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Vivian (Murdoch) Clarke

In 1930s Depression, Churches, Clive AB, Entertainment, Fairs, Farming, Organizations, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Railway, School, School Teachers on February 11, 2021 at 11:01 AM

From “My Memories of Clive – by Vivian (Murdoch) Clarke”

Gleanings After Pioneers and Progress Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1981

Who could forget the Village of Clive and the people who lived there during the Nineteen Thirties?  The events that took place at the Community Hall, the School Fair, the movies, plays, dances, and the Christmas Concerts?  The skating, the carnival, and hockey in the winter at the rink?  Ditzler’s ingenious toboggan on runners that was pulled behind the car.  The opening of the baseball season every 24th of May, with the parade and the Maypole dance.  The Strawberry Socials, the Swedish Picnics, the Chicken Suppers, the Box Socials, when the ladies’ decorated lunch boxes went to the highest bidder.

Septembers, with Arbor Day cleanup and tree planning ceremony at the school. George Vanderzyl, our Principal from the year I started school until the year I graduated.  Vic McCormack, jumping on his bike at recess, and racing to his Dad’s barber shop for the score during the World Series.  The school picnics at “the spring” on Grose’s Hill.

Mrs. Brereton’s Mission Band, Mrs. Allison and the United Church Sunday School, with its small church replica to receive our birthday pennies; the Baptist Church’s summer Bible School, and their annual Christmas Concert.

The trains, with their steam engines, that flattened small objects we placed on the tracks; and the dray that was always waiting at the station for trains to arrive; in winter; hitching our small sleighs behind the dray or  the farmers’ sleighs that were hauling grain to the elevators.

Watching Mr. Shore at work in his blacksmith shop; the Minstrel Shows, piano recitals, and chivarees.  The list is endless…. 

I can’t think of anywhere I would rather have gone to school or spent my childhood.

John Anthony and Margaret Jane Thomas (Carter) Family

In 1918 "Spanish" Flu, Alix, Alberta, Cattle, Horses, Pioneer Farming, School Teachers, Settlers, Stone School District on January 19, 2021 at 2:12 AM

From “Carter Story – By Lydia Carter”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club 1974

John Anthony Carter was born in England in 1849.  His wife, Margaret Jane Thomas (Carter) was born in Wales…. [T]hey shipped by train from North Dakota in 1900.  Their family was Orlando, born 1876; Francis b. 1877, d. when 18 years old; John Edward b. 1879; Charles b, 1881; Griffin b. 1884; Les b. 1886, Evan Earl b. 1889, d. February 1920 of the “Flu”; Les died a few days later of the same epidemic; Ira died when a small boy; Archie Oral, b. 1891; Laura Ann, b. 1893.

Before they left U.S.A., they drove by team from one state to another. One incident was – Jesse James stole one of their mares but left the colt.  She kept whinnying so much that they turned her loose, and she returned home.

Arriving in Alix they settled in the Stone district and built a log house.  Fred Stewart, years later took it down, log by log, and moved it.  A frame house was guilt in 1905. Les, Eve, Archie and Laura went to Stone School.  The teacher was Belle McLeod, later Mrs. Charles Stone…. Eve married Lydia Nelson Sept. 28, 1912. For the occasion they drove a team hitched to a democrat borrowed from the Larkin Bros. Myrtle Nielsen attended Lydia while Archie Carter was best man…. Reverend R. White married them in his home…. Eve had built a house that summer…. Previously, Eve had homesteaded north of Coronation and Orlando had homesteaded here, near Alix.  But they traded homesteads…. The Carters ranched, raising both horses and cattle.  The open range in eastern Alberta was plentiful so they raised their colts there, then drove them back to the Stone district to break and sell.  The Carter’s horse brand was EA on the right hip. Those horses were a wild lot….

The senior Carters moved to Coronation….

Eve and Lydia had three boys, Oral, Riley, and Dell….

Billy & Leone (Haynes) Gilbert

In Cattle, Farming, Ghost Pine, Haynes, Hopedale, North Star, Pleasant Valley, School, School Teachers, Settlers on October 31, 2020 at 3:06 PM

From “Billy Gilbert”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club 1974

In the summer of 1893 Billy Gilbert and his friend Billy Morrical left Randolff, Iowa, bound for Canada, driving a team of mules and a covered wagon.  They came through the Dakota’s and Montana and reported a very dry season on these parts.  Water had to be carried in a barrel, on the wagon, for men and mules, and it was hoped it would last until the next source of water could be reached.  The dry weather created large cracks in the ground, near what is now Lethbridge country, that had to be driven around as they were too wide to cross.

In September they arrived in the Pleasant Valley District, four miles north of the present village of Haynes.  Billy Gilbert homesteaded theS.E.28-39-24 W4 and some years later bought the N.E. ¼ of the same section from a Mr. Kenear (homesteaded by W.O. Chapman.)

A log house was built after some difficulty on the homestead quarter. The logs which were cut near the Red Deer River, were washed away during highwater, and a second lot had to be cut.

In 1895 he went to Nelson, B.C. and obtained work in an ore mine. While there he met a girl whom he had met before at Haynes.  She was Leone Haynes, daughter of another early settler, that the town of Haynes was named after.  They returned to Haynes and were married at Innisfail in 1898.  Their daughter Jessie was born in 1900 and became a school teacher, teaching in many places like Brookfield, Hopedale, North Star and Ghost Pine, where she met and married Earl Ruby….

Herbie Gilbert, Jessie’s adopted brother… lived in Red Deer where he started the Red Deer Auto Racing Club.

The Gilberts improved their land and operated a post office from their house about 1905 to 1911, then they moved to Edmonton … until [in] 1914 they came back to take up farming and raising cattle….

He bought the NW ¼ of 21-39-24-W4 from the CPR and the SW1/4 21-39-24 from J.L. Jackson….

In 1921 Billy was seriously hurt when his Fordson tractor reared over backwards breaking his pelvis and leg.  As a result he suffered ill health…. [H]e managed to stay with the old homestead until he passed away Christmas Eve 1933.  In 1944 the place was sold to Dick Waddy….

Mrs. Gilbert passed away in June, 1957….

George and Myrtle Wilson

In 1930s Depression, Cattle, Pioneer Farming, Railway, School Teachers, Veterinary Medicine on October 1, 2020 at 11:11 AM

From “George Wilson – by B. Parlby”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

George Wilson grew up in Victoria, B.C., where his parents and their family lived.  He came to the Alix district in the early Twenties, and married Myrtle Moore who had come north from the U.S.A.

The Wilsons lived on Old Dartmoor Ranch north of Alix for some years.  When the Walter Parlbys moved closer to town George undertook to buy a portion of the ranch containing the house.  He and his wife kept and milked dairy cows.  In addition, he raised a considerable herd of Suffolk sheep.  Unfortunately the depression of 1929 and the Thirties made it too difficult to make the payments.  The Wilsons gave up farming and moved to Mirror where George worked over twenty years for the C.N.R.

As a young man George Wilson worked with a veterinarian in Victoria and learned skills in doctoring animals which he used all the rest of his life.  Whether on the farm or in Mirror he was always greatly in demand to assist his neighbours in the care of their animals.  Floating or pulling horses’ teeth, treating a horse for colic, a cow for bloat, or helping a prize dog to give birth to pups, each to him was a job worth doing. … Kindly, generous, hardworking and humourous, George was a general favourite with his neighbours, especially on the threshing gangs when he and Len Siddons would make uproarious fun.

Myrtle Wilson worked hard in her role of farm wife, cooking, baking scrumptious pies, milking cows at chore time, as well as caring for their two children, Jean and Donald (Bud). After they moved to Mirror, she had time to garden, for she loved flowers….

Donald works [1974]] on the C.N.R.  He married Dorothy Heuman of Mirror and they have three sons, David…Douglas…and Dan.   Dorothy, their mother, is teacher librarian at Mirror School.

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.

Bill and Laurine Morris

In Alix, Alberta, Ferintosh, Lumber Yards, School, School Teachers on August 24, 2020 at 6:16 AM

From “Bill and Laurine Morris – By Laurine Morris”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

The Bill Morris family of four, Bill, Laurine, Jim and Oliver came to live in Alix in 1948 when Bill took over the management of the Alberta Lumber Co, Yard and Hardware (now [1974] known as Revelstoke Building Materials.)  Housing accommodation was scarce, and Bill boarded at ‘Pop’ Walper’s from March to September when an ancient four-room house (an old Alix jail converted) at 4919-52nd St., was for sale, and they bought it.  Through the years to date, August 1973, the Morrises have been remodelling and adding to the house….

Bill Morris was born in Wetaskiwin, in 1909, where his father, also Bill Morris, was the first manager of the Wetaskiwin creamery.  Bill’s father later became one of the founding partners in Independent Creameries…. After getting his Senior Matriculation in 1926-27, Bill attended the Camrose Normal School…. In 1945, Bill resigned from his High School teaching position at Bluffton, to apprentice for two years at Benalto….

Laurine Morris was born on a farm at Ferintosh in 1912 where her father, Rev. N.J. L. Bergen, had moved his large family from Edmonton that year….  Laurine … attended both rural and city schools. In 1928-29 at the age of sixteen she attended Camrose Normal School, and has since taught in the Parkland for over thirty years.

Sons, Jim and Oliver, got their Senior Matriculation in the Alix and Alix M.A.C. Schools respectively and all members of the family have attended the universities of Edmonton and Calgary for a dozen or more years collectively.

During a fifteen-year span of managing the Alberta Lumber Co. Yard at Alix, Bill was transferred to the Vegreville Yard in 1952, and after one year there was happy to return to Alix to resume his managership of the Co. Yard here.  In 1958, Bill joined the Alix teaching staff as a Grade eight classroom teacher.  The next year he was appointed Business Education teacher and continued in that capacity for fourteen years.  Laurine went on staff in 1954as a Grade one teacher and continued in that capacity for nineteen years….

Teaching Staff of Alix High School 1960 (from Inkspot Yearbook)

In Alix, Alberta, School, School Teachers on July 13, 2020 at 7:20 AM

Charlie and Ada Bucknell

In Alix, Alberta, Farming, Haynes, Hopedale, Pioneer Farming, School, School Teachers, Sports News on June 30, 2020 at 1:29 AM

From “Chas. Bucknell Family”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club 1974

Charlie Bucknell was born in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1870, and in 1896 He married Miss Ada Henshaw of New Providence, Iowa.  Having relatives and friends in the area, they came to Haynes in 1906.  To start with they lived in a log cabin on the Jack Phillips homestead, moving afterwards to several different locations, while buying the SW3 immediately east of Haynes, from the C.P.R. for $3.00 an acre, and building a house there.  Mrs. Bucknell took care of Mr. Phillips in his declining years.  The house burnt after a few years and was rebuilt around 1918 and the large barn which is still [1974] in good condition on the property was erected about that time. The location of the house on the road to Alix made it a popular overnite [sic] stopping place.  In the early years the Bucknells raised good Percheron horses as well as cattle, but like so many others they “lost their shirt” in the slump after the First World War.

Mrs. Bucknell was known as “Ada Charlie” to distinguish her from Mrs. Dick Bucknell, also an Ada.  She was a Quaker by faith who always lived by her high principles.  She had been a schoolteacher in her youth and did a lot towards getting the church going, then she taught Sunday School in the district for many years.  She had a hobby of photography in which she showed much skill, developing her own pictures in the early days. She organized the Haynes Ladies Club “for mothers of small children who don’t get out much” and was always a staunch supporter. Another of her many talents was that of veterinary medicine, using many recipes the Indians told her about.

Charlie was well known in the district as an eager participant in concerts and plays put on in the Hall, and for his aptness and wit as Master of Ceremonies at the early “do’s”.  He was a champion checker player, attending many tournaments and was very knowledgeable about baseball, travelling widely to umpire games.

Many teachers at the Hopedale School boarded with the Bucknells and one, Miss Eva Skuse, who later married Don Lonsberry who taught at Satinwood became a lifelong family friend.

The Bucknells adopted a son, Jay, and also helped to raise two granddaughters, Myra and Myrna….

Charlie and Ada celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1946.  In 1953 they sold the farm to Ted Elder, and retired to Blueberry Creek….

From “Thomas and Margaret Semple History – By Jean Hutchison and Margaret Rice”

In 1930s Depression, Alix, Alberta, Farming, Mirror AB, Pioneer Farming, Pioneer Medical Health, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Railway, School, School Teachers, Settlers, Stone School District on February 16, 2020 at 4:40 PM

From “Thomas and Margaret Semple History – By Jean Hutchison and Margaret Rice”

Pioneers and Progress Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

In 1910 Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Semple emigrated from Scotland, arriving in Calgary in a snow storm on the first day of June.

They spent the first winter in the village of Alix, moving onto a farm (N.E. 6-39-23-W4) about nine miles south west of Alix in the spring of 1911.

Mother found it quite lonely in a new country, after life in the city of Glasgow.  A trained nurse, she was much in demand when illness struck a family…. Mother helped to deliver a good number of babies…. It might mean a drive of 10 to 15 miles with a team and sleigh or buggy.  She would be expected to take care of the mother and new baby, as well as the other children in the family, cook the meals and do all the other household chores.

We used to walk to Stone School, going across the Stone fields part of the way.  Jean started with Miss Clowse (1918).  The old double desks had been dismantled, and we used them to coast down the hill.  Slates were just on the way out.  Miss Clowse got some clay from a nearby creek bank and we did our own version of ceramics.  We used willows for weaving small articles, had plasticine, colored pegs, paper mats to weave etc. The old Waterbury heater took till about recess to throw out much heat in the winter.  We sat around the stove until we thawed out enough to walk around.

There was little, if any, playground equipment, perhaps a bat and ball.  We played steal sticks, run sheep run, drop the handkerchief, fire on the mountain and other favorites.

Later, Stone School was moved to a different location….

Early teachers were Miss Green in 1912 or 1913, Miss Skeuse, Miss Clowse 1918, Miss Edith Code, Miss Bradshaw, Miss Freddie Halpin, Miss Gough, Miss Treena Hunter 1922-23, Miss Harriet Stone, Miss Graham, Lorne Trace, Miss Hawthorne, Miss Chisholm.

We lived about half a mile from the C.N. Railway on the Mirror-Nordegg (Brazeau) line.  I recall a crew of Chinese building or repairing the line in the early days.  Probably the coal from Nordegg made up most of the freight that was hauled.

In the early days coal from the mines on the Red Deer River was the main source of fuel and it was hauled many miles.  Long strings of teams, often with four horses and sleighs would pass our place all winter.  The men sometimes wore buffalo coats and quite often walked beside the sleigh to keep warm.

Dad made trips to Lacombe occasionally, a distance of 30 miles, with a team and wagon to deliver lambs to market.  This took two days for the round trip.  Dad had been accustomed to raising sheep as a boy in Scotland and continued to do so after he came to Canada.  During the depression years of the 1930’s, the price for wool was very low.  I remember once, instead of a cheque for the wool we shipped, we received a small bill for the freight…. In later years, he built up a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle.

The first car our parents owned was a Model T. Ford, purchased about 1924 0r 1925.  Learning to drive was a real experience.  The roads were narrow and usually had mudholes at the foot of each hill.  Gravel wasn’t available and when it rained, we just stayed at home.  Living on a hill was the most convenient, as when the car wouldn’t start we would haul it around with a team of horses.