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.




From Wales to Ipswich to Bristol to Canada Part 1.

Rosedale Cemetery, Moose Jaw

There were three Maybery brothers who formed a Real Estate Company in Moose Jaw around 1906. I have been interested in the Maybery brothers because they were the ones that participated in the drawing up of a plan for the quarter section of land that Mr. John R. Green had purchased amid such controversy in 1903.  The Moose Jaw Times reported that the lots in the newly renamed  Parkside area would now be available for sale.  Since the Maybery men had their name on a title to our property,  and had been owners of the land while it was only a lot,  I was interested in them and began to try to find out more about them.

1907 Clipping from Moose Jaw Times
Another Green to Maybery Transaction “PARKSIDE”

Imagine my surprise one day when I was searching for information about the Mayberys when a letter popped up on my screen that had been clicked on to the internet in 2005 by a woman in Ipswich, Suffolk:


My name is Lxxxx Cxxxx and I live in Ipswich, Suffolk UK. I am doing some research into the history of my house and everyone who has lived in it.

One of the people that I have come across is Frank Maybery….

Imagine….the two of us on opposite sides of the Atlantic trying to find out about the same people and just running into each other that way. She wasn’t writing to me.  She was just posting a query on a message board for a geneology site.  The information in her letter and some of the replies that had been posted to her query were very helpful to me and I was off and running around the Maybery bush early every morning!!

First of all, there was a man who was born in Wales on February 14th, 1843. The story of his short life is told movingly in an obituary published in a 1877 Journal called Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle. There is  information about his journey of faith and his short career as a minister in Stoke  (the most common place name in England) sub-Hampton,  Somersetshire and across the country in Ipswich, Suffolk.  Yes, readers, he was only 34 years old.  He had served 5 years in Stoke, and 3 years in Ipswich.

When William Valentine Maybery died in in Ipswich in 1876, he was father to 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughter.  The children were quite young: Annie Edith 6, Alfred William  4, Arnold Hugh 2, and Frank Hubert , not quite a year.

A second daughter, Ada Winifred, was born in April of 1877, a few months too late to meet her father. William had been born on February  14th ,1843, in Monmouthshire, Wales.  And now, at age 34 he has left his young wife Clara Susan (nee Sinnock) with 5 children.  He seems to have been a man with much potential and with gifts and graces for ministry.  So says his obituary:

It was no small task for a young man to follow one who had taken such a high position in Ipswich as his predecessor, the Rev. Eliezer Jones; but, so far as spiritual power and mental ability are concerned, Mr. Maybery proved himself equal to the task.  the congregation soon increased, and new life was infused into the church.  Every trace of debt was wiped out, many useful organisations were started–all the societies of the church were brought to a flourishing condition; he was daily ripening in the affections of his people, and growing in the respect of the inhabitants of the town.  But his physical constitution was not strong enough to enable him to carry out the work which was in his heart to do.

The obituary is quite detailed with reference to the text of his first sermon, the financial situation of the church,  and the illness that brought about his demise.  However, we are left to our imaginations with regard to the next few years for his wife and young family.

Valentine Maybery served at this location for 3 years.

The story of the family that Rev. Maybery left behind begins as the widow, Clara moves back from Ipswich to Barton Regis, (now a part of Bristol)  in Gloucestershire where  Ada Winifred was to be born. The first two children had been born in Somersetshire,  during the 5 year ministry at Stoke, sub-Hampton, and the second two children had been born in Suffolk, during the 3 years at Ipswich.   If one were to take this trip now, from Ipswich, Suffolk to Bristol in Gloucestershire. (Just say “Gloster” to rhyme with “Foster”)  it would be a four hour train ride.  Some pretty famous people have come from Bristol including John and Charles Wesley.   Clara herself had been born very near here in a region of Bristol called Clifton.

Clara Susan (Sinnock) Maybery appears to have taken up residence very near a relative, William Sinnock.  In the Bristol Post Office Directory for 1879,  Mrs. Maybery’s address is 13 Freemantle Road, and  her parents are living at  10 Freemantle Square.

1879 Post Office  Directory for Bristol

By the 1881 Census the Maybery children’s story has taken a turn

Although there is no record found to explain the details of the death of Clara Susan Sinnock Maybery, we do know that she died 3 years after her husband in 1879 at Bristol. It seems that Valentine’s parents who were still living in Wales, and Clara’s parents  who were still living in Bristol were all getting on in years, and therefore,  the most eligible caregivers for  five young children were William and Eliza Mary Gibbons.  Eliza was an elder sister of Clara, and therefore aunt to the 5 little Mayberys.  She and her husband were childless themselves and took all five into their home called Grafton Villa at 4 Arley Hill.

At Census time in 1881, William and Eliza Gibbons were 45 and 44 years of age, and the children ranged from Alfred at age 10 down to Ada Winnifred at age 4.  William was a “Provisions Merchant”.  Fortunately there was some domestic help available as two young women are listed  with the family in the census.

Watch for the continuation of the Maybery story next time. There’s a reason we have a street called Maybery Crescent.

John Robert Green

What could I have in common with Maggie Siggins, 1992 winner of the Governor General’s  Award for literary merit?  The answer is John R. Green.  In Siggins’ book The Revenge of the Land: A Century of Greed, Tragedy and Murder on a Saskatchewan Farm, she tells the story of every person who owned the property near Pasqua, SK where the Eberle murder took place in 1987.  She writes the history of one particular farm  from 1883 to 1987 and  reports that not one of the men who held title to the land lived a “mundane life”. ”Not one escaped a fate full of astonishing surprises.”

The theme of Ms. Siggins’ book, she says in her preface,  is Greed.

John Robert Green
Moose Jaw Library Archives

For the men who owned this land were often not dedicated “toilers of the soil”; most hated getting their hands dirty. They were businessmen who hired other people to do the hard work.  They were land-speculators who got rich by exploiting anybody who showed signs of weakness. The defeated down-and-out half-breed was their favourite prey. 

For a time early in the 1900s, Mr. John Robert Green owned a portion of the farm about which Ms. Siggins writes, so she spends 38 pages of her book telling his story.  In her preface to Mr. Green’s chapter, she writes this assessment of his life and character.

No one made more money than he did.  He had cast aside his calling as a schoolteacher because it was a poor-paying proposition and got into real estate just as the West was booming.  Quickly he made a fortune. But farming, he said, was his first love, and he collected grain fields as nonchalantly as he did rare coins.  Yet there developed a serious split in his personality–the intellectual versus the money-grubber–and in later life he paid for his neurosis.  He died a stern sick old man, who was not at all well-loved. 

Although Siggins does not think very highly of Mr. Green and doesn’t mind saying so repeatedly in her book, and although I regret the behaviors  and influence that caused suffering and injustice to many people, I don’t think it’s wrong to note some admirable qualities as well as his shortcomings and willful transgressions.

Yes, Mr. Green was one of a number of early Moose Jaw businessmen who was involved in land speculation and the acquisition of lands through some corrupt practices relating to Metis Scrip.  The process of taking land that had been designated for Metis people was widespread, and it seems the government did very little to control what was happening.  More here.

The moral issues raised by the kind of deception and manipulation involved in these kinds of transactions by realtors, speculators, and politicians may have been in some people’s minds when the Moose Jaw Times announced the formation of a Literary and Debate Society for the town of Moose Jaw in 1895.

J.R. Green was a newlywed when he was invited to take part in a debate in the Moose Jaw Town Hall.  He would be on the Moose Jaw team who were opposed by a Boharm team made up of three farmers, one of whom was his brother Fred Green, joined by James Pascoe and R. Grant Thomson.  The Moose Jaw team included in addition to J. R. Green, J.W. Sifton, (the school superintendent, and J.E. Caldwell,  a bright young lawyer.  The resolution to be debated was: Be it Resolved that “ambition is more harmful than beneficial to mankind.”   Apparently the audience selected Boharm as the winners of the debate.   Interesting to me was the fact that both Mr. Sifton and Mr. Caldwell ended up in the area of the city that Mr. Green is most famous for.  Mr. Sifton’s house was across the back alley from 1037  Clifton and faces Main St.  Mr. Caldwell moved into a house facing ours across the street.   Here’s a review of the story of  his acquisition and development of “the avenues” west of Main.

Archives CPR Land Sales Search Results
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Call Number: M 2272, volume 93, contract number 23773
Date of Purchase: 1903 APRIL 4
Purchaser(s): GREEN, JOHN R.
Land Description: SE-5-17-26-W2
Number of Acres: 160
Price per Acre: $30.00
Status of Purchase: PAID IN FULL


J.R. Green bought the one very desirable quarter section of land  from the CPR in 1903 and released it gradually to realtors at the height of the building boom in Moose Jaw.  People said he “bought land by the acre and sold it by the foot.”   He paid $30 an acre and the 50 by 100 foot lot our house would be built on was purchased for $300 in 1911.  So how much profit did he make on 160 acres?   I don’t know if the lots purchased were “serviced”  as a city lot would be today with electricity and water/sewer access included in the price of  $300.  Surely he had to pay someone to survey all the lots . Did the city put the roads and lanes in?  Here’s a problem for your math students, Mrs. Mc.

J.R Green was often in the Moose Jaw papers.  One large column features him as a “Prominent Citizen” and focuses on how admired and respected he was in the community.  His involvement with the Board of Trade and his attempts to have the University placed in Moose Jaw were considered important contributions to the community.  He also made a contribution to the city by providing the land for the Wild Animal Park.  There is good information about the history of the Wild Animal Park at the SAIN (Saskatchewan Archival Information Network).

John R. Green in 1928 in front of his house near land donated for Wild Animal Park.

 My sympathies for him have to do with two things mostly:  one that he was a debater. More and more these days, I appreciate the art of well-articulated disagreement and the benefits of exploring differences in a civilized manner.   But more so, my heart went out to him and first wife, Annie, because of the tragic death of their infant son, Arthur, who was scalded by crawling into a tub of boiled water as his mother prepared to bathe him.  The child died after suffering terribly for a couple of days.  What parents would ever recover from that?

I have decided to include the obituaries that the paper published for Mr. Green and his first wife, Annie.  Both of them died unexpectedly and relatively young, her especially.  Obituary writers used to be quite the story-tellers.



After a short illness Anna Maude, wife of J. R. Green died at the General Hospital Saturday afternoon at 6:30 o’clock. The late Mrs. Green was out to dinner at the home of a friend Wednesday evening and was enjoying her usual good health. Later in the evening, however, she complained of not feeling well, and Thursday evening it was found necessary to call a physician.  Friday, he advised an operation, but the patient would not give her consent.  She was suffering so much Saturday morning that she was immediately rushed to the hospital and prepared for an operation.  Upon operating, the doctors found that it would be impossible for her to live.  She died shortly afterwards.

The late Mrs. Green was 43 years old, is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Beesley, now in California.  She was born at the well-known Marlborough Farm near Moose Jaw.  She is mourned by her husband, three sons, Wilbert, Allan, and Jack, her father and mother, three brothers and two sisters. John, W.R. and Arthur Beesley, all of the Moose Jaw district, Mrs. J.F. Miller, Swift Current, and Sarah E. Beesley, California.

The late Mrs. Green was a Methodist in religion and was an earnest worker in the church.  She was also an active member of the W.C.T.U. for many years.

The funeral which will be conducted by Rev. H. T. Lewis and E.J. Chegwin, will be held from the family residence, 59 Athabasca West, Tuesday afternoon, at 2 o’clock, and will proceed to the Moose Jaw cemetery.

Mrs. J. F. Miller, Swift Current arrived in the city today, to attend the funeral.  Mr. and Mrs. .J. G. Beesley, and Miss Sarah Beesley, parents and sister of the late Mrs. Green, who are living in California, have left for Moose Jaw, but will not arrive here in time for the funeral.

Source: Moose Jaw Daily News  August 21, 1916

Moose Jaw Public Library Archives

John R. Green, Well Known Resident of Dist., Died Monday (Obituary from Moose Jaw Times July 12, 1938 Microfilm Moose Jaw Public Library Archives

Widely known and respected throughout Western Canada, John R. Green passed away in a local hospital on Monday morning in his 68th year. He was born at Rippingdale, England, on September 28, 1870, and the family emigrated to the United States, later coming to Canada and the Moose Jaw district.

The family made their home for two years at the Henry Battell, later Brubaker, farm, and during his early days John R. Green walked into Moose Jaw daily to attend school, which was held at a variety of places, including two rooms in the Brunswick Hotel, with J.N. McDonald as teacher.

He received his high school training under William Rothwell at Victoria School, and there being no normal school available, engaged at once in his chosen profession of teaching.

In 1895 he taught school at Boharm and later at Pioneer and Marlborough, and it was while  teaching at the last named school that he met his first wife, Annie Maud Beesley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Beesley, pioneers in that district who later moved to California.

For a time Mr. Green was principal of a school at Nelson, B.C., and on returning to Moose  Jaw, he established a real estate, insurance and financial business.  He was agent for the Manufacturers’ Life Company.  Mr. Green was also the first collector of customs in Moose Jaw, and he homesteaded in the Marlborough district.

The deceased took a prominent part in local affairs and was especially prominent at one time in Board of Trade activities.

In 1905, Mr. Green unsuccessfully contested the Moose Jaw constituency in the Liberal interests for the first legislature of Saskatchewan, being defeated by the late John Wellington, who ran as a Conservative.

He was widely known as a student of economic matters and his services were much in demand for addresses to service clubs and other organizations over a wide territory.

At the time of rapid development of the Western prairies, Mr. Green was extensively engaged in the real estate business, during the late 90’s and the early part of the present century.  He was one of the largest realtors investing in Southern Saskatchewan lands at a time when settlers came into this locality in large numbers; and he himself was one of the largest property owners in this part of the country.  Mr. Green farmed on a large scale, and this year had about 3,000 acres under cultivation.

When Moose Jaw first started to grow, Mr. Green invested heavily in local property, and placed on the market one of the first subdivisions, High Park West, a quarter section lying immediately north of Caribou St. West and between Main Street and Fifth Avenue.

After disposing of that property he acquired the Alex Thompson and Ostrander farms immediately south of the city—a total of one and one-half sections, and here he made his home.

Through his generosity, Moose Jaw came into possession of the now widely famed Wild Animal Park, a lease of which former farm property was granted to the wild Animal Park Association.

By his first wife, Mr. Green had three sons, Wilbert now of San Pedro, California; Alan and John both farming in Moose Jaw district. A fourth son, Arthur, predeceased Mr. Green.

In 1920 he married Alida Blakely, daughter of R. W. and Mary E. Blakely of Toronto. By this marriage there are four children, Robert, Harry, David and Mary, all of Moose jaw.