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The Sundberg Family

In Alix, Alberta, Content, Farming, Pioneer Farming, School, School Teachers on September 20, 2020 at 7:49 AM

From “Sundberg, Andrew  John, and Annie Augusta  –

 By Ruth McKinnon and Sophie Sundberg Hanes”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

On April 9, 1903 Sundbergs left Deming, Washington, U.S.A. to try a new country in which to raise their large family of seven girls and one boy.  An eighth daughter, Ida, remained in the U.S.A.  On April 11th, they arrived at Ponoka, Alberta, to find the ground covered with four feet of snow.  A warm welcome!

The family stayed in Ponoka so that the children could go to school and remained until the father, A.J. Sundberg, took up a homestad and bought another quarter section seven and a half miles south of Alix on the banks of the Red Deer River.  He bought some purebred Shorthorn cows and moved his family to the site of their new home.  They arrived there on July 5, 1903.  The land had to be cleared of brush before they could pitch tents, their first shelter.

The only son, Oscar, was only nine years old, and the daughters ranged from fifteen years to eight months old.  They all helped according to their ability, the older ones clearing the site for the house which was soon to be built by Mr. Bergstrom.  Mr. Sundberg’s first task was the erecting of a corral to contain cows so they wouldn’t wander so far.

Ruth continues in her own words: “While we were living in tents the worst hail any of us had ever seen came down like chunks of glass.  Prairie fires and tornados could be a real threat …. We kids would get so scared when the coyotes howled almost at our tent door.  Before we could farm, the land had to be cleared by hand and broken by oxen pulling a plough.  Cattle thieves were numerous…. The Sundberg brand was 4S reversed bar on the left shoulder.

Dad had to drive a team and wagon to Lacombe or Ponoka for groceries which took the best part of a week. The raspberries, chokecherries and saskatoons were a lifesaver…. There were plenty of ducks, prairie chickens and partridges…. In the hard winter of 1906-07 we snared rabbits for stew and cleaned wheat by hand before grinding it on a coffee mill for the making of biscuits and porridge….

The Sundbergs obtained their public schooling at Content.  Our school was opened January 1, 1905.  (The Content Bridge was being built that same winter,) Our school teacher was Miss Lodge, later Mrs. Jack Moore.  The pupils were about half white and half Metis.  We used to sleighride and toboggan down a steep bank to Tail Creek which ran close by the school.

Often our recreation was to find a lake somewhere, shovel and sweep the snow off and then skate….

For our high school we went to Stettler….

The children of Andrew John and Annie Augusta were as follows: Ida (who remained in the U.S.A., Hilda who became Mrs. Young of Lindberg…. Ruth, Mrs. McKinnon of Calgary…. Jennie….; Oscar….;Anne, Mrs. Alex Findlater….;Clara, Mrs. Beebe….; Sophie, Mrs. Fred Hanes….; Pearl, Mrs, Frank Eaton….

Robert Kerr

In Content, Pioneer Farming, School, School Teachers, South Buffalo S.D. on September 10, 2020 at 8:38 AM

From “Robert Kerr – By Edwin Vernon Kerr”

Pioneer and Progress,Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Robert Kerr filed on his homestead early in the year of 1905.  He chose the N.W. ¼ 20-39-21-W4th.   He built a log house 10 x 12 feet and had twelve acres of breaking done by Mr. Nelse Monson and Mr. John Sorum.  He also did some fencing before returning to Lulu Island or better known today as Richmond, B.C.

Mr. Kerr returned to Alberta and the homestead in March, 1906 bringing his wife and family of three, two boys and a girl.  Edwin being the eldest was nine years of age.  Ian was seven years old in April of that year.  Iva was three years old.  A fourth child was born in the spring of 1909, Ina May, but llived just a few months.

When the Kerrs reached here in March there was no snow and the ice was thick and clear on all the ponds.  The crops were good in the year of 1906 and Mr. Kerr Sr. went on to secure more land, some of which Ed owns today [1974]. The duck crop was also good.  The Sorum Bros., Jake, John, and Martin with Nelse Monson and Bob Kerr went duck hunting for a couple of hours one afternoon and got more ducks than you could shake a stick at.  Bob Kerr’s shot gun kicked so bad he had to stop at a neighbour’s barn for a sweatpad for his shoulders.  Mr. Kerr enlarged his house that year.  The Kerr homestead took in a hill of about thirty or forty acres which the Community used for a picnic grounds.

The South Buffalo Lake school district was formed in 1906.  The district secured a grant from the Provincial Government to build a school. The school was built by the Johnson Bros. of Content, Sid and Lyman, and completed in December.  School opened early in January 1907.  The first teacher was Miss Hyssop from Kingston, Ontario.  She, as well as quite a few of the other teachers boarded with Mrs. Kerr. The first pupils at the new school were Imer, Hilmer and Ester Sorum; Edward and Ian Kerr; Pete, Dave, Charles and Bror Loftstrand; Orvilla and Pearl Sorum. … [T]he following year … Miss Perdy came to teach.