Readers often ask me if I know about people who died in this house. Well, early on, when the house had been here on Clifton Avenue for about 14 years, there was a death in the house. There had been some deaths in the Lockwood and Thomas families, but so far, none actually in the house. A young father had died in the Tuxford hospital in 1924, and a 12-year-old boy had drowned in the Moose Jaw River, but I don’t think anyone had actually died in the house until 1927. On January 20th, 1927, James Smith Thomas took possession of the title to the house where his family has been living for 7 years under a rental arrangement with the previous owner, Mrs Mary Elizabeth Lockwood who has been living in BC for much of this time. As you may recall from the preceding post, there had been up to four generations of Thomas family members living here since 1920. Two of James and Winnie Thomas’s grandchildren, Donald and Virginia Bills, had been born in the house, and they had lived here off and on especially after their father’s death in 1924. By that time, James and Winnie were also providing a home to Benjamin Franklin Headington and his wife, Louise, who are Winnie’s parents and have come to Canada to live with their daughter in their declining years.
Mr and Mrs Headington celebrated their 58th anniversary on February 27th, 1927. Then, as far as I know, just a few weeks later, B. Frank Headington was the first person to pass away at 1037 Clifton. Mr Headington had only been living in Moose Jaw for 6 years when he died on April 21, 1927. A family member shared with me the obituary that had been published in the U.S., and the Moose Jaw paper also wrote about his death and his funeral here on Palm Sunday of 1927.
“He was a man held in highest respect. His was a congenial, friendly disposition, but nothing could swerve him from espousing a principle in which he believed. He was an esteemed citizen, a loyal friend, a good husband, and a kind father. He lived a long and useful life, and his memory will be revered.” (Decorah Journal, Iowa, April 27, 1927)
Moose Jaw Obituary (Public Library Archives: microfilm)
The pallbearers are listed in the Moose Jaw obituary above. They were all neighbours from Clifton Avenue it seems.
G.L. Dewey: is listed as the enumerator for the area around Clifton Avenue in the Prairie Province census of 1926. He first lived just up the street at 1077 Clifton, but by 1927 he was up in the 1100 block at 1127 Clifton Ave.
W. Houston (age 59) lived with his wife Amelia (52) across the street at 1038 Clifton Ave.
Hugh Thompson (a widower, age 74) lived just next door at 1043 Clifton with his daughter Elizabeth (31) who was married to Angus MacPherson (37) and two Macpherson youngsters. This young neighbour, Angus, moved on to Saskatoon in 1931 and was elected mayor of that city, serving as Mayor of that city from 1944 to 1948.
Check back to find out about the next eight years that the Thomas family remained in the house. They were here for all of the Roaring Twenties, and then they stayed on until halfway through the Depressing Thirties.