Somerville, James

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Somerville, James

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Dates of existence

1882-1971

History

James Somerville (Jim) was born in Hawksville, Ontario in 1882. In 1900 he moved west to Manitoba, and later continued on to Viking, a community in Southern Alberta. Here Jim homesteaded from 1904 to 1910. Jim worked for many survey crews in the Peace Country. In 1904 he came to Grande Prairie with surveyor J.B. St.Cyr. A year later, 1905, he was the packer in charge of the horse train for Henry Selby's survey crew when they re-surveyed the sixth meridian from the 18th base line to Peace River. The crew came back via the Grande Prairie and Bezanson, and re-surveyed the eighteenth baseline from west of the sixth to Vallyview. From 1909 to 1911 Jim worked in Walter McFarlane's crew which was surveying out sections and quarter sections in anticipation of settlement. In 1910 McFarlane's crew surveyed the Rio Grande area, and in 1911 it surveyed the Pouce Coupe, Dawson Creek and Rolla districts. In 1911 Jim moved to Grande Prairie and settled on the south Buffalo Lake. He married Eva Woolston in 1927. Eva was born in Sandy, England in 1894, had done war service as a nurse for St. John's Ambulance during World War I, and was visiting a friend (Mrs. Brebucks) in Canada when she met Jim. She had a lovely voice and sang for community events as well as for the soldiers during World War II. Eva and Jim had two children: Daniel and Rosemary (Smith). They lived on their Buffalo Lakes farm unitl Jim died in 1971. Eva passed away three years later in 1974.

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SPRA-0178

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South Peace Regional Archives

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