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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….

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.

Alix School 1958 The Inkspot Grade Seven

In Alix, Alberta, School on January 23, 2020 at 3:34 AM

From “Anton Fischer – By Kathrine (Vogel) Fischer”

In Alix, Alberta, Carroll, Nevis, School, Settlers on January 22, 2020 at 2:32 PM

From “Anton Fischer – By Kathrine (Vogel) Fischer”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix – Clive Historical Club, 1974

Mr. and Mrs. Anton (Tony for short) Fischer and their five children, Robert, Margaret, Frances, Kathrine, and Lawrence, arrived in the Alix district early in the spring of 1925 from their homestead in south-eastern Alberta.  They first settled on the George Nielsen farm in the Stanton district.  The four oldest children attended the Stanton school that year.  Lawrence passed away in the fall of that year.

Then in the spring of 1926 they moved along with their family to the A.G. Ditto place on the northern outskirts of Alix.  Here they farmed and helped Mr. Ditto with the dairy for two years.  The children attended Alix School.  In April of 1928 they again made a move, this time to the D.C. Anderson place in the Nevis area.  Here was home for the next five years. The children all attended school at Carroll, but as the years went by … Kathrine was the only one left in school when they left here in April 1933….

Robert and Kathrine moved to Lacombe with their parents in April 1933….

Their children now [1974]: Robert Fischer of Vancouver, B.C. Mrs. Mike (Margaret) Gaetz, Lacombe, Alberta….Frances – Sister Mary Frances Louise S.S.A., Victoria….

Mrs. Albert (Katharine) Vogel of Lacombe.

from “Mr. and Mrs. John Rasmussen, Mary and Bruce Marsh – by Mary Marsh”

In 1930s Depression, Alix, Alberta, Carradale School, Coal Mining, Farming, Gough Lake, Heatburg, Hickling, Mirror AB, Museums, Pioneer Farming, Railway, School, Settlers, Zenith on January 19, 2020 at 4:03 AM

From “Mr. and Mrs. John Rasmussen, Mary and Bruce Marsh – by Mary Marsh”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Copies of this book are available for purchase at Alix Home Hardware and the Alix Wagon Wheel Museum.

Mum, Dad and I came to the farm in March 1917.  I remember Daddy telling about how much snow there was when we arrived at the siding at Heatburg.  If I remember correctly, they bought the land from a fellow by the name of Lunn. … We were on the farm until 1921 when we moved to Nordegg, where Dad worked in the mine for a year.  In 1922 we returned to the farm where we stayed until the folks sold it in 1945.  They rented it to Victor Mitchell for two years and they lived in Alix where I went to High School. 

During those years between 1922 and ’45 Daddy worked in the mine at the river, also in the mine in Ardley (where he lost his eye) and then on the railway as a sectionman. All the time he ran the farm as well, raising a little grain, pigs, a few cattle and a lot of chickens.  When they sold the farm they moved to Edmonton where they lived until they passed away, Mum in 1960 and Dad in 1970.

Note – Mrs. Rassmussen was a good gardener, did beautiful needlework, smocking, crocheting, tatting.  She taught the neighbourhood girls to do these things and they appreciated it very much. – M.P.

About me – I was born in Calgary and was three years old when we moved to the farm…. I went to school by van to Alix (grade 1), at Nordegg for grade II.  Carradale school district was formed the winter that we moved back to the farm.

I remember my dad and a friend used eight horses to move the school building from Horse Shoe Lake Ranch across the lake, with the with the ice cracking underneath it, and Mum and I running alongside….

I finished Grade 8 at Carradale, then took grades 9 and 10 in Alix and Grades 11 and 12 In Stettler, went to Normal School in Camrose in 1931 and ’32.  I taught the Carradale School for three years, then Gough lake, Zenith, Mirror and Hickling.  I married Bruce Marsh in June 1940 and we finally moved to Leduc where we both carried on with teaching until June, 1970….

Bruce taught at Stanton School and… formed an orchestra in Alix….

Martens, Peter, Fritz, and Frank.

In 1930s Depression, Alix, Alberta, Coal Mining, Entertainment, Farming, Haynes, School, Stone School District on January 18, 2020 at 12:04 PM

From “Peter Martens”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Peter Martens was born in Hamburg, Germany.  He came to the United States in 1901 and worked in several states before coming to Canada in 1908.  He homesteaded in Coronation at the time.  He farmed in the summer and worked in the coal mines in the winter in Edmonton.  He lived in a sod shack till 1913 when he moved 2 granaries together for a house.  In 1913 he was married to Emma Seidel who came from Dresden, Germany.  Mrs. Martens nursed in Dresden before coming to Canada.  In 1915 a son, Fritz, was born.  In 1918 a daughter Charlotte, was born. Mr. Martens moved to the Haynes district in September of the same year to the N.E.1/4, S. 26, T. 38, R.24, W.4. The Martens family stayed with John Carter for one week before moving a tar paper shack on to their own place.  In June of 1920, a son, Frank was born.  There were about 20 acres broken on the farm and 27 sloughs full of ducks and muskrats.  The first two crops were put in by Mrs. Martens driving the wagon and Pete broadcasting the grain and using a pile of brush as a harrow.  The year 1924 was very dry, the weed pile was as large as the grain pile.  The Russells threshed for us several years with the Steamer.  They bought their first radio in October, 1928. In May of 1929 they bought their first car. In 1918 Guss Kriewald came to Alix from coronation.  He bought the Andy Ditto farm.  Guss died about 1922.  Bertha Kriewald was Peter’s sister.  They had one daughter Elsie, born around 1900. Fred Martens, Peter’s brother moved to Haynes with Peter.  He left Haynes in 1921, moving back to Coronation where he died in 1940. 

From “Fritz Martens”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Fritz was born at Coronation in 1915 and moved with his parents in 1918.  He started school in 1922.  He went to the Stone School which was one mile east of where he lived.  Hazel Stewart and Marie Moorhouse were in his grade all through school except for two years when they lived on A. Thomas’ farm.  The big event in 1927 as Picture shows in the Haynes Hall.  In 1933 he bought 143 acres from Bob Russell and a milk cow was the down payment.  He farmed till 1939.  He spent one year working in the Aircraft Plant in Montreal and one year at Boeings in Vancouver.  He spent about 4 years in the army.  After the war he cooked for the C.P.R. and White Lunch Café.  He came back to Haynes in July 1948 and bought the Dick Stewart place and farmed there ‘til 1959 when he moved to B.C.

From “Frank Martens”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Frank was born in June 1920 on the farm one mile north of where he now lives. [1974]  He bought the quarter south of his father’s in 1937 and farmed with his dad until 1943 when Mr. Martens retired.  In 1944 Frank took over his father’s place and lived there until 1954 when he moved to his present location. [1974] S.E.1/4, S26,T38, R24, W.4.  In July 1951 he married Gloria Larson from Onion Lake, Sask.  They have five children, Dwayne…Neil…Gary…Terry and Lori….

Alix Free Press Jan. 16, 1931 Alix School Cuts Salaries

In 1930s Depression, Alix, Alberta, Business, School, School Teachers, School Trustees on December 8, 2019 at 9:44 PM

George Stanton Story

In Alix, Alberta, Business, Pioneer Farming, School, Settlers, Stanton on November 28, 2019 at 8:02 PM

From “George Stanton Story – by Alma (Stanton)Pollock and Edith (Stanton) Pullman” Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Our father, George Albert Stanton, and mother, Esther Ann Stanton, lived in Port Stanley, Ontario.  Gordon, Edith and Mildred were born there by 1900.  Jack was born in Dutton, Ontario.  In 1905 the family decided to come to Alberta. My father took up a homestead near Alix on N.W. ¼ of 28-39-23.  Our family lived in Lacombe for a year, then moved out to a log house with a sod roof.  A year later they built a frame house.  While we lived in Lacombe, William Albert was born in 1905.

Father worked in the butcher shop in Alix for the first years.  Mother and the children looked after the farm while he was away.  During this time Edith and Gordon went to school in Alix.  I, Alma Rose, was born in 1907…. Mrs. Primus brought me into the world.  I was given her name….

In 1908 the settlers applied for a school and it was named Stanton for our family.  It was built in 1909, and my father was a Trustee on the board for a number of years.  We all attended school there.

My brother, Thomas Harry, was born in 1915 and the youngest one, Frances Ann, was born after we went to Edmonton.

1958 Grade 8 N – Y The Inkspot

In Alix, Alberta, School on November 27, 2019 at 1:29 AM

There are many more school photos at the Alix Wagon Wheel Museum.

1958 Grade 9 Alix School The Inkspot

In Alix, Alberta, School on October 8, 2019 at 1:25 AM