Pioneer Biographies pg1
The Andrew P. ANDERSEN Family
The Walter GEE Family
The Richard BLAKE Family
The William GEE Family
The Arthur HOLBEN Family
The James Edward AYLWIN Family
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The William GEE Family SE 33 - Grand Meadow amd NW36-43-26-W4th - Hazel Hill

Article 1: They moved to SE 33 in the Grand Meadow district from River Sioux, Iowa in 1901. They had three children Emily Blanche and Steven. David was born in Canada. In 1905 they moved back to Iowa where Lois and Leola were born. Returning to Canada 6 years later they moved to the Hazel Hill district.

Article 2: Will and Minnie arrived in Ponoka, Alberta, from Kansas, USA in 1901, with three small children, Emily, Blanche and Stephen. They purchased the SE 1/2 of Sec. 33 in the Grand Meadow district, just south of the Battle River. At this time they also filed and proved up on a homestead in the Hazel Hill area, - the NW 1/4 of Sec. 36-43-26-W4. They lived, however, in Grand Meadow for four years. Their eldest daughter recalls one spring when the river was flooded from hill to hill, over the horseshoe, as it was called. They used to row across in a boat, and walk up to their Uncle Walter Gee's; get a team and go to town for groceries, returning back across the river. Her father carried the heavy things, and she would be beside him with her arms full too, carrying the supplies up the hill to home. When they had mail, Mrs. Walter Gee would come again to the river. She would tie the mail with a string attached, and sling it across to Minnie, - sometimes it would get a little wet. They also carried their water from a spring across the road before their well was dug. They owned four mules who really objected to crossing the river before the bridge was built. Will built the first bridge across the Battle River at that point. Will also had the first threshing machine in the district. It was a 32 Case, hand feed and straw carrier, a Horse Power using 14 horses for power. Their son DAVID was born here. Mrs. Frank CRAWFORD looked after Minnie at this time. In 1905, the family moved back to the States, settling at River Sioux, Iowa. LEOLA and LOIS were born there. The older children attended school in Iowa. Six years later in 1911, they felt the urge to come back to Alberta. Staying a short time in Grand Meadow, they built a one-room log cabin on the homestead. They lived in this home one summer until Will, bought the NELSON place in 1911, just south of the homestead. The schoolhouse still stands on the SW corner of the place now belonging to REIDs. Mr. BERRY was their teacher. He lived in the teacherage on the school grounds. He had a little pony, no saddle, and when the Gee family unloaded their furniture, - he was so pleased that they had a piano - he played for such a long time - or so it seemed to the girls. In those days they made their own amusements, had many picnics and neighbours for quite a distance would come with their lunches. They played ball while some just visited. In the winter there were skating parties, also dances in various homes and new barns. Sometimes it was hard to get the horses through the muskegs. They often went to FINKs. Josephine played the organ for many a singsong. Their first crop in Hazel Hill was snowed down, having to cut it all one way. Later being threshed it heated from dampness. The next year Will bought back his former horse-powered threshing machine - this time using but twelve horses. Both Will and Minnie served terms on the local school board. They belonged to the UFA and the UFWA. Will for several years was councilor of the Fertile Valley MD. He also operated a sawmill outfit for a few years with a steam engine. He also had a steam-threshing rig. A number of schoolteachers boarded with the Gee family. Will and Minnie made all callers and visitors welcome. In 1938 they sold the farm, moving to town, where Will passed away in 1939. Minnie passed away at the home of her daughter, Lois BERDINE, in 1949.
The children ...
Emily married Frank MORRIS in 1915, at home on the Will Gee place. She recalls having rhubarb wine and beans for dinner. It rained all day. They lived a mile west of the Gee's on Mary Anne MORRIS' place. They lived in this district until Frank's mother sold the place in 1920, when they moved about eight miles north. They had a sale in 1921 and went to Utica, New York. They later came back to Alberta and then to B.C. where they operated a dairy, and later a store before moving to Calgary. They had two sons and two daughters.
Vivian
their elder daughter was born at the home of her grandparents, the Will Gees. On completing her education, she was employed as a sales clerk in Calgary. She married Charles KENNER who is an engineer for the CPR. They had five children
Leonard
lost his life in a fire, which destroyed the house of his parents while living on the Morris place, as a small child.
Eva
was a stenographer. Her husband is an upholsterer in Calgary. They have three children
Leo
was born in Utica, NY. He became an accountant. He passed away at the age of 20 in BC in 1947.
David, spent a few years in Iowa with his parents and family,then came to the Hazel Hill district where he took his public education. He helped with farm duties as a young man, also he farmed the NE 1/4 of 26 one year with his brother-in-law Bob Kirkpatrick, later farming in the Grand Meadow district. In 1934, he married Chrissie GEE, a teacher, who had come from Scotland in 1926. She continued to teach school in Ponoka and various districts for thirty-six years, until completing her Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta, after which she became the Vice-Principal of Ponoka Elementary School. Dave retired after twenty-eight years employment at the Alberta Hospital. David and Chrissie have two sons.
Wayne
graduated from Colorado State College and taught at Ponoka Junior High School.
Donald
graduated from West Texas State University and worked as a sociologist there.
LEONA went to school in Iowa, USA, and in the Hazel Hill district. She attended Camrose Normal School and later taught in the Bluffton distict. They had three sons, Patrick, who passed away before 1973, Joe, Charlie, as well as two daughters, - Doris and Joyce.
LOIS attended Camrose Normal School and taught in the Hazel Hill district in 1935. She married Earl BERDINE of Chain Lakes.
Stephen came, when a boy, to Grand Meadow district in 1901, later going back to Iowa with his parents. He and his two sisters went to school there. After coming back to Alberta, they finished their early education at Hazel Hill. Stephen helped his father on the farm. He liked sports, played hockey, and played on the ball team in the district. He and Helen FINK were married in August 1934 at the Ben Fink home with close relatives attending. A new two-roomed house was built on the Gee farm where they made their home until the fall of 1938. While living here two girls, Jeanette and Elaine were born. Having bought the NE 1/4 of 26 in 1938 they farmed this and rented land until 1947. Two more children were born Evelyn and Billy. They decided to live in BC and lived at Canal Flats for two years coming back to farm west of Ponoka, where their younger son Mickey was born.
Jeanette
took education and taught school in Ponoka. She married and had eight children.
Elaine
taught school and later married Louis STUBERVOLL, a carpenter in Ponoka. They had five children.
Evelyn
was employed at Alberta Hospital. She married Marvin MORROW worked at "Sheet Metal" in Ponoka. They had two boys.
Bill
was in the Services and in the mid 1970's was stationed in Montreal.
Mickey
was attending school in Ponoka in the mid 1970's
Blanche married Bob KIRKPATRICK in 1916. They lived a few years in the Anthony Hill district, later moving to the Hazel Hill district where they farmed the NE 1/4 of Sec. 26. In 1938, they moved to Onalaska, Washington, USA. They had five children.
Fred
worked for the Maintenance Dept of the School County in Little Rock (Olympia), Washington, USA. He married Pearl NICHOLAS. They had three children.
Jean
attended high school in Ponoka, completing her education in the United States. She married Henry PARNEL of Onalaska, USA. They had four children of which the eldest, a daughter was deceased by 1973.
Ronnie
married Eulah CHAPMAN. They had six children. Ronnie operated a trucking business, hauling logs to various mills. They lived in Chiloquin, Oregon, USA.
Dorothy
married Call CHAPMAN of Little Rock (Olympia), Washington, USA. They had two children.
Ted
married Carol SHARPE. They had three children, and lived at Chiloquin, Oregon, USA. He worked with Ronnie in the trucking business.
Based on excerpt from:
GEE Family RESEARCHER:
GEE Family WEB SITE :

The Andrew P. ANDERSEN Family
Sylvan Side
Andrew and Bertha Andersen with infant son Albert immigrated from Denmark to Geneva, Minnesota in about 1902. Andrew worked on the railroad repair crew and the first winter froze his hands, feet and eyes in a severe snowstorm.
Later he had a shop, which he sold and went about farming. In 1908 a second son Einer was born. Andrew and Bertha farmed in North and South Dakota. While farming there they were in two cyclones which completely demolished their buildings each time and they were rebuilding again when they met Pat Case, who suggested coming to Ponoka. In January, 1914 a third son Reinhart was born. That Spring they came to Ponoka and farmed three years, west of town. In 1917 they purchased S.E. of 28-42-W4 from Hans Larsen. In 1918 a daughter, Marie was born.
In 1924 Andrew, Bertha and family spent a holiday in Washington at which time they purchased their first car. During the winter of 1937-38 they went to B.C. because of Andrew's health. Bertha passed away at Victoria in February 1938, and in December 1939 Andrew passed away in Vancouver.
The children ...
Albert was born in Denmark and came to the USA with his parents. He married Blanche Barnes in 1921. They lived in a small house on the farm and helped his Dad, later purchasing a small acreage north of Ponoka on the old highway. Albert helped build the No.2A highway, which was done mostly with horses, and he was in the Army during World War II. Albert and Blanche had nine children
Leslie
moved to Edmonton and worked for the Edmonton Fire department. Married and had one child.
Walter
moved to Valleyview, Alberta and farmed
Cedric
moved to Valleyview, Alberta and farmed
Dorothy
married Howard Grey and moved to Edmonton with their daughter.
Muriel
moved to Wetaskiwin, Alberta
Delores
moved to Edmonton, Alberta
Stanley
married Dorothy (?) and managed a ranch south of Calgary.
Norman
married Helen (?) and farmed northwest of Ponoka
Darroll
worked in the oil fields in northern Alberta
Einer married Ethel Jorgensen in 1954. They lived in Ontario for a year, after which they moved back to Ponoka where Einer took a job working fro Canadian Propane. They had three sons.
David
moved to Kamloops, British Columbia.
Jerry
moved to Kamloops, British Columbia.
Richard
worked in construction in Ponoka.
Rienhart married Elly Lange in 1939. They farmed the home place for a year, then moved to Ontario, later returning to Ponoka where Rienhart worked in town and also farmed the Pete Iversen place. They later moved to Duncan, British Columbia. They had 4 children.
Sally
married Bill (?) and moved to Gold River, British Columbia. They have 3 children.
Elaine
taught school and later married Louis STUBERVOLL, a carpenter in Ponoka. They had five children.
Joan
married Jim (?) and they and rheir family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Bob
lived in Ponoka
Jim
worked at Gold River, British Columbia
Marie married John Hansen in 1939. They purchased the home farm selling to Mr. Ogilvie in 1943 and moved to Wetaskiwin where they operated the Billiards and then a Green house until the Fall of 1950, at which time they moved back to Ponoka, where John with Gordon Stretch operated Ponoka Billiards until 1952, when they sold this and bought Ponoka Flower and Gift Shop. They sold the shop and bought a farm at Nelson Lake. Later sold the farm to C. Jevene and moved back to Ponoka, starting the Ponoka Swap Shop, which they sold in 1969 to their daughter and son-in-law at which time they retired. John and Marie have two children: John and Esther.
John
married Lynda Cook in 1968. They have one girl, and make their home in Ponoka.
Esther
married Elmer Prediger in 1962, they operate the Ponoka Swap Shop. Elmer also drives a school bus. They have two children.
Based on excerpt from:
ANDERSEN Family RESEARCHER:
ANDERSEN Family WEB SITE :
unknown

The Arthur HOLBEN Family
NE of 27 in the Grand Meadow District
In the fall of 1899 two brothers Arthur and James HOLBEN came to Ponoka from Magnolia, Iowa to look its farm land over. They returned home and the next spring 1900 Arthur Holben and son Herbert emigrated to the District, which is now known as Grand Meadows. Mrs. Holben and family, George, Fred, Emily and Pletus followed in 1901. They settled on the NE quarter of 27. During the summer of 1901, a real estate agent from Ponoka, the late C.C. REED, visiting at the Holben farm, in the course of conversation mentioned that the farm should be named Grand Meadow Ranch; thus it was that when Mr. Holben donated the land for a school it was named Grand Meadow School, in honor of the donor.
The same spring of 1901 James Holben and family settled on the NE quarter of 26, where today only skeleton remains of buildings may be seen across from GEE's gravel pit.
HERB left in 1906 or 1907 to go railroading for the CPR He had the misfortune to lose his arm while on the job in what is now known as Rogers Pass. He returned home in the later years and worked in the stock yards here for L.J. AUTEN and later for Jim EASTON.
FRED married Nellie RAYCRAFT and they lived on the FORSYTHE farm in the Grand Meadow district.
EMILY married Robert HOLMES and they lived in Hazel Hill District, then they sold their farm and moved to town and later to Red Deer.
GEORGE married Irene THOMAS and they resided on the Alberta Hospital grounds where George was employed until his retirement in 1956 and they now live in town.
The Holbens resided on the farm until their sale in March, 1926, when they moved to town, where they celebrated their Golden Anniversary in May.
George, his sister Emily (Mrs. R. Holmes - Red Deer) and a sister in Iowa, Mrs. Alice CARRIGAN are the only living members of this family.
Based on excerpt from:
HOLBEN Family RESEARCHER:
unknown
HOLBEN Family WEB SITE :
unknown

The Walter GEE Family
NW of 35 - Grand Meadow District
Mr. and Mrs. GEE were born in Iowa and were united in marriage in 1898 in Onawa, Iowa. In 1900, Mr. Gee accompanied Arthur and James HOLBEN to Alberta to look the land over. He took up a homestead and the next year his wife joined him. They continued in residence there all of their lives and built a fine set of buildings over the years. Mr. Gee was keenly interested in horses, being awarded a life membership in the Canadian Percheron Association, and exhibited his purebred horses at many fairs.
Mrs. Gee had a very wide circle of friends through her devotion to family, friends, neighbors, and community. She was a charter member of Grand Meadow F.W.U.A. and they both helped to organize and support the Rest Room Association from its beginning. Many were the social events she helped hostess and convene throughout her lifetime. Mrs. Gee passed away suddenly on January 7, 1946 while Mr. Gee lived to be 86, passing away on August 14, 1962. They had one son MYRL.
The children ...
NW of 35 & NE of 27 Grand Meadow District

Myrl attended school at both Sharphead and Grand Meadow took his High School in Ponoka, went on to the University of Alberta and to the College of the Pacific in California, majoring in Geology. He next articled with a Chartered Accountant Firm in Calgary. In 1941, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force serving for almost six years. In 1945, he married Vera BOEHMER of Ottawa. They returned to the farm to live after his discharge. Always fond of trucking, Myrl early began earning his living hauling grain, coal, livestock, and gravel. The accessibility of gravel on the Gee farm and the PURNELL farm, which he later purchased led to the development of gravel, Heavy Hauling, and Earth Moving Business. The company also does oilfield earth and moving work. A gravel pit on the SW of 35 included a washer set up on he Battle River so clean washed gravel is delivered near and far. Myrl leases his land and lives in town, but is a conservationist at heart for no hunting or trapping of wildlife is allowed along the river that runs through the farm. Mr. and Mrs. GEE have one daughter, Marsha, who is Mrs. Robert RUNEY and they have one son Wade Myrl, age 2 1/2. Marsha has developed her grandfather's love for horses, and she and her husband are raising and showing them. They have training at Phoenix, Arizona now Robert is a graduate Farrier and Marsh a trained Horse Trainer

Based on excerpt from:
GEE Family RESEARCHER:
GEE Family WEB SITE :

The Richard BLAKE Family E 1/2 of Section 31 - Hazel Hill District and S.E. of 20-42-25 - Seafield District

Article 1: Richard Blake, was born in Grey County, andhis wife was born in Bruce County, Ontario. They married in 1887 and made their first home in Wiorton, Ontario, where they had a family of three boys and three girls. One daughter passed away as a child of age 9.
At that time in Ontario, the west was advertized as the land of milk and honey, so Richard decided to move west in the spring of 1902. His wife and family of five children - 3 boys and 2 girls - followed in the fall.
In 1903 Richard took out a homestead in what was known as the Buckhorn district some 20 miles west of Ponoka. The lived there until around 1911 and then rented a farm in the Seafield district. Around 1915 the family moved into town, and in 1916 Richard joined the 151 battalion in the army. By this point, the family had grown to include four more girls.
Richard was part of the building of some of the early buildings in Ponoka.
In 1923 Richard and family rented the east 1/2 of section 31 in the Hazel Hill District. That year, their son Bill moved out in December with his wife and family to manage the farm.
Richard and his wife spent their remaining days in and around Ponoka. Richard passed away in 1927 and his wife followed in 1947.

The children ...

Celena married Ed McLAUGHLIN of the Malmo district. They ran a service station until Ed passed away. After that Celena made her home in Rimoka Lodge. They had one son.
Bill (William) married a girl from North Dakota. They had a family of four - 3 boys and 1 girl. Bill passed away in 1923 in a drowning accident. He was walking across the lake on the farm, and the ice broke beneath him. His eldest son died prior to 1973 and the remaining family moved to the USA.
Val married Doris SETTLE. They made their home in Nanton. Val passed away in 1959.
Dick made his home in Ponoka. He worked at bridge building, and he drove a truck on the Alaska highway when it was under construction. In later years he became a carpenter.
Mary married Tom TORGESON. They had one daughter. Tom passed away in 1942. She married Morris Rasmussen. They live at Winfield, B.C.
Ella married Ray STRAUSE. They had a family of four boys and two girls. Ray passed away. She married George Trainor and they live in Vancouver.
Martha married Gus SWARD. They farmed in the Usona district for 35 years. They retired to Ponoka in 1970. They had two sons.
Myrtle stayed at home and looked after mother when she became ill. After mother passed away, she worked in and around Ponoka. She later made her home in Ponoka with her brother Dick.
Anna married Ray PETERSON. They made their home in Ponoka, Edmonton and Fairview. They had a family of two sons. Ray passed away in 1961. Anna remarried to Arlen Jaycock, a farmer in Hay Lakes.

Based on excerpt from:
BLAKE Family RESEARCHER:
BLAKE Family WEB SITE :
unknown

The James Edward AYLWIN Family
James Edward Aylwin was the first settler in the Ponoka and Arbor District.
He was born at Aylmer, Quebec on August 6, 1845 and came west in 1881 with his sister and brother-in-law Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Lucas. This journey was made by rail as far as Winnipeg and then the long trek across the prairie to Edmonton and to Peace Hills, now Wetaskiwin.
Mr. Aylwin joined the staff of the Department of Indian Affairs under the direction of S. B. Lucas who was sub-agent at the Peace Hill reserve. Mr. Aylwin worked until after the rebellion in 1885 and took a homestead SW of where Menaik now is, the present Les Bartley farm. Mr. Aylwin built a comfortable house, store and Post Office combined. The walls were neatly hewn logs and the shingles of native lumber, hand made. The fur trade with the Indians was a source of revenue and as they were on the direct route of the freighters, their supplies were brought right to their door.
The later years on the old home place were spent farming. By 1915 they had a section of land and a family of four boys and four girls. Mr. Aylwin died a tragic death in a runaway binder accident Aug. 1915.
Based on excerpt from:
AYLWIN Family RESEARCHER:
AYLWIN Family WEB SITE :

"Pioneer Biographies"

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