age.  That winter Welton left Roy to look after the farm and the animals while he went to Ontario to bring his father-in-law back to live with the family for the rest of his life.   Granddad Stone was a wonderful help as he was an adult that could be with the children when Welton was working outside….

In 1925 Welton married Annie Claxton, who had come to the district from Calgary to keep house for her brother   William George Claxton…. Roy … suddenly came down with appendicitis.  He went to Red Deer Hospital for an operation and died a few days later on Feb. 4, 1926….

After living at Haynes about 10 years “Granddad,” James Clarke Stone, died on January 13, 1935….

Two years later in the spring of 1937, Annie Bronson… died of pneumonia.

Welton’s daughter Alice and her husband Adam (Ted) Elder came from Calgary to help run the farm for a year.  After helping for a year they moved away to farm on their own….

Welton … died December 19, 1939….

Willard stayed on the farm.  He married Mary Brookes from Red Deer and shortly after they moved to South Burnaby, B.C.  They rented part of the farm to Joe Cameron and later to Martin Lakeman.  They sold their farm in the mid 1960’s.

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