Overview: Early owners
There were several people who owned the property on Clifton Avenue before there was a house built on the lot in 1913. The government of Canada had surveyed and measured the expanse of land on the prairies, and divided it into strips and squares that could be settled and eventually “owned”. ( If you haven’t read the post called “First things First“, this would be a good time to do it. ) A great deal of land was given to the Canadian Pacific Railway as payment for providing rail-lines across the country. One such square of land labeled as CPR land was secretly purchased by a Moose Jaw pioneer, a farmer, businessman, and school teacher, John R. Green.
He bought the area west of Main St. and north of Caribou St. After a time, Mr. Green turned the property over to the Maybery brothers who were realtors in Moose Jaw’s early days. So those two title holders, Mr. Green, and the Maybery company were probably the most well-known of the owners over the next century. Their involvement with the property was business only. Both families had prominent dwelling places in other parts of the city and performed leadership roles in city affairs.
The Maybery men who were managing the sales of all the property in the avenues, gradually putting surveyed lots on the market, were well-known community members. Mr. Alfred Maybery became the mayor of Moose Jaw in 1912 and was involved before and after that time in city politics and business. On the other hand, the next two owners of the property have generated questions and an element of mystery in the years around the time the house was built.
Mr. Robert Eaket, who owned the property from June of 1910 until April of 1912 was a man with more than one employment. He had been involved in Rex Fruit Company after his arrival in Moose Jaw in 1907, plus he was involved in some building with his brother-in-law, George Taylor. Mr. Eaket lists himself as a “builder” on the title deed to the Clifton property, but it is not clear whether he was claiming to be the builder of the house or to be a builder by trade. The next owner, Mr. James Beaumont is listed on the title document as a “farmer”. Along with his mother, sister, and brother-in-law, he had been farming near Tuxford. His mother, however, seems to have returned to England and not come back to Canada. James had title to the Clifton lot for 11 months. The price he paid of $3000 seems to be the price of a lot with a house rather than a vacant lot.
One of the puzzles about the property involves the length of time between when Mr. Eaket takes ownership and when the title is “registered” to Mr. Eaket. Mr. Eaket agreed to purchase the property of Lot 17 Block 11 on June 21, 1910. On April 16, 1912, the title to 1037 Clifton is registered to Mr. Robert Eaket (Builder). That is one year and 10 months later. The same day, the title passes to Mr. James Beaumont of Tuxford, Saskatchewan . I will introduce each of these early owners of the property with separate posts. With each era in the history of the house there are unsolved mysteries which I will include with the hope that some readers will join in the solution by adding ideas or clues you have come across or dreamed up. After all the writing of history is only partly contained in facts. There is a role for the imagination as well.
“Let the science and research of the historian find the fact and let his imagination and art make clear its significance.” G. M. Trevelyan