Sunday, November 25, 2012

69 Years Ago On The Nevard Farm

 At the time Bill Nevard wrote this letter to his brother, Dick Nevard was stationed at Nanaimo, B.C. with the 116th Field Regiment of the 25th Field Regiment of the Canadian Army.
                                                                       Headlands, Sask.
                                                                        Nov. 21, 1943

Dear Dick

It is now time to commence my usual Sunday night epistle to you. I have only 3 days news at present as I finished my last letter to you Thursday night and posted it Friday.

I beat the alarm on Friday morning and got up at 4:35 a.m. in spite of which is was 9:00 by the time I started off to Lipton with a load of wheat. It took me over 4 hours to get to town owing to the rough roads. It has been thawing a bit in the daytime and freezing at night so it is either rough or slippery most of the way but I got down without mishap. Fred Engel overtook me on the way and told me that Mrs. Hobetzeder had died the day before and in town I heard that she would probablyl be buried on the Saturday.

Jack Binnington and Johnny Supple rode to town with John Fleming. He charges fifty cents a piece for passengers now when driving the mail. When I got home I found that Hobetzeder had been here in my absence wanting Dad and Uncles to go as pall bearers. John Senft was also around looking for his calves. We have calves of John Senft, Fred Engel and Wm. Miller all on our summerfallow besides 3 of Uncle H's horses and two of Uncle A's with ours.

On Saturday, November 20 Donald came down with the mail. Besides your letter to Dad there was one from Aunt Louie which I guess I will have to answer in a little while.

Dad and both uncles went to the funeral at Lipton in the democrat. Dad, Uncle H, Messrs Fisher, Michelson, Radwell and McCullough were the bearers.

I cut 1/3 of a load of wood that day and did various chores. I am finishing this letter on Monday night before going to bed as I figure on going to Lipton again tomorrow and posting it so you will not need to be alarmed if you get two letters close together. You know it is not always possible to post letters at regular intervals and if the weather were to change suddenly a snowfall might keep us away from town for quite a while.

Sunday was quiet and uneventful. I cut some holes in the ice of the slough down near the grade so that the stock could get a drink as the ice was getting quite thick, about 5 or 6 inches.

This morning I got up early and after getting ready and loading up started out for Lipton. It was a nice bright day and thawed quite a bit but cool enough in the wind. Uncle A took a load too and caught up to me before I got to town. Jack Binnington and Murphy Newton were in ahead of us with loads. Jack had a three year old mare with him who had never been to town before.

I saw Mr. Brinkworth in town today and ordered a Cockshutt tiller (4 1/2 feet). It will cost $296 cash and is ordered for February delivery. It can be handled by six horses and has a power lift. Of course I am not sure that the company can fill the order but Mr. Brinkworth thought my chances would be better if I ordered early. I have put your money in the bank for safe keeping until it is needed. Dad bought a heater at Jampolsky's on Saturday and I brought it home today. Dad had sent to Eatons for one previously but they could not supply it and sent back the money.

Well its time to go to bed and I can't think of anything more of interest. Will probably send another letter next week. Cheerio

from your loving brother E.W. Nevard


  1. With those rough roads, I bet the driver looked for the tiniest hole in the bed and sideboards before hauling grain.

  2. Ralph, what is, or was, a democrat in which one went to town? Colloquialism for some form of horse drawn conveyance?

    1. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)November 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      My grandmother had one on her farm. It's a buckboard with seats in the back. Gee, I haven't thought about that for years and years!

  3. Likely true Gorges. I don't think there were any springs on those grain wagons either. Collieguy, democrat was a little fancier transportation than the grain wagon but still horse powered. Usually for trips to church or visiting the neighbours if you weren't expecting to haul anything. I have photos in the family album, just not the Nevards.

  4. Thanks for all the positive comments on this blog. I really appreciate hearing them. I do have at least one photo of horses and democrat but not from the Nevard side of the family. I will find a way to work it in here in an upcoming post.

  5. So in these days of 30 ton loads, how many lbs of wheat in a 1946 style load? Also, wonder what the wheat cost in comparison to the hauling?
    I know what it cost in terms of shear back breaking effort in relation to today! No grain vacs in those days!

    1. Budde, I was born too late to get in on the fun of loading grain by hand into a horse powered wagon. From what I have heard if you hauled 60 bushels (about 3600 pounds) it would have been a good average load for the horses. Price, my guess would be less than a dollar a bushel but I'll have to look up some old cash tickets to be sure.


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