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Archive for the ‘Trails’ Category

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.

J. A. Waterman

In Alix, Alberta, Eclipse, Pioneer Farming, School, Settlers, Trails on October 6, 2020 at 8:00 AM

From “The J. A. Waterman Story – (June 1971)”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

My people were of English descent …. I was born in Monaghan township, Peterboro County, Ontario.  I had public school education.  I had one little Scotch Grandmother who used to…  give me sound spankings, which I knew I had coming to me, owing to my insatiable curiosity about everything….

I came to Calgary in 1907.   There was no work there, so I went over to Kelowna … until February 1908, when I went back to Lethbridge.  While there, there came a terrible wind.  It made the gravel rattle on the windows like hail….

I went to Lacombe and on to Alix where I knew a man who helped me acquire a homestead, which another man had given up.  S.W. 6-40-23 West of the 4th meridian was the number and there was a small log cabin there, for which I paid a reasonable amount.  The main trail went through my quarter, which was six miles from Alix.

Carpenters were working for $1.00 per day.  I began to wonder how I was going to make a living. There were no roads and no schools.  However, I secured a tender for building a school and with the money I bought a team of horses and I was away.  The people around were a fine type.  They were honest and everyone helped each other….

Well, the years went by, about ten, and I was sick and tired of batching, so I met a girl. We seemed to be getting along pretty good, so we got married.  She was of Irish descent and had a wealth of beautiful bronze red hair.  We had five boys and two girls.  One boy, a twin, died at four years old. At present all these children are scattered from Ontario to Honolulu….

Comment by A.N.

Mr. Waterman was very shy about his accomplishments, he acquired a very large herd of cattle and several quarters of land.  The school he built was the Stanton school….

Book in the Museum Collection

In Alix, Alberta, Maps, Research, Settlers, Trails on November 30, 2018 at 11:10 AM

maps and stories of the early Trails in alberta

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