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[ca. 1880-2004] (Creation)
- Hodgson family
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The Hodgson family was one of the early families to travel from England to Prince Edward Island, Canada. Richard Hodgson was born in 1765 in Skipenbeck, North Riding of Yorkshire, England and arrived with his wife Mary and their children settling in Hope River and later Tryon, P.E.I. Their son John born in 1809 in E.R.Y., England married Catherine Bernard in 1834 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Richard & Mary's grandson Jabez Barnabus Shaw Hodgson was born 25 March 1841 in Tryon, P.E.I. and he married Mary Ellen Clark 26 September 1867 in S. Rustico, P.E.I. They had seven children, and only one son, John Fulton Hodgson, the daughters were Lucilla, Catherine, Charlotte, Anna, Mary and Bertha. John Fulton was born 6 January 1873 in Hill’s River, P.E.I and grew up working on his father’s farm Lot 28 of P.E.I. John married Edna Ethel Lea on the 8 of June 1904 in Tryon. Their son Fulton Lea was born September 3, 1905 and he was joined by a sister Myra Jesse on September 25, 1907. In 1909 John’s father Jabez died, and John sold the farm in 1911. Once the sale was complete John left P.E.I., joining his sisters Lucille, Charlotte and Anna but leaving behind his wife Edna and daughter Myra.
John, his mother Mary and his son Lea first settled near Kinistino, Saskatchewan on NE 27-45-23-W2 and in 1918 John SE 19-45-21-W2. In 1915 John’s marriage to Edna Lea ended in divorce. In 1919 John had an auction sale and then purchased lot 8 in block 6 in the town of Kinistino as well as S 32-44-20-W2 in Taylorside, Saskatchewan. John and Lea moved to South Vancouver in 1921, No. 205 on 29th Avenue East. In 1922 John continued to buy land purchasing a homestead in Hythe, Alberta SE 5-73-11-W6 and in 1926 also SE 18-73-11-W6. John married Gertrude Taylor in 1923 and their daughter Vera was born Feb. 5, 1929 in Taylorside, Saskatchewan. Shortly after Vera’s birth the family made Hythe home. John and Lea started a lumber mill operation on the banks of the Kaskatinaw (Cutbank) River. Their employees were local farmers and ranchers who were in need of lumber for their own farms. John and Lea’s lumber company often would exchange work for lumber which worked well for everyone. In 1934, an accident involving a shingling machine caused John to lose his foot, he passed away in 1937 having never fully recovering from the injury. John is buried in the Hythe Cemetery. After John’s death Gertrude and Vera relocated to Prince Albert where they ran a store. Gertrude passed away there in 1957.
John’s daughter Myra married Francis Hustace MacMillan and they lived in New Jersey, she passed away in 1978 in California, U.S.A.
Fulton ‘Lea’ Hodgson was born in P.E.I. and grew up in Kinistino, Saskatchewan. Although he didn’t have his mother and sister close by his father, aunts, uncles and cousins were. Lea attended Poplar Grove School and South Mound. Lea was an avid fisherman and a lover of hockey. He first started playing hockey in Kinistino and continued when he moved to Hythe. When he no longer played hockey he did all he could to support it. He was an integral part of the construction of the Hythe Arena obtaining the pattern for the rafters, helped log the trees, saw the lumber, build and raise the rafters with many of the Hythe community volunteers. Lea also had a hand in helping with the construction of the old Hythe Curling rink. Lea’s grandsons remember his love of hockey by sponsoring the Hythe Atom’s hockey tournament in his name.
Lea was also well-known for his fishing powess as conformed by a story told by the Patterson bros. of Dawson Creek told a story of being stranded in Slave Lake due to rain and mud. “Fortunately Lea and his Dad were also making the trip in. That was when we discovered who was the fisherman in the crowd! Day after day, Lea kept all of us supplied with fresh fish.”
Lea applied for a homestead in Hythe at SW 9-73-11-W6 but most of his time was spent at the mill. He married Sophia Theresa Gass in a double wedding with Sophia’s sister Barbara Gass who married Arnold Reid. Their wedding was held at Circlebank Hall. Sophia was born to parents Ignatz and Katherine (Schmidt) Gass in Fox Valley, Saskatchewan on March 3, 1916. The Gass family arrived in the Hythe area in 1929. Sophie and Lea spent their honeymoon at the Hodgson lumber mill where Sophie was the camp cook. They had six children, James ‘Jim', Frances ‘Fern’, William ‘Bill’, Edna, Richard ‘Rick’ and Bernadette. The family moved off the farm and lived outside of Hythe on 9 acres of 13-73-11-W6. The property had an existing house and barn, so Lea and Sophia decided to convert the barn into the family home. The other house was given to Sophie’s mother Katherine to live in.
Sophie and Lea were very involved in the community, Sophie was an executive member of the Catholic Women’s League, and she would donate her sewing and cooking for fundraising events hosted by the church. Sophie would often take her family down to St. Edmund’s church in Hythe before major holy days where they would clean and polish until things passed inspection. Sophie’s family members served as altar boys, played the organ, and sang in the choir. Her husband would help out with the general upkeep of the church, and on cold days get the furnace started so it was warm when the parishioners arrived. Sophie was also involved with the running of the Circlebank Hall as an executive member she helped to organize fundraiser and community events that took place there.
Lea and Sophie relocated into a house in Hythe that Lea had built. This was located across from the old Legion hall and close to the Hythe arena which proved handy for their grandchildren who also loved hockey. Sophie passed away June 12, 1981 and Lea nine years later on October 20, 1990. They are buried together in the Hythe Cemetery.
The Hodgson children were all raised in Hythe and excelled at sports and academically.
Jim Hodgson played hockey for Hythe and later for the Golden Bears in Edmonton. He married Betty Oakford who also grew up in Hythe.
Fern won the Governor General’s award in 1956, she later married Tony Klemenchuk.
Edna was Hythe’s Homecoming Queen in 1959 and a scholarship. Edna spent her grade 11 year at St. Joseph’s High School in Grande Prairie where she played on the basketball team. The rest of Edna’s schooling was in Hythe where she was class president, acted in and organized plays and was on the school basketball team. Edna married Allan Greber September 1, 1962 at St. Edmund’s Catholic Church in Hythe. Edna and Allan lived in Lymburn NE8-73-12-W6, and over the next ten years their four sons were born. Together they started a construction company called Big Valley Construction, which expanded and eventual they ran it out of a shop in Hythe. Edna later moved to Beaverlodge and then Grande Prairie where she owned a car wash called Fast Eddie’s. Edna passed away in Grande Prairie on May 17, 2012 and she is buried with her parents in the Hythe Cemetery.
Bill Hodgson also played hockey for Hythe and then later in Edmonton, he married Maureen Motter.
Rick Hodgson enjoys fishing as much as his dad did, spending as much time at One Island Lake as possible with his wife Frances Brochu.
Bernadette Hodgson is living in Grande Prairie.
Hodgson’s Saw Mill
Lea had a long-standing interest in forestry. Lea and his father John started a mill on the Cutbank River before 1933. They applied at the Forestry office in Grande Prairie for a timber birth and then purchased a second hand sawmill from Lester Hommy. Labor was provided by neighbors who often worked in exchange for timber for their farm sites. The first building at the mill site was a shelter over the mill and then they added bunkhouses, tool sheds and other buildings. They employed many people, loggers included Jim Holly, Aubrey Hawkesworth, Mike Weller and Carl Moller. Max Sudnik of Lymburn was in charge of hauling the lumber out on the rough roads. Lea’s mill supplied the lumber for the Hythe Curling Rink, delivery was free of charge. The lumber from the mill was also used in the conversion of the barn on Lea’s property to the family home, Steve Olichny was the builder. Demand for lumber escalated during WWII and the Americans based in Dawson Creek bought up Lea’s stockpile. In 1944 Hodgson’s Mill was sold to James Elliott and James Gault, Lea took over running the Frontier Lumber Yard in Hythe. Frontier Lumber later became Beaver Lumber and Lea worked there until his retirement. Lea was awarded a Community Achievement Award in 1980 from Beaver Lumber for devoting time and energy to community activities.
Lea heard about a secluded lake with sandy beaches, crystal water and easy fishing from a Native American man who would often stop and visit the Hodgson Mill. It was located six miles from the mill but Lea put off trying to find the lake until the early 1950’s. One day Lea and his son Jim decided to see if they could locate it, and after searching most of the day they were happy to discover that the fishing was just as their friend has advised. Upon return Lea told two friends about the wonder of the lake, Art Pearson and Bill Oakford. The three of them decided a road was needed into the lake and they proceeded to build one. The lake also needed a name and with all the efforts made by these three men H.O.P. Lake seemed like a good fit. Once the road was built the men decided they would like to lay claim to certain lots around the lake. They applied to the British Columbia government for it to be surveyors and later for leases on lots. The men also encouraged many Hythe families to get in on the initial lease buying and many a fun summer was spent out at H.O.P. Lake by Hythe residents. The lake was officially named One Island Lake.
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The records have been arranged by the Archivists by content and chronology into the various series and files. The records came from so many individual sources, the overall original order of the records had been obscured. The Archivists imposed the order now shown by the records.
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