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Archive for the ‘Settlers’ Category

John and Muriel Hennel

In Alix Arena, Alix, Alberta, Business, Dairy Pool, Farming, Pioneer Farming, Pioneer tools & Machinery, School, Settlers, Sports News on April 2, 2021 at 5:52 PM

From “John Christian Hennel – by Muriel Hennel and B. Parlby”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

John Christian Hennel was born on April 23, 1909 of Esthonian parents whose country was at that time under the control of Russia.  His father, William, and his mother, Ida Anete, and their seven children emigrated from the city of Tver to Canada and settled to the south of Stettler.  John, the youngest of the family, was only one month old.

After their arrival in Alberta, three more children were added to the family before tragedy struck in 1915 when William died suddenly…. Ida faced the challenge of bringing up all ten [children] as a close-knit family as well as operating the family farm very successfully.  With her help, all her sons were gradually established on farms of their own.

John was educated at Descendo School near his family home….

While living and working on his mother’s farm, John hauled cream to the Central Alberta Dairy Pool at Alix, then under the management of Mr. Nels Larson.

On December 21st of 1935, John married Muriel Knight whose parents were among the Alix District’s early settlers.  In 1936, the Hennels built their first little house in Alix….

About this time the C.A.D.P. purchased a fleet of trucks to collect cream…. John was now put in charge of servicing the entire fleet and operated the shop to the north of the plant.

When the trucks were later sold, John bought the Creamery equipment and went into his machine shop business on his own.  On the first day of December 1945, John moved into his newly built Hiway Machine Shop which the Hennels have operated ever since. [1974]  Muriel has always been his right hand assistant, keeping the books and looking after repair parts.  Muriel was also a car saleslady for Adamson Motors for two years and was top saleslady for her district.

Gradually John obtained first class papers in mechanics and welding so in demand in a country area.  Oil field welding is his specialty.

The Hennel’s daughter, Maxine, was born on July 18th, 1943 and obtained her public and high school education in the Alix Schools.  Later she took a business course in the Key Secretarial School at Red Deer.  Maxine’s skating talent in the carnivals in the Alix Arena will be long remembered.  In 1964 Maxine married Eugene Winchester of Red Deer.

They have three children, a boy, Gerry, Gay and Gid.

Former Residents of Alix (2)

In 1930s Depression, Alix, Alberta, Business, Churches, Dance Band, Farming, Organizations, Pioneer Farming, Settlers, World War !! on March 28, 2021 at 9:54 AM

From “People of Alix – as suggested by Gordon and Flora Wilton” (2)

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

Flemming: Mr. Flemming used to have a tailor shop in the old Underwood Building on Main Street in the 1920’s.  He made suits fitted to order for his customers.

Henry: Henrys kept the drug store on the corner during the 1930’s.  Mrs. Henry was a trained druggist.  This store contained many things attractive to young people….The two sons, Frank and Jack, attended school in Alix.

Hurley, Nora: Nora Hurley came out to Canada with her brothers from Ireland in 1911 and lived with or near them south of Alix.

Jones, Eric: was a veteran of World War I who took up a quarter section of land under the Soldiers Settlement Scheme Board.  He played the banjo to the accompaniment of Tom Bullivent’s piano for the dances. He retired to the coast of British Columbia.

Loney: Mr. Loney drove the bus from Alix to Edmonton via Camrose.  The children attended Alix School.  Everett Loney lives in Blackfalds [1981] and has been Brand Inspector for some years.

Marks: Mr. Marks was Mr. Loney’s father-in-law, Mrs. Marks was very active in the U.C.W.  they lived east of Alix near the overhead bridge.

Matheson, George: George Matheson worked as a mechanic in Lymbery’s or perhaps Holling’s garage.

Monts: Two brothers and their families lived in the old Early house on Lake Streetin the 1920’s.  They were probably brothers of Mrs. Oscar Sims.

Morgan, George: Mr. and Mrs. George Morgan and their family arrived from Britain some time after World War I to take up land two miles north of Alix under the Soldiers Settlement Board.  They arrived in Alix when the creek was in food.  Ulric Marryat met them at the train with his team and democrat.  On the way to their new home the team went off the grade covered with water and they got stuck.  Mrs. Morgan and the little ones had to be carried to dry land before they could continue their journey.  The boys’ names were Merlin, Herbert, and Benny.  Their sister’s name was Enid. Herbert married Isabel Martin and they had two daughters, Shirley and Pat.

Madsens lived near the overpass and not far from the Free Methodist campground.  A daughter, Lydia, became a teacher in Lacombe and is now [1981] on the town council.

Owens:  Mac Owens was born in Ireland and came to Alix in 1930.  He later left to homestead I the Peace River country but found it too hard to break land so returned to alix.  Alex Findlater found him his first job at Tom Bullivant’s.  From there he went to Harbottles.  Later he took up farming on the old Toepfer place.  Then  he sold his farm and moved to Red Deer….

Alix Residents of the Past

In Alix, Alberta, Business, Infrastructure, Organizations, Railway, School, Settlers, Stettler, World War II on March 26, 2021 at 12:23 PM

From “People of Alix as suggested by Gordon and Flora Wilton”

Gleanings from Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1981

Blairs had the Hotel during and before 1916.  They were very good friends of the Patricks.

Bogus, Frosty …was a barber in Alix in the 1930’s.  After the barber shop burned down, the family moved to Stettler.  They now live in Red Deer. [1974]

Boyston was a barber who was very fond of wrestling.  He wrestled with Morris Schnepf and others out at the Alix Fair Grounds.  He was also the drummer in Frank Brooker’s band.

Brookhart, Mrs.: lived in thehouse where the Mortimers lived later.  She kept many boarders.  Mrs. Brookhart was admired for her courage as she did her work from a wheelchair having had one leg amputated. She was most wonderful cheery person and raised her family of boys by herself.  Cliff Brookhart served in the Armed Forces in world War II.  Later the Brookharts moved to Stettler.

Chinn: Chinn and Fisher operated the garage which later became W.E. Jennings’. The two families were related.  A great tragedy occurred when Mrs. Chinn tried to clean clothes with gasoline.  The vapour caught fire and Mrs. Chinn was burned to death….

Cole: The Cole family lived on a place with a little house close to Highway 12 near Alix.  The family consisted of the parents and four children: Henry, Ida, Patricia… and Wesley; all of the children attended school in Alix.  Henry Cole worked for “Caterpillar” for many years….

Collins: Mr. and Mrs. John Collins lived in the C.P.R. Railway Station as John Collins was the station agent for Alix in the 1930’s.  They were active in community affairs, especially curling. Two children, Jack and Illene, attended school in Alix.  Jack joined the Navy during World War II….

Ditto, Ella nee Toepfer was for some time telephone operator in Alix.  She married Andrew Ditto some years after his first wife died and lived with him on the Ditto place just north of town.  They retire to Kelowna after the farm was sold to John Henry Ditto.

Ferguson, Mr.: owned the Drug Store in the 1920’s.  He was also agent for Watkins Products.  Willie Ferguson, the son, attended the school in Alix.

Ferguson: Another family of this name lived in North Alix during the 1920’s.  Carmen married Mrs. DeZutter’s daughter.

Cuthbert and Margaret (McRoberts) Wolferstan

In Alix Creamery, Alix, Alberta, Churches, Dairy Pool, Famous 5 Persons Case, Farming, Hickling, Lamerton, Mirror AB, Organizations, Pioneer Medical Health, Political Parties, Ripley, School, School Trustees, Settlers, Trails, U.F.A., Wheat Pool on March 8, 2021 at 1:53 AM

From “Cuthbert Wolferstan – by Peggy Wolferstan Purkis”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Cuthbert Wolferstan was born in Plymouth, Devon, England, where he was educated and grew up.  His father was a solicitor (barrister) and had as one of his clients the Rev. John Hall Parlby … whose two sons Walter and Edward had settled earlier in the Buffalo Country.   It was natural then that Cuthbert (Bert) should come out to Canada with a nephew of the Parlbys, Jack Arbuthnott, and that they both should make their first Canadian homes at Dartmoor and Long Valley Ranches.

After working for Edward Parlby some little time, Bert Wolferstan went to work for … Edwin Goater who had homesteaded west of the present site of Mirror.

In 1905 he filed on his own homestead six miles north of [Alix.]

Having proved up on the homestead, he sold his livestock and went to work for a time in and around Edmonton.  It was just then that the University of Alberta was being started.  Bert … was called upon with his team to turn the first sod.  This was done the evening before the official beginning.  The site was carefully ploughed, then the sod was rolled back in place as though undisturbed.  The next day, with Premier Rutherford driving the team and the University President Dr. H.M. Tory at the handles of the walking plough, the first furrow turned over without a hitch.

Bert’s next adventure was an exploratory trip into the country north of Edmonton … and he returned to the homestead.  In December of 1910 he married Margaret McRoberts, who had come from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was nursing in Edmonton….

It was during these early years that Bert Wolferstan and John Bailey with their teams opened up a wagon trail which wound through the hills to the little hamlet of Alix.

Between the years of 1912 and … 1916 three children were born…: Margaret, or Peggy – now [1974] Mrs. Ronald Purkis- lives on the homestead; Nancy – Mrs. Joe Drushka of Alix; and a son Thomas who now lives in Mirror.

In 1916 Bert Wolferstan became the proud owner of a Model T Ford.  Before he had time to become a practical driver, he took his young family for a little ride. The car was going well but he wanted to stop it and was not sure just how to accomplish this. His solution was to drive it into the soft butt of a haystack.  The car stopped.

Mrs. Wolferstan, as a trained nurse, was often called upon to help in emergencies. She brought many of the children of pioneers into the world.  She nursed with Dr. A.E. Chown.  Dr. McLellan was a very good doctor….

The Wolferstans were always very active community people and members of the Anglican Church. Bert was vestryman and warden, first at St. Monica’s Lamerton (later Mirror), and in his later years at St. Pancras, Alix…. Bert was one of the prime movers in the building of the Hickling School…. later he became a trustee and then Secretary-Treasurer of the Alix Board.

Bert Wolferstan was active in the Farm Movement… and one of the first members of the United Farmers of Alberta…. Working with George Bell, a farmer of the Ripley District… he scoured the country for contract signers for the Alberta Wheat Pool…. With Fred MacDonald and Jack May he spear-headed a drive to organize the Buffalo Lake Livestock Co-operative.

When the United Farmers of Alberta entered politics he became Secretary of the Constituency Association, and was returning officer during the Honorable Irene Parlby’s campaigns. An original member of the Central Alberta Dairy Pool he served on that Board as delegate, and then as Chairman.

Jerome & Lucy (Underwood) Thomas

In Clive AB, Entertainment, Farming, freighting, Pioneer Farming, Settlers, theft, Trails on February 21, 2021 at 12:21 AM

From “The Jerome Thomas Story – by Howard Thomas”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Jerome Thomas was born in 1854 and his wife the former Lucy Underwood was born the same year.  Grandfather came by democrat the year before moving up from Iowa to the Clive area about 1901.  His possessions were shipped to Lacombe and then moved out by wagon.  Their homestead is … NW 22-40-24-4. 

Grandma ran a “stopping house” for travellers freighting between Lacombe and Red Willow on the old Buffalo Lake trail.  This trip used to take 3-4 days.  They used to hang a lantern from the peak of the roof out the upstairs window and this could be seen as you came over Church Hill….

One fellow tells how he used to stop for supper at Thomas’ and while he was inside eating, he had a bent pin through a kernel of corn tied to a string and fastened to the wagon outside. An old hen would swallow the corn and when the traveller drove off the chicken led behind firmly tethered by that string pinned in the corn.  Once driven over the hill, ole hen would get her neck wrung. [T]hus the fellow had his next day’s dinner as well.

The Thomas children were all musical.  There were Bert, Jess, Belle, Lorena, Will, Minnie, Jim and Roy.

They played for dances miles around the country and would travel in the winter by sleigh with hot stones to keep their feet warm.

Jerome Thomas died in 1912 and Lucy Thomas in 1918….

Roy the youngest son, never married.  He stayed on the family homestead for many years. His sister Lorena Handley kept house for him.

Fred and Annie Stalia Fisher

In Clive AB, Enterprise School, Farming, Infrastructure, Lakeside District, Pioneer Farming, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Railway, School, Settlers on February 1, 2021 at 9:58 AM

From “Mr. and Mrs. Fred B. Fisher”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Mr. and Mrs. Fred B. Fisher came from Kearney, Nebraska to Lacombe, Alberta and on March 1st, 1900, [they] and five daughters moved out 7 ½ miles south-east of Lacombe to the Lakeside district.  The family lived on a quarter section of land owned at that time by Mr. Darling.

Mr. Fisher purchased a team of horses, a walking plough and two sections of harrows. No one in this area owned a seed drill.  Mr. Fisher sowed his feed by broadcasting.  In his spare time Dad walked to his homestead in the Clive area and built a log house and barn on NW-20-40-24-4.

In 1903 we moved to the homestead 1 mile south-east of Clive.  The land was cleared by cutting huge trees and roots with an axe.

Directly across the trail was… the land [where] the first school was erected by Dad and some of the neighbors.  All of the labor was volunteered with no wages for anyone.

The name of this first school in the area was “Enterprise” No.701….

During this time several of the men, Dad included, prepared the site for the village of “Valley City” which was later named Clive – with a team of horses and a bob-sleigh.

Dad hauled lumber, groceries, etc. from Lacombe to Lamerton, Erskine and Alix as there were no railroads yet….

Dad, Mother and we children lived in the log house until 1918, when we moved to the Lakeside district.  Dad bought a half-section of land from Mr. Mole, who had built a lovely brick house here, in 1915.

There were quantities of delicious wild fruits, including saskatoons, chokecherries, raspberries, strawberries….

My mother’s name was Annie Stalia Fisher and our family consisted of 11 girls and I boy. They were Daisy, Myrtle, Ida (myself), Mildred, Lorena, Minnie, Rosie, Fred Jr., Josephine, Violet, Annie and Ruby….

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Johnson and their daughter Sarah, later she married Jim Grose; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Fisher and five daughters; Mrs. Ernie Short, Clem, Bill, Jennie and Grace, a baby in her mother’s arms; Mrs. Aden Joslin and her daughter rode on the same train coach from the States until we all landed in Lacombe.  Gussie, their daughter, teaching school in Minnesota, followed them here when summer holidays took place, later marrying Jim Tees.

Clive Community Hall

In Clive AB, Coal & wood heating, Entertainment, Infrastructure, Organizations, School, Settlers on January 24, 2021 at 10:28 AM

From “The Clive Community Hall”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

As the population of the Village of Clive and of the surrounding area was increasing, the need was felt for a building to hold large meetings, or in those early days funerals… J.T. Reynolds, F. E. Allison and R.N. Longstreet were then council members and at their council meeting of July 30, 1928 a motion was passed to sell lots one, two, three and four in Block 22, plan XLVII to the newly formed Clive Community Hall Company Limited for the sum of one dollar.

The new company then proceeded to sell shares to finance the building they wished to construct.

E.L. Reynolds was president of this new company and H. B. Scott secretary.  They sold 114 shares.

The next year the Hall was built and open for many activities, dances, suppers, concerts and local talent plays when the seating of the hall was taxed to capacity.  It was a great entertainment centre but rental prices were low and power and fuel costly, so financially they were in the red and owed the bank approximately 3000.00 dollars.  In November 1943 a shareholders’ meeting was called…. <r. Eb Wagner and Mrs. Somervillle seconded a motion that we try to borrow the money in small amounts to pay the bank and try to pay off our debts within the next three years.  This motion carried by a large majority and a new board was set up with Mrs. W.H. Somerville as president.  The Clive council gave a donation as did the Clive School Board.  They felt indebted to the hall for its use for school fairs and Christmas concerts.  Several amounts of one to four hundred dollars were loaned.  Now the work began, suppers, sports days, plays and other entertainments were held.  All the people in the district were wonderful.  They donated time and food and in less than three years the money was paid back with interest.

Now many of the shareholders had passed on or moved away, so it was difficult to get a quorum for a shareholders’ meeting.  All the shareholders left were notified by registered mail of a meeting to be held on March 15, 1952.  There was a very good turnout at this meeting and a motion was passed that a Clive Community Hall Association be formed with a board of six members elected at the annual meeting.  These members were to appoint a secretary-treasurer who would also be a member of the board.  This board was to administer the current business and welfare of the hall.

The new board members elected were E.L. Reynolds, Eb Wagner, V.G. Duffy, M. Oro and W. Morton.  K. Nelson was the new secretary….

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….

Earl Barnes Story

In Coal & wood heating, Farming, freighting, Nebraska District, Pioneer Farming, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Settlers, World War I on December 5, 2020 at 9:45 AM

From “The Earl Barnes Story”(from a story by Earl Barnes)

Pioneers and Progress, Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1974

I was born in Muskoka county, Ontario in 1895.  Dad kept sheep and did butchering for nearby hotels.  There were lots of tourists even then. In winter he worked in the bush, and he and his brothers were guides for hunters….

We then moved to North Bay where my Dad worked in the bush again. 

The last winter we were there Dad hired 19 men and with mother doing the cooking, they got big sleighs, one with a sprinkler on it, and made ice roads to haul the heavy loads.

…[w]hen we landed at Lacombe Dad had $40 left.

We lived 4 miles west of Lacombe in a house of Mr. Draders, all the kids got measles and Dad got pneumonia.  Dad got better and bought a team of oxen and went to work.  We then moved north of Bentley.  Dad bought a 22 rifle and about 6 shells and told me to keep meat on the table.  I went into the woods to get a partridge and shot off all my shells and every one hit a willow bush.  On the way home I saw something that stopped me in my tracks it was a lynx, and the longer I looked at it the bigger it got.  I guess I was the scaredest boy that ever lived.  Dad finally rescued me and by next spring I was out shooting by myself. We lived in a shack about 12 x 16 feet.  We had one little stove and since we did not have coal oil for a lamp, we used to leave the stove door open for light in the evening. Mother and us kids never saw Dad until he came home in the spring.  In 1909 Dad got a job in Lacombe and worked for Carl Nelson in a harness and shoe repair shop.  This man had SW1/4-41-24 W4 in the Nebraska district and somehow, they made a trade and we moved out in 1910.  It was closer to school.  In 1915 Dad joined the army and went to England and France.  I went in 1918 but only got to Sarcee camp in Calgary.

from “Rude-Rottenfusser by Mrs. Jenny Rottenfusser” part 2

In Alix Creamery, Alix, Alberta, Boy Scouts, Carroll, Cattle, Farming, Hairdressers, Horses, Organizations, Railway, School, Settlers, World War !! on December 1, 2020 at 8:38 AM

Pioneers and Progress, Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1974

Albert Rottenfusser bought the W1/2-26-39-22-W4 in the spring of 1940.  This was Hudson’s Bay land which had been farmed by Jim Carroll. On May 4th Albert and his brother John came from Stettler bringing horses and machinery with which to farm.  As there were no buildings on the place they hauled out a granary in which to live.

During the summer John and Albert bought a cottage at Buffalo Lake which consisted of three rooms and a screened-in veranda.  It was not lined inside so was terribly cold in the winter; the tea kettle would freeze on the stove. Ten head of horses were moved to move the building until they came to the sand hill between Ira Mann’s and home.  To get up the hill it took fourteen horses, Tony De Wald’s tractor, blocks and tackle.  A brother-in-law, Vernon Bignell, also helped.

Mr. and Mrs. John Rottenfusser Sr. had homesteaded in the Botha district, after coming from the state of Washington.  Mrs. Rottenfusser, and her eldest daughter, Mary, then a baby, were on the first passenger train that ran from Lacombe to Stettler in the fall of 1905.  In December 1940 they moved to the Alix district, buying the Peterman farm in the Ripley district….

Vernon and Frances Bignell came to the old Abe Carroll homestead west of Lee and Carl Carroll’s in 1945….

During the war years Albert served in the R.C.A.F.  His brother John and his wife, Alice, lived on the farm.  In 1944 the taxes for the north quarter were $39.09 and for the south quarter $$41.16; in 1973 the taxes on the same were $136.80 and $130.72.  In March 1947 Paul Winters drilled a well for Albert.  It was 210 feet deep, total price $329.75….     Albert and I were married in Lacombe….

Brian was born September 4, 1947, and Wanda on July 4, 1949.  When Wanda was a baby, we got a new roof and remodelled the house, turning the veranda into a kitchen and dining room.

We bought Mrs. Sibert’s land, NW1/4 27-39-22 through the V.L.A. in 1952. We also got our first tractora Model D Case….

Carroll School closed in June 1953.  In September, when Brian started school, the children were bussed into Alix.  Ned Barritt was our bus driver, a job he held for sixteen years.  The Carroll Community Club bought the school as a community center….

We had Aberdeen Angus range cows, but Holstein milk cows, and shipped cream to Alix Creamery.  It was much easier after we got electricity and a milking machine.

Albert took an active interest in the Canadian Order of Foresters and was Leader of Boy Scouts until his illness and passing in 1966.

Some years the berries were in abundance.  It would be like a picnic, with neighbour ladies coming to pick and having coffee….

Brian is working for his Masters in Geology at the time of this writing [1974] …. Wanda and I stayed on the farm  until she graduated from grade 12.  In 1967 we moved to Calgary when she entered university….