Pioneer Biographies pg5
The Hugh PRITCHARD Family The Percival BAKER Family
The Tom JEFFRIES Family The Robert H. JONES Family
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The Hugh PRITCHARD Family
Climax & Asker Districts
Hugh PRITCHARD came to the Climax district from Caernarvonshire, North Wales, in April 1914 and worked for his brother-in-law, R.H. JONES for two years. After this, in partnership with Humphrey EVANS, he rented Walter KEONIG'S place until 1917 when he and Humphrey purchased Levi Davies' farm. In the spring of 1918, Hugh was called to war, returning to Ponoka in the summer of 1919.
November of 1922, Hugh married Annie Evans, sister of his partner Humphrey EVANS, and bought out his brother-in-law's portion of the farm. Annie and Hugh lived in the Climax district until 1931 when they moved to the Asker district.
The children ...
Annie and Hugh had four children: Catherine, Arvon, Robert and Evion
Based on excerpt from: "Mecca Glen Memoires" (1968)

The Percival BAKER Family
Ponoka Rural (East)
Some members of the Baker family have sene the self-propelled machines take over from oxen and horses, an electric motor replace the horse that once ran the pump, turning what was called a horsepower.
Percival Baker came from Ontario in 1909 and broke 80 acres, losing 40 pounds in the process. He and his wife had five sons and two daughters: Addison, Page, Paul, John, Susie and Adeline (the remaining son is not mentioned in the book article).
Mr. Baker was formerly a minister, and he was approached to become the pastor of the Church of Christ in Ponoka. He served the parish until his death in 1921.
Percival believed that farmers were competing against each other, but were being exploited by government protected monopolies. He felt that organization was the answer, so with support of his family who took over the running of the farm, Percival joined the United Farmers Association (U.F.A) where he served as Vice President, under H.W. WOOD, with whom he became good friends. When the U.F.A. went into politics he was elected to the Alberta legislature in 1921. His career was cut short, just a few days after he was elected, when he was fatally injured by a falling tree.
The children...
Paul: Continued farming, and with his brother John added the east half of section 29 to the farm. When Paul married May ADAMS of London, England in 1933, he built a small house on the west side of the road. Paul served as municipal and county councellor for many years, and when he and May moved into town (Ponoka) he sat on the town council. May worked at the Alberta Hospital until she retired in 1970 as supervisor of teh nurses residence.
Paul and May have three children: Esme, Stanley and Richard.
Esme (Murguly) is a registrered nurse living in Edmonton, and has two daughers Veronica and Shirley.
Stanley is a highschool teacher in Calgary (1973).
Richard married Barbara Finlay and they have two children: Heather and Eric.
Eric is a teacher in Edmonton (1973).
Addison: Taught school before enlisting in World War I. He was wounded in action, losing an eye. After the war, he practiced law in Alberta. He married Margaret DUNCAN from Scotland, and they moved to California. They had one daughter Peggy.
John: Continuing farming with his brother Paul, and when his mother went to Edmonton to live with Susie, John sold his land to Paul and moved to Vancouver where he worked in a sawmill.

Page: The eldest son in this family. He purchased N.E. of 5 and was a teacher. He married Gladys SPARKS in 1915 and in 1929 sold out to Otto ALBERS. They moved to W1/2 of 29, which he farmed with his son Percy. He promoted the Wheat Pool and other co-ops, and served on various boards, including the school district and phone company. Page and Gladys had two children: Percy and Eileen.
Eileen is a teacher (1973) and married a fellow teacher, O.V. JONES. They live at Bow Island (1973), and have three children: Kathryn, Richard and David.
Percy went to Calgary to take a Farm Mechanics course at teh Provincial Insitute of Technology, where he met his wife Janett PEARSON, whose father was teaching his course. Percy taught for a year in the Tractor Mechanics and Construction department of the "Tech" , and also worked in the shop at Wilkerson & McClean. Percy and Janett were married in Calgary in July 1948, and in the spring of 1949, they moved to Ponoka to farm with Percy's father Page. They have 4 children: Gordon, James, Ralph and Mary Ellen. Percy is an active supporter of co-ops and Unifarm.

For more information about Percival Baker, see the article on the Church of Christ and the page on Federal and Provincial representatives.
For more information about Paul Baker, see the page on local government.

Based on an excerpts from Ponoka Panorama (1973)

The T.E. JEFFRIES Family
Eureka District

On morning in early March 1905, a young man of Welsh origin was standing at the bow of an ocean liner in mid Atlantic, thinking of the past but looking into the future. No doubt there was a bit of bitterness in his thoughts and who can blame him for that. After all he had spent years studying for the ministry only to be told near the end of his studies that he was going deaf with no hope of cure and deafness in teh ministry is a hard handicap. But with "Jeff's" enthusiasm for life it did not dishearten him. No one losing his hearing overcame the handicap much better than he.
He came directly to Ponoka and took the last homestead in the Eureka district, proved up on it and lived there for all but three years of his Alberta stay spent in Calgary as a minister of a church there. Other than these three years beginning in 1921 he was minister of the Magic field, later known as the Zion church, until 1939. He also ministered in Climax and Eureka in the early days.
Jeff loved the farm life and was most fortunate to have his nephew, Iola Jeffries came to live with him about the mid twenties. As he grew older Iola very capably took over the farm work. His companionship gave Jeff a great deal of pleasure. It was a sad blow to him when Iola passed away in 1931.
In 1933 Jeff left the single state and married a Mrs. Davis of Calgary. Mrs. Jeffreys very quickly won the friendship of all who came to know her and was a big help in Jeff's church work. Her mother spent a number of summer with the Jeffries and ultimately made her home with them.
One of Jeff's marked characteristics was his humour even as it might be related to his handicap, deafness - two incidents that he loved to tell about were as follows: He once wanted some information about the C.P.R. so went to the station to ask Tom WEST, station agent about it . West replied but Jeff could not hear him so he very quickly brought out the speaking tube and handed it to Tom to speak into. West, thinking it to be a gun and a hold up, dropped to the floor much to Jeff's surprise and later his humour. The other incident was in a Chinese cafe that was located about where the present MacLeod building stands. Jeff was having dinner with Levi Davies and I think Robin Williams. They were using the speaking tube which was getting the best of the young Chineses waiter's curiosity. After a bit he gathered up enough courage to put the end of the hearing tube to his ear to see what was happening. Jeff on seeing this, picked up the other end and yelled into it. Our young Oriental friend went about three feet straight up and came down running, disappearing into the kitchen. And Jeff used to get as much kick out of telling this part as the rest. After a bit the young waiter came back and asked of Levi and Robin as he pointed to Jeff, "Is he clazy?" Humour and read wit were a marked part of Jeff's nature.
In 1940 Jeffries' sold out on the farm and moved to Ponoka living there until 1945 when they went to live in Victoria. Mrs. Jeffries' mother accompanied them, where Mrs. Jeffries still lives. Mrs. Jones lived until close to a hundred years of age passing away in Wales. Mr. Jeffries passed away in 1967 having lived to be 89 years old.

Based on an excerpt from Mecca Glen Memories (1968)

The Robert H. JONES Family
Elkhorn District
Robert Henry JONES was born in Clynnog, Caernarvonshire, North Wales, on May 30, 1887, of Welsh parents. After losing his parents at an early age, he made his home with his aunt who was Humphrey Evans' mother. In 1900 he made his way to Amercia and he worked in Vermont, USA in the quarries and later he moved to Newfoundland, Canada. Following the severe earthquake in San Francisco in 1907, he moved there to help repair the damaged structures.
In 1910, on his third visit to Wales, he married Laura PRITCHARD and they both returned to America, this time settling in Warner, Idaho, USA, where Robert worked in mining. Robert's brother joined him and also worked in the mines but was killed in an accident, and is buried in Warner.
After suffering from a serious illness, Robert determined that he needed to find another line of work, and moved his family to Tyler, Washington, USA to accept a position as a ranch hand. The Welsh settlement of Wood River attracted Laura and Robert, and they made their way to Ponoka in 1912, and became established on a farm in the Climax district.
Robert followed farming successfully and by careful planning he prospered. He took a very prominent and active part int he religious and social life of the community and he was always an ardent church worker wherever he lived. He was a keen student of literature, an authority on the Welsh language and customs, and a familiar figure on the stage, conducting festivals and programs. Mrs. Laura Jones provided many hours of practical nursing to families in the district under the approval of Dr. GRAHAM.
In 1933, the family moved to Ponoka, where the next few years, Robert became interested in town affairs, serving on the council from 1939 - 1942, and he was also Mayor from 1942 - 1946.
Robert conducted the dedication services on October 9, 1955, for the memorial gateway to that part of the cemetery where many of the pioneers of Wood River are buried.
After Laura's death in 1945, Robert moved to Victoria where he passed on February 19, 1956.
The children ...
Robert and Laura had one daughter, Eluned who married John H. WILLIAMS on August 14, 1948. They had three children: Eric John (1951), Kenneth Robert (1953) and Janet Lynn (1957)
Based on excerpt from: "Mecca Glen Memoires" (1968)

 

"Pioneer Biographies"


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