Grandfather Fleming was born in the beautiful village ofConistan, England in the year of 1886. Grandfather was the eldest of elevenchildren, seven girls and three boys besides himself. Five of hissisters are still alive and well, the rest of the family died includinggrandfather.
He grew up into manhood in England, working for his fatherafter he got through school. His father had a farm and also a meat market.Grandfather used to herd the sheep on the hills and also helped his fatherin the butcher shop. He peddled the meat around the village in a small cart.Grandfather didn't like this job because many times it was cold and wet,in the village. He came home many days soaking wet and cold. This will explainpart of his reason for wanting to come to the United States or Canada.
Grandfather came over on a ship taking about two weeksto come. He landed in Montreal and later came to Winnipeg by train. Somefriends there thought it would be best for him if he went to the UnitedStates, so he went to St. Vincent. The first summer he worked for Mr. JackGriffith to get experience in farming in the great Red River Valley.
Later he bought a quarter of land south of St. Vincentwhere he built a large house for him and his wife to live in the next spring,when he was to marry Annie Topham who also came from England. Grandfatherlived on this quarter of land for five years. After finding it hard to getwater for the cattle, grandfather decided to move the house to a new locationalong the Red River. They moved this beautiful house for that time, acrossthe field with two large Rumely Tractors. The dinner dishes were still onthe table when they started to move the house and only a drop of milk wasspilt. Just after they moved the house they made the great decision to buya car. They bought a Model A Touring.
There were a lot of hardships in the early times. Firstof all there were not any tractors to work up the fields, just horses thatyou could only work for about five hours in the morning and five hours inthe afternoon. At that time they would use two or three outfits made upof four or five horses. Grandfather and his hired man used to milk betweenten and twelve cows by hand which was no easy job either. There were noelectric lights in the house or barn, just old red lanterns that you couldhardly see your way around with.
In 1937, Grandfather got his first tractor and sold mostof the horses. Grandfather really thought this was something to have a tractorthat could do the work faster and not have to feed it all winter long. Grandfatherthen thought it wise to get rid of all the horses except for four, but soondecided he didn't even need four so he sold two more and later sold allthe rest because he had no use for them. About this time he decided to sellall of his cattle and buy some sheep so his chores would be much easier.
About 1959, grandfather bought a 32 volt light plant thatprovided light in every room of the house and the barn. It wasn't big enoughto run any motor but just to have lights was really something at that time.
In l952, grandfather retired from farming and moved intoPembina. Grandfather bought a fairly new house at that time. Soon aftergrandfather moved to Pembina, he started working at the locker plant helpingwith the butchering and the cutting up the meat. Grandfather was real busythere for many years.
In 1952, grandfather and grandmother went to England tosee all his family and friends over there. They stayed about nine months.They didn't like it in England because the houses were so cold they nearlyfroze. They didn't have the heating systems we have. Fireplaces and a littlestove in the kitchen were the customary ways of heating the English homes.
During grandfather's last years he did a lot of traveling.One year they made a trip out to Vancouver, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Grandfatherhas spent many happy times during his life. Grandfather died in 1967 andGrandmother died in 1969.
Seed, W. J., St. Vincent, Minn. January 10, 1971
Seed, W. J. Mrs., St. Vincent, Minn. January 9, 1971