Friday, January 31, 2014

Narratives of The Nevards 6

In 1910 Goffs and Nevards went in partnership and bought a threshing outfit between them. It was an Aultman-Taylor thresher with 27 inch cylinder, 42 inch body, powered by an International Famous 20 horsepower engine. It was a six team outfit and fed both sides. Tom Goff ran the threshing machine. They would thresh Goffs first one year and Nevards first the next. They also did some custom threshing for other farmers. Some of which were Jake Martin, Jimmy Gray and Cecil Lewis.

They had some bad luck the first year. During a spell of damp weather when they could not thresh, the separator was burnt beyond repair by a prairie fire. My family was sitting at dinner when they noticed the smoke to the West. Uncle Horrie jokingly commented, "Oh that is probably the separator burning down". The next day Tom and Alf Goff came over with the bad news. They had to buy another separator.
That fall, at the age of 8 years, my brother Bill dug all the potatoes. All the men were away threshing.
One year Dad and Uncle Horrie rented Friedgut's quarter which was the northwest quarter of 18. They grew oats and grew such a heavy stand that Dad got fed up with cutting it and said "lets quit". They left the rest and Friedgut got a man by the name of Witzey from the Garnock district to finish the job.
The winter of 1910 Uncle Arthur and Aunt Daisy spent at Redpath's who farmed in the Parklands school district west of Lipton.
I think it was 1911 when Uncle Arthur and Aunt Daisy held a Church service in their home. The clergyman came from Cupar to conduct the service. He played the coronet and provided the music for the hymns.
Church service at the Arthur and Daisy Nevard home in 1911.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Narratives 5 Winstanley Grove

In 1909 Dad bought a  binder from Cassidy, the Massey Harris agent in Lipton. Also in 1909 Aunt Daisy (Margaret Montagu Winstanley) came out to Canada. She and Uncle Arthur were married in St. John's Anglican Church in Fort Qu'appelle July 15th of that year. They came to the farm and lived in Uncle Arthur's shack. Uncle Arthur was busy building his house but was not ready in time for the wedding. They named their home, "Winstanley Grove".
                                                     Daisy Winstanley

One day Aunt Daisy was out for a walk and landed up at Captain Boyle's homestead, about 3 miles north of her home. Captain Boyle directed her home. Aunt Daisy often went for walks and met many settler's wives. Grace Hobetzeder told me this amusing little story told by her mother. Her uncles Tom and Alf Goff saw a lady walking into their yard with long flowing skirts. This chickens, cats, and dogs all fled in fright heading for the nearest bush. They had never seen anyone dressed in this English fashion before. This was how Aunt Daisy and Miss Kate Goff met. Kate later became Mrs. Karl Hobetzeder.
In July of 1910 Dad took out a mortgage on the farm. He was able to pay this up in 1920.
Dad had a collie dog named Nell. She had been given to him as a pup at one of the places he was working. He fed her bread and butter. One day mother asked Dad what to feed the dog and he told her. After that Nell was glad to get just plain bread minus the butter.
Nell was kicked by a horse and suffered a broken leg. Dad put her on the front room table and Aunt Daisy set the leg. Some years later a heifer named Lorna broke her leg and Dad set it. Her first calf, Oliver , broke his leg and again Dad set it. The leg had a little twist in it but he got along. Nell was very knowing and intelligent. One evening one of the hens was missing and mother could not find it. Nell knew where the hen was and led Mother to where the hen was stuck between two logs in the old stable.
I believe it was also 1910 that the Nevards all went to a Church service at Spondon. About ten miles east and a little south of our homesteads. The clergyman from Fort Qu'appelle took the service. The Church was built on the homestead of Mr. Jobson. After the service they were invited in to dinner.
The family attended a picnic at Eskdale. Mrs. Dragushen saw Mother's hat and took a fancy to it. Shortly after this Mr. Dragushen came along and wanted to borrow Mother's hat. He presented his case as follows. My frau is going to a marriage. Dad was owing Dragushen a little money at the time , otherwise I don't think Mother would have allowed it. He brought the hat back but Mother never wore it again.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Narrative 4, Working On And Off The Homestead

In 1907 Dad went out to work and Uncle Arthur stayed on the farm and did some breaking. This was the year Uncle Horrie worked for Dick Copithorne in the Wideawake district north of Indian Head. Uncle Horrie filed on his homestead in September of 1907 taking the northwest quarter of section 24 which the Browns had previously filed on. Tat was the year that Bill had a bad scare, there was a prairie fire north of the house traveling from East to West. Uncle Arthur was fighting fire. Mother ran across to tell him something and left Bill on a rise of ground in a safe spot. When the blaze got into a bluff of dry wood the flames suddenly shot sky high. Bill thought they were all going to be burnt in the blaze.
When they first came to the homestead there were no tall trees, just low bushes. Frequent prairie fire had destroyed the trees over quite an area. These low bushes reminded Mother of the English hedges. Mr. Bellrose lived about three quarters of a mile south and west and for a few years until the trees grew, they could see the Bellrose shack over the top of the bushes.
Mr Bellrose had a lime kiln dug into the side of a hill. Dad, Uncle Arthur and other settlers bought lime from him to plaster their houses with.
In 1907 the crops were frozen. In 1908 Uncle Arthur was looking after the homesteads. There was sadness in the community that year when our neighbor, Mr. McNeil died. Uncle Arthur, Mother and bill attended the funeral in Fort Qu'appelle. About the same time Mr. Phillips died. My people did not know the Philipps family until later.
Mr. Niels Larson was doing some breaking for Uncle Arthur. Mother had left some food for him. In those days jam came in wooden pails. Mother had just bought three pails of jam, each one different. Later on when my parents began using the jam they found that Mr. Larson had taken a sample from each pail and then nailed the lid back in place. This happened while they were away at Mr. McNeil's funeral.
In 1908 they harvested their first crop. It was threshed by the Dummy outfit, so called because several of the men were deaf mutes. Mr. Larson acted as interpreter. Uncle Arthur worked on the outfit as separator man or fireman on the engine. Tom Goff was on the crew and the Nevards and Goffs met for the first time.

 I think that was also the year when Max Desjarlais was on the threshing crew. Bill took a fancy to him. Uncle Horrie was working out that year and when he came home in the fall mother said to Bill "Who is that"? Bill replied, "Max Desjarlais"? Mother told him in a disgusted tone, "its your Uncle Horrie". Fate decreed that Bill and Max were not to meet again for many years and by that time Bill's infatuation had worn off.
Mother found herself running short of groceries one day so she and Bill walked over to Mrs. McNeil's. She said "you must have your parradge". Mother did not cook any porridge until the men went to town and bought sugar . Mrs. McNeil had not given her any sugar.
Uncle Arthur and Uncle Horrie each had an ox. Uncle Arthur had Jerry and Uncle Horrie had Billy. They bought from Charlie Neil. I believe they got away and went back home. The uncles had to walk back to Neil's to get them back.  Poor Billy met an untimely end after getting into a neighbor's bin of oats. He bloated and died. Uncle Horrie hauled him a short distance from the yard and the coyotes had a merry time. Uncle Arthur had a dog named Toby who thought that beef belonged to him and was barking at the coyotes all the time. Mother said he barked so much that winter that he lost his voice. From then on all he had was a squeaky yap.
One day Uncle Horrie was churning cream into butter by shaking it in a ten pound syrup can. The butter was slow so he decided to try rolling the can along the floor. All went well until the lid came off.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Narratives 3/ From Winnipeg to The Poplars

More in the continuing saga of the Nevard's journey to the new land.

Dad was waiting for them in Winnipeg and from there they travelled by train on to the town of Indian Head in what is now Saskatchewan. Dad rented a house from Captain Corse for them to live in for the summer.  Uncle Arthur and Uncle Horrie had work there for the summer too.
During the summer Uncle Horrie had purchased a bicycle which he rode up to the homestead one day. Along the trail he had a flat tire and nothing to repair it with. He called at Fort Qu'appelle but they had nothing to repair the tire with. No luck in Lipton either. He had to stop often to pump up the tire. It was difficult riding the old Touchwood trail where in places the ruts were so deep that one had to be careful not to hit the edges with the pedals or over you would go.

 In October the weather was turning colder. Captain Corse, who was living in a tent for the summer wanted to get back into his own house for the winter so Dad and Uncle Horrie went up to the homestead and built a two room log house. Uncle Horrie said there was a snow storm while they were building.
I believe it was on a Friday when they left Indian Head for the homestead. They started with a loaded hay rack on wheels. When arriving at Fort Qu'appelle there was snow on the ground and they switched the hay rack over to sleigh runners.  They spent that night in the Fort Qu'appelle hotel. I think Dad ate a whole duck for his supper. He said meals were 25 cents.
Saturday morning they continued their way along the Touchwood trail until the reached the Niels Larson stopping house north of Lipton. Larson kept this house for travellers along the trail. They were no more than 3 miles from the homestead so they arrived in good time next morning. Just as they got on to the home quarter the horse tied behind the load broke loose. Uncle Arthur went running off after it and was successful in catching it before it went far. When mother came around the bush and caught first sight of the house I don't think she was very impressed. Bill was safely hid amongst the various household effects and could see nothing.
Uncle Horrie chored for Tom Norris that winter of 1906-07 while Uncle Arthur chored for one of the Watsons. One day Bill thought that snow looked tempting, so nice and white. He took a lick of it off the edge of a metal dipper and his tongue stuck to the metal. Results were that he had a very sore tongue for the next few days.
It was a long cold winter and they were only too glad to see spring come  Bill enjoyed running from one bare spot of ground  to the next. Mother never saw another woman all winter.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Narratives, 2

I know nothing more of Charles Fuller, never having heard of the name until I came across it at the Lands Titles Office. I'd heard that two other men came up with Dad and Uncle Arthur. The fact that Fuller filed on his homestead on the same date and his homestead number follows the others in sequence convinces me that he was one of the four. Bill told me that Dad spoke of a man named Wernick and thought he was one of the men who came up with dad and Uncle Arthur. There is no record of Wernick in Lands
branch office so I am afraid Mr. Wernick will remain a mystery. Bill also spoke of another Mr. Brown who he thought came up with the others.
I think Dad worked out both summers of 1904 and 05. He spent one winter on the homestead. He chored on a farm in Manitoba for a man named Foster. It was in open country and a blizzard came up while Dad was at the barn. There was no rope connecting the house and barn to guide him and he very nearly missed the house on his way back. He had just passed the house when a lull in the storm showed him where the house was.
In 1883 the Hogg colony was started over East in the next range. According to Walter Norris there were about two hundred came and settled a whole township. Mr. Quinton Hogg owned a large estate in England. He paid their way out to Canada and when they got their homesteads he took a lien on them. Crops were frozen and most of the men gave up their homesteads. a few stayed for a few years Tom Norris left his homestead and took another in the Hayward district close to Charlie Neil. Tom Norris had worked for Quinton Hogg in England as his gardener.
 Bob Drever told me that Joe Atkinson had the post office in Lipton in 1910.

Mr. Atkinson went back to England. Both he and Tom Norris homesteaded with the Hogg Colony.
In 1902 the Jewish Colonization Association started a Jewish colony northeast of the present site of Lipton. There were about 40 families in the colony. The Jews were scattered roughly from a few miles north of Lipton to a few miles south of Keliher. Herzel school was eight miles northeast of Lipton. There was a Jew on the southeast quarter of Section 24 after Charles Fuller left. His name was David Fastofsky. There is a Jewish cemetery three miles north of Lipton and six and three quarter miles east and three quarter miles north. There are 76 graves there.
Uncle Horrie came out to Canada in the spring of 1906. Mother and my older brother Bill sailed from Liverpool on June 20, 1906. Bill and I went to Liverpool to visit cousin Leslie Nevard and his wife Betty just 69 years later to the day. It was not planned that way, just co-incidence. When Bill got on board ship at age two he called out to his Aunt Emily, aunt Emmy, can I have another candy"? She replied, yes dear.

As a school girl Mother never dreamed she would ever come to Canada. One day in school Mr. Motom , the teacher , was taking a geography lesson and pointed out the province of Manitoba. He said "this is man-ah-to-bah, some day some of you may immigrate out there." Mother's thought was, oh maybe the boys might but she never would. Her brothers never did come out here but she did. Mother came out with another lady who had been out here before. I believe her name was Miss Prince. She came out to marry her fiancee, a Mr. Hammil. As the train steamed on it's way to Winnipeg Mother noticed the wild roses blooming and the prairie grass. She thought Canada can't be such a bad country if roses grew there. A passenger got off the train at one stop and picked some roses for her.
Mary and Bill Nevard.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Narratives Of The Nevards

In the late 1970s Dick Nevard put together a family history of the Nevards. I added a few facts and photos recently and here is the updated version of "Narratives Of The Nevards". 

This is a history of the Nevard family as accurate as I can compile it. My Uncle Horrie has helped me on some points. I only wish my brother Bill had done the compiling as he could remember the events of the early days much better than I. There are some things I am not clear on. For instance, my father worked at his trade of brick-laying while either Uncle Horrie or Uncle Arthur worked the homesteads. Father worked in Regina and one summer at Nokomis. Just what years these were I can not be certain.
This is not my life story. What I have tried to do is tell the story of the early days of settlement in this area. I believe more people should preserve the history of those times. What is the use of advising others if I do not do likewise?
I hope everyone reading the Narratives of the Nevards will enjoy it and understand a little better the trials of the early pioneers in this part of Saskatchewan.
In the early spring of 1903 my father, Ernest Samuel Nevard and his older brother, Arthur, left their home at 36 Straight Road, Lexden, Colchester, Essex and boarded the ocean liner, Lake Manitoba at Liverpool. There were 2000 immigrants on board. These were the Barr Colonists bound to start a new colony in Western Canada, then known as the North West Territories.
The ship docked at Halifax on April 12, Easter Sunday. Dad and Uncle Arthur got off the ship the following day which was Dad's 25th birthday. They travelled by train with the colonists as far as Winnipeg and then left them as they had heard of land in the Lipton area. I don't know exactly what they did until July but I do know that they went to the United States for a while, then returned to Canada.
In July my father, Uncle Arthur, and two other men filed on section 24. Dad told me they drew lots to see who would get which quarter. Mr. Brown filed first on the N.W. quarter, Charles Fuller on the S.E. quarter and Uncle Arthur on the N.E. quarter. Dad got the southwest quarter.

Photo above is Ernest at left and Arthur Nevard on the right in front of their first home on the farm.
Uncle Arthur built a shack on his quarter and they all lived there the first winter. Dad said it was very cold as it was only one ply lumber. They kept a fire burning day and night and took turns getting up at night to replenish the fire. They slept on bunk beds. Dad was on the bottom bunk so he would get cold first and the others would wait for him to get up and stoke up the fire.
Brown also built a shack on the N.W. quarter of 24. There was an incident one day that could easily have ended in tragedy. One of the chaps had a loaded 22. rifle in his hands. He was messing around with it when it suddenly fired. Luck was on their side as it was pointed to the roof and went harmlessly through the boards. Dad said he never thought anything of it at the time but later realized that it could easily have been pointed at any of them

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Little History From The Hall Side

I don't usually include "modern" letters in the Nevard blog but this one from 1980 covers some fairly old ground that might be of interest to family historians.

Horace Hall (born 1906) was a cousin to Dick and Bill Nevard. The son of Louisa Nevard and William Hall. He was living in Norwich, U.K. at the time he wrote this letter to Dick Nevard.

I have read your Narratives of the Nevards and much enjoyed it. A few points I recall....I knew that my Uncles, Arthur, Ernest and Horace went to Canada in 1903-06 before I was born. There was no work here but Grandmother was upset when they left. She said she would never see them again but did in fact see Arthur and Horace again.  I recall Aunt Daisy dimly, but not too dimly to recall that she gave me a box of toy sheep. Toys were not too plentiful at the time so I thought that she was great. I was about 4 or 5 but the memory of that gift remains. She was of course, Nurse Winstanley and her father erected the Winstanley lighthouse now known as the Edison off the Western approaches.
Aunt Alice I recall very well. Each year I used to have a week at Grandmother and Grandfather Hall's. I used to enjoy that as Grandfather would let me do things which father would not. Such as riding horses and getting up at 4 a:m and helping with milking. Aunt Alice used to put me to bed and sing an evening hymn. This during the first world war when I was a small boy. At the end of the war Uncle Horrie came back and went with Aunt Alice. I think I was a bit of a nuisance as I was told to walk ahead.
I recall Uncle Arthur coming to Lexden during WWI. He arrived in the middle of the night and I wondered at his strange accent, having never heard anything other than Essex or Suffolk. The next day he took me to town and bought me some sweets and we were ok then.  Uncle Horrie came along later and we got along fine. (Sweets again to start). He taught me a bit of boxing. Grandmother was very upset went he went off leave to the front. Anyway they both came back and went off to Canada. Uncle Cecil and Aunt Emily went to Horrie and Alice's wedding at Carlton Church. Aunt Emily went to Liverpool to see them off but was very upset because she did not see Horrie on the boat. She then came back to Euston station on a non corridor train and that took several hours in those days.
I recall father at Christmas 1920, when I was at Sternfield, telling Uncle Dick that "Alice has got a boy". The first I had heard of it but of course he meant Roy (Nevard).
There was a regular correspondence between Canada and Lexden. Aunt Mary was , I think, the chief scribe, and I recall a number of things. The Goffs were often mentioned. The cold weather was also a topic
A few details I recall of the Nevard family, which I understand derived from the French "Nevare". Grandmother's maiden name was Clayden. Her mother was blind and came to live with us from about 1910 until she died in January of 1916. Grandmother's brother was Robert Wagstaff. He had two sons and three daughters. One called May used to visit us. Lexden in those days was a small village and everyone was well known. Edgar Middleton was the Church clerk and was some relation of Grandmother's.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rebuilding the Old Cabin

After Bill Nevard retired from his work at the Fort San he took on the task of repairing the old original log house at "The Poplars" where he had lived up til 1948.
In June of 1969 he wrote about it....

June 30: I drove up to the farm today. Called in at Lipton and borrowed Mrs. Goff's step ladder again and painted Mr. Badham's name on the Church sign. Then I went to the lumber yard and bought 2 bags of cement but did not pay for them as Mindrum was not there.I took the ladder back to Mrs. Goff's. She told me that Mr. Fisher was unconscious and they had sent for the doctor.
I went on to the farm and got in to the old house but there has been more rain this time. Pools of water on the trail both south and north of the house so I walked up to Silver Birches. Don was hoeing spuds. He was willing to help me get some gravel. We put the box on wheels and pumped up the tires a bit. It was getting rather late by that time so I walked back to the house and had my dinner. I didn't bother to cook spuds or even light a fire. By the time I had finished my meal Don came along with the tractor and wagon. So we went down to the gravel pit and hauled home two loads of gravel with no trouble. Don came in for a while and by then it was getting on so after he left I came home.
July 1: I drove up to the farm again and started digging under the west wall of the house clearing 3 or 4 feet ready to put in a new foundation. Managed to do this without having the wall collapse.  I boarded it up, then had to figure out how to wheel my mortar from the cement place to the house across the garden made soft by the rain. I tried it with a barrow of sand but it wouldn't work so I had to hunt up boards and planks. This did the trick so I was able to get one piece filled in before I quit for the day. Roy came along with the tractor after drinking water. He said they had quite a big rain. My two wrens are quite busy feeding their family of six. The bush gophers also have a family under the wood pile.
West wall of the cabin about 1920. Bill Nevard at right. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Few Numbers From 1909

From one of Arthur Nevard's notebooks dated 1909.
Various entries of wheat hauled to Lipton grain elevator in November and December of 1909 show that he was getting about 77 cents per bushel for the wheat. No mention of the grade or other details.
Another entry further down the page shows that Arthur put in 31 days helping on the Chapman and Bradshaw threshing crew and was paid $77.50 for his efforts that harvest of 1909.
This photo shows Arthur standing by the threshing machine with assorted Goodbrands, Bradshaws and Chapmans on what appears to be a cold fall day.