Located northwest of the well-known Roblin District of Manitoba, just short of the Saskatchewan border, the once bustling village of Makaroff was the hub of a thriving farming community. Streets were lined with horse-drawn vehicles and the clang of the blacksmith shops echoed over salutations of neighbour greeting neighbour. Well-mannered children played peek-a-boo from behind their mother’s skirts then chased each other up and down the boardwalks. In winter, the sounds of sleighs gliding over the frosty snow came from all directions and farmers vied for stalls in the warm and cozy livery stable. The streets echoed with the slap of a puck, the screech of skates and shouts, “NOW! Sweep! All the way - ALL the WAY!” On Sundays, the church on the corner was well attended and on special occasions humanity swarmed around the Community Hall as they came to honour one of their own, join in the fun of a social evening or watch with pride as their young ones performed at a concert. In summer the school picnic, baseball and tennis games kept people happily competing for top honours. It was a time when entertainment was home grown and everyone participated, the young and old and in-between. Who were these people? Where had they come from? And what was it that gave these courageous stalwarts the drive and energy to take a once raw and unpopulated piece of the New West and mold it into a thriving and caring community?
Makaroff did not develop until after 1900. The lack of railway facilities, roads and bridges had provided no incentive to pioneers whose only access was by means of a river and an abandoned trail.
In lands known as the Northwest Territories, the Hudson Bay Company in 1824 had constructed Fort Pelly to serve as a trading center for the whole of the eastern plains. Built on a branch of the Swan River, it had developed over the years as one of the most important of all company posts; goods arriving and departing to and from York Factory were transshipped from Fort Pelly by cart overland. To accommodate its expanding business, the company built Fort Ellice in 1831, near where the Qu’Appelle River flowed into the Assiniboine. The route travelled between these two forts became known as the Pelly Trail. After the Canadian Government purchased the land in 1869 and all trading posts were closed, the trail was seldom used.
James Johnson followed the trail northward in 1879 to establish a government sponsored farm-training center at Crow Stand, near Fort Pelly. When his contract expired four years later, he followed the trail southward and where the trail crossed the Boggy Creek, he registered for a homestead. In the meantime, R. J. Brooks had come from Ontario in 1881and established a ranch twelve miles north of Russell, where the trail crossed the Shell River. He had erected a log house and the following spring met his wife and family at the C.P.R. stop at Moosomin. From there they had journeyed to their home by means of a cart pulled a team of oxen. Mrs. Brooks was the first white woman to live in the area between the Shell and Assiniboine Rivers. Settlers, however, remained sparse; it wasn’t until the turn of the century in anticipation of the coming railroad that homesteaders began to arrive in significant numbers.
The area of Makaroff, surveyed as early as 1880, was comprised of the north half of township 26, all of township 27 and the south half of township 28. The Dominion Homestead Program, however, proved very disappointing and settlement was sparse. Furthermore, many of the original claimants either cancelled or abandoned their land to take up residence elsewhere. In the early 1880s, Ben Marshall registered for homestead SW 30-27-29 and in anticipation of an influx of settlers to follow; a post office had been opened on his property in 1885. He and his sons, Robert and Dugald occupied the homestead and grazed cattle on section 4-27-29 but by the time a forest fire raged through the area in 1890 it was evident that patronage would not improve. The Ardpatrick Post Office was closed in 1891. Settlement of the area did not begin until ten years later.
With the commencement of a railway westward from Grandview, homesteaders spread out in anticipation of its arrival. Many left the end-of-line at Russell and followed the Pelly Train northward. By 1900, the hamlet of “Asessippi” had gradually developed where the trail crossed the Shell River. The homesteaders arriving from the end-of-steel at Grandview, crossed the Shell River at a place referred to as “Dan Roberts”, a spot where the riverbed was shallow. Here they could cross with carts and wagons, find lush green grass for their animals and a suitable location for overnight camping. From whichever direction they came, they were especially happy to find a place where they could obtain overnight lodging and a meal.
For many years the Brook and Johnson homes became a welcome sight for hungry and weary travellers; their homes were referred to as “Stopping Houses”. The May 7, 1903 issue of The Russell Banner reported … “continual stream of settlers going north, stopping at the R. J. Brooks’ Stopping Place, which accommodates people travelling northward.” Its July 28, 1903 issue stated, “Brooks gave out 70 meals on Sunday.” and its August 1907 issue, “We sadly report the death of R. J. Brooks.” The January 12, 1932 issue of the Roblin Review read: “She (Mrs. Brooks), ministering to the sick and ailing, overflowing with Mother spirit, gave lavishly of her care to those in need.” And, in July of that year, it regrettably reported her death. The hospitable Dan Roberts died of injuries received when a fierce cyclone in 1927 lifted and destroyed his house with him in it. These fine people played no small part in the lives of early pioneers.
Makaroff Pioneers includes those who came to Makaroff and settled in the area during its first years of development. A sincere apology is extended to those deserving of recognition but are not included because of lack of information. This article is based on facts as understood by its writer and as such is subject to human error.
PAST AND PRESENT DAYS: HISTORY OF MAKAROFF AND DISTRICT 1901 - 1970 published by the Makaroff Women’s Institute for Centennial Year.
SHELL RIVER MUNICIPALITY CENTURY ONE 1884 - 1984: MEMORIES OF ROBLIN AND RURAL DISTRICTS published by Roblin History Book Committee 1986.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES: LAND RECORDS (HOMESTEADS)
The ROBLIN REVIEW: specific archival issues.
The RUSSELL BANNER: specific archival issues.
Specific information: received personally by letter, e-mail, or telephone.
The MAP OF MAKAROFF AREA will assist the reader in locating the home of their family.
The pioneers are listed as near as can be determined in the order (year) in which they arrived at Makaroff; but those arriving in the same year are not necessarily listed in the order in which they actually appeared. For instance, if one came in May 1902 and another not until August 1902, that fact is of no particular significance - just that they both arrived in 1902.
MAKAROFF PIONEER SURNAMES:
Johnson, Rogers, Sloan, Walker, Crane, Collings, Kerswell, Powell, Elliott, McGegor, McCorquodale, Craven, Sinclair, Diamond, Collis, Radford, Pillen, Donaldson, Grundy, Button, Miller, Pound, Arnott, Sharp, Casson, Evans, Beattie, Boyce, Ader, McGinnis, Currey, Christensen, Davis, La Pere, Fannon, Fillmore, Large, Laird, Mills, Arnott, Hogg, Hampson, Traub, Payne, Law, Curle, Addis, Harvey, Howe, Beerman, Hilderman, McInnes, Robinson, McMurray, Allen, Scoville, Labuik, Johnson, Laird, Cobbe, Yourchek, Mortemore, Mysko, Bileski, Shymkiw, Nabe, Wilson, Johnson, Lindsay, Sangster, Capelle, Deederly, Hohle, Michaluk, Elder, Beck, Hischebett, Becker, Halirewich, Shearer, Nowell, Van Dretch, Cryderman, Prokopowich, Skrepnechuk, Bangle, Lupichuk.
JAMES JOHNSON, in 1879 accepted a government appointment as a
farm instructor at Crow Stand, Fort Pelly, in the North West Territory
(Saskatchewan). His wife remained at their home in Billings Bridge, Ontario
with the younger children and James, accompanied by his two sons, Robert
and Adam and daughter Margaret, travelled by rail south of the Great Lakes
to St. Paul. There they obtained a wagon, three Red River carts, horses
and oxen as well as supplies, and headed north on the Pembina Trail to
Winnipeg. There, restocking their supplies with enough salt pork and staples
for the trip, they set out once more, northwestward, via the Dawson Trail,
eventually intercepting the Pelly Trail and following it northward. Swollen
streams hampered their travel - just crossing the Minnedosa River had taken
a full day - a raft had to be constructed using the four wheels of the
wagon to ferry the supplies across the swirling water. They arrived at
Crow Stand thirty-two days later after existing almost entirely on a diet
of salt pork and flapjacks. On finally reaching their destination, they
constructed a small shack of logs with a pole roof packed with long prairie
grass to keep out the rain. Their winter’s supply of food was brought in
a month after their arrival: 52 sacks of flour, 13 barrels of pork, 3 chests
of tea, 3 barrels of granulated sugar, 100 pounds of baking powder, 4 barrels
of dried apples, bags of raisins and currants, and boxes of rice and dried
There were over two thousand Crees in the Crow Stand vicinity, including three chiefs; “Caty” representing the Presbyterians, “Keys” the Church of England and “Keetchato” the Roman Catholics. The one schoolteacher was “Cub” MacKay. Teaching the Natives to farm, however, was somewhat a dismal success; believing their job was to do the hunting, most of the men refused to do farm labour. The women were left to do the farming as well as their traditional tasks; they threshed grain with flails and cleaned turnips and other vegetables for stews - to which sometimes even entails and rawhide were added. Buffalo were rapidly disappearing, food was a constant concern and even young boys, six to ten years of age were expected to help provide. They’d whittle dozens of willow branches to a sharp point, plant them firmly in the ground with the point slanted in the direction from which the rabbit would approach; then run into the bush barking like a dog, chasing the rabbits along the runs. As many as a dozen rabbits were sometimes pierced and killed in one drive.
Four years after their arrival, James Johnson’s teaching assignment came to an end. He and his two sons and daughter packed up their meager belongings, said farewell to their new friends, and left Crow Stand. They retraced their steps southward along the Pelly Trail to the point where it crossed the Boggy Creek, not far from where the creek emptied into the Assiniboine River. Here they stopped, looked around, liked what they saw and decided it was the perfect spot in which to settle and build a home. They set up a camp and James registered for homestead SW 28-26-29 (please note that at the National Archives, Land Records reflect that his name was spelled with a “t”: Johnston). Felling logs to build a more permanent home before winter arrived, the three men hitched horses to the logs and pulled and floated them home, some from as far away as the Duck and Riding mountains. Beams and flooring for their house were cut using a sawpit. Logs were laid on a frame above the pit and, with one man above and another below; a saw was pulled up and down on a carefully marked chalk line and thus planks were made. Eventually, the log home was completed and Mrs. Johnson and the younger children arrived from Ontario. By this time the CPR had reached Moosomin; here they disembarked and were transported to their new home in a wagon. Pioneers leaving the end-of-the-line to seek homesteads were always welcomed at the Johnstons. Their home soon became known as a place where overnight accommodation and meals were available. It was referred to as the “Boggy Creek Stopping House”.
JAMES ROGERS, born in Pondicherry, India in 1814, served as an
officer in the Convict Service and later as a warden at Parkhurst Prison
on the Isle of Wight, England. In 1897, he and his second wife and their
eight children immigrated to Canada. They settled for a few years in the
Silver Creek area of Manitoba and in the spring of 1901, James and three
of his grown sons (Fred, Sidney and Walter) loaded supplies into their
wagon and set off northward over the old Pelly Trail in search of a homestead.
They filed on a section of land (16-27-29): James registered the NE quarter;
Fred the SW; Sidney the SE and Walter the SW. Their nearest neighbour was
the “Boggy” Johnson family. Land nearby was generously timbered and by
August a house had been built to welcome the arrival of Mrs. Rogers and
the rest of the family, which included three younger sons, two daughters
and a daughter-in-law. They brought with them three horses, two cows, one
pig, a few chickens and two geese.
The Roger family stories include many tales of early pioneer life. The young couple, Fred Rogers and his wife, not having a house as yet on their quarter, camped under a wagon box. One rainy morning they awoke hungry and, unable to light a fire, were forced to make a wild dash for his parent’s house in search of a hot breakfast. Supplies had to be brought from Russell with a team and wagon. It was a three-day trip but they soon found in winter that vegetables would not freeze if the wagon kept moving, as soon as motion ceased they would. In spring wild strawberries were reportedly so plentiful that the wheels of wagons were dyed red from their juices. Later, there was the Christmas when all their neighbours were invited to dinner - but one of the bachelors failed to arrive. Concerned, the men went searching and found their lost friend badly frozen; they bundled him into a sleigh and drove him to the nearest doctor at Russell. This is but one example of the sometimes-harsh reality of pioneering: the need to assist and care for each other. It was a bond that forged the heart of a community. James Rogers did the groundwork in organizing the Makaroff school district. Given the priveledge of naming the first school, he named it “Northwood” after the school his family had attended in England. The first teacher was Mr. Fincham and, until the school was built, the children met in his home on the banks of Boggy Creek north of Makaroff. They sat around his kitchen table and wrote on slates. Invited to act as the school’s first secretary-treasurer, James Rogers declined (due to ill health) and his eldest son, Fred, was appointed. The first church services were held in the Rogers’ home, conducted by Rev. Bartlett who drove from Russell with a horse and buggy. Failing in health, James Rogers expressed his wish to be buried in the corner of his son’s homestead near a spruce he had planted earlier. When he died in May of 1907, this wish was fulfilled. When his death was soon followed by that of Una, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Sloan, and in early 1909 by his own son, Fred, they too were buried near the spruce. The family donated one acre of this land March 10, 1909 to become the Makaroff Community Cemetery. The Rogers family included sons: Fredric William Spencer, Walter Henry Spencer, James Alexander Thomas Spencer, Sidney Ernest, Percy, Charles Edwin, and two daughters, Maude and May. Four of James Rogers’ sons served in active service during the First World War, two paid the supreme sacrifice. Maude married Thomas George Crane (see Crane). May married Frank Curle of Roblin and had three children: Frances, Cameron and Kenneth. Frances received her education in Roblin, was one of the first to graduate in Manitoba as a Licensed Practical Nurse and married Ronald Jakeman who operated the Jakeman Insurance and Real Estate of Roblin. The Jakemans had four children: Valerie, Colleen, Kenneth and Douglas.
FRED ROGERS took up homestead NW 16-27-29 in 1901, and while their log home was being constructed he and his wife, Eadith Collingridge, turned their wagon box upside down and slept beneath it. Eadith had been born in Hackney, Middlesex, England in 1875 and immigrated to Canada in 1892 with her paternal grandparents, John and Fenny Collingridge who had settled in the Solgirth area of Manitoba. She and Fred had been married in 1898 and their worldly possessions consisted of three horses, one milk cow and a little furniture they had brought in the wagon. They cleared the land of their homestead, planted crops and a large garden, and when the railway came through, raised turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese to sell to the railway men. Fred became the secretary-treasurer of the newly formed school district #1238 and their first son, Walter, was born in 1904 (the first white child born in the district). In the next three years, two more sons followed and the family soon owned 40 head of cattle. But February 2, 1909 they found themselves without water. Fred died of the poisonous gasses he inhaled when he climbed down into his well to locate the problem. He was buried near the spruce tree beside his father. Fred’s sister Maude and her husband, T. G. Crane, and their two children assisted Eadith on the farm until she married Fred’s brother Alex.
WALTER ROGERS, born and educated in Woking, England, immigrated in 1897 to work as a farmhand for his aunt at Solsgirth, MB and in 1901 came to Makaroff where he registered homestead SW 16-27-29. In 1916 during the First World War, he enlisted in the 107th Battalion. While serving in England in 1919 he married Agnes “Mabel” Rogers of Portsmouth. After his discharge, in October of that year, he brought his bride to Canada and settled on his homestead at Makaroff. They had two sons, Henry and Edward (Ted) and two daughters, Hilda and Edith. In 1939 Walter and Mabel retired to the village to live in the house formerly owned by Pete Naster (across from the Makaroff Hall). After Walter’s death in 1954, Mabel remained in Makaroff with Hilda and Ted until her death in 1968 at 84 years of age. Henry received a university education and worked for Indian Affairs in Ottawa; he married Eunice Feir and had one son. Edith, a nurse, worked several years in Brandon, married Don Campbell, had two sons and a daughter and later moved to Calgary. Ted worked on farms in the district during the summer and in the winter was caretaker at the Makaroff rink. Later, he and his sister Hilda moved into Roblin where he was employed at Forest Products. While there at work in 1976, Ted died of a massive heart attack. Hilda married Ed Dalle in 1974 and one day in 1976, while out taking one of the ‘drives’ they so loved, Hilda died in a car accident near Langenburg.
ALEX ROGERS, born 1884 in England, married his brother Fred’s widow Eadith in 1910 and took over his brother’s homestead, NW 16-27-29. Previously, in 1909 Eadith had adopted daughter Violet (see Stan Boyce) who had been born in Winnipeg in 1904. Alex and Eadith’s daughter Grace (see Elmer Bangle) was born in 1914. Alex enlisted in World War 1 and died September 27, 1916 of wounds sustained in battle. He is buried in the Warloy-Baillon war cemetery in France. After Alex’s death, Eadith remained on the farm; a new house was built in 1920 and Eadith died in 1951.
SIDNEY ROGERS took up the homestead SE 16-27-29 and married “Boggy” Johntson’s granddaughter, Georgina Elizabeth Johnson. After his father’s death he purchased Jame’s homestead, the NE quarter of section 16. Interested in politics, Sid served as Reeve of the Shell River Municipality for 26 years and as MLA for a short time before taking over the leadership of the Social Credit Party. He also served at home on the School Board and as Superintendent of the Sunday School. Mrs. Rogers was a member of the Ladies Aid and the WI but because of poor health was unable to be as active as she would have liked. Their seven children all attended the Makaroff Consolidated School. Their farm just south of town is remembered for its “swimming hole”, popular with young and old alike. After Sid retired from public life in 1949 he was employed in Winnipeg until his retirement in 1960. His wife died in 1947 and Sid in 1965; they are both resting in a cemetery in the city. Their children: Maude married Phil McGinnis (see McGinnis), farmed in the district for a time until moving to Saskatchewan; Ethel, a teacher, married Norman Young of Russell, and later moved to BC; Charlie ran the Makaroff farm until the house burned down then sold to George Beattie and moved west; Ernie married Peggy Simpson of Togo and went to Winnipeg; Percy joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, served overseas, was wounded and taken prisoner at Dieppe - he returned and was working at Britannia Beach, BC at the time of his sudden death in 1948; Sydnie, a stenographer, married Roy Wayman of North Battleford; Ada worked at Eaton’s in Winnipeg, married Gordon Pound (see Pound) and when he returned from serving overseas, returned to his folk’s farm and in 1947 built a house of their own on NE 4-27-29.
CHARLES ROGERS, the youngest son of the pioneering family, completed his education in Makaroff and at the outbreak of war enlisted with the first C.M.R.s. He served two years in active service before being taken prisoner of war; on his return to Canada in 1919 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. In 1920 he married Mary “Edna” McKnight and served as the town blacksmith for many years and later as its postmaster. He and his wife were both active in their community: Charles served as secretary of the Makaroff United Church and Secretary of the Consolidated School Board; Edna was a member of the W.I. and the Ladies’ Aid; both were ardent curlers. After Charles’ death in 1967 Edna remained in their home for several years before retiring to Roblin. She died at Crocus Court in Roblin in 1996. Charles and Edna had two sons and seven daughters: Christina married Tom Beck (see Beck), remained in the district and had six sons and six daughters: Arlene, Doris, Evelyn, Dale, Doug, Garry, Brian, Lawrence, Ann, Terry, Bev and Dennis; Mae married Jack Strachan, lived in Edmonton and had two daughters: Donna and Charlene; Marie married Harold Harvey while they were both in the CAF; they resided in Trenton, Ontario and had one daughter and five sons: Beatrice, Blair, Blain, Eldon, Robert and Douglas; Jeanne married James Loomis, resided in Calgary and had two sons and one daughter: Ronald, Kenneth and Sherry; Lucille married Alvin Bach, made their home in Brooks, AB, had four sons and three daughters: Thelma, Rita, David, Eric, Donald, Shirley and Bryan; James served in the RCN and married Claire Traup (Jim drowned in the Fraser River in 1967); Isabel married George Ashby and lived in Roblin, they had three daughters: Patrica, Gina and Colleen; Marlene married Sandy Rankin of the CAF and after being posted in France and Germany, returned to Brooks, AB; they had two daughters: Diane and Laura-Lee; Raymond married Noreen Young and lived in Calgary; they had a son and a daughter: Miles and Beverley.
GEORGE SLOAN, born 1860 at Coatsburg, Illinois, ventured as a young man of twenty-one to western Kansas where he freighted with a mule-train, hauling supplies for the government to soldiers at forts in Indian Territory. It was a dangerous mission and he was nearby when the Indians chained another freighter, Pat Hennessey, to his own wagon wheel and set him on fire. After the railway was extended west to El Reno, George took up a homestead at Stanton County, Kansas where he was elected to serve as Sheriff for several years. He married Alma Galway of Jerome, Indiana in 1888 and had two children, Una and George. Later the Sloans moved west into Indian Territory to settle at Bryon, Oklahoma. But, when land was opened up for homesteading in Manitoba, George answered the call of the frontier and was one of the first to arrive in the Makaroff district. He crossed the Shell River in the spring of 1902 with Tony Walker and Lorenzo Jolliffe. Because of flood conditions, with the water too high to ford, the men were required to use a small boat as the basis of a raft. With logs fastened securely on either side, they were able to drive their heavy loads onto the “raft” and pass safely over to the other side. It took several trips back and forth, to transport all their belongings. The livestock, guided by men on both shores, swam over with ropes tied to their heads and tails to keep them from being swept downstream. George claimed homestead SE 28-27-29 at Makaroff and his family followed as soon as a house was built. He served as the first councillor for Ward 4 and as commissioner of the Shell River Municipality for several years. His wife taught Sunday school when church services were held in the Northwood School in the corner of their homestead. Several men boarded at the Sloans during the building of a road across the Boggy. It is said that one night Mrs. Sloan cried because she had nothing to feed them but bread and potatoes. But miracles happen: 7am the next morning, standing in his doorway, George shot and killed a deer. Their son George married Anita Grundy (see J. H. Grundy) and made their home in Wisconsin. Una, their daughter passed away in 1909. George Sloan died in 1931 and was buried beside his daughter in the Makaroff Cemetery. His widow remarried a few years later and moved back to the States.
TONY WALKER, a nephew of Mrs. George Sloan, accompanied George to Manitoba in 1902 and claimed the adjoining homestead NW 28-27-29. Born in Missouri, Tony had attended Business College in Maryville and served as the Principal of a Business College in Creston, Iowa. Unlike most homesteaders, he continued his profession while proving up his claim. During the summers he boarded with the Sloans, cleared and worked his land, built a shelter and in the fall returned to Iowa in time for the school term. In the meantime, he had met a young schoolteacher by the name of Clara Fannon in Missouri. They were married sometime later and a son Lewis was born. In 1910 the Walkers gave up their teaching positions, packed up their belongings and headed for the homestead at Makaroff. They brought three mules, a Jersey cow, and other household items that they loaded into a boxcar. A bedspring and mattress was hung from the ceiling for his wife and child to sleep on and Tony caught sleep when and where available. It did not take long after their arrival, however, to determine that his “shack” did not provide suitable accommodation. Consequently, that winter Tony started cutting logs for a house and on the recommendation of George Sloan; Clara was hired for the Northwood School that was on the corner of the Sloan homestead. In the meantime, Clara registered for adjoining homestead NE 29-27-29. Later, Clara’s widowed mother and sister Beulah came from Missouri to be with their little son Lewis, while she was teaching. The following year Clara’s brother, Charles Fannon, arrived and with his help their new house was ready in time for the birth of wee Mary Ellen Walker. As years passed Tony acquired more land: first the quarter across from his homestead and then the half-section just north of Makaroff. They bought their first car, a model T in 1915; their first threshing outfit was a three-wheel Stinson tractor and a 28-48 Nicols & Shepard separator. A belt driven water pump was installed and Clara had the privilege of owning probably the first gasoline washing machine in the area. Years later Tony became an agent for Imperial Oil, sold their land and moved out of the district. Their son Lewis, like his parents, entered the teaching profession and obtained his Master of Education; Mary Ellen took nurse’s training and for many years was a nursing supervisor at the west coast.
THOMAS GEORGE CRANE was born at Aylesham, Norfolk, England and immigrated to Canada at 32 years of age. He arrived in the summer of 1898 and worked on a farm near Starbuck, southwest of Winnipeg. After renting a farm for a couple years, he came in 1902 to claim homestead NW 2-27-29 about four miles southeast of McLean’s Siding (Makaroff). Major construction had begun on extending the Canadian Northern Railway past Dauphin and the area looked promising. Proving up a property, however, was no easy task and while cutting logs to build a house, Thomas shared a tent with Mr. Fincham the first schoolteacher of Northwood School. The two men walked to the Rogers home once a week for a supply of fresh bread and, on occasion, along the railway right-of-way to Grandview for necessary staples and other supplies. To earn ready cash, he at times worked “on the tracks” and eventually, living accommodations improved. In 1904 Thomas married Maude Rogers (see J. Rogers); the ceremony performed by Rev. Frampton of Grandview is believed to be the first wedding of the district, the reception held at the home of her parents. Like all homesteaders, the Cranes had good years and bad but in 1909 they suffered the terrible devastation of having their home destroyed by fire. The family, including two little ones, safely escaped but only those who have had a similar loss can relate; a house can be replaced but no amount of sacrifice can return the irreplaceable, the keepsakes and momentoes of the past. The Crane children, eventually totaling five: Walter, Clara, Mae, Gordon and John, all attended the Berry Grove School at NE 23-26-29. Their mother usually drove them in a horse and buggy, until 1915 when they sold their homestead to John Arnott and rented a farm at Cartwright, Manitoba. Two years later, however, they returned to Makaroff to rent Maude’s brother Sid’s farm, immediately south of the village. Thomas Crane was among those who built the Makaroff church, sometimes conducting services when ministers were unavailable. He led the Sunday School, taught the Bible Class, played the organ and became a member of the Session while still doing caretaking duties around the church on a voluntary basis. Maude was also actively involved, especially within the Ladies’ Aid and other women’s work for the church. In 1927 they suffered the sudden loss of their daughter Mae who at a C.G.I.T. camp, contacted Diphtheria and died at the age of eleven. They also lost their son Gordon who enlisted with the P.P.C.L.I. in May of 1940, was sent to England in July and was killed in the Allied thrust into Italy in January of 1944. The eldest of their family, Walter, attended Normal School in Dauphin and while teaching at the Birtle Residential Indian School, married a fellow teacher, Ellen Blackwell. He later became a United Church minister. Their daughter Lois married David Armit, a research forester, and made their home at Surrey, BC. Clara, a teacher, married a Tummel area farmer, John Inglis, and had three children: Joan, Tom and Vickie. John obtained his Ph.D., became Associate Dean in Social Work Research at U. of B.C. and married Irene Hodgson of Winnipeg; they had two sons: Donald and Alan.
GEORGE WASHINGTON COLLINGS and his wife, Julia Etta Barnett,
had been born and raised in Princeton, Missouri, USA. It was where they
were married and where their children were born: Edward in 1882 and Allie
in 1891. In about 1892 the family moved to Byron, Oklahoma where two more
sons were born (only Fred survived). Unfortunately, young Fred’s life also
was short. He died at eight years of age, soon after his family arrived
in Canada and was buried on their Makaroff homestead SW 32-27-29. They
arrived in 1902 from Oklahoma, USA on the invitation of the Canadian Government.
Reduced railway fares were offered to delegates who wished to come to inspect
land in Manitoba. Many Americans took up the offer. George came to the
Shell River Municipality, liked what he saw and staked a claim on the land
northwest of what would later become the village of Makaroff. After doing
a bit of scrubbing he returned south for his family. In the early spring
of the following year, shipping a carload of household effects and his
livestock to the end of the line at Russell, the family came by sleigh
over the Pelly Trail, stopping at the Brooks’ at Asessippi and at “Boggy”
Johnston’s for food and overnight lodging. From the Johnston’s they also
obtained temporary shelter, a one-room frame building at the top of the
Boggy hill. George and his nineteen-year-old son, Edward, commuted while
they erected a frame house on the treasured homestead. The Collings family
soon became known in the area for their music. George and Edward played
banjo and guitar and became favorites at local dances. George also acted
as auctioneer at Box Socials: ladies prepared a meal-for-two that was offered
in a “box” at these dances - the highest bidder had the privilege of eating
with the anonymous cook. These occasions were fun: originally designed
to “acquaint” neighbours and raise funds for community improvements, these
get-togethers proved very popular and continued for many years. In time,
the Collings family prospered; the hand-made machine for weaving rugs was
joined by a pedal sewing machine, a gramophone was purchased and expensive
linoleum covered the floor. They were true pioneers making do with little
and readily sharing what they had. Their one room house was divided into
three rooms by means of blankets hung as partitions to offer privacy. The
largest area served as kitchen, living and dining room by day and a bedroom
at night. The two “bedrooms” did double-duty as storage rooms. Even on
the occasion a weary land-seeker arrived at dusk for food and shelter,
room was always made available to offer him a good night’s rest. Ernest
Casson (see Casson), a young orphan who emigrated from England, made his
home with the Collings for several years and attended school with their
daughter. He and Allie attended classes in the home of teacher Mr. Fincham
until the Northwood School was built in 1903. George and Julia Collings
sold their homestead in about 1922 and moved to Kamsack where George built
an auction sales barn that he operated until his death in 1926. Sometime
later, Julia made her home with her daughter in Victoria. When Allie and
her husband Ed Howe (see Howe) returned to Makaroff to build and operate
a second store in the village, she came with them, and accompanied them
later to Port Colborne, ON where she died in 1963.
NICHOLAS J. KERSWELL, known as “Nels”, had married a widow, Mary Jane Powell who had a son and daughter, Jack (see Powell) and Cilla, by her first marriage. Nels and Mary Jane had a family of three: son William, known as “Bill”, and daughters Florence and Ida. In the fall of 1902, enticed by “golden opportunities” which beckoned in the west, two friends N. J. Kerswell and W. J. Elliott gathered their families, packed their belongings into a boxcar at Wingham, Ontario and headed for Manitoba. In pioneer days, the family and livestock usually shared accommodation in “settler cars”. Fares were determined by “counting heads”. In this case, the story was told that one of these “heads” was missed because of young Bill Kerswell’s hiding place beneath a barrel. The trainmen, no doubt suspicious, came back occasionally to check, only to find the number remained constant. At Russell, the end-of-line, possessions were unloaded and the two families disembarked. Mrs. Elliott and the children remained to winter at Russell while the men followed the Pelly Trail northward to choose their homesteads and build shelters. The Kerswells claimed homestead NE 32-26-29; they had brought two cows and a calf and a team of horses from Ontario but one horse had died at Russell. Jack Powell claimed NE 34-26-29 two miles east and it was on his property that the first house was built; the house on the Kerswell property was constructed later. During the summer of 1903 young Bill, only sixteen years of age at the time, made eleven trips back and forth to Russell. He transported furniture, lumber for floors, doors and windows, as well as other necessary supplies, sleeping under the wagon at night. It must have been a long and lonely venture for someone so young but illustrates the remarkable maturity of the young pioneers. He and his older stepbrother, Jack Powell, cut the scrub and made a road between the two homes. Mr. Kerswell dug a well with the help of his daughters Florence and Ida, hauling up the dirt one pail at a time. Land was cleared and five acres of oats were sewn the first summer; a fence was built to protect the crop from cattle and horses that roamed at will. To make badly needed cash, the three men worked for the railway during the winter of 1903. A house was constructed near the Roblin station and Jack’s wife went to cook for them, accompanied by their three children: Clarence, Dorothy and Hazel. Mrs. Kerswell and her two young daughters, thirteen-year-old Florence and twelve-year-old Ida, remained on the farm. The women were instructed to keep the “homestead fires burning”, which in that day included feeding and watering the livestock. It sounded easy, but in fact the pigs began to eat the chickens and the well went dry. Necessity dictated the girls herd the stock to a nearby lake, chop a hole in the ice, then wait freezing in the cold while the animals drank before driving them home again. They had also to keep the wood box filled, which meant cutting up logs and chopping manageable pieces before carrying them into the house. It was a big responsibility - but they endured. In 1905 their log house burned down; the men saved a few things but because Mrs. Kerswell and the girls were away at the time, they were left with only the clothes they were wearing. True pioneer spirit prevailed, however, and with the help of their neighbours, logs were cut and another house was built. Game was plentiful and with an old army rifle, which Bill had traded something for in the east, prairie chickens often supplemented their meat supply. After their son married and took over the farm, Mr. and Mrs. Kerswell moved into the village. They built a house and an office west of the Post Office and set up an insurance business. He acted as Justice of the Peace and sold marriage licenses, and during the First World War published a paper. He produced it with a typewriter, named it The Rainbow (for eternal hope) and sent it to the local boys serving in the trenches. He gave out ink blotters to schoolchildren - but only if they said, “May I have a blotter, please?” not “Can I …”. His wife was a longstanding member of the W.I. and the L.A. and he served as church secretary for several years. Mrs. Kerswell died in 1939 and Mr. Kerswell in 1943; both are buried in the Makaroff Cemetery. Their daughter, Ida married Phil McLellan of Kamsack; they had three daughters and one son. Florence married Art McInnis (see McInnis) and had five children.
WILLIAM KERSWELL, known as “Bill”, married Alma Denham of Gilbert Plains in 1915, took over the homestead and later became a cattle buyer. Bill and Alma, like his parents, were very involved in their community. In 1944 their son, Jim, took over the farm and they retired to Roblin where for a time Alma took over the Ladies’ Rest Room. After Bill’s death in 1949, Alma moved to Flin Flon where she lived with her sister-in-law Ida McInnes for a time, worked as a cook and in 1954 married Theo Windfield. Four years after Theo’s death in 1968, she married Dick Jacobs and made their home in Portage la Prairie. When in 1979, because of failing health, Dick moved into Lions’ Prairie Manor, Alma returned to Makaroff to live with her daughter, Vera Davis. Both Bill and Alma are resting in the Makaroff Cemetery; they had six children (two died in infancy): Jim, Vera, Enid and Doreen. Vera married Jack Davis in 1936, had five children and remained at Makaroff (see Davis); Enid married Bill Bruce of Hudson Bay, had two daughters and one son; Doreen married Ernie Eger, made their home in Ontario and had one son and two daughters. Jim served in WW2 and married Erie Tripp of Togo. They remained on the Kerswell homestead and had two sons, Gregg and Vernon; their only daughter, Karen, married Keith Ray of Flin Flon. Jim and Erie were active community supporters - their son Vernon attended the University of Manitoba and returned to become the fourth generation to work the Kerswell homestead (1951-1988).
JOHN JAMES POWELL, known as “Jack”, was born in Wingham, Huron
County of Ontario. He worked in the CPR freight sheds in Winnipeg before
coming to the Makaroff district with the Kerswells in 1902 and claiming
homestead NE 34-26-29. He and his wife, the former Ella Ireland, and one
year old son shared a hastily constructed log building with their animals
for a time; they in one end and the oxen in the other, separated by a middle
partition. Besides scrubbing out the land and clearing it of roots for
a crop and garden, there was a need to clear the way for roads. Unfortunately,
much of the land to the east lay in a low area and was of bog. In building
the road from his farm, across Boggy Creek and the bog to Deepdale, Jack
was forced to cut sturdy willows that he arranged and used as a corduroy
base. Earth was then scooped up over the base, packed down and formed a
passable trail. It took time and energy and his wife often brought his
dinner down to where he was working. By this time their daughter Dorothy
had joined the family and the young ones were at home alone one day when,
while eating his dinner, Jack noticed smoke up on the hill coming from
the direction of their home. He and Ella made a wild dash up the hill but
by the time they arrived it was too late to save the house. Their two little
ones, however, were found safely huddled together in the yard. Their daughter
Hazel was born, crops were sown, time passed, and when a grain elevator
was required in Makaroff, Jack was the first to sign the petition. His
wife loved music and on Sundays traveled with the minister to Berry Grove
School to play the organ for church services. Music became a natural in
her home; everyone learned to play an instrument. Then in 1910, the Powells
moved to Vancouver. Jack was employed building houses when, sadly two years
later, his wife died; she was only thirty-four years of age. In 1915, he
and the children returned to the homestead at Makaroff and, eventually
Jack remarried. He and his second wife, Lollie Button (see Button) had
one daughter, Kathleen. At the age of seventy-one, Jack moved with his
and daughter to the west coast where he died in 1953.
CLARENCE POWELL, Jack and Ella’s son known as “Pat”, was taught to play the violin by his uncle, Bill Kerswell, and at the age of thirteen started accompanying adult fiddlers. He then learned to play the organ and later took lessons on the saxophone. Pat and his dad and sister Dorothy played for dances and became very well known in the community for their musical ability. Pat remained on the homestead and he and his wife Eva Janet Gardner, daughter of George and Ann Gardner of Deepdale, had two sons Clare and Larry who attended the Makaroff Consolidated School. Eva was a faithful member of both the Deepdale W.I. and L.A. and at times when transportation was a problem, she thought nothing of picking up her neighbours with the tractor and trailer and driving them to meetings. The Pat Powell Orchestra became a favorite, travelling miles throughout the area to play for dances and weddings. After his wife’s death in 1979, Pat moved into Maple Manor in Roblin. Their son Clare married Gail Fisher of Dauphin, made their home in Regina and had a son, Dana and a daughter, Sherrie. Larry married Eleanor Hamilton of Victoria and became well known for his work for CBC radio; they had one son, Graham.
WILLIAM J. ELLIOTT married Barbara Jane McLeod and worked in
a chair factory in Wingham, Ontario until 1902 when they and their two
children, Hazel and Charles, packed up their possessions, loaded them into
a box car shared with their friends the Kerswells, and headed west to look
for a homestead. At Russell, the “end-of-line”, they disembarked and Barbara
and her children remained in rented quarters in Russell while William continued
north along the Pelly Trail with the Kerswells. W. J. Elliott registered
for homestead quarter SW 14-27-29 two-and-one-half miles north of Jack
Powell. He had brought frame doors and windows from Ontario, as well as
furniture and other household items. While clearing land, his log cabin
was built with the help of neighbours, Bill Kerswell and Jack Powell. And
when the cabin was finally finished, Bill Kerswell and his team and wagon
again made the lonely trips back and forth over the ruts and through the
valley to Russell. After the household items had been transported to the
homestead, Mrs. Elliott and the children arrived. Among her treasured possessions
was her Singer sewing machine, a large wooden tub, a wooden barrel and
some coal-oil lamps. Two years after their arrival in Manitoba, they were
comfortably settled in their new home and their children were attending
Northwood School. The family was very active in the building of their community.
They told of a Rifle Club being formed at Makaroff in 1907 under the direction
of George Sloan, a former Sheriff. The club’s Secretary was N.J. Kerswell
and its marksman in the pit was W.J. Elliott. The government provided guns
and ammunition: records were kept of the membership and competitions were
held between the various clubs in Manitoba and Saskatchewan - all under
strict government supervision. Thus the men were trained in a Home-Guard
capacity in readiness for home defense. At one time the Makaroff Rifle
Club had a membership of forty who practiced in their pit down in the Boggy.
W.J. Elliott helped build the Makaroff church in 1910 and was a member
of its board for a number of years. He was one of the first members of
the Pool Elevator Board, served periodically on the school board and acted
as Justice of the Peace and Fire-Guardian. His wife was a member of the
Church organization, Willing Hands which later became the Ladies’ Aid.
Their two children, Hazel and Charles, attended the Northwood School north
of the village. In the spring and fall they walked, but during severe weather
in winter, they often missed. When they were a bit older and able to handle
a horse, they drove a horse and buggy. Hazel married Charles Grundy (see
Grundy). After W. J’s death in 1943, Mrs. Elliott remained on the farm
until her son’s marriage, at which time she sold the land to them and moved
into Roblin where she resided until her death in 1962. She is resting beside
her husband in the Makaroff Cemetery.
CHARLES ELLIOTT married Pearl Nowell in 1952 (see Nowell) and continued to farm his father’s homestead. Charles was an avid curler, starting in the old rink in 1927 with J.H. Grundy and Rev. Smith under their skip Harvey Boyce. He served on the rink committee for several years holding a variety of positions including draw-master, president, secretary and caretaker. Both Charles and Pearl served on the Centennial Committee. They continued farming but in later years moved into the original B.A. Elevator house in the village. They enjoyed taking trips; twice visiting cousins in Michigan. In 1967 they visited Churchill where they had the privilege of boarding a Swedish ship and watching it take grain into its hold. In 1968 they went to BC with their friends Frank and Dela Grundy, visiting old friends along the way. Charles and Pearl retired to MacGregor, MB in 1975 where Pearl died in 1980.
CHARLES RODES McGREGOR and his brother, Edmund, came to the Makaroff
District in 1902. Charles was a bricklayer who had earlier ventured south
from Windsor, Ontario to Grand Rapids, Minnesota where he obtained work
as foreman at a brickyard. Their daughter was born in the US and a few
years later they returned to Canada and settled for a short time at Rapid
City, before coming to Makaroff to claim homestead SW 18-27-29. Their first
shelter was but a sod-shack about sixteen feet square built of logs. A
base of smaller-logs held up the roof of sods, and when it rained the water
would soak through the sods, run along the logs and fall at will. Of necessity,
when it rained the furniture had to be shuffled and pots set out to catch
the drips. That first year, before the railway arrived, supplies were freighted
over the Pelly Trail from Russell, a distance of over forty miles. Their
daughter told of one such trip that included going back to Rapid City to
purchase a team of Percheron mares. It took them a week and on their return,
after stopping at Russell for supplies, they camped overnight at Asessippi.
Her father, to spark up their meager meal, had bought a bottle of mustard
pickles for a special treat. She remembered watching in fascination while
he opened the jar. This was before the invention of metal rings and caps
and having nothing to remove the two-inch cork, he gently pounded time
after time on the bottom of the jar with the flat of his hand. Then gradually
the cork began to move. She watched as if hypnotized as the cork
began to move bit by bit, and as with one last slap, the cork shot out
with such force that it took the contents with it - directly into her face
and hair! She never forgot the shock of the incident and admitted many
years later that she still did not like mustard pickles! She remembered,
too, the Percheron mares. They took influenza the first winter: one
died and the other became blind. Such are the memories of the young pioneers.
These settlers worked so hard to clear their land. Trees were cut, roots
dug out and stones removed before land could be broken. Without oxen and
horses it was an impossibly labourious task. But gradually with time things
improved and cattle were grazing in belly-high pea-vine, their sides covered
with mosquitoes. To keep their animals more comfortable, at night smudges
were made for the corrals and even at times taken into the house for a
few minutes to clear the room for sleeping. Eventually, a larger house
was built, perhaps only 14x20 feet in size, but a palace compared to the
original. The log walls were chinked with wood chips and plastered with
clay, the roof of shiplap, tarpaper and shingles. A definite improvement,
but still it was not uncommon to wake up in the winter to find snow on
the pillow. Fresh wild fruits such as strawberries and raspberries
were found along the trails, and saskatoons, cranberries, chokecherries
and pincherries in the bushes. With wild game and large gardens that provided
fresh vegetables for the family, the bounties of Mother Nature became their
main source of food. Work was never-ending, made bearable by the joy of
homegrown entertainment such as picnics, barn dances and community concerts.
Music was provided by mouth organs, guitars, banjos, fiddles and even a
comb and cigarette paper. In 1920, Charles McGregor sold the homestead
and he and his wife moved to Togo where he built a small hotel, later relocating
to Haney, BC where he died in 1946. Their daughter married Claude Bishop;
one of her paintings of the Makaroff School is prominently displayed on
the wall of the Community Hall.
EDMOND EARL McGREGOR, born 1882 in Windsor, Ontario had come with his parents to Gilbert Plains. In 1902, when David and Charles claimed homesteads at Makaroff, Ed claimed homestead NE 32-27-30 over the line at Togo and also worked a homestead with Lorne Hern. A few years later, Ed purchased Dave McGregor’s homestead, NW 18-27-29 and in 1911, married Lillian Jane Denham of Gilbert Plains. They raised a family of nine and lived on the adjoining land north of his brother Charles. Like most other pioneers, they cleared their land with oxen. Ed, however, found another use for his great cumbersome beasts. He took great delight in racing his oxen against those of his neighbour, Bill Pound. Many are the stories that could be told about those events. But on a more serious vein, as councillor for many years, Ed was responsible for building the road across the ravine west of Makaroff. Over the years he purchased an additional two quarters of land and served on the Makaroff School Board. Ed died in 1950 and his wife Lillian in 1964; both are resting in the Makaroff Cemetery with their son Nelson and daughters Agnes and Edna. All their children attended the Makaroff School. From youngest to eldest: their daughter Sheila, became a nurse, married Ronald Williams and lived in California; Helen, also a nurse, married Phil Leonard and lived in Dauphin; Jim married Margaret Davies, remained in the area and died in 1972 at 45 years of age; Nelson died in 1934 at 12 years; Ethel married Harry Powell and made their home in Vancouver; Edna worked as a civil servant in Ottawa, married Marcel Couverette, and died in 1994; Beth, a nurse, married Bill Thompson of Selkirk and after his death, married Chris Schick of Roblin. Ed and Lillian McGregor’s eldest child, Marion, married Lorenz Hohle (see Hohle) and remained in the Makaroff district.
ARCHIE McCORQUODALE and his wife came from southern Manitoba in 1902 to homestead SW 24-27-29 two miles southwest of Sunny Slope School. They did their marketing in Makaroff even before the railway went through, dealing at the primitive store owned by J. Sinclair. The McCorquodales had a large family and most of their daughters left the district to become telephone operators while some of their sons went to BC. Mr. and Mrs. Archie McCorquodale remained on the farm until about 1925. After his wife’s death, Archie retired to Deepdale. Their son Eddy, a professional wolf catcher, owned several wolfhounds. He transported them in winter with horses and a boxed-in sleigh, ready to release them at the first sight of a wolf. He married Marie Laliberte, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Justin Laliberte of section 9-29-29, one of the first pioneers to settle in the San Clara area. Their son Paul Laliberte married Verna Wilson (see Wilson). Eddy and Marie McCorquodale had three sons: Gordon, Archie and Riley and later moved to BC. Jim and his wife farmed two miles south of Sunny Slope School. They owned beautiful horses and harness that were entered in Roblin and Togo fairs for many years, taking most of the first prizes in the various hitch classes. They too, eventually moved to B. C. Orton, after serving two years in the first World War, farmed north of Deepdale and was employed by the Canadian National Railway. In 1925 he married May Gardner of Deepdale, and in 1931 when their son Raymond was three years of age, moved to the elevator house in Makaroff. Orton, employed as second man at the Pool Elevator, shared the house with his superior, bachelor Harry Balance. Harry was away from home having appendectomy surgery and they were there alone the night the BA elevator burned down in 1931. Later, when Harry married May’s sister, Anne Gardner, the McCorquodales had to move out of the elevator house. While waiting for the Harvey house to be vacated, they lived in a tent. One night during a storm the tent was blown down and the family was fortunate in being given temporary shelter at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Merle Currey. While in Makaroff, May was an active member of the Women’s Institute and the couple took part in the play “My Wild Irish Rose”. It is not known when the family left Makaroff but Orton served almost five years in the Air Force during the Second World War. Their eldest son, Raymond was employed by Imperial Oil and made his home in Calgary; their second son, Shelly, moved to Victoria.
RICHARD CRAVEN, his wife Isobel and family, accompanied by his father Richard Craven Sr., came to the area in 1902 when it was known as McLean Siding. Three years earlier, they had left their home in Owen Sound, Ontario to make a new start at a farm in the west. They had come first to Dauphin where things were going well until the day road workers, burning brush piles, accidentally set fire to the prairie grass, which in turn set fire to the Craven hay stacks destroying over 200 tons of hay in a very short time. After this dejecting experience ending three years of dreams, it was not too difficult for a former neighbour, W. D. Law, to entice the Cravens to make the move to Makaroff. Richard claimed homestead SE 30-27-29 two miles northwest of Makaroff and arrived with settler’s effects including three horses, a few cows, two chickens and a carload of lumber. But before they could unload the lumber, someone had helped themselves to about six hundred dollars worth - a small fortune in those days! The first summer the Cravens lived in a tent until the barn was completed, then moved into the barn until the house was built in the fall. One hundred years later these buildings are still standing on what is probably better known as the Johnnie Beattie place. The Cravens had five children: William (“Bill”, son by Richard’s first wife who had died in childbirth), Bob, Harvey, Alma and Effie. Richard’s father, who had come to Makaroff with them, had died in 1909 and ten years later, Richard died at the age of 47 years; both are buried at Togo. Isobel sold the farm sometime after her husband’s death and moved to Togo. In 1928 she went to Indian Head where she worked in an orphanage for more than ten years before retiring to Vancouver where she died in 1954. Richard and Isobel Craven’s family was represented in high measure during the two World Wars. Robert served in the Armed Forces in Europe during the First World War and returned to become a dispatcher for the C.N.R. in Winnipeg; he married, had four children and eventually retired to Vancouver. William (see Bill Craven). Harvey owned a grocery store in Togo, which he sold when war broke out. He joined the services and while serving in the trenches overseas suffered gas poisoning. This unfortunately affected his health for the rest of his life. Harvey later bought and sold grain in the Humbolt area - he never married and was killed in a train accident in the rail yards at Winnipeg in 1939. Alma married Rev. Frampton of Togo; they raised three sons all of whom served in Word War Two, one of which made the supreme sacrifice. Effie, a teacher, married Gibson Brown, a veteran of the First World War who had been a partner in Brown Bros & Cobbe, a hardware store in Togo. In the spring of 1938, Gibson and Effie bought the Whit Cobbe Hardware business in Makaroff and sold Imperial Oil products as well. They had a lighting plant in the store that supplied electricity to the curling rink and open-air skating area. Gibson and Effie’s son, Jack Brown, married Madeline Currey (see Currey) of Makaroff and moved to Vancouver; they had one daughter, Sharon (Ron Plumb) and two sons, Ronald and Grant.
BILL CRAVEN, Richard’s eldest son, was the only one to remain in farming. At eighteen years of age he took up a homestead on the bank of the Assiniboine River (later owned by Archie Parker). During the winter months he worked in the livery barn in Togo owned by the Davis brothers. He loved horses and his job was to get the teams and sleighs ready for hire - usually for a doctor who made house calls in the country. His good friends were Charlie Fillmore and Percy Rogers; they loved fast horses then, as do the young fellows of today love fast cars. In summer he worked on the roads being built through the Boggy, often spending the night at the Fillmore homestead as it was closer, returning home on alternate days to get horse feed and gather eggs. In 1912, Bill Craven married Lillie Snedden and took up farming in earnest, but as there was no house on his own farm, he took his bride to one he had rented on the Russell Kennedy place. They farmed with four oxen, some cattle, chickens and pigs. A family story that remains and provides a source of humour is that of an accident. His bride was afraid of pigs. One day when she was left at home alone she became terrified that the pigs would come into the house. When one dared to venture up onto the doorstep she panicked and grabbed a broom and whacked it over the head - where upon it promptly dropped dead at her feet! The story goes on to report that the only remark her new husband made on his return was, “It’s a pity you hadn’t thought to stick it so we could have enjoyed the meat at least.” Bill and Lillie raised one son Cecil, and three daughters: Isabel, Hattie and Eva. Bill drove a horse-drawn school van from his farm near Togo to the Makaroff Consolidated School for 21 years - leaving home at 6:30 a.m. and returning at 6:30 p.m. Their son Cecil joined the army in 1944 and after serving overseas, took a job buying grain for the National Grain Company and married Ann Hampson of Togo (see Hampson). They had one son, Herb, who after sixteen years in the grain business, went farming. Isabel obtained her teaching certificate in 1935 and taught school until the Second World War at which time she joined the RCAF-WD, later marrying Melvin Tripp a Togo farmer. After her two children Brian and Lois were born she resumed her teaching and 18 years later, retired in 1978. Hattie worked in the Egg Grading Station in Togo, married Earl Button (see Button) and moved to Oakville, Ontario. Eva joined the W.A.C. in the Second World War and later at Sudbury, married Harold Pillen (see Pillen) who was working at the Inco mines. They had three children: Darlene, Kenneth and Sandra, and after Harold was ordained, they made their home at Plattsville, Ontario.
DONALD SINCLAIR and his sons Alex and John came in 1902 or 1903 from a hotel business at Mine Centre, Ontario to homestead in the Boggy. Donald registered SE 14-27-29; John NE 34-28-29 and Alexander the adjoining NW 34-28-29. In time, Donald accumulated other farms, including the south half of 22-27-29 and the section of land surrounding Togo. They ventured into other sidelines as well. Alex contracted building railroad for the C.N.R. in summers and went hauling fish on the northern lakes during the winter - always with a large number of horses. The village of Makaroff at that time consisted of Rorie McClean’s one-storey frame shack with tar roofing that harboured a primitive store and Post Office and the Sinclairs built a stable in 1904. It was but a one-storey building approximately 18 feet by 50 feet with no floor, and with one end partitioned off as living quarters. In 1906 they purchased the store from McClean and took over the Post Office. As his father and Alex were mostly busy elsewhere, John was left to run the business in town and meet the train with the mail. The store was sold to Mervyn Evans in 1908 at which time John, too, went into farming. The Sinclair family was always remembered for their horses; they were good farmers but suffered badly during the depression. Alex eventually left for a career as a land supervisor with the CPR and John for a career with the Manitoba Farm Loans; in 1921 he married Edna Tate and in 1924 moved to Roblin and a few years later to Winnipeg. Their father, Donald continued to farm thereafter but on a much smaller scale.
ALFRED DIAMOND was one of the early pioneers of Makaroff. Although his farm was only half a mile from Togo, he resided within the Makaroff District. In 1905 Alfred married Margaretta Cockerill, daughter of William and Ada Cockerill of Boggy Creek. Better known as “Daise, she came from a large well known pioneer family. Her father, born 1846 in Wolverhampton, England and her mother 1853 in Warwickshire, England, married in 1871. They had five children when they immigrated to Canada in 1883: Ethel, Herbert (known as “Bert’), Leonard, Dorothea and Daise. Born in 1882, Daise was but two years old when her family arrived in April at Fleming, SK to find several inches of snow on the ground and no shelter on the property. They lived with neighbours until a sod-house could be built. Their first transportation was an ox pulling a stone-boat, with out lines to guide it. When things improved, there was a horse and a Red River cart and four more children: Charles (“Blue”), Gladys, Rudall (“Kelly”) and Annetta. In 1898 William Cockerill moved his family to Whitewood Lake and in 1903 to Boggy Creek. The girls and their mother operated a halfway house while their father and brothers operated the two ranches. When homesteads were opened up in the Merridale District, William filed for NE 28-27-27 and the first post office was opened in their home. He named the new district Merridale, after the road on which they lived in England, and donated land on which the first school, #1480 was built. Ada died in 1920 and William in 1922; they are at rest in the Roblin Cemetery. The Cockerill family was well known; many who lived in the municipality worked and/or obtained lumber for their homes at the sawmills of their sons, Bert and Kelly. Daise married Alfred Diamond while her family was still at Boggy Creek; the ceremony was performed in the minister’s home. Alfred brought his bride to his farm at Makaroff where he served as councilor and reeve of the Shell River Municipality for many years. They had three children: Iris (1905), Roy (1907) and Jack (1910). Alfred passed away on the farm in 1955 and after his death; Daise and Jack went to live with Iris at Gibson’s Landing, BC. Iris married Charles Smith and made their home in B.C. where Charles died in 1971. In 1973, because Iris suffered from glaucoma in her eyes and was no longer able to help her mother with Jack, Daise and Jack moved into an extended care home. Roy lived in New Westminster, BC and died in 1976. Jack died in June of 1978 and his mother, Daise in August, at ninety-six years.
CHARLES COLLIS was born in Newtonville, Ontario in 1884; his father had immigrated from England and his mother from Scotland. As a young man, prior to his coming to Makaroff, Charles had homesteaded at Grandview. He sold his homestead in 1903 or 1904 and moved onto the north half of 31-26-29. Sometime later, after spending a couple years at the west coast, he sold this land to Godfrey Deederly and moved to SW 4-27-29. It is not known exactly when he moved again to make a permanent home for his family in the valley southeast of Makaroff. Charles had married his housekeeper Mrs. Bruce who had a son, Roy, and five children were born of this marriage: Russell, Muriel, Irene, Wilfred and Eddy. The Collis family loved music; they had probably the first piano in the district and also a gramophone. They later obtained one of the first washing machines and cars, though their usual mode of travel remained the horse and buggy. Roy obtained work in Winnipeg where he died a few years later of Tuberculosis; Wilfred died as a young man in 1969. Irene married Fred Taylor, moved to Westbank, BC and had three children. Russell, Muriel and Eddy remained on the valley farm. Their father, Charles Collis died in 1954 and his wife in 1969; they are both buried in the Makaroff Cemetery. Charles’ brother Alfred Collis, better known as “Fred”, came to the district shortly after Charles and homesteaded on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, west of the J. C. Arnott farm. He often worked for neighbours in the area until his untimely death. He, too, is buried in the Makaroff Cemetery.
JOHN M. RADFORD was born 1878 in Hampshire, England and served with the British Army during the Boer War from 1899 to 1902. In 1905 he came to Canada and filed for homestead SE 10-28-29 in the Makaroff district. In 1908, his marriage to Lillieth Purslow was officiated by Rev. Charlton of Togo. Lillieth had been born in Wrexham, North Wales 1885 and had come to Canada with her parents in 1903 to make their home in the Boggy. John and Lillieth Radford’s first house on the homestead burned down and was temporarily replaced by a smaller one - it wasn’t until 1917-1918 that the big house and barn were constructed. They farmed with two teams of horses and in 1910 purchased a four-wing steam engine separator that required four men pitching at one time to keep it fed. About 1911 they became the proud owners of one of the first cars in the district - a model T Ford. Lillian was a member of the W.A., a Sunday School teacher, and served in the 1930s as secretary-treasurer for the United Farm Women of Manitoba. The Radford family loved music and had an organ and a gramophone in their home to provide family entertainment. Their first five children: Jack, Arthur, Howard, Daphne, (Edward died at six months), and William all attended the Makaroff Consolidated School before the homestead was sold in 1924. After the family moved to the Grand Narrows district, three more children were born: Ruth, Ben and Eileen. John Radford died in 1939 and his wife Lillieth in 1963; they are resting in the Silverwood Cemetery. Jack married Ethel, daughter of Thomas and Grace Burell who had come west from Ontario in 1914 and claimed homestead NW 35-28-29 in the Walker school district. Jack and Ethel had eleven children: George (Marion Peters of Binscarth); Catherine (Walter McFadden of Endcliffe); Carol (Ralph Daniluck of Swan River); Bernice (Steven Labuick of Neepawa); Allan (Karen Espetiveld of Ardmore, AB); Reg (Lauralyn Inieson of Edmonton); Clifford; Terry (Dorothy Linder of Sherwood Park, AB); John (Doreen Martin of Inglis); William (Martha Ramstead of Pleasant Valley, SK; and Eleanor who died 1947. Arthur married Ruth Burrell, farmed in Silverwood and had five children: Evelyn married Clinton Parker, had three children: Terri Lynn, William, Shirley Jean, and later married Bob Cockerill and had twin daughters, Kimberley and Kathleen; Herbert (died young); Bonnie married Lorne Cockerill, had two children, Troy and Tamara; Ronald married Dena Cockerill and had two children, Dean and Rhonda; Daniel married Vivian Larocque, had a step daughter Barbara, and daughter Christa and son Daniel Curtis Arthur. Daphne, who married Reg Framingham, had four children: Naida (Vernon Murray), Eddy (Donna Angus), Merle (Ken Watkins), and Judy (Merv Krywa). Howard, joined the PPCLI in WW2, married Noreen McGinnis (see McGinnis) of Silverwood and made their home on SE 35-28-29; they had three sons: Walter (Beth Shauf of Togo), Douglas, and Carl (Rose Carriere of San Clara). William married Marie Gardner of Deepdale and farmed in the Cromarty district; they had five children: Sharon (Kenneth Grundy of Makaroff: see Frank Grundy), Wayne (Marion Orr of Grandview), Garry (Noreen Roland of Marieapolis), Bob (Shirley Robertson of Dropmore), Diane (Bob Prouse of Brantford, Ontario), Glen, Deborrah, Jeanette, Randy, Greg, Calvin and Kevin. Ruth married Ed Back of Roblin; they lived in Edmonton and had five children: Ross, Shirley, Sheila, Sherry and Larry. Ben married Mary Heathcote of Rhyl, North Wales, farmed in the Walker district and had one son, Keith. Eileen married Chuck McDuffe a cook at the Dauphin Goal; they lived in Dauphin and had three sons: Barry, Dale and Vernon.
CHARLES B. PILLEN was born near Lindsay, Ontario and at the very young age of nine, with very little education, left home never to return. He worked at various jobs, both in Canada and the United States, spending several years in the Great Lakes area. Eventually, he decided to try farming and he and a partner, Ben Knight, came to Manitoba to settle on a farm in the High Bluff area. In November of 1899, C. B. Pillen married Mary Harriet Ann Cadman, one of the first white babies born in the High Bluff district. A few years later in about 1904, Charles caught the “homestead bug” and they and their children George, Emily and Charlie, packed up and headed for the new area that was opening up in the Shell River Municipality. They filed claim to homestead SE 3-28-29 and soon were joined by another little son, Arthur. That fall, to “make ends meet” and obtain lumber for a home, they bundled up the children and went north to McBride’s Sawmill. Mrs. Pillen cooked at the camp while her husband cut logs. Not long after their new home was built on the homestead, their youngest son, Harold was born. C. B. Pillen was a true pioneer; he thrilled at the idea of opening up new country and was involved in the building of many roads in the Makaroff district. He was one of those instrumental in consolidating the Makaroff schools and a staunch member of the Loyal Orange Association. But above all, he was an ardent sportsman. He loved horseshoes and curling, but his main interest was baseball - an interest and love inherited by his sons. The Pillen boys were always excused from planting potatoes on the 24th of May if there was a ball tournament. Mrs. Pillen could card the wool, spin the yarn and knit a pair of socks all in one evening; she was also known for her fine cooking. And at least on one occasion, she acted as a midwife. She attended Bert Traub’s wife, Edith, when their daughter Lorene was born. In the early 1940s, Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Pillen retired from farming and went to live with their son George in Sudbury. Charles died in 1947 at the age of 81 and Mrs. Pillen in 1960 at the age of 84; they are resting in the Sudbury Cemetery. George, their eldest son, farmed on the homestead with his father and later rented the farm across the road from his parents. After many years of farming, he bought land in the Duck Mountains near Boggy Creek and went into sheep ranching. After the untimely death of his wife, Eleanor Benson, he sold the ranch and moved to Sudbury, Ontario where he was employed as a foreman for the Dominion Tar and Chemical Co. When the company closed operations, he retired to Chilliwack, BC. Emily, the only daughter, married Arthur Thompson of Togo; they had six children: Albert, Muriel, Alma, Harold, Delbert and Dennis. This family moved to Sudbury in the late 1930s where Arthur was employed as a pipe fitter for a construction firm. They retired to Powell River and later to Chilliwack. Charlie, like his older brother, farmed in the district for years before buying a farm at Boggy Creek, which in time he sold and moved to Sudbury to work for the same company as George and later, retired to Chilliwack. Arthur, the first of the children to be born on the homestead, remained on the Makaroff farm and married Doris Henderson, a granddaughter of his father’s lifetime friend, Robert Henderson. Art and Doris were well known and involved in many community events. They had no family and after Arthur’s death, Doris retired to Roblin. Harold, the youngest son, farmed for a time with his brother Arthur and in 1945 married Sandra, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Craven of Togo (see Craven). They had three children: Darlene, Sandra Gay and Kenneth. Discouraged with farming, they later moved to Sudbury where he worked as overhead-crane operator and timekeeper for the International Nickel Company. After fifteen years in this position he gave up his job to work in the service of his church. He entered university and in 1958 was accepted as a candidate for the ministry. He received training at Queen’s Theological College in Kingston and was ordained in 1964. Harold and Sandra’s daughter Darlene married Ron McRae and made their home in Huntsville, Ontario. Their son Kenneth, the only grandson to bear the Pillen name, was killed in a tragic school bus-train collision in the village of Ripley, Ontario in 1967 at the age of eighteen - thus ending the hope of any future generations to bear the surname, Pillen.
ALEX DONALDSON, born in Ontario, came west with his three brother’s George, Charles and John in the early 1900s. Alex filed on homestead SE 21-28-29; Charles on NE 25-28-29; John on NW 25-28-29 and George went out to British Columbia, returning to farm at Deepdale in 1918. In the meantime Elizabeth Kay, a widow with one son, Douglas, claimed homestead NE 2-28-29. Alex Donaldson and Elizabeth Kay were married, made their home on her homestead NE 2-28-9. In 1911 their daughter, Ena was born. Elizabeth’s son, Douglas served overseas during the First World War, and obtained SE 2-29-8-29 on his return. This family played an active part in all activities of the Sunny Slope and Silverwood districts. Alex especially excelled in the role of Santa Clause for church and school concerts. He was noted for the touch of humour that he applied to all occasions and for his occasional poetry. Their daughter Ena married Clarence Traub (see Traub) and remained in the area for several years before moving to Togo.
JOSEPH HENRY GRUNDY, with his wife and six children: Edna, Alan, William (Bill), Charles, Frank and Anita, left Liverpool, England in the spring of 1900 and sailed into the harbour of Halifax, NS fourteen days later. Then, travelling by train in a colonist car, they arrived in Winnipeg on the 24th of May in the midst of a prairie snowstorm. They were met by Thomas Pound and taken to Stonewall, Manitoba where they purchased a farm in the Grassmere Municipality. Five years later, in 1906 after the birth of their seventh child, Reg, they moved to Makaroff. They homesteaded SE 16-28-29 and later purchased three quarter sections of land encompassing north half and SW 20-27-29. Joe Grundy farmed until 1919 at which time he purchased the Makaroff General Store and Post Office from C. R. Grundy. They lived above the business; Joe ran the store and his wife the Post Office. He served for a time as a Councillor and for 25 years was Chairman of the School Board. He is known to have purchased the first Gas Engine in the district and in 1918 a Bobby Grand car. Unfortunately, in 1943 Charles lost his eyesight; a year later they sold the business and retired to Winnipeg where they made their home with their son Alan and his wife Dorothy. Joe Grundy died in 1951 and his wife in 1957: both are resting in the Makaroff Cemetery. Their daughter Edna took up nursing and moved to Winnipeg. William went to Bluffton, Alberta, married Sadie Crozier and raised a family of three sons and four daughters: Tom, Fred, Bill, Janette, Pearl, Anita and Grace. Tom and his wife Vera had two children; Fred and Edna had three as did Bill and Gay; Janette married Tom Stout and had a family of five; Pearl married Jim Staut and had four; Grace and her husband, Ted Stout, also had four. Anita married George Sloan (see Sloan). They made their home in the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin and had a family of six: Alma, Dorothy, Arthur, Wayne, Roy, and Blanche. Alma married Bill Bentz; Dorothy and her husband Woody had two sons; Art and his wife Laurie had three daughters; Wayne and his wife had three children as did Roy and Audrey; Blanche, the youngest of Anita and George Sloan’s children, did not marry. Reg, born a Canadian, became a grain buyer as did his brother Alan, and likewise married one of the Joliffe girls of Deepdale. Reg and Helen had two sons, Garth and Blain. This family eventually went to Ontario and after Reg’s death, Helen lived with her son, Blain, a Social Worker in Portage la Prairie. Garth married Vera Everett and had two daughters and one son: Shelley, Susan (Cam Harrison) and Tim; he and his wife had two sons and lived at Thunder Bay, Ontario.
ALAN GRUNDY, the eldest son, became a grain buyer for the B.A. at Makaroff. In 1923 he married Dorothy Jolliffe whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Joliffe, had come by covered wagon from Rolla, North Dakota to a homestead at Deepdale in the spring of 1902. This was before the coming of the railway, when her family had to drive to Tummel for mail and Grandview for groceries. They lived in a tent until their house was built and she and her brother Leon and sisters Marion and Helen attended Wyndam School. Alan brought his bride to Makaroff where both became active in their community. They were members of the United Church; Alan served on the church board and Dorothy, besides teaching Sunday school, was a member of the W.I. They were active participants of the Tennis Club in the summer and the group that put on plays in the winter. Their daughter Joyce was born 1925 in Makaroff but their son Blake was born at Dropmore in 1932 where Alan had been transferred for a short time. Returning to Makaroff a couple years later, Dorothy took over the running of the school teacherage and their children attended the Makaroff Consolidated School. Later still, when George and Leola Beattie moved to B.C. they asked Alan to manage their farm. Eventually, Alan obtained work with Canada Malting in Winnipeg and the family moved to the city. Their daughter, Joyce married Lloyd Collins and had three sons: Albert married Sue Brown and taught school in Portage la Prairie; Marsh was with the Fire Department, married Debbie Parsons and had two daughters; Leon, a computer expert, married Jane Whitesides. Blake married Sheila Smith and made their home in Toronto where he became Vice-President of Dunlops of Canada. They had three sons: Bruce, Rick and Rod. Bruce married Nancy Hawsett and had three daughters: Kristie, Beckie and Jill. Rick married Margaret West and had two children: Erin and Scott.
CHARLES A. GRUNDY, the third son of J. H. Grundy was born in England 1894 and came with his parents to Makaroff in 1906. He helped on their farm until 1915 when he enlisted with the 183rd Battalion. After serving four years overseas, he returned to Makaroff and purchased the south half of 8-27-29 in 1919. During the five years he lived alone on the farm, Charles underwent emergency surgery performed on his kitchen table. Prior to the surgery, however, alone and in great pain, and unable to go for help, he became desperate. He admitted later that his barn was saved quite by chance. While he was considering setting fire to the building to attract attention, someone happened to drive into his yard and the welcomed visitors were able to send an urgent message to Togo. Doctors Tripp and Coppinger arrived in time to save his life. In 1926 Charles married Hazel Elliott (see Elliott) daughter of Makaroff pioneers who had come from Wingham, Ontario with the N. J. Kerswells in 1902. Charles and Hazel Grundy were very active in their community and had two sons, Leonard and Harold who attended the Makaroff Consolidated School. They retired from farming in 1967 at which time they moved to Winnipeg where Charles died in 1986 and Hazel in 1988; both are resting in the Makaroff Cemetery. Harold married Betty Sigurdson of Swan River, taught at Crocus Plains Collegiate in Brandon and later became Superintendent of Schools for the Kelsey Division at The Pas. They had one daughter, Marla. Leonard taught school for a year at Baldur then returned to farm with his father. In 1958 he purchased the former Morley Button farm N.E. 33-27-29 and married Shirley Nabe, daughter of George and Mary Nabe of Togo (see Nabe). Leonard and Shirley kept to family tradition and served their community well. They had three daughters: Sheryl, Barbara and Deborah. Sheryl passed away in 1973 at the age of eighteen and is resting in the Makaroff Cemetery. Barbara married Patrick Carriere, had one daughter, Tiffany, and moved to Perth, Australia but returned sometime later to live at Lake of the Prairies. Deborah married Tony Funk, lived north of Roblin and had three children: Jacob, Taylor and Maggie. Leonard and Shirley sold their farm to Anton and Inga Kreutner of Treuback, Austria in 1991and retired to Roblin.
FRANK GRUNDY, the youngest son born in England, remained on the
farm when his father took over the store in Makaroff. His sister Edna kept
house for him until his marriage to Della Button (see Button) in 1934,
then entered the nursing profession and made her life in Winnipeg. When
his father’s sight failed, Frank rented the farm out and took over the
operation of the store until it was sold. In the meantime, with the help
of carpenter Harry Juby and plasterer Matheson, he began construction of
a new house on the farm. As was the custom, when it was completed, the
neighbours were invited to a “housewarming” - by all reports everyone had
a good time. Frank did custom threshing for a number of years and became
an avid curler. In the 1940s he was involved in a nasty car accident on
the Deepdale hill that resulted in both his kneecaps being removed; this,
however, did not prevent him from farming or participating in his winter
love of curling. They retired from farming in 1967. Frank died in 1986
and Della in 1991; both are resting in the Makaroff Cemetery. Their two
children, Erma and Kenneth grew up on the farm and attended the Makaroff
Consolidated School. Erma married Lorne Gardiner of Roblin and moved to
Chase, B.C.; they had three sons: twins, Larry and Lorne, and Ronald. Kenneth
was the third generation to operate the original J. H. Grundy farm; he
married Sharon Radford (see Radford) and had one daughter and one son:
Brenda and Brent.
C. R. GRUNDY was a brother to J. H. Grundy and had come from England to the Stonewall area of Manitoba where he purchased the farm of Thomas Pound (Bill’s father). In 1906, with his wife and two daughters, Lillian and Essme, he sold that land and moved to a farm west of Makaroff. In 1914 he purchased the general store and post office from Mervyn Evans. Mrs. Grundy looked after the business while her husband was serving overseas during the First World War. In 1919, after his return, they sold the business to his brother J. H. Grundy and purchased SW 21-27-29 where they had contractors (believed to have been the Large brothers) build the beautiful big house and outbuildings west of the schoolyard. Robin Arnott last occupied the house and as we enter the second millennium, although obviously vacant and rundown, the house still remains. About the year 1921, C. R. Grundy sold this property to Ben Spear, and the remaining land to Alley Large, and moved to Winnipeg. His wife died in 1965 and sometime later, he retired to B. C. Their daughter Lillian married Elmer Morris of Winnipeg and had two daughters: Jean and Elma. Essme married Mike McCarthy and moved to California.
MORLEY BUTTON came to Makaroff in 1906 from Uxbridge, Ontario with his wife Emma and little daughter Della. They brought seven horses as well as household effects and settled on NE 3-27-29. Sometime later, they purchased the ‘Watson place’ and eventually, two more children, Lollie and Earl, were born. The Buttons were active in the building of the Makaroff community and often got together for social evenings with their closest neighbours. This usually included the Spear, Powell, Kerswell and McGinnis families. They always spent Christmas and New Years together having a jolly good time, sometimes keeping the fun going until the wee small hours of the morning. In 1917 the Buttons purchased a Heinz piano and when Clarence Powell brought his violin, the music and fun expanded. Morley was a dedicated curler and Mrs. Button became a member of the W. I. Morley died in 1950 and his wife in 1959; they are resting in the Makaroff Cemetery. Their daughter Della married Frank Grundy (see Grundy) and Lollie married Jack Powell (see Powell). After Jack’s death Lollie married Lloyd Molton and retired to BC. Earl married a local girl, Hattie Craven (see Craven), and made their home in Oakville, Ontario.
W. J. MILLER, known as “Jack”, came to Makaroff from Eden, Manitoba in 1906 and built the first Blacksmith Shop in the village. It was tucked away on a lot behind the McClean (Sinclair) Store on the street that ran parallel to the railway tracks. This was the only ‘smithie’ in the district for several years and had several owners, including Wilson, Sharpe, Rogers, Capelle and Lupichuck before it was finally destroyed by fire years later. Jack Miller married Maggie Curle of Roblin and resided in Makaroff until 1912 at which time they moved to run a business in Roblin. Their daughter Helen was one of the first babies to be christened in the Makaroff Church; they also had two sons, Harvey and Frank. In 1928 the Millers left Roblin to take up a business in Richmond, BC.
T. W. POUND, (better known as “William” or “Bill”) first came to the Makaroff district in 1906. He had been born in Nestrin, Cheshire, England in 1891 and arrived in Canada with his family in 1900 after a two-week voyage aboard the Lake Champlain. Settling first in Grassmere, west of Stonewall, his family moved four years later to Enderby, BC. In the meantime, Bill’s uncle J.H. Grundy had come to settle in Makaroff. Bill came to visit him in 1906 and obtained work with George Sloan. He returned the following year and the crop was so poor that when he returned to Enderby, he took his pay in cattle and left them with his uncle. In 1909 he came back, breaking the land with oxen from the edge of town to the cemetery, but again sold his outfit and returned to Enderby. In the summer of 1913, however, he returned to the Sloanes and married Barbara “Maude” Beattie (see Beattie). The newlyweds replied to an advertisement for a married couple, were accepted and went to work for the summer at Golden, BC. Bill later traded his home in Enderby and purchased a homestead at Runnymede where he went into the cattle business with Sigelman & Lichter. It wasn’t until 1918 that Bill and Maude returned to Makaroff at which time they lived on the Payne place while a house was built on SW 4-27-29; thus taking up permanent residence in the district. They bought their first car, a Model T from Burns and later a 1929 Chevrolet from Ed. Howe. Bill and Maude had seven children: Jack was born at Golden, BC, Emma and Charlie at Runnymede and Bob, Gordon, Dorothy, and Mary at Makaroff; all attended the Makaroff Consolidated School. Bill remained in the cattle business and was well known in the area; the family worked their farm and did their share in making Makaroff a great place to live. Maude belonged to both the Ladies Aid and the W.I. and Bill over time served on the Church Board, as well as the School and Elevator Boards. He loved to curl and in 1964 was presented with a life membership by the Makaroff Curling Club. Even after their retirement to Roblin, he continued with the cattle buying business until the late 1960s. Bill and Maude celebrated their 67th Wedding Anniversary December 2, 1980 and Maude passed away later that month on the 19th. For many years Bill was a regular visitor to the Roblin Hospital where he visited his old friends and helped when and where needed. Bill passed away in 1991; both he and his wife are resting in the Makaroff Cemetery. Their daughter Emma married Lawrence “Red” Ewart, made their home in North Vancouver and had two sons, Jack and Ronnie. Charlie married Joan Howard of Vancouver and they too made their home in North Vancouver; they had two sons and two daughters: Barbara, Billy, Jamie and Ricky. Bob served in the Medical Corp of the Armed Forces during WW2, married Iola Bishop and made their home in Toronto; they had one son, Douglas. Dorothy served in the Wrens and married Art Allison of Victoria, where they made their home and had four daughters: Madeline, Linda, Barbara and Valerie. Mary taught school for one year then married Norman Cockerill, son of Bert and Annie Cockerill (who had come to Whitewood Lake in the Duck Mountains in 1902). Norman cleared land and went hunting, trapping and logging and in the early 1950s purchased the west half of 26-27-28 in the Merridale District, where they did mixed farming. Unfortunately, Norman died in a tractor accident in 1968. Soon after, Mary with her younger children moved into Roblin where she obtained work in a store. Norman and Mary had eight children: Bernie (1944) married Kathleen Hunt of Lynn Lake; they had three sons of their own and an adopted son and two foster daughters. Jack (1945) married Gail McLean of Fort Saskatchewan, AB; they had one son and one daughter. Barbara (1949) married Clare McFarland of Fort Saskatchewan and had three daughters. Darlene (1950) and her husband, James Allen of Fort Saskatchewan, had two sons. Doug (1950) married Amy, daughter of James and Alice Arnott of Makaroff (see J. S. Arnott). Patricia (1952) married Robert Case; they had one son and one daughter. Thomas (1956) made his home in Edmonton and Bill (1960) married Edith Fraser of Fort Saskatchewan.
JOHN POUND, known as “Jack”, the eldest son of Bill and Maude Pound was born 1914 at Golden, BC and was educated at Makaroff. He remained in the Makaroff district and in 1939 married Annie Beck, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Beck (see Beck). They purchased SW 10-27-29 and SE 28-26-29 and later rented an additional three quarters. Both were active in the community and even after retiring in 1976, remained in the district. Their four children all attended the Makaroff Consolidated School: Ken married Angela Propp of Togo, resided in Roblin and had four children: Tracey, Darren, Debbie and Cindy. Audrey married John Rasmussen of California and made their home at Woodland Hills, CA. Mary Lou married Jim Goshulak of Dauphin and had two children: Jeffery and Jodi. Linda and her husband Alfred Brade of Roblin, made their home in Grandview and had two daughters: Lori-Lee and Heather.
GORDON POUND, Bill and Maude’s youngest son, was born and educated
at Makaroff. After leaving school he went out to B. C. where he obtained
work in Vancouver. In 1942 he come back to Winnipeg to join the Armed Forces.
Gordon served in the Artillery and in 1943 married Ada Rogers of Makaroff
(see S. E. Rogers). On his return from overseas in 1944 they began farming.
They lived with his parents until their own house was built on NE 4-27-29
in 1947. Gordon became a member of the Legion, served as Past Master of
the Masonic Lodge, and Past Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge. He was also
a member of the United Church and Pool Elevator boards and served as secretary
of the rink and cemetery committees. Ada was a member of the W.I. and taught
Sunday school for a number of years; she was Past Honoured Lady of the
O.O.R.P Lodge and served as secretary for the Togo branch. Gordon and Ada
had two sons and two daughters: Eric, an Industrial Accountant in Winnipeg,
married Alice Wiebe and had a son, Kelly. Gail worked for a few years in
hospitals in Winnipeg before marrying Alan Krempasky. Sheryl and Garry
also received higher education in Winnipeg.
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