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A.J. Watt family

  • SPRA-0144
  • Family

A.J. Watt was born Albert Edward Watts in Suderland, Ontario on December 23, 1873 to Samuel and Bridgit Watts. On December 29, 1897, in the Diocese of Toronto, he married Mary Frances Purvis, of the Township of Brock. The couple had two children: Ernest Russell born Feb. 19, 1899, and Earl Edward born August 26, 1903.
In 1906 the family moved to Dundurn, Saskatchewan, and in 1914 to the Grande Prairie area, coming in over the Edson Trail, a month-long trip. They filed on three homesteads in the Flying Shot area, the home place being SW 3-71-6-W6. Ernie and Earl completed their schooling at Flying Shot Lake School and supplimented the family income by trapping – mostly coyotes.
By 1924, Albert Edward Watts was going by the name Arthur James Watt. In 1951, when the Old Age Security Act was passed, he applied to the federal government for a birth certificate under that name in order to prove that he qualified for the pension; the reply stated that there was no record of his birth. He then re-applied under the name Albert Edward Watts. No explanation is available for the change of name, but all income tax, correspondence and family stories in the Along the Wapiti history book are recorded under the name Arthur James Watt.
Ernie took out his own homestead, SE 31-70-6-W6, and he and A.J. farmed together. During the 1930s Ernie and Earl worked in the Globe coal mine.
Mary Frances Watt passed away in 1944, and A.J. Watt in 1957. Earl married Olive Ethel Mutch and lived first in High Prairie and then Grande Prairie. He passed away in 1978. Ernie continued to farm the three homesteads as well as Dr. Little’s homestead. In later life he resided in Wild Rose Manor and then Mackenzie Place. He died in 1998 at age 99.

Adames (family)

  • glen-7
  • Family
  • 1867-1961

Henry James Adames, 1867-1955, was born in Chichester, Sussex, England. He served in the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), 1888-1889. In 1892 he married Florence Maude Carpenter, 1868-1948, in Kenora, Ontario. They had four children, Eric L., 1899-1961, Winifred Helen, 1900-1943, Kathline, [ca. 1902]-1902, and Eileen, 1903-1993. In 1894 the family moved to Medicine Hat, Alberta. They moved to Calgary in 1899, and Henry worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) for a few years, then joined the Sheriff's office. From 1920 to 1933 the family lived in Hanna, Alberta, where Henry was Sheriff and Clerk of the Supreme and District Court. On his retirement in 1933 the family returned to Calgary and made their home in the Scarboro district. They were very active in the Anglican Church, and attended the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Calgary. Eric served overseas during First World War and continued his military service after the war, with the RCAF in Caron, Saskatchewan. He retired to Victoria, British Columbia.

Adler (family)

  • jhse
  • Family

Meyer Adler was born in New York in 1906. Meyer's wife, Lilly Spiegel was born in Poland in 1906 and came to New York in 1919. The Adlers were married in 1927 and came to Vegreville on their honeymoon to visit their uncle, Louis Berg. Meyer Adler, impressed with the countryside and the economic possibilities of the region, bought a confectionery store from Mr. Berg and went into business in Vegreville. Over the years, the Adlers operated several stores in Vegreville before opening Adler's Department Store in 1964. The Adlers had five children, Sid, Bernie, Eli, Ted, and Diane. All five children attended university at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Bernie and Eli became dentists, Sid returned to Vegreville to run the Adler store, Ted became involved in the manufacture of furniture, and Diane became involved in real estate. Adler's department store closed in 1995 and Sid Adler retired to Edmonton. Meyer Adler passed away in 1979 and Lilly Adler died in 1985. Eli Adler married Phyllis Smordin, and they had four children. Phyllis was a Negev Dinner Honouree in 2005.

Alexander family

  • spra-0572
  • Family

William Alexander was born on October 21, 1862 at the “Bent of Haulkerton”, Laurencekirk, near Montrose, Scotland. He was the son of William Alexander and Jessie Cream Fettes. William Sr., born 1816, was the son of Thomas Alexander and Elizabeth Milne in Forfarshire. Thomas’ father and grandfather were also named William. Jessie Cream Fettes, born 1824, was the daughter of Lawrencekirk’s Dr. James Fettes and Euphemia Cream. William Sr. and Jessie had 12 children, of whom one immigrated to Canada, some immigrated to New Zealand, and the others remained in Scotland. William and Jessie farmed a holding of 462 acres, with several employees, which they had inherited from William’s father. The farm was known as the “Bent” and remained in the Alexander family until 1930, when William’s brother, Jim, sold it and retired to Montrose.

William left Scotland at the age of 18, bound for New York, later moving to Canada, drawn by the gold rush. He became involved in the Riel Rebellion as the driver of a Red River cart and eventually made his way to Edmonton after the Rebellion ended. From there he went to Rossland, British Columbia, where he married Emilie Dannhauer in 1896. She had been born in 1873 in Pembroke, Ontario, the daughter of Paul Dannhauer and Caroline Gutzmann. Her family had journeyed west to the Stony Plain area in 1892.

The couple later returned to the Edmonton area where William worked in a lumbermill. They had 5 surviving children: William Paul (born 1897 in Rossland, BC), Charles Edward (born 1899 in Inga, Alberta), Frederick Arthur (born 1903 in Inga), Jean Emilie (born 1906 in Inga), and Maggie Helen (born 1908 in Strathcona).

In 1910, William walked to the Peace Country in search of land. The rest of the family followed in the spring of 1911 with a caboose and sleighs pulled by ox teams over the Long Trail. William filed on homestead land west of the town of Rycroft (portion of NE 5 and SE 8 78-5 W6th) in 1911 and obtained an additional half-section using South African scrip (NW 4 and SW 9 78-5 W6th), gaining the patent to the land in April 1916. A large two-story home was built, which was later used as a hospital during the 1918 influenza epidemic. William Alexander was also one of Rycroft’s first reeves, serving on council 1918-1919.

On August 10, 1916, Emilie Alexander died of Bright’s Disease and the rest of the family dispersed shortly thereafter. William Jr. and Edward enlisted for service in the First World War, Arthur moved to Edmonton to take classes, and Jean and Maggie were sent to Edmonton to live with relatives, where they remained for the next five years.

William Sr. sold the farm in 1918 and in 1919 moved to Bear Flats, beyond Fort St. John, where he invested in Aberdeen Angus cattle. Unfortunately, the onset of a depression made the venture unprofitable. From there William Sr. and Edward went to Fort Fitzgerald and Fort Smith, where William was killed in a logging accident on June 6, 1928.

Bill Jr. farmed at Rycroft after the war then moved to Appleton in 1935 to assist his sister, Jean, by then a widow. He married Ida Walker there. William died in 1966 and is buried next to his mother in the Rycroft cemetery.

Edward married Kae Eggen from Edmonton in 1930. He lived in several mining communities in western and northern Canada, finally settling in Fort Saskatchewan due to ill health. Edward and Kae had two sons, William and Arthur. Edward died in 1973 and is buried in Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Fort Saskatchewan.

Arthur was a bookkeeper and store manager in Hudson’s Hope and married Violet Neilson from Fort St. John in June 1918. They had a son, also named Arthur. Arthur Sr. died in 1938 and is buried in the Rycroft cemetery next to his mother.

Jean moved to Grande Prairie to finish High School and then to Victoria to attend Normal school in 1924. She taught in Rycroft from 1925 until 1928. Jean married Herbert O’Brien and the couple had three daughters, Margaret, Alice Jean, and Erin. Herb passed away in 1935, leaving Jean a young widow. She taught at Appleton until 1942, when she moved to Grande Prairie. She then continued her career at Montrose School and the Grande Prairie Composite High School until retiring in 1975. Jean was also very involved in the Grande Prairie music festival and served as church organist for the United Church for many years. She died in 2001 and is buried in the Grande Prairie Cemetery.

Maggie married Emil Baron from Stony Plain in 1931 and the couple had three children: Douglas, Jean, and Gurth. Maggie was employed as a secretary-bookkeeper in Edmonton and at the town office in Fort Saskatchewan. She died in 1995.

Anahareo family

  • glen-3806
  • Family
  • 1906-1986

Anahareo, 1906-1986, was born Gertrude Bernard to an Iroquois family in Mattawa, Ontario. In the mid-1920s she married Grey Owl (Archibald Belaney), 1888-1938. She encouraged her husband to abandon trapping and to engage in the conservation efforts that later made him famous. They had two daughters, Shirley Dawn (McKay, later Bruce, later Richardson), 1932-1984, and Anne (Gaskell), 1937- . Dawn devoted much of her life to promoting the ideas and reputation of her father. Anahareo and Grey Owl separated in 1936 and in 1939 she married Count Eric Axel Moltke-Huitfeldt, 1906-1963, a member of a Swedish noble family who lived in Saskatchewan and later Alberta. They had a daughter Katherine (Swartile), 1941- . In 1972 Anahareo wrote the best-seller, Devil in Deerskins : My Life With Grey Owl and she was awarded the Order of Canada in 1983. In 1954 Dawn married La Verne McKay, 1916-1981, and they had two children, Sandra Deane McKay (Woodcock) and Glaze Stansfield McKay. She later married Arthur Bruce. In 1979 she married Bob Richardson, 1927-2007. Dawn's novel, Smoke, was published posthumously (Manotick : Penumbra, 2004). Bob wrote a memoir of their life together entitled A Face Beside the Fire. In 1988 the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated Anahareo's cabin at Prince Albert National Park as a National Historic Site. For further information see Anahareo : A Wilderness Spirit / Kristin Gleeson. -- Tucson: Fireship Press, 2012.

Anderson (family)

  • MED
  • Family
  • 1872-[ca.1980]

James Anderson of Stenness, Orkney, who was baptised in 1775, served with the Hudson's Bay Co. at Brandon House. He married a Salteaux woman, Mary (Maria), and they had 14 children. James Anderson and his family later settled on land along the Red River. James was buried in Portage LaPrairie in 1856; his wife Mary, in 1854. John, the eldest son of James and Mary Anderson, was born September 4, 1804. He also worked for the Hudson's Bay Co. John married Mary Desmarais and the couple had 13 children, two of whom died in infancy. John settled close to his parents on the Red River. He died in 1883 and his wife, in 1884. Charles Thomas, the 9th child of John and Mary Anderson, was baptised in 1840. In 1853, he and his entire family moved to Portage LaPrairie where he met and later married Maria Cook in 1859. One of their 13 children, James, settled in Medicine Hat. Charles passed away in 1909. James Thomas Anderson, the 9th child of Charles and Maria was born in Manitoba on March 13, 1874. James and his brother Cohn both suffered from tuberculosis and were advised to move to a drier climate, so both joined the Dominion of Canada Surveying Crew and travelled extensively in Western Canada. James later settled in Medicine Hat. He was involved in the cattle drive at the site which later became known as Drowning Ford, where numerous cattle were lost, and later was employed with one of Medicine Hat's earliest residents, James Sanderson. James Francis Sanderson (1848-1902), who was born in Eastern Canada, accompanied his family on buffalo hunting expeditions to Western Canada. He participated in the opposition to the Riel Rebellion and was taken prisoner by Riel's men. In 1872, he married Maria McKay, the daughter of Edward McKay, a leading Indian trader, who had settled in the Cypress Hills but continued to travel the western prairies and hunt buffalo. They had 4 children, Caroline, Owen, Duncan and Mary. In 1882, the Sandersons' and McKays' moved to Medicine Hat. Here James Francis worked on construction of the CPR, ran a bull herd and collected buffalo bones to be sent east to be made into fertilizer. He also was agent for the coal mine in 1899, held the ice contract for the CPR and was wolf inspector for the district. In addition, he also ran a profitable livery stable. He was considered an expert on Indian culture and wrote a series of articles in 1894, entitled "Indian Tales of the Canadian Prairies". He was among one of the most highly regarded and influential pioneers of the area. As part of his duties while working for James Sanderson, James Anderson was to protect and escort Mary Sanderson, their well-educated daughter. James and Mary married in St. Barnabas church in 1900, and homesteaded in the Golden Valley Farm area and at Finn's Lake. Their 7 children, Charles, Isabelle, Mary, Bertha, Howard, Owen and Dora, were all raised in that area. Both James and Mary were musical and music was very important to their family. They were one of the few families to own a piano, and their love of music was passed to their descendants. Mary passed away in 1952 and James, in 1961. Bertha Laura Sanderson, born October 8, 1907, married Daniel Harry Hogg (born 1903) in June, 1937. Their son, Nelson (April 1, 1939), compiled information about the family and donated it to the archives. Space does not permit further information to be included about these large families. There is much more biographical and general data about various family members in the manuscripts.

Anderson, McCaig (family)

  • MED-485
  • Family
  • 1917-1965

Solomon (Sam) and Hannah (nee Swanson) Anderson came from Sweden and were married near Sidewood SK in 1893. Sam worked for the CPR at various points between Swift Current and Medicine Hat. They came to live in Medicine Hat around 1902, homesteading across the river from Police Point. They later moved onto a ranch and from there, into the city into a home on 9th Street. They had three children; Arthur, Amelia, and Gustav. Arthur went to work for the CPR after graduation, and later became a Civil Engineer with the New York Central Rail Road working in Washington DC. At the end of his career he retired to Colorado Springs CO. Amelia married Lorne McCaig in 1917. Lorne McCaig was born in 1891 in Quebec and came west with his brothers Bill and Jack in 1906, homesteading near Elkwater for a couple of years. He later moved into Medicine Hat and went into the hauling business. He was a pick-up man at rodeos for years and was one of the original directors of the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede. Lorne and Amelia McCaig had three children; Irene, Jimmy, and Harold. Lorne passed away in 1962, and Amelia died in 1979. Irene McCaig married Emil Hoffman; Jimmy McCaig wed Mary Lanz; and Harold Lorne McCaig married Ruby Moe. Harold drowned in 1965.

Anderton-Luyten (family)

  • MED-819
  • Family
  • 1913-02-23/2007-01-02

Dirk or Dick Luyten was born in Tide Lake Alta, on February 23, 1913. His parents had immigrated from Holland before he was born. Mr.Luyten was raised in Redcliff and Medicine Hat. He served with the Canadian Army Overseas from 1942 until 1945. Upon his return he continued his employment with the T. Eaton Co., a relationship which lasted for 45 years. Dick started with the Eaton company as a seasonal employee for the Christmas rush, after which he was immediately rehired as a truck driver. Over the course of his career, Dick would go on to attain the position of Department Manager in charge of deliveries, receiving, store supplies, warehouse, and fire protection.
Dick Luyten married Ethel E. Anderton on May 24th, 1941. Ethel graduated from Alexandria High School and later, Garbutt's Business College. She was offered a position working for the Minister of Education in Edmonton. She later returned to Medicine Hat and was employed by J.C. Miller Accounting firm, and soon after married Dirk.
Ethel Anderton was raised with her younger brother, William Arthur (Art) Anderton. William was a member of the Canadian Militia. He served overseas from approximately 1940-1945. Art was later employed with the Defence Research Establishment of Pacific, Victoria B.C. from 1961 until 1975.
Mr. and Mrs. Luyten had one son and one daughter, David and Gwen Evjen (nee Luyten). Both Mr. and Mrs. Luyten were involved with the church and the community.They resided at 490 Connaught Drive, a family home, having been passed from the Anderton's (Ethel's parents) to the Luytens. Ethel passed away in 2007 at the age of 94, predeceased by Dirk in 1975 at the age of 62.

Andress family

  • SPRA-0159
  • Family

Nicholas Andress came from the United States to Alberta in 1912, traveling over the Edson Trail that year with his wife and five children: William, Ellis, Charles, Ellen and Elmer. They were accompanied by Elmer's wife Martha and his children (Merle, Ivah, and Laverne); Will's wife, Jessie and 2 daughters (Theresa and Nada); the Rockefeller family, who were some relation; and Allen Petty. Martha kept a diary of the journey which started on August 29th in Edson, and ended at Grande Prairie on October 7.

Nicholas, Charles and Ellis took homesteads beside Dead Horse Creek (later renamed Crystal Creek) in Township 71, Range 4, about 10 miles east of Grande Prairie, and Elmer and William filed in the same area in 1914.

In 1920, the Rockefeller family returned to the USA. Mrs. Andress passed away in 1920 and then Charles Andress, the third son, lost his life in a sawmill accident. As the children married, they moved away, and in 1926 Nicholas returned to the United States with his sons Ellis and Elmer and their families. Only Allen Petty remained in this area. He passed away in 1954.

Anton Dahl family

  • SPRA-0520
  • Family
  • Unknown

Anton Dahl was born in St. Paul , Minnesota, in 1858, after his father immigrated to Minnesota from Oslo, Norway in 1850. His father was a blacksmith. Anton was married in North Dakota in 1888, and in 1889, their first son, Elmer was born. The family moved to Roseau, Minnesota where nine more chiklren were born.

In 1909, Anton come to the Beaverlodge district and Ben and Elmer followed in 1912. Anton had filed on the quarter section NW 25-71-10 W6 and built a two storey16 x 16 house and an 18 x 18 barn. Ben and Elmer filed on quarters SE 6-71-10 and NW 32-70-10 respectively. That first summer, Anton and Elmer both bought a team of horses , harness and sleighs to make the trip back to Edson for supplies and then to Grouard to get freight from the Revillon store. In 1914, Elmer, Bert Johnson and Percy Mercereaux went to Grouard to haul government telegraph wire, one load to be unloaded between Lake Saskatoon and Beaverlodge, and the other left about four miles northwest of Beaverlodge. The wire was to be used to extend the service to Fort St. John. By 1919, Ben and Elmer had decided to work as a partnership and they built a log home on Ben's land. In 1920, Anton died in the Pouce Coupe hospital and was buried in Rolla cemetery.

Elmer married Anna Cage, the daughter of Wesley and Amanda Cage, in 1924. Ben went to Saskatchewan to manage his uncle's farm, but returned in 1930. In 1935 the two brothers dissolved their partnership. Ben married Byrl (Wartenbe) Elliott in 1938. In 1940, he sold his farm to Foster Wartenbe and moved to Beaverlodge where he built a feed barn. Byrl died in 1959 and Ben retired to the Hythe and District Pioneer Home.

Anna and Elmer have four children: Laura married Allan Hauger; William (b. 1927) married Josie Hauger; Joan married Einar Loven; and Karen married Rodney Ashton. In 1951, Bill and Josie bought the farm and Elmer and Anna built a house in Beaverlodge. Both Bill and Josie were active in community affairs: Bill was active in the curling club, served on the church board, as secretary for the U.G.G.and caretaker for the Halcourt cemetery. Josie served on the church board and as church secretary, taught Sunday School, was a member of the Halcourt Ladies Club and wrote a "Halcourt News" column for the Beaverlodge Advertiser. Bill and Josie's children are Larry, Robert, Douglas, Lorraine, Ricky, and Dorothy.

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