Two Funerals and a Wedding: Clifton Ave. 1924-1929

Heartbreak”   is the title of Chapter 11 in the journal style memoir written by Louise Alice Thomas Bills, the eldest child of James and Mary Winnifred Thomas who lived at 1037 Clifton Avenue from 1920 until 1935.  In a one page excerpt from “Gram,” she tells about the February day in 1924 when “til death do us part” came true and in her words, “the bottom seemed to drop out of life.”  Louise starts with a nostalgic story about a family playtime that led to a slight scratch on her husband Dick’s face. A bad cold seemed to look like the beginnings of pneumonia, and Dr Storry visited.  Within a very few days, the seriousness of infection was cause for Mr Bills to be admitted to the Tuxford Hospital.  Because the Bills’ farm was about 12 miles from the town, a plan was made for Louise to stay in Moose Jaw and ride the train out daily to Tuxford to visit her husband over the 10 days that Dr Storry said he would need to be in the hospital. It seems that before they were able to make the transition to Moose Jaw, a call came from the hospital.  Louise’s brother, Arthur, drove them, but they didn’t get there before he died. The Moose Jaw paper published Dick Bills’ obituary describing his funeral at Broadfoots’ Funeral Parlors.

Obituary for G.R. (Dick) Bills: notice there is an error in the Thomas name.  “Thompson” is incorrect.
Broadfoot Funeral Home on Langton Crescent

Now a widow at age 32, Mrs Louise Bills had to plan for her future and that of her four children. She had been a teacher before she married, but only with a temporary certificate. It made sense to her to return to Normal School to obtain a permanent teaching certificate so she could get a job at a school that provided a teacherage for her to live in.  Family members helped out with her children some of the time by taking the older ones into their homes.  The summer of 1924 was a time of rest and renewal for them all as “Papa Jim” took them camping at two different sites on Last Mountain Lake. (also called Long Lake)  In the fall, Louise attended Normal School for a few months to improve her certification. The demand for teachers was high, and the new Normal School would be opening soon.  It is quite likely,  though,  that in 1924, the course that Louise Bills took in Moose Jaw would have been offered at Alexandra School, the one that used to be where the Bentley is now in Moose Jaw.  Somehow with Louise in Normal School, and other members helping with her four children, the family managed to commemorate the 80th birthday of Grandpa Frank Headington on January 12 of 1925.

After living at 1037 Clifton Ave. for 5 years, with his daughter’s family, Grandpa Frank Headington celebrated his 80th birthday.

By the summer of 1925, the Thomas family was living their “new normal.”  James and Winnifred took a trip with their youngest daughter, Gertrude Helen,  to Yellowstone  Park in the state of Wyoming.  While there, the family became acquainted with another family who was visiting the park. The young people were 4 years apart in age; Gertrude Helen was 16 years old.  Mr. Eldon Krieg was 20.

1925 trip to Yellowstone. Young Gertrude Thomas falls in “love at first sight.”
Topsy turvy, head over heels, after  Eldon Krieg made a visit to Moose Jaw the two begin to plan a wedding.

One family member thinks this picture might have been taken the day they became engaged. Gertrude and Eldon are in the back yard at Clifton. I wonder who took the picture. The wedding date was set for December of 1926. By then the bride would be 18.

Louise Thomas Bills, as a widow, soon accepted a position teaching at the Queen Alexandra School in Truax, Sask. Her son Burdette was enrolled for grade 8 in the Truax school where his mother was teaching. The summer of 1926 was to include a trip to a church camp just south of Moose Jaw in Kingsway Park.  However,  a  sunny Monday afternoon in the meandering waters of the creek near the camp took a tragic turn.

Once again the Thomas and Bills family will be requiring the services of Broadfoots’ Funeral Home.

12-year-old Burdette Bills dies 2 years and 5 months after his father.

After the full report of the incident was printed on Tuesday, July 20, there followed another article about the funeral that happened on Wednesday.

In the midst of the grief following the funeral of young Burdette, plans continued to be made for the Christmas wedding of  Gertrude Thomas and Eldon Krieg.  Just as the Moose Jaw Times had been so thorough in reporting the funerals of 1924 and 1926, now the paper can share some happy news from 1037 Clifton Ave.  The house was full of music and flowers that day as the bride with her father entered the living room.  Gertrude carried a sheaf of pink roses.

Annie Thomas sang a 1910 song titled “Until”. A couple of clicks will let you hear a man’s voice singing it.


No rose in all the world until you came. No star until you smiled upon life’s sea. No song in all the world until you spoke. No hope until you gave your heart to me.

O rose, bloom ever in my lonely heart. O star, shine steadfast with your light divine. Ring on, O song, your melody of joy.  Life’s crowned at last, and love, and love is ever mine.

Two sisters and the bride’s sister-in-law provided the music for the wedding.  The paper reported that there were four generations of family present that day plus a few friends.


They are looking a little more dignified than they did on the beach at Yellowstone Park where they had met 18 months earlier.

Wedding guests posed on the front steps for a picture even though it was December 25th.

The bride and groom were young, but they moved to the US and had a long life together, reaching their 50th anniversary in 1976.  I found an obituary online for Gertrude and through that and Facebook, located a granddaughter.

She shared with me a plate that was decorated by Winnifred to honour their golden anniversary.

Here is some of what Eldon and Gertrude’s granddaughter wrote:

Kriegs moved from South Whitley and lived in Santa Rosa Beach, FL for many years where Granddaddy had a machine shop.  He was a mechanical genius and although he only had a 6th-grade education, he was able to design and manufacture machines to do jobs that there were no machines for those jobs at the time.
He did work making bomb parts for the war, worked for NASA, made the mechanisms for the first top floor revolving restaurant in Destin, FL, made scientific equipment…the list of things is quite long!  I have several photo albums with many pictures of his inventions. Grandma acted as his accountant and secretary and they had a good business!  Between that and church, there wasn’t much time for anything else. 
More about the Thomas connection next time.  They were here until 1935, and faced more challenges through the depression. More weddings, more funerals.
I do not believe in ghosts, but when I enter an old building, I am always conscious of those who came before. It does not matter if the furniture and bric-a-brac have been stripped away; a sense of presence remains—a feeling that this building knew the cycle of birth, life and death, of hope and despair, of sadness and joy.  Pierre Burton  1973  “Ties that Bind”  

The Thomas Family: the early years

Shared from a family album.

The family that followed the two Lockwood families to 1037 Clifton lived in the house from about 1919 until 1935.  However, this family had moved from Iowa to Canada much earlier in the century and started out, as the Lockwood family before them, by farming in the Tuxford area.

1900 census in Iowa before moving to Canada. Mr Thomas is listed as a mail carrier.  They were living in a house at 109 Riverside with the children at ages 8, 7, and 4 months.

The story of the Thomas Years in the house at 1037 Clifton Avenue in Moose Jaw really begins back in 1908 when the Thomases moved from Decorah, Iowa to farm in Saskatchewan.  Both Mr and Mrs Thomas had ancestors from the eastern part of the US who had originally lived a couple of generations previous in Maryland and then Pennsylvania. The story of the family’s gradual transition to Canada, specifically the Tuxford-Marquis area is well told by Louise Alice Thomas Bills Hannah in the local history book called Heritage of the Wheatlands: Tuxford and Area. The Moose Jaw Public Library Archives have the book as well as the original drafts submitted by its many contributors.

The book covers the period of time from 1857 to 1977 and was published by the Tuxford Heritage Committee in 1979.

In the fall of 1907, James Smith Thomas came with his cousin from Decorah, Iowa to the “wonderful grain-growing prairies” of Moose Jaw. He bought the East half of 15-20-27-W2 for $16 per acre.   There was a barn with an 18 by 28 lean-to where J. S. Thomas planned to live the following spring when they returned from spending the winter back in Iowa.  So in March of 1908, James Thomas who had been a mail-carrier in Decorah, Iowa and his son, Art (15), arrived with 2 freight-cars of possessions for their new farm. They pulled all of this– livestock, machinery, and furniture–on a sledge from the train station in Moose Jaw to their location north of Tuxford.

In April, Mrs Mary Winnifred Thomas (nee Headington) arrived with their three daughters: Louise (16), Mildred (8), and Winnifred (Freddie) (4).  The family was together through the summer, but Louise returned to Iowa in the fall of 1908 to continue her high school studies. Meanwhile, in Saskatchewan, the family was still growing, as another daughter, Helen Gertrude, was born on December 2nd. When Louise returned to Tuxford in June of 1909, she was able to teach with a temporary permit even though she still needed another year of high school herself.  The school year ran from March to December in Tuxford, but Louise went back to Iowa in the fall for her final year of high school.  She was teaching again at the Westlake school when she returned in June 1911.  Until 1910, the family had been living in the lean-to next to the barn, and Louise tells of limiting her social contacts out of embarrassment over their living arrangements. But in 1910, Mr Thomas built an eight-room house.

The Thomas farm now has an 8 room house in 1910 with a veranda added in 1911.

Louise now began keeping company with Dick (George Richard) Bills and continued with teaching and cooking for harvesters. During her yearlong engagement to Dick, he had a 4 room house built on a section of land halfway between his parents’ home and her parents’ home.

This is the house that Dick built halfway between his parents’ house and hers.

The 1911 census in Canada shows the big changes that have come to the Thomas family since the US census of 1900.  James Thomas at 47 is no longer a mail-carrier in Iowa.  He is now a farmer in Saskatchewan.  He has one son and four daughters with his wife Mary Winnifred who is 39.  His oldest daughter (Louise)  is engaged to the boy from the farm down the road, and soon Mr Thomas will be the “father of the bride.” The 8 room house he built in 1910 now has a veranda in 1911. However, as for every family, every decade brings changes, and for this family in this place in the next decade of the 19teens, they will experience three weddings before another move takes them from the house near Tuxford to a larger house in town.

Census showing the neighbouring Bills and Thomas families in 1911

Three weddings…..1912, 1917, 1919

Dick and Louise Bills’ Wedding December 10, 1912

Louise wrote in the Tuxford book: We were married on a freezing cold day in December. My brother, Art, drove 12 miles to Tuxford in the fourteen below zero weather to get the minister and bring him to my parents’ home. We had a quiet ceremony with just the two families present. Dick’s brother, Archie, then drove us to Chamberlain, where we caught the train to Regina for our honeymoon.


1916 Census showing Thomas family on their farm and their daughter’s family on their farm. The Thomas and Bills families are living on sections 15/20/27/2 and 14/20/27/2 .  The first grandchild was a boy named Burdette Thomas Bills.

The second Thomas wedding took place in a home in the Marquis area on July 17th, 1917. Arthur Reginald Thomas took as his bride the lovely Annie  Archibald.  Annie had been born in Pictou, Nova Scotia in  1895. Her parents had both passed away and she had moved west with some of her brothers.  She was the only daughter in her family, and Arthur was the only son in his family.  So it appears that Arthur invited Annie’s brother to be his best man, and Annie invited Arthur’s sister to be her maid of honour.  The wedding took place at the home of Annie’s brother,  Lester Ward Archibald.

Mildred Edith Thomas married John Weiland in 1919.

I don’t know if there was a bouquet for Mildred, the bridesmaid,  to catch on that Tuesday afternoon at her brother’s wedding, but she was married in 1919.  She married a farmer from the Belle Plain-Stoney Beach area named John Weiland.  I have found no record of their wedding yet, whether it was at Tuxford, in Moose Jaw, or at the groom’s farm near Belle Plaine.

So by the end of 1919,  the three oldest Thomas children were married.  Arthur and Annie took over the Thomas farm for several years, and Papa Jim and Grandma Winnie moved to Moose Jaw. The Weilands were farming near Belle Plaine, and  Louise and Dick Bills were at their own home near Tuxford where, in 1919, Dick had proved up his homestead at SW 36-20-27.

Only two of James and Winnie’s children come with them to Clifton Avenue in time for the  1921 census:  James is 56;  Winnie is 49; Freddie is 16, and Helen Gertrude is 12.  They have a young woman Mary Walderberger (21) who is working in their home.  It came to pass,  in 1921, sometime after the census was taken, Winnie’s parents from Iowa joined the Clifton household to spend their remaining years with their daughter. Benjamin Franklin Headington and his wife Louise were a much-appreciated addition to the family home now housing 3 generations.  I say “much appreciated” because, after those three weddings mentioned above, the grandchildren began to arrive.

1914:  Burdette Thomas Bills; 1916 Robert Wilford Bills; 1921 Donald Arthur Bills in March, and then….

Finally, some granddaughters–1921: Winnifred Mary Weiland, Helen Jeanne Thomas; and 1922: Marjorie Weiland, Virginia Louise Bills.

Arthur and Annie Thomas with their first baby.
Arthur with his dad and vehicle.

Arthur shows an early interest in cars and of course in his wife and new baby. Could he make a transition to a career with vehicles in the future?  The plans of mice and men….you know the rest

It was not Louise Bills’ plan to live with her parents after 1912, but she did take advantage of their hospitality in their 12 room house on Clifton for the births of her next 2 children: Donald Arthur (born in 1921) and Virginia Louise (born in 1922). This same Virginia visited our home in 2002 on her 80th birthday.  She climbed the stairs to our second-floor den and stood in the doorway with her hand over her heart saying, “This is the room where I was born.”

Grandma Winnie and Virginia Louise Bills. Maybe this picture is the reason Virginia wanted her 80th birthday picture taken on our veranda.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas (James and Winnifred)  in front of 1037.  She is standing where my delphiniums are today!

1027 Clifton’s First Great Grandfather Benjamin Franklin Headington on his 80th birthday. January 12, 1925.  I wonder if seeing this picture as a child is what inspired Virginia to come back to the house on her 80th birthday.

A mid-20s picture of the family gathered and posed on the front steps. There are several young granddaughters here and some grandsons too. But not everyone is holding their own children, so it’s a bit of a puzzle. Plus there are at least 4 extra folks who may be in-laws or friends.It seems that the whole family liked to have their pictures taken on our veranda steps.  With the light coming from the west, this pose has become a tradition for several families who have lived in this house.  In fact,  we took a picture here ourselves this past Easter.

Easter on Clifton in 2019

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

― Leo Tolstoy , Anna Karenina

Family happiness ebbs and flows like the tide. Some years and some decades overflow with happy occasions like weddings, births, anniversaries, new places, new challenges.  Some years and some decades instead deliver more unhappy losses, funerals, tragedies, and unforeseen events. Sometimes the happy times are ironically intermingled with the sad times.  If my 68 years hadn’t already taught me this, my research about the families of our Clifton house would have taught me.   The Thomas family is facing into a difficult decade.  I don’t think they see it coming.  Thomases on Clifton : Part 2 next time.


The Lockwood Years at 1037

1037 Clifton was the last early house added to the 1000 block.  It was not there in the 1912 Henderson Directory and in 1913, there it was!  In 1914 the new numbering system for streets is in effect.

Henderson 1912
New numbers for avenues and for houses. What is now First Ave. W. was originally 9th Avenue.
Gordon Fulton’s booklet with helpful information for house research is available at the MJ Library Archives and also online.

The only census document that shows Lockwoods in the Clifton house is the 1916 census. The family would go through lots of changes before 1921.

Clifton Census 1916

William and Emily’s children

All of the William Lockwood children eventually were married. The two elder daughters married two brothers. One couple stayed on in Moose Jaw, and the other moved to B.C.

Daughter #1

Sometime in 1914 or thereabouts, Bertha Fay married William Cox, a merchant who had been born in Peterborough, Ontario.  It is not clear where he lived as a young adult, but by 1916 he was reporting from Granum, Alberta with a wife and a baby daughter, Mildred Isabel. She had been born on September 4th, 1915 in Winnipeg. William was a “merchant” and eventually in the lumber business as his father had been. Mildred Isabel at 9 months was living on Dufferin Street in Granum. Her mother was 28 and her father was “38”. Fay who was raised Methodist is now listed as a Presbyterian with her family.

By 1917 William and Fay (as she preferred to be called) were located back in Moose Jaw and living at 1017 First Ave. N.E.

1st Ave. E. Moose Jaw home of William and Fay Cox.

This photo is clipped from Google Maps, so of course, the car in the driveway is anachronistic, but its presence there reminds me of a story I received from William and Fay (Lockwood) Cox’s grandson in Ontario. Here it is in his words:

William taught Fay how to drive a car.  Now, this was very risky for the time as only men “should” drive cars as women just did not have the capacity.  Fay told me that when she drove the car in downtown Moose Jaw, women walking on the sidewalks would hide their eyes and look away.  It was just too improper for a woman to drive a car and no women should have to see such a sight!  Fay said that the roads in Moose Jaw at the time were very rough.  She said that she would “pick her favourite rut and follow it.”  As far as I know, she may have been one of the first women in Moose Jaw to drive a car. 

Perhaps the car pictured here would be better suited sitting in front of the house above.   I have reason to believe that Mr. Lockwood preferred to drive a Hudson.  That was the car that he was driving in the late 1920s.

I had already figured that William Wallace Lockwood was a man ahead of his time when I found that he had designed a hay stacker in 1916 that was patented in 1917.

Patented in 1917 while he lived on Clifton Ave.

But I realized again that William Lockwood could be called open-minded when his great-grandson shared this story with me.

When Emily died in 1909, Fay was in her early twenties.  At this time, women in Canada were not allowed to vote and were considered “inferior” in many aspects, especially finances and anything mechanized.  William was very forward thinking for the times and needed Fay’s help in running the farms and business.  Accordingly, he went to the bank to give Fay power of attorney.  The bank manager was horrified.   He told William, “She will ruin you!  She will buy white gloves!” 

To which William replied, “Do you really think that if I did not trust my daughter and have faith in her that I would give her power of attorney?”  Needless to say, Fay was given power of attorney and helped run William’s business for several years. 

When my grandmother told this story, she would always chuckle about the “white gloves” comment.  White gloves were in style at the time, and the bank manager felt a woman would do nothing with money but “buy white gloves”.  Fay managed the farms with the help of her sons (my dad John and my Uncle Bill (William)) up until she passed away in 1979.

Another insight into William Wallace Lockwood was included in a small book called Prairie Storekeeper by D. E MacIntyre.  The author tells about taking a chance on the westerners’ love of fruit and bringing in for his little Tuxford store a carload of first-grade apples from the Georgian Bay district. He remembered “one big farmer named W. W. Lockwood taking ten barrels in anticipation of threshers.  It was his custom to leave one barrel open near the kitchen doorway and tell all the men to help themselves to as many as they wanted.”

I was reading this book to find out more about Tuxford’s early history in general, and now, here loading 10 barrels of apples onto his wagon, was my Mr. Lockwood.  It was good to see him presented as a generous man when he farmed in the Tuxford area.

WWL really only stayed in Moose Jaw until 1917 when he sold the Clifton house to his brother’s wife, Mary Elizabeth (Tilden) Lockwood and moved to Vancouver.  So eventually he ended up with two daughters in Vancouver and one daughter and one son here in Saskatchewan. Bertha Fay Cox the oldest daughter stayed on in Moose Jaw, helping to look after her father’s interests in this area.

William’s Daughter #2 stayed here until after the 1921 census and then moved to Vancouver.  Margaret Lillian had married Elwood Livingston Cox on July 12, 1915, in Winnipeg. Elwood was 14 years younger than his brother, William,  and was trained as a dentist.  For the 1916 Census, Margaret and Elwood were living in Moose Jaw with WWL at the Clifton house.  It may be that they were living there because WWL had begun having serious heart troubles in 1915. So the household had two “Heads” in the census.  Listed under Mr. Lockwood are son Howard 19, and daughter Mildred 16.   so Margaret and Elwood were the first married couple to live in the house, and Howard and Mildred were the first teenagers to live here.

By 1917 City Directory, everyone was re-locating because Uncle Frank and Aunt Mary Lockwood have bought the 1037 Clifton house.  It was unusual for the time to have Mary Elizabeth (Tilden) Lockwood hold title instead of her husband, and because she didn’t work outside the home, she is never listed in the City Directory with Frank in 1917 and 1918.  Their daughter, Thelma, is with them in the house in 1919.

Elwood (the dentist)  and Margaret Cox are taking a house at 104 Oxford St. E. while  Bertha Fay and William are at 1017 1st N. E., so the two brothers and two sisters are just around the corner from each other. It appears that both William and Elwood Cox have offices in the Hammond Building. Perhaps they walked to work together: William to his lumber business, and Elwood to his dental office.  This cosy arrangement seems to have continued until after the 1921 Census.

Howard, the only son of W. W. Lockwood,  lived out his life in Moose Jaw and Tuxford. He was drafted in 1918 but not soon enough to see active duty.  He is single in 1921 and is living at 13-19-27 W2.  He has people working for him at the farm so he is not alone.

In August of 1923, William and his daughter Mildred, who have been living in the same house in Vancouver, embarked on a “Round the World” trip with Canadian Pacific.  It seems they departed from Montreal on August 18, 1923, on the Empress of France. Their first port of call was in England where they arrived on August 25th. Their proposed accommodation in London was listed in the ship’s manifest as 2 Lombard St., London EC3.

Poster for CP Cruises 1923

Some of you may be interested in the September 1923 earthquake that happened near Japan and involved certain cruise ships playing a role in the rescue operations, lowering their boats for victims and taking some on board.  I have no way of knowing if the Empress ship that Mr. and Miss Lockwood were cruising on was in the area at the time, but it was a great tragedy and they could have been very close to it.  The Empress of Australia played a major role in the rescuing of people, but the Empress of Canada was there too, and that is the ship on which William and Mildred arrived back in Vancouver on Jan. 1, 1924.

The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), 1 April 1924, Page 7

While his father is travelling the world in a luxurious steamship, Howard Lockwood  is working hard as a farmer at Tuxford.  The history book for the area shows photos of his harvest crew in 1924 and again in 1926.

Howard Lockwood Harvest 1924

Mary Elizabeth (Tilden) Lockwood arrived in Moose Jaw, and the June 7th Society News says she would be travelling on to Toronto with her husband. Their son Bill (William Winfred) is graduating.

The Moose Jaw  Lockwoods were anticipating a busy summer. Fay Lockwood Cox was expecting her third child in September of 1927.  Aunt Mary, who had sold the house on Clifton in January would be passing through this June on her way from BC to Toronto, and in July, it would be great to have Grandpa William here for a time to visit  and perhaps help out with his granddaughter, Mildred Isobel, who is 12, and grandson, William Lockwood Cox, who is 7.  Perhaps he would be able to stay until the baby came.  He might even take a stroll with his grandchildren up Clifton Avenue to show them the house he had left when he moved to Vancouver.   They might get a peek at the four generations of the Thomas family who are living there now and actually own the house after seven years of renting it from Aunt Mary.  Grandpa would be able to see the new machinery at the farm at Tuxford. They might all spend some time with Aunt Edrie, Uncle Howard’s new wife.  Everyone loved her.  Maybe they would be invited for a ride in Uncle Howard’s airplane.

Howard Lockwood, the uncle of these two children was an innovator in his farming methods and in transportation.  He was a pilot, a member of the Moose Jaw Flying Club, and the owner of a de Havilland  DH Moth described as the first one in Saskatchewan.  In 1926, Howard and his wife Edrie Alberta (Byers) were newlyweds living on the farm near Tuxford. (I have as yet found no wedding date for them).  Howard’s father William did make a trip from Vancouver to Moose Jaw in the summer of 1927.  I don’t know if he came by train, or if he drove the Hudson that was in his possession. (It was valued at $1000.)  The trip back to the prairies was Mr Lockwood’s last trip, for it was here in Moose Jaw at this daughter Fay’s house at 1917 First N.E.  that William Wallace Lockwood died.

I have wondered if he was able to have a ride in Howard’s plane, but that information is not available.  The house on Clifton had legally changed hands in January of ’27.   However, before I introduce you to that next family, it is important to say some final Lockwood goodbyes.  A published version of Mr Lockwood’s obituary was well written but hard to reproduce.   But in 1927, Mr William Wallace  Lockwood was buried here in Moose Jaw close to Emily who had died in 1909.

Rosedale Cemetery Moose Jaw

There will end up several more stones near the Lockwood  Monument in Rosedale Cemetery.  I will tell you briefly about two more of them before we move to the next family.  But for our Mr William Wallace Lockwood, what better tribute than the one from the Moose Jaw Evening Times in July of 1927.  “He was a man of genial disposition and loved by all with whom he came in contact. I liked that he bought apples for his workers and that he wanted his daughter to drive and take some leadership in the family business.  I liked that he took his single daughter on a world cruise.  I  also am tickled that my very own hairdresser lived for a while in the same house where Fay raised her children and where William Wallace Lockwood came back to visit.  I am glad that when he died he had family members with him.  His years living in this area did not turn out the way he expected,  but I am glad he came first to live here and then to find his Moose Jaw resting place beside Emily.

Moose Jaw Rosedale Cemetery


William Wallace Lockwood

Let me introduce you to William Wallace Lockwood. It is 1903, and he has decided to take a break from his farm in Ontario to ride across Canada to see what the Canadian Pacific Railroad has made available to travelers. He leaves his wife Emily and their 4 children at their farm at Caradoc and sets off for the West.  It’s not that he hasn’t been west before.  When he was younger and single, he had left his father’s farm at Caradoc and homesteaded close to an uncle and aunt with a large family near Pembina in the Dakota Territory. But now he is a married man, has bought his father’s farm back in Ontario and is settled down with the young lady from 3 miles down the road to raise a family of 3 daughters and one son.

The story is told by his youngest daughter that Mr. Lockwood met a man on the train who knew Moose Jaw well:  ” A Winnipeg a man called Mr. Annable got on the train, and he talked of the wonderful land at Moose Jaw.  The result was that my father got off the train at Moose Jaw with him.  They hired a horse and buggy and drove out in the direction of what is now Tuxford.  His first farm was bought there. The Ontario farm was then sold and the family moved out west in 1906.”    Mildred (Lockwood) Jeffree in Heritage of the Wheatlands: Tuxford Area.

Probably, the Mr. Annable was George Malcolm Annable.  His story is partly told in Revenge of the Land by Maggie Siggins. He is claimed by Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and BC as a pioneering businessman, rancher, farmer, and politician.   He was such a congenial person that there is also a biography about him called The Laugh that Shook the West.  There is a place name in BC named for Mac Annable.  You can visit here to see more of his humour.

Mac Annable: The Laugh that Shook the West

Manitoba honoured “Mac” Annable as a “Memorable Manitoban”  in a book of cartoons published in 1909.  The online version of these characters is here.

George Malcolm (Mac) Annable

Thanks to Mr. Annable’s hospitable representation of Moose Jaw, the Lockwood family established themselves in the Tuxford area, (township 18 range 27) and then also had a house in Moose Jaw.  In fact, it seems that they later became neighbours of the Annable family on Ominica Street West.

By July 12, 1906, William and Emily Lockwood and their four children have settled on their farm near Tuxford with 2 hired men, one domestic servant, 22 horses, 3 cows, and 3 pigs!

Meanwhile, William Lockwood’s brother George Franklin (Frank) also came to Tuxford and purchased land.  He moved his family there in 1904.  In some ways, his adult life has been more complicated than William’s, but of course, many of their experiences were similar.  George Franklin was born in Caradoc when William was 5 years old.   He was the third son in the family. A second brother, James,  had been born between them in 1861. When GFL was 18 years old, in 1881, his older brother James died at the age of 20.  His brother William Wallace was homesteading at Pembina in Dakota Territory at the time, so Frank went west to join him.  The men made this move during what has been called the Great Dakota Boom.  It didn’t seem to matter that 4 generations ago their forefathers had barely escaped with their lives from the  United States. There was land to be had, and possibly even “gold in them thar hills!”  Both brothers William and Frank lived for a while with their Uncle Benjamin Lockwood and his wife Emeline, and their large family.  But by the census of 1891, William and Frank were both counted in Caradoc, Ontario.

Wedding in 1886 of William and Emily



William married Emily Christina Bateman in 1886 and started his family: Bertha Fay in 1888, Margaret Lillian in 1890, Flora C. in 1894 who only lived for 2 months and 24 days, Howard William in 1896, and Mildred Emily in 1900.  Four out of five babies survived and one baby girl died with bronchitis.








Frank Lockwood also married after his return from his Dakota Territory venture.  His bride was Martha Humphries, and they are listed by the census of 1891 as farmers.   Their son Percy was born in  1893.   His mother Martha lived for two weeks after his birth and then died at the age of 23 years 6 months.  Percey himself lived for two more months and then died of cholera infantum.

Martha and Percy’s deaths were both registered by Frank on the same day.


Grave for Martha Humphries Lockwood
Percey G. Lockwood

Four years later, Frank married again.  He is now 34 years old.  The first child is born in 1898, a son, George Newton.  By 1905 there were 5 children in total, and then 3 more followed after they left Caradoc in Ontario to move to Saskatchewan.  The stories of these two Lockwood families will be important because they were the first two families to live in the house at 1037 Clifton as best we know. Neither family stayed long in the house.  Although there was a Lockwood on the title deed from 1913 until 1927, each family stayed in the house for only a few years.  The adventurous spirit that moved them to the west kept them moving:  British Columbia, California, back to Ontario, back to Moose Jaw, back to BC.   Some family members of both William Wallace Lockwood and Frank  Lockwood continued to live on in the Moose Jaw area and a number of their gravestones are in Moose Jaw cemeteries.

William Wallace Lockwood and Frank Lockwood settled their families in the country and in the town.  William’s wife and children are counted in the 1906 Census on a farm at Tuxford, but it seems that George’s family waited until the birth of James Douglas in  September 1905  and even until December 30th when the birth was registered before moving to Saskatchewan from Ontario.

Here is the 1906 summary from the Tuxford history book in the words of William Winfred Lockwood:  It was in the spring of 1906 that the Lockwood family moved to Tuxford and lived for the summer and part of the winter on what was later known as the Herb Rowan farm. situated on the correction line, a mile or so west of Tuxford.  the family at this time consisted of George, Thelma, Lois, William, and Douglas.  The last mentioned child, Douglas, had valvular heart trouble and passed away early in the winter of 1906.  Perhaps because of this tragic happening, the land was sold and the family moved to California before the end of the year.  

In fact, in 1908, some or all of William’s family made the trek from Saskatchewan to California to visit Frank’s family in Ontario, California.

This seems to have been the last time for these Lockwood brothers to have a winter holiday with their wives and children.   By October of 1909,  William’s family is facing a tragic loss of a dear one back in Moose Jaw. The Moose Jaw Times reported in some detail.  The paper calls her by her husband’s name, so I will remind you that her name was Emily Christina Bateman Lockwood. She was 5 ft, 3 and a half inches tall.  She had brown hair and brown eyes.  Her father had died suddenly with heart troubles at age 55.  Emily was 45 when she died.

The day of Emily Lockwood’s funeral was the same day that the cornerstone was being placed for the Legislature in Regina. A special train was to leave Moose Jaw at 10:00 am returning at 11:30 that evening.  The band of the 16th Light Horse traveled on the train.  I suppose many people were going along for the special round trip ticket rate to celebrate the work completed on this grand project. “The framework up to the drum base of the dome was completed by October 4, 1909. On that day, the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency Earl Grey laid the cornerstone at the grand entrance.”

However, in Moose Jaw that day another stone was laid, and a cortege of over 30 rigs followed a grieving family to view a stone that said simply:  Emily.

The family is listed in the 1911 census without Emily.   You can see that they are living next to Mr. and Mrs. Annable. By 1916 Census, they will be listed at 1037 Clifton.  The city will have a new street numbering system just making research a bit more complicated.

1911 Census of Ominica St. W.

I am still looking for a picture of Emily Christine Bateman Lockwood and any of her family members.  I like to think that when they moved from the house on Ominica to this house on Clifton, they had pictures of her to put on the wall or on their desks or dressers to remember her by.  I am sure that even though she didn’t get to live with her family in this house, her influence was here, perhaps in the way the house was designed, furnished or decorated, perhaps in the choices of books on their bookshelves, or recipes and utensils in the kitchen, plates on the plate rail in the dining room.  Most important of all, of course, would be the influence she had on her husband and children.   Although she didn’t live long enough to see her children marry or to know her grandchildren,   William Wallace did.  And so did George Franklin and his wife Mary Elizabeth Tilden Lockwood.

Next post will include some stories about the children and grandchildren of William Wallace and George Franklin Lockwood.



Two Lockwood brothers arrive in North America

The first family who actually lived in our Clifton house at 1037  can be traced back to ancestors on a ship named Arabella that left England in 1630.

Arrival of the Winthrop Fleet. Can you spy with your little eye some men whose descendants will end up on Clifton Avenue in Moose Jaw?

It seems there were two Lockwood brothers who came to Massachusetts Bay with the Winthrop fleet.  They came 10 years after the Mayflower, and were part of a 1630 flotilla of ships from England headed for what was to become “New England.”  This adventurous voyage continued what would be called the “Great Migration,”  by adding 700 or so more English folks to what would soon be thousands of new arrivals.  The interest in the families who were on this pilgrimage to Massachusetts Bay is very strong and research continues with casual amateur history buffs, bloggers, and highly trained historians alike trying to understand the distinguishing features of the families who came and their influence on the next centuries of North American history.

One example  has been highly praised by reviewers.  It is the  1988 Great Migration Study Project, conceived and directed by Robert Charles Anderson.  In a review of the resulting publications,  Lynn Betlock observed that “today’s descendants of Great Migration settlers are fortunate to have a wealth of resources to add to their knowledge of their ancestors’ lives. Using the Great Migration Study Project’s detailed individual sketches in conjunction with broad historical studies, genealogists can hope to capture some of the personalities and motivations of ancestors who lived nearly three centuries ago.”  So beginning with Robert and Edmund Lockwood, the Lockwood family in North America grew and spread, and some remained in the New England area for only their first  5 generations.

Then with the breaking from the British Empire, some Lockwood family members moved north as Loyalists to the British Crown. The Loyalist Lockwoods, beginning with Josiah, were first settled in Nova Scotia and then west in Ontario.  There they remained  for 5 more generations. Judith Hay of the United Empire Loyalists of Canada: Hamilton Branch has written a profile of this Lockwood migration to Canada.

Benjamin Lockwood

Five Lockwood Siblings Move to Saskatchewan

Of these 124 descendants, we will follow the members of one branch of the family who moved to Western Canada.  There were actually 5 siblings who came to the prairies early in the 1900s.   We cannot be sure who arrived first or last, but  it is likely that the oldest son came first.  Eventually they were settled as follows:  Robert Stenson Lockwood and his wife Melissa Catherine Johnson at Central Butte, Daniel Benjamin and his wife Jennie McRoberts at Chaplin, Keziah Fisher Lockwood and her husband Robert Hare at Boharm,  George Franklin Lockwood and his wife Mary Elizabeth Tilden at Tuxford, and William Wallace Lockwood and his wife Emily Christina Bateman also at Tuxford but also at a house in Moose Jaw.

From Robert to Hezekiah  staying in  New England
From Josiah to Benjamin to Daniel to George  the  road leads north  to Eastern Canada

So the Lockwood Loyalists and the Springer Loyalist family met up in Ontario and Benjamin Lockwood married Keziah Springer.  Unlike Benjamin, Keziah  came to Canada without her father.  You can see her  in the middle of the tree branch above.  She was born on October 24th, 1776 in New York. Her father, David, was 44, and her mother, Margaret, was 41.  Little Keziah was baptized on May 13, 1777, and  her father died in battle a few months later.

This is the battle where David Springer died.

There are differing versions of how the widow Margaret Springer and her family escaped to Canada.  One version says she walked to Niagara-on-the-lake with her children. I thought of Margaret and Keziah  and their struggle to get to Canada as I sat in a peaceful little coffee shop in that touristy city this  recent January with  several  Saskatchewan friends.

Another version says Margaret was assisted by two of her sons who were with Butler’s Rangers.  What we know for sure is that she applied for a Loyalist land grant. (Information from Ontario Historical Society)

Benjamin and Keziah’s  grandson  George Lockwood (1831-1910) listed above married Aurilia Bartlett and they had 8 children together before Aurilia died in 1876 a few weeks after the last son is born.  She was 40 years old.  After 20 years, George married  again, this time to a young woman who died with her first baby.   George married a widow after that  and lived out his life in Ontario until 1910 when he dies.  But the majority of his children decided to move to Saskatchewan.

The first of George and Aurilia Lockwood’s 8 children had been born in 1858,  a son whom they named William Wallace Lockwood.  It is the story  of his family coming to Tuxford and Moose Jaw and Clifton Ave.  that will be told in the next post.

Pack up your troubles

After John Beaumont married Mary Battye on March 9, 1880, their family grew quickly with Alfred in 1881, Annie in 1882, and Hannah in 1884. The UK census of 1891 shows the family members at 18 St. James street were as follows:  John (41) a milk dealer, Mary (34), Alfred (10), Annie (8), Hannah (6) and James (9 months).  The street still is filled with hard-working people: dressmaker, marble polisher, chemist, warehouse man, French polisher, Grocer, Plumber’s apprentice, tailoress, carting agent, tinsmith, cardboard box maker, brick layer’s labourer, bailer composition manufacturer.  One couple lists “private means.”

When I envision a “milk dealer”, I think of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof or the horse drawn cart that came to my grandma’s house on 7th Street in Weyburn even in the 1950s.  Milk delivery in early 1900s England seems to fall somewhere between my two images.

Before the invention of pasteurization, milk dealing in Victorian England.

In 1901, the year that Queen Victoria died, another census finds the Beaumont home with some young adults.  Alfred (20) is working, as his father is, in the milk dealing business.  Annie 18 is employed as a teacher while Hannah and James are 15 and 8.  Before the next census in 1911, the Beaumont family goes through big changes.

In April of 1907 when James Beaumont is 16, he on a ship called the Victorian embarking at Liverpool and headed to Halifax with a final destination of Moose Jaw.  He is travelling with a 57 year-old man named Frederick Durrant.  Although Mr. Durrant is listed as a leather cutter, both he and James have a stamped notation beside their names: “Farm labourer”.  This is not Frederick Durrant’s first trip to Canada; he has already settled his wife, Elizabeth, and a daughter, Mary (15), a son, Lawrence (11) in Moose Jaw after they arrived on the Tunisian in 1905.  Perhaps Frederick was glad to escape the rather toxic chemicals used in the leather trade, some of which may already worked some damage to his health. The wide open spaces of the Canadian prairies would maybe revive him to health and well-being.

In 1906, another Durrant daughter, Lily, had crossed on the Tunisian to Canada.  Her husband, Robert Lucas Speight Boyes kept a journal on that trip. Partway across the ocean, their second child was born. Her name was Mabel, a sister for Willie.  This large and adventurous Durrant family was the family into which James Beaumont’s sister Annie will marry.  These big changes will be happening quickly and a the differences can be seen between the 1906 and the 1911 Census documents.

In 1906 William Keighley Firth Durrant (25), son of Elizabeth and Frederick Durrant,  is farming near Tuxford with his sister Jessie (19) and his brother Laurence (13).  The farm is listed as 10-18-25 W2. They have 4 horses and 8 pigs.   Their mother, Elizabeth, is listed with her daughter May and her husband, Walter H. Wright, who had come to Canada in 1899 and had married May Durrant in 1905.  May is 18 years old in the 1906 census, and her husband is 30.  Their farm is 25-19-27 W2.  Both these farms are in the Tuxford area.

In spring of 1908, just 13 months after James Beaumont had arrived in Moose Jaw, his mother, Mary Beaumont, and two sisters, Annie and Hannah, arrived  in Moose Jaw. They stayed for 3 months, returning to England on August 21st.

After that visit, the travel arrangements are a little fuzzy. The same three seem to have returned to Canada in the summer of 1909. After returning to England again, Hannah is married there on September 14, 1910 to Mr. Sydney Wells less than a year before the 1911 Census in April.

Mary Beaumont must have felt the pull between her two daughters, Hannah, setting up a home in Leeds, and Annie setting up a home on a farm near Moose Jaw.  Annie, by 1911 Census in Canada, is married to William Keighley Firth Durrant.

William KF and Annie have a son, Alfred, born in 1909 and a daughter, Mary, only 5 months old. Living on the west half of 25-19-27 W2, Mary Beaumont is with them at Census time, and is listed as “Head” of the family.  James at age 20 is also there.  So three generations were living in a farm house for the year of 1911.  Some farm families were spending the winter in town. It is not a wonder that there would be some appeal for a 3 generation family to do that, depending on what size of house they had on the farm.  It was April 16 of 1912, when James Beaumont took title to a property on Clifton Avenue.  It is likely that there was a house on the 50 foot lot already built by  or being built by Bob Eaket and his brother-in-law, George Taylor.  It is also likely that the house was still not ready for living in.  The sewer and water connection was not signed for at City Hall until August 12, 1913.  By that time, James Beaumont was no longer the owner of the property.

James had possession of this property until  March 4, 1913.

Other transitions that the family faced at this time involve Mary (Battye) Beaumont  moving back to England in June 1912 . James accompanies her. William and  Annie  travelled to England with their two children, Alfred and Mary, in November of 1912, returning to Moose Jaw in May  of 1913.

On June 28th of 1913,  James is returning to Canada, seeming to travel alone on the Victorian.  With all these family members spending the winter in England, it seems likely that they have sold the farm near Tuxford.

There were rumours of war in Europe, and many young men who had recently moved to Canada are quick to volunteer once war had been declared by Great Britain on August 4th , 1914.  James Beaumont is one of these.  On September 23rd of 1914, he signs his attestation papers at Valcartier, Quebec, volunteering for the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force.  He lists his next of Kin as his mother, Mary Beaumont, now living no longer in Canada, but back in Leeds, Yorkshire. His trade or calling is “Farmer.”  He is 5 feet 5 1/2 inches tall, fair complexion, blue eyes , and fair hair.  He is 24 years and 2 months old and is deemed “fit.”  He packed up his troubles in his old kit bag, and was off to war.   Punching in James Beaumont’s number  from his enlistment papers shows his basic information from his attestation day.  

At three o’clock on October the 3rd, 1914, the First Canadian Contingent with guns, ammunition, horses, and equipment left Gaspe enroute to the Great War.  James Beaumont( 21684) is listed in the booklet for the 11th Battalion along with Moose Jaw soldier Charles Ernest Bolding (21683).

The story of the voyage of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and their arrival at Plymouth, their subsequent training on the muddy Plain of Salisbury is well told by the  Canadian Great War Project, quoting from war diaries and   newspapers. It was reported that “Troops Embarked At Quebec To Strains Of ‘ Tipperary’.”

Apparently, there was chaos in the loading of the 30 ships  at Quebec, and more chaos at the disembarking at Plymouth.  The destination had been changed, so no one at Plymouth was expecting 30 ships of soldiers and supplies.  Weather was a factor in the leaving of Canada being rather chaotic, and in the the training that was scheduled for the Salisbury Plain. 

February 16, 1915:  The Canadian Newspapers reported an announcement made in the House of Commons.   “Sir Robert Borden in the House to-day read a telegram from Mr. L. Harcourt, the Colonial Secretary, announcing that the Canadian Contingent had safely landed in France. The news was greeted with prolonged cheers.” The training period on the Salisbury Plain was over, and while the grass would now have some time to recover, the 30,000 Canadian troops who had been training there were on to duties in Europe.

Asphyxiating chlorine gas was first used on April 22, 1915, in a German attack on Algerian and Zouave troops, who were taken completely by surprise”. On the two following days, attacks under cover of gas were made on Canadian and English soldiers in the neighbourhood of Ypres.   The role of Canadians in the second Battle of Ypres is well told in the Canadian Encyclopedia.  It was near  this battle that  Dr. John McCrae wrote the poem, “In Flanders Fields“.

On Wed. April 28, 1915, the Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg listed the wounded from the 10th Battalion: Private James Beaumont formerly of 11th battalion, Next of Kin: Mary Beaumont, Bugbyfields, Leeds, England.  Medical records show a gunshot would left neck and shoulder.

Moose Jaw News Report

Winnipeg News

James was struck by a rifle bullet in the neck during the advance at St. Juliens Wood.  He crawled to a dressing station and was sent to Poporinge Hospital.  After one day, he was taken to St. Alma’s.  He remained there for four days and was sent to No. 2 Hospital in Freeport.  On May 11th he was admitted to 5th Northern General at Leicester.  He was discharged June 5th.   A closer view of some of the medical notes in his file reveal that he also had several teeth knocked out, and that his tongue was partly paralyzed.  After his first wounding in 1915, James was kept on base duty until the very end of the war.  James  was hospitalized again in 1918 with influenza.

Back home on Clifton Avenue and in the rest of Moose Jaw, friends and neighbours who were trying to keep the home fires burning were battling the Influenza as well.  According to Larsen and Libby, “In one month from mid-October to mid-November, 1918, the influenza killed a staggering 253 people in Moose Jaw.  The death toll was so high that graveyards couldn’t keep apace of the burials needed. Schools were closed, a bylaw was passed prohibiting public gatherings, people wore face masks, and local merchants allowed their employees to stay home or to volunteer with medical efforts. ”

Moose Jaw People, Places History by John Larsen and Maurice Richard Libby.

James Beaumont was discharged in June of 1919 apparently staying on through the demobilization process and returning home after the big welcoming celebration for Moose Jaw’s returning soldiers. He had recovered from the influenza but still had lingering effects of his wounding and war experience.  His mother Mary had died during the war, and James’ documents were changed to reflect his sister Hannah Wells taking over the listing for “next of kin.”  But it was his sister in Canada, Annie, who took James into her home in Moose Jaw, and had him live with her for the rest of his life.

The 1921 Census shows James Beaumont at age 30 living with his sister Annie and her family at 1143 7th Ave. N.E. There are three children living: Alfred (11), Lucy (7), and William (4).  Three children have died: Mary, (the daughter who had travelled to England with them in 1912-13)  infant boys, James, and Francis (2 of a set of triplets who died from whooping cough before they were a year old.) James, now a returned soldier, has employment as a car cleaner at the railroad. His brother-in-law William Keighley Firth Durrant is employed by the City of Moose Jaw as a foreman in the Sewage Disposal Dept. He is later called a Superintendent, and he worked for the city until he retired to British Columbia in the early 50s.

The war years have been difficult for the Durrant family.  In addition to the deaths of 3 children, two family members have been committed to health care facilities because of mental illness. Frederick Durrant, William’s father has died in North Battleford in 1920.

Was James Beaumont hoping at one time to live in the Clifton house with his extended family?   Was he hoping to sell the house at a profit that would benefit him and the family perhaps living elsewhere in a smaller house?  They did live in a smaller house with James.   He was also there in 1935 on a Voters’ List and again on a Voters’ List in 1945.

1935 Voters’ List

There are no houses in that vicinity today.

As the calendar turned from 2018 to 2019, I thought of James Beaumont and the plans he may have had for his future here in Moose Jaw before he headed out to Europe to represent his new country in the muddy and bloody fields and trenches of  “The War to end all Wars.”  He came home from England in 1919, just 100 years ago.  I am sorry that James didn’t get to live in this house. I am sorry that he suffered the ill effects of the chorine gas until his death in Vancouver at the age of 70.  I am glad, however, that he had a family who took him in and cared for him.  I imagine that he may have passed by the house sometimes after the war.  By 1921 two other families had  owned the house and lived here, moved away, and a third family was renting.  All three of those families farmed in the Tuxford area as James did before the war.   I have tried to find their home quarters in the area and figure out if any of them knew each other or if they knew James Beaumont. I am thankful for my limited acquaintance with him.

James Beaumont

It is so long since I posted, that I am tempted to re-introduce myself.  Here I am, Brenda Babich, still writing about the families that have owned the property at 1037 Clifton Ave. Moose Jaw.  We are getting closer now to the people who actually lived in the house. But this Beaumont connection has fascinated me because of the short time that the title belonged to them, and also because of the lack of building permit records for this brief time (two years) in the history of the city.  The records are missing for the biggest building boom in Moose Jaw’s history.

James Beaumont owned our property at 1037 Clifton for only 11 months.  Title was assigned to him on April 16th, 1912.  James had arrived in Moose Jaw in 1907 as a boy of 16.  He had grown up at 18 St. James St. in Leeds, Yorkshire West UK.  I will introduce you first to his great-grandfather John, his grandfather George and his father John  who did not come to Canada.  Then in another post you will meet the rest of his family.

John Beaumont (b. 1791) married Lydia Gledhill (b. 1794)  on February 21, 1814. Theirs was not the only wedding to take to take place that day in the Parish of Leeds, St. Peter, in the county of York.  Lydia at age 20 marked an X instead of signing her name, and in fact, a  number of the brides and grooms who married that Monday, and the Sunday just before, were  signing their papers with an X. When I think of Lydia marking an X on her marriage document, I am reminded that in 1813, Jane Austen had published Pride and Prejudice.  The gap between the two women in education (mostly at home for Jane Austen) and Lydia Gledhill was a large gap indeed.

Also that weekend,  a number of grooms had listed their employment in the textile businesses that abounded in Yorkshire.  On the 20th and the 21st of February, the curate married more than a dozen couples.  Their livings would be earned in a variety of ways related to cloth: 1 dyer, 1 thread-maker, 1 weaver, 5 cloth-dressers. In addition there were two shoemakers, one post-boy, one laborer and one Butter Dealer.  These weddings in 1814 were taking place just two years after an uprising of workers in the cloth industry.  There have been a number of displays and reminders in the last little while in England, particularly Yorkshire, to remind people of the Luddite uprisings that took place over 200 years ago as people faced the impact of technology on their livelihoods.   The first trial of a Luddite resulted in no conviction, but the story is compelling as we face the same issues today where jobs are being lost to machines that supposedly can do the work better.   The bridegrooms who were “cloth dressers”  would be facing more challenges than some other workers in the cloth trades because the Luddite uprisings centered at first around that particular job.  But John Beaumont (who had married in 1814) must have been one of the lucky or more adaptive ones, because he continued in his career and even saw his first son George begin a career as a cloth dresser.

Eleven months after John Beaumont married Lydia Gledhill, George Beaumont was born, March 26th, 1815.  After that, Lydia continued to give birth about every two years until she had 12 children. When her son James Edward was born and baptized in June of 1827,  John was still a cloth dresser, and they were living on St. James Street.

George was 12 when James was born in 1827.

The last child born to Lydia (Gledhill) Beaumont was Charles born in 1834.  Lydia was 40 and John was 43.  Big brother George was 19 years old.  With the family spread over these many years, there is not a census document that shows them all living in the same place. George married in 1935, just one year after his youngest brother was born. His bride was Harriet Binns, and they both signed their names on their marriage document.

The census documents (1841-51) when George Beaumont (b.1815) was a young man show him in the textile industry, even though the lookout for these occupations was changing during the Industrial Revolution.  The career of “cloth dresser or cropper” which is listed for George Beaumont when he was a young man is explained in this way by the Old Occupations site.

Cloth-dressers (croppers) were workers in the woollen industry who had the task of cutting the cloth after it had been in the fulling mill. The cropper’s skill was to cut the surface of the cloth after it had been raised with shears. These shears weighed 40 lb (18 kg) and were 4 feet (1.2 km) long. Croppers were well paid and resisted attempts by their employers to introduce the shearing frame at the beginning of the 19th century.

Croppers became part of the Luddite movement that destroyed shearing frames in Yorkshire in 1812. Over 4,000 soldiers were brought in to keep order. After arrests and public hangings, including 17 men in York, the resistance came to an end. By the 1820s few croppers could find work in the woollen industry. 

Cropping required lifting heavy tools..Source: Discovering Leeds.

However, years after the Luddite uprising, George Beaumont is still listed as a cloth dresser.  Some time between 1851 and 1861, he made a change of profession.  In 1851, he  at age 36 had a wife, Lydia, also 36, plus  two daughters ,  Lydia M. (9) and Harriet (7) and a baby boy John (1).  Both girls are listed as “scholars”, so will probably be able to sign their names instead of writing an X.

Census 1851 Leeds

In the 1851 Census, the address is given as 10 Storeys Yard.  Some insight into the conditions of workers’ housing in this period is available from  Discovering Leeds:

And James Smith in 1845 reported:
‘By far the most unhealthy localities of Leeds are close squares of houses, or yards, as they are called, which have been erected for the accommodation of working people. Some of these, though situated in comparatively high ground, are airless from the enclosed structure, and being wholly unprovided with any form of under-drainage or convenience, or arrangements for cleansing, are one mass of damp and filth……The ashes, garbage and filth of all kinds are thrown from the doors and windows of the houses upon the surface of the streets and courts………. The privies are few in proportion to the inhabitants. They are open to view both in front and rear, are invariably in a filthy condition, and often remain without removal of the filth for six months.’ In 1832, during the cholera epidemic, 75 cartloads of soil were removed from one of the privies in the Boot and Shoe Yard.’

The Storey’s Yard  where George Beaumont’s family was living in 1851 has listed families for 25 units.  Some of the families were similar in age and size to the Beaumonts who lived in Number 10. Of the one hundred and one people living around that square Yard, many are employed in Cloth related jobs.  Other jobs included laundress, chimney sweeps (young and old), coal dealer, bread baker, dressmaker, hairdresser, general labourer, coachman, errand boy, plumber, carpet weaver, mechanic, whitesmith, shoebinder, bricklayer, and groom.  The great gap between the poor and rich, both in opportunity and accomodation became clearer with the beginning use of the camera.  Scenes that had not been seen before were brought to public awareness through photographs that served to inspire attempts  at social reform.

In the 1851 Census, some children are listed as Sunday Scholars.  Because many children were working long hours 6 days a week in mills and factories, the only time they could get a chance to lean how to read and write and calculate was at a Sunday school run by church groups.  The 1851 Census tried to distinguish between scholars who went to school all week and Sunday Scholars who only went to school on Sundays.  This census was also trying to keep track of religious affiliations in more detail than other census documents had done.   The years when children were working so hard in factories lasted until the late 1870s when schooling was dealt with in a School Act that made it possible and even compulsory for children to go to school.

In the 1861 Census of England, George Beaumont is listed as a milk dealer.  Of course, everyone in the family is 10 years older. For some reason,  George has now left working in the cloth industry and is selling milk. They are living on St. James Street, a street that apparently has not survived til modern times  and has been filled since the depression with modern buildings in a different formation.

Census document showing 1861

At the top of the 1861 census page  of St. James St. where we find the George Beaumont family, there begins a list of “inmates” whose names are omitted and only first and last initials are listed.  The building where they are living is called the Guardian Asylum. It was started as a housing and rehabilitation/ retraining center for young women whose ages range from 14 to 25.  There are 50 of them housed with a Matron and her assistant, a nurse, a laundress, and a general servant. The idea was to prepare these young woman to have gainful employment as servants in the homes of more wealthy families.  Step 1 took place at a “probationary penitentiary” and Step 2 was spending time at the Guardian Asylum  near where George and Harriet Beaumont were raising their children.  I wonder if George  and John Beaumont delivered milk to the Guardian Asylum.

The Guardian Asylum had been operating for40 years by 1861, and some of the annual reports to their Board of Directors are available.  The Home continued to function under that Board until 1909 when the Salvation Army took over the running of it.  They have told the story of discovered records and the process of preserving them.  In the next census (1871), the young women in the “Asylum” have their full names printed, not just their initials. 

In the 1871 Census of England, George Beaumont at age 56 was a “milk dealer”, and so was his son, John, at age 21. Two daughters, Hannah (33) and Sarah (19) have occupations as “domestic servants”.  A third sister at age 14 is still a “scholar” , and the mother of the family, Harriet, works in the home.  The neighbours listed have a variety of occupations: a tailor, shopkeeper, stone mason, news agent, dressmaker, charwoman, and another milk dealer.  George Beaumont died on May 15, of 1879 before the next census.  His widow Harriet is still living at 18 St. James after his death.

18 St. James St. in 1871

Just about a year after his father, George died, John Beaumont married Mary Battye, whose father was also named George and was also “deceased”.  They were wed at Lindley Parish Church in the County of York.  She was a “spinster”.  Both were “of full age.”

Now finally we begin to see a connection to Moose Jaw and to Clifton Avenue.  Some of the names we see in the Leeds, England Census documents for 1881, 1891 and 1901  as John and Mary Beaumont’s family grows, suddenly are gone in 1911 and, what do you know, we see their names on passenger lists and then in the 1911 Census of Canada.  That big transition will be the story of another post.   From the squares and yards and urban industrial squish of Leeds, Yorkshire to  the West Half of 25-19–27 W2 near Tuxford, Saskatchewan.




Robert Alexander Eaket: Is this the house that Bob built?

The population of Moose Jaw began to grow rapidly after the turn of the century.  The Henderson Directory shows that the town grew from a town of 1500 to a city of 16,000 in ten years.  The 1911 Directory shows street after street with “New house”  written between the occupied house numbers and names.

Last summer on Clifton Avenue in the 10 hundred block there were four houses at once having siding or new roofs put on.  There were workers and trucks and tools everywhere.  I imagined that it would have been that way during the building boom of 1911-13.  There would have been people building houses to live in themselves, and other  people were building houses for customers.

Who built the house at 1037 Clifton?

Newspaper ad for the Parkside subdivision.

Was the builder someone who couldn’t resist the advertisements by realtors like  Alfred, Arnold, and Frank Maybery?  One man did write to Alfred Maybery and I found his letters and  Mr. Maybery’s replies in the Archives.

Mr. Palmer (in England) is helping his son negotiate for a house in Moose Jaw.   Click once and again  to view larger.   Mr. Maybery is very persuasive.   You can see a typed version if you like.

View north of Collegiate under construction  Library Archives  1909

Was the builder of this house someone who saw the Collegiate being built and knew that the houses to surround the school would follow soon?  Property values would appreciate.

In 1911, houses were going up on every street in the Parkside area

According to the Information Services Corporation ISC,  Mr. Robert Eaket owned the property at 1037 Clifton from June of 1910 until April of 1912.  It is likely that he was the man who built the house, but that is partly conjecture.     There are some sources that offer some possible  fuel for our surmises.  The title signed in June of 1910 is shown below with no value of the property listed in the usual space.  However when the title was transferred from Mr. Eaket to the next owner in 1912, the value was stated as $3000.  That very likely includes the cost of a house because the previous price for lots had been $300.

A second bit of evidence that Robert Eaket built the house is found on the Title, where he is listed as “Builder”.   This also is not conclusive because we don’t know if he was claiming to be the builder of this particular house, or if he was just stating his occupation.   The next purchaser of the house has  the word “Farmer” recorded in the same handwriting, so it seems that the scribe in the Land Titles Office sometimes wrote the occupation of the buyer.

A third sign that Mr. Eaket might be the builder is that he is listed in the Henderson Directory of 1911 as “Eaket, Robert  contr and bldr  h 71 1/2 Main”.  The old numbering system  for Main Street is in use here, and that would show Mr. Eaket living  in part of the building sharing it with another tenant or the owner.

Mr. Eaket was a man with more than one employment.  He had been involved in Rex Fruit Company after his arrival in Moose Jaw in 1907 in addition to working on construction with his brother-in-law, George Duncan Taylor.

Robert Eaket calls himself “Builder” on the Title deed. 


Bob Eaket was a 3rd generation Canadian.  His grandfather,  Simon Eaket had come from from England and married Mary Amelia Dunn in Ontario.  They had two children.  One of them was William James Eaket, born in 1854 in Ontario.This boy grew up and married  Elizabeth (Betsy) Bell in December 1877 in Huron, Ontario.  They had two children during their marriage.   Robert Alexander Eaket was born on May 17, 1880, in Brussels, Ontario to Elizabeth (Betsy) Bell, age 21, and  William James Eaket, age 26.  Little Robert was only 9 years old when his father William James Eaket died on July 15, 1889 at the age of 35.

In 1907, at age 27, Robert Eaket came west to Moose Jaw and  began a career at Rex Fruit Company (wholesale)  in Moose Jaw.  In 1908 he was back to Perth, Ontario to marry Elizabeth Jane Taylor on February 26th.  She would now be living with him in his Main street half building  as listed in the Henderson Directory.  On June 21, 1910, Mr. Eaket agreed to purchase the property of Lot 17 Block 11 in the Parkside addition  to the City of Moose Jaw.  The purchase was made before they had any family, but a full year after the property was bought,  a daughter, Isabel, was born here in Moose Jaw on June 26th 1911.   Were the Eakets planning to live on Clifton Avenue?  The house being built here was definitely one with room for a growing family:  4 bedrooms plus bath on the second floor, and three more bedrooms on the third floor.  There would be plenty of room for Lizzy’s single brother, George.

Did the next buyer make an offer that couldn’t be refused?    Were Lizzy and Bob Eaket  and George Taylor never planning to live here, but just wanting to build and sell at this time when the market was so profitable?

We do know that they had a second child, a son, in February of 1914.  By the time of the census of 1921, they were living at 1084 1st Ave. N.E. Mr. Eaket’s occupation was “shipper” particularly of “wholesale fruit”, and their income was 1800.  George Taylor, still living with them, is listed as a “contractor, a builder.”

By 1945, the voters’ list shows Robert ( now a widower for almost 10 years) and George at the same address with the next generation,  it seems, with Robert’s grown son and his wife.

The search is ongoing to find a building permit for Mr. Eaket or his carpenter brother-in law, George Duncan Taylor,  in the  Library Archives.

I have built a family tree that includes both Robert Eaket and his brother-in-law, George Taylor, and I have had some contact with a grandson.  If Bob and George did build this house, I hope the first family to live here thanked them properly.  I hope they made a little money on the venture.  I hope that if he drove by with his grandchildren, he felt proud.

There is no other house just like this one.  When people stop by to admire this old house, I tell them  that I wish Bob, the Builder, could hear you say those things.    I am glad the obituary below told us Bob made time for lawn bowling and five-pin bowling.  That means he didn’t have to work two jobs his whole life.   Now if it turns out it wasn’t Bob who built this house, but it was some other Tom or Dick or Harry, that’s fine too.   I wanted to thank someone.  I hope it was Bob.

Maybery Men and Boats

Alfred arrives in 1904

Lately I have looked at passenger lists for a lot of ships.  Mostly I look because I have had a hint that one or more of the Maybery family members have  arrived in either England or Canada on that particular ship . I thought I could figure out the comings and goings of the family members to ascertain  when they were just visiting Canada and when they finally came to stay.

Here is a timeline I have contrived to explain some of the boat rides.

Let’s go back to the Census of 1881 in Bristol,  England.

It has been 5 years since Rev. Valentine Maybery died, and for the last two of those years, his wife has been gone as well, and their 5 children have lived at 4 Arley Hill in Bristol with their Uncle  and Aunt, William and Eliza  Gibbons.

Now we look at the census for 1891 .




The difference that happens when the children are 10 years older is that the boys are now working in the business with Uncle William.  Little Ada is on the next page of the census listed as a scholar at age 14.

As we saw in the last post, 1901 takes us to the last Maybery census entry in England.  Their next Census document entry is in 1906 in the new Canadian province of Saskatchewan.  It has been reported that Frank and Alfred spent some time in Moose Jaw in 1904 while en-route home to England from the Far East. (Some sources say Japan).

By 1903, Arnold has wedding plans and marries Edith Louisa Jennett, a teacher, in July of that year.  Meanwhile the youngest brother Frank and oldest brother Alfred seem to be travelling, not always together. Frank goes from Liverpool to Montreal on the BAVARIAN  in May of 1903 at age 27. Frank travels second cabin.

The first voyage that shows Alfred coming to Canada  departs  from Liverpool to Halifax , Nova Scotia. He is travelling  “Saloon” on the TUNISION on April 23, 1904. Alfred would travel with  a smaller number of people who would have access to special services and shared lounge areas for music, letter writing, private dining etc. Usually there would be a second class group of travelers who also have cabins but fewer shared areas with limited services and luxuries.  The other classification of passengers is “Steerage”,  and that is the largest group. These people have little to no privacy and very few privileges.  This is probably a return visit after his world trip and first visit to Canada.  That trip would have landed him in Canada at the west coast, and he would have had a train ride from west to east.

If Alfred did travel to Japan and end up in Canada, it is possible that he traveled on one of the three new Empress ships that had been launched in the 1890s to follow the Pacific route and end up on the West Coast of Canada.  The Empress of Japan  was also known as the “Queen of the Pacific,” and along with her two sister ships formed the foundation of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s expansion into world wide shipping.

“The ship left Liverpool on 11 April 1891 on her maiden voyage via Suez to Hong Kong and Vancouver, arriving in British Columbia on 2 June.”

The ships were more luxurious than the steamships that were working in the Atlantic and that were used by the Maybery family to return to England several times in the length of time they lived in Moose Jaw.  The Mayberys (Frank and Alfred) can be found on passenger lists for several steamships on the Atlantic route between 1903 and 1905:  BAVARIAN,  TUNISION,  MAJESTIC,  SAXONIA,  CARMENIA, departing usually from Liverpool and arriving at either Montreal, Halifax, New York, or Boston.  Sometimes they traveled  together, sometimes alone.

Then in 1906, we find more of the family arriving  including Mrs. Eliza Mary Gibbons,  Arnold and his wife Edith Louisa, Annie Maybery, and Ada Winnifred.   By the time of the  June 1906 Census of the prairie provinces,  Eliza and Annie are staying in a house on Athabasca.  They are four “roomers” in the home headed by Mr. and Mrs. Bastien  and assisted by one servant girl of 16.

By the next Census in 1911,  the Mayberys are in  a large house on Stadacona W.  (#60 was the old number.)  The  lot now has a more modern house, but the Mayberys lived out their days in Moose Jaw at 310 Stadacona W.

The Tramway Centre in Bristol gives us a chance to compare the city they were leaving behind  to Moose Jaw as it was in 1906.

Canadian Pacific Office in Bristol where tickets were likely purchased.

On the 10th of June in 1907, Frank married Frances Ella Hadfield at the Greenacres Chapel, Oldham Lancashire.  When he arrived in Moose Jaw with his bride, the three brothers went into partnership as Real Estate Agents, and for some time Alfred specialized in farm land around the Mortlach area.  Both Alfred and Arnold became very involved in the development of Moose Jaw as a city.   Frank and Ella had two daughters here in Moose Jaw: Joyce in 1908, and Enid in 1910. However, Ella was “troubled with a serious eye complaint”, so in 1911, Frank brought his wife and their two daughters back to England where up-to-date medical treatment was possible.  Frank then returned to Moose Jaw to settle his affairs.  He bought a second class ticket  at Southhampton: Ticket number 239059.  On the Titanic.  You can read his story at this Titanic site.

Moose Jaw Library Archives Lewis Rice Collection   The Seaborn house on                                     the corner of Clifton and Hall.

I like to imagine that Mr. Frank Maybery took a Sunday afternoon drive during his short stay with his two little daughters and his wife in Moose Jaw.  I know our house wasn’t here yet in 1912, but I still imagine that he showed his family the streets  called Henleaze and Grafton and Redland.

Then he turned down the last street before Main St. and he said “Look here, Joyce and Enid, this street is named for the place where your Grandma Clara was born.  It’s called ‘Clifton Avenue.’   And look at this big house on the corner.  That’s where the Seaborns live. That is a pretty big house for Moose Jaw!   Now look here, girls.  Here’s a smaller house just being built.  I wonder who will live here.  We’ll have to ask Uncle Alfred.  I’ll bet he knows. Don’t you think Clifton Avenue will be a special place for someone to live?”







Five Little Mayberys and How They Grew

How very wonderful to have two pictures sent to me this week from Ipswich, Suffolk.  The first picture is of the house on Burlington Road where the Maybery family lived while Rev. Maybery was the minister at Tacket Street Congregational Church from 1873 to 1876.   Laura Cloke shared the picture of the home she and her mother have been researching.

Maybery home in Ipswich: 1873-76
Arnold and Frank were babies in this house.

The second picture this week was from a gentleman associated with the church (Tacket Street , now called Christchurch) where Rev. Maybery served until his death in 1876.  The picture is very old and thus a bit spotty but is a real treasure, don’t you think?

Rev. William Valentine Maybery (1843-1879)  Permission: Michael Smith

Back now to five Maybery children who have been taken in by a childless aunt and uncle  after their parents have both died: one in 1876, and the other in 1879.  Their father had been a minister, and their uncle is a  merchant. They had been living with their mother in Bristol for 3 years after their father died.  We don’t know if Mrs. Maybery was sick during that time. We do know that there were family members near.  Their maternal grandparents lived just around the corner.  One house was on Freemantle Square and and the other on Freemantle Road.  Coincidently, there are houses for sale on both of those streets this week in Bristol.  You can see the modern refurbishment of houses that were there in Bristol of 1871 or earlier.

Freemantle Square House today. Follow the link for now. It won’t last.

In contrast with Georgian houses that have been refurbished, there is in Bristol a Georgian House Museum where the house  has been restored to the way it was in the Georgian period when it was built.  The house at this link seems similar to the house on Chantry Road where the Mayberys were living with Eliza Sinnock in 1901.

Census documents do not provide answers to all our questions about the upbringing of the 5 children by their aunt and uncle, William and Eliza Gibbons. Being a teacher, of course I have wondered about the education that the children had.  Sometimes in the census documents children after a certain age are labeled as a “scholar”  in the space where employment is to be recorded.  In the 1881 census, there is no record of that nature for the 5 children who range in that year from 4 to 10.  Other 9 and 10 year olds in the document are listed as “at school” or as “scholar”, but mostly the designation is used for children over the age of 10.  Although there is no “governess”  listed, there is domestic help in the Sinnock home.

I found one reference to Crofton House School that Alfred  attended.   After education became compulsory in England in 1870, there were many kinds of schools.  One website attempted to list the many schools in Bristol and give a little information about each.  A Mr. Charles E. Cooper started a school called Crofton House  and  advertised his school as providing ‘high class education for sons of gentlemen’.  It is not clear how long the school remained in operation or if the other two boys attended.

By the time the next census is taken in 1891, the children are ranging from 14 to 20.  They now have on the job training provided by apprenticeship in their uncles’ business. Perhaps the girls attended a “school for young ladies”.  There were several nearby.

Only the 14 year old is listed as a scholar.

At the young ages of 19,16, and 15, the three boys are listed as Provision Salesman (Alfred), Apprentice Provision Warehouse (Arnold) and  “ditto”  for Frank.  According to the Dictionary of Old Occupations , the meaning of “Provision” is food supplies.    The main import for Mr. Gibbon’s business was flour.  William Gibbons was a partner in a business called Gibbons, Sinnock and Co.  His partner was his brother-in-law, Alfred Howard Sinnock. The business of Provisions involved  importing, wholesale and retail levels. According to one source, the company had been started by 1879 with the help of a loan from St. Augustine bank.

Instead of 5 adopted children, Alfred Howard Sinnock had his own large family.  Alfred had married Emma Clara Richards  in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, on April 15, 1862, when she was 18 years old.  After giving birth to  Edith, Ethel, Harold, Gilbert, Edgar, Edna, Annie, Hilda,  Gertrude,  Emma Clara Richards died in September 1890 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, when she was 46 years old.  It’s hard to know if her death was a factor in the break-up of the business of Gibbons and Sinnock, but she died in September of 1890, and the company dissolved in June of 1891. After she died  it seems both Alfred, her husband, and William, his brother-in-law, continued in the wholesale importing trade but with different relatives for partners.

Mr. Sinnock continues in the importing and wholesale business with another brother Frederick William Sinnock while William Gibbons is in business with his nephews who had been raised as his sons.

The years  around the turn of the century also brought more changes for the Maybery family.  By the 1901 census in England, Mrs. Gibbons,  is now a widow, and  with the grown Maybery children, is living on Chantry Road  Number 12.  The information about William Gibbons legacy to Eliza follows.

The Mayberys are living here with Eliza Sinnock in 1901.

This house seems to be a step up, looking larger than the previous house called Grafton Villa on Arley Hill.  On Arley Hill, the family had been close to their mother’s mother, Susan Matthews Sinnock, who lived with a maid-servant in a house nearby.  But in 1897, William Gibbons had died, and then in 1900 Grandma Susan had died.  William had lived for 61 years, and his mother-in-law who had given birth to 13 children had lived for 87 years.

When William Gibbons died,  he left a legacy of  £12763  pounds.   

UK Inflation Rate, £12,763 in 1897 to 2018

According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, prices in 2018 are 12,523.81% higher than prices in 1897. The pound experienced an average inflation rate of 4.08% per year during this period.

In other words, £12,763 in 1897 is equivalent in purchasing power to £1,611,177.44 in 2018, a difference of £1,598,414.44 over 121 years.

Please note:
I do not understand  how the above figures were calculated.  I just visited a site that seemed to know how to figure out what  the buying power of old wages or legacies would be today.  I used it once before to figure out how rich Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice  really was.

Who’s Who in Western Canada

What was it in the growing up, studying, working, and grieving in Bristol of the late Victorian years that would culminate in a decision to take a trip to Japan and come home the long way through Canada.  Were there funds available now that had been tied up before?   Why Japan, why Canada, and why Moose Jaw?   Tune in later folks for Mayberys on the move.  It’s time for a Transportation Theme:  Boats and Trains.

Frank Maybery on his way home from Japan in 1903 decides to see if Alfred would like to take the long way home.
Alfred gives his surprisingly unexpected response, “Why not?’  Photos courtesy of Moose Jaw Public Library Archives.