This section is still being worked on (and there are many families to work on). Most information is based on the book "Langruth Along the Crocus Trail" - 1983.
Families entered so far: Callander Caddoo EmberlyIsfeld Jonasson Johnson Puddicombe Raincock Schaldemose Sepke Thorleifson Vereb Zasitko
Robert Alexander Callander (known as Sandy) was born in Kesby, Sask. on November 1, 1904. He was the youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. William Richard Callander.
After many years of dried out crops and dust they moved to Kelvington, Sask. in the year 1933. Here, Robert met Betty Robinson, who was born in Staffordshire, England on April 28, 1914. She came out here with her parents and family in 1927 and at this time she was 13 years old.
Robert and Betty were married on November 26, 1936. In 1953, they moved to Langruth with ten children and another was born in 1954. The children of school age went to Hollywood school and then to Langruth, finally the youngest finishing in Gladstone. Manitoba was hard on us for many years. There was hail, wet weather, and early snows but we kept on struggling along. We milked cows, grew a big garden, and did lots of canning. The farm always seems to help a lot in the way of food.
In May, 1968, we lost our third daughter Betty Ann accidently which was the biggest shock of our lives.
Sandy, after many years of ill health passed away in January, 1976. I am now retired and living in Langruth. The family of five girls and five boys are all married and living in homes of their own. Ken lives on the home farm. Richard is close by ranching. Four of the boys are electricians and the girls are all married to farmers. The Callander family at present has 31 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Our children are: Sheila, who married Clifford Sepke and they live on a farm outside of Langruth. Marjorie married Joe Soos and they live on a farm outside of Langruth. Merlaine married Jonas Jonasson and they live in McCreary. Sandra married Ross Wilson and they live in Justice. Myrtle married Bill Pottinger and they live in Gladstone. Bob married Ann Gould and they live in Kamloops, B.C. Bill married Donna Carmicheal and they live in Prince- ton, B.C. Ken married Evelynne Organ of Langruth. Warren married Valarie Bartlett and they live in Prince George. Richard married Dawn Moffat of Lakeland.
Callander, Richard and
Richard, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Callander, grew up on a farm eight miles north of Langruth.
He attended Hollywood School for four years. For the first two years, he and his family went to school by horse and for the next two they went by car. He completed his schooling in Langruth and then Gladstone.
After grade 12, Richard went to Fort St. John, B.C. and worked there for five years as a big game hunting guide. Upon his return, he bought the Everett Schneider farm. In the fall of 1981 Richard married Dawn Moffat.
I lived on a farm at Lakeland for 18 years. I am the youngest child of Russell and Doris Moffat. I went to school in Langruth and then Gladstone. After graduating I lived in Portage for a few years and worked at the Credit Union.
At present, we live on the same farm along the 'Little ridge'. Richard cattle farms in the summer and fishes with Ted Jonasson. I work at the elementary school in Langruth.
Richard and I spend most of the summer weekends at rodeos and horse races. Richard drives chariot and chuckwagon and I barrel race.
- submitted by Dawn Callander
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOHN CADDOO
written by L.C. Hewson
John was born in the same yard he lives in today. Listening to him talk, he might well have been born in County Tyrone, Ireland like his father. The 80 odd years at Lakeland doesn't seem to have affected his mother tongue. Times were different then. The speech heard was mainly that of the family except for rare visits off the farm. John Caddoo is the son of James, who came to this country with his wife and two daughters in 1896. James was not like most, who fled the Potato Famine in Ireland penniless and starving. He sold a farm there and was able to buy another in Manitoba upon their arrival. With the land came goods and equipment. It included: a team of horses, a walking plow, harrows, a wagon box, and a set of sleighs. Also, there were six cows.
There were 35 acres broken for crop. The house was 18 x 22 with a lean-to kitchen. It was pretty small, but it was of lumber and had floors that could be scrubbed and a roof that was tight. There were a couple of log stables for the livestock and a log granary. The stables were made of poplar logs with a pole roof and hay on top, therefore, they rotted away very easily.
The water in the well was hard but potable and the supply was adequate for summer and winter. It was hard to get water from a well because it was east of the ridge and east of the ridge, there was a shortage of water. It was an effort on the part of the original homesteader John Hicks whose well it had been.
"An old Indian witched the well," John said, "Hicks hired a half-breed to dig it for him. He labored for a month through 30 feet of clay and shale. It seemed he would be there all winter before it was done."
John Hicks gave up on the rope and bucket method and used a spudding tool. They punched the hole 50 feet more to strike the water at 80 feet.
James paid for the lot with a gold coin to the value of $1100.00 and settled in to make one of the fortunes that awaited anyone who worked hard enough to deserve it.
James "bit ot Canada' was 30 miles or so NW of Portage la Prairie. His town was Westbourne. There were three grocery stores, three implement dealers, and the usual group of tradesmen and businesses that served a community. Westbourne was the end of the railway and the beginning of the steam boat traffic that served the northern settlements at Fairford and beyond.
The Caddoo land lay at the very edge of the great prairie which runs out north of the Portage Plains. The soil was fertile and black like the prairie soil but not so deep and there were more stones. Trees were small and numerous.
Four or five acres could be brushed out by hand and broken up with three horses on the walking plows. There was the odd scrub oak to deal with, stones to be hauled away, and the roots to be picked and burned before the land could be worked.
It became necessary to employ outside labor because the farming enterprise grew each year. There was no shortage of manpower. Men flooded in from Europe, Ontario, and the United States. There was money for the great steam traction engines and other investments.
In 1909, James had Eyvison's at Portage break land with a great big steam engine and breaker bottoms on the plow.
The railway came to Lakeland in 1912 and carried on north to Langruth which became their market town.
The Caddoo farm prospered with others. James gave up threshing with the flail around 1905. This was when the threshing machines appeared. John Arksey was the first steam outfit to thresh them. The engine was pulled with four horses, and the thresh machine had no blower and no self feeder. There was a big carrier that took the straw 25 feet away and it took two men to keep the straw away.
Lakeland School was only opened during the summer: the cold and winter roads and lack of warm clothing made it impossible for regular attendance. John remembers attending six or seven summers, and then put back to work. His mother had been a teacher in the old country and it is likely that both he and his three sisters were encouraged to read at home.
John went to war and he spent a good share of his time in the hospital and then was saved by the Armstice in 1918. He never got out of Canada. When John was young, he wanted to go firing on the railroad. But his mother's health was never good and she worried about the family. She made John promise to stay on the farm as long as she was alive. Since his mother wasn't well, he often was worker and cook. She passed away and his father was up in years and wasn't going to farm much longer. So John was stuck with it all his life. Annie died in 1933 when John was 36 and his father was 78.
Frances Nagorny was the orphan of a rural family in Ukraine. When her mother died in the influenza epidemic of 1918, she was sent to live with the family of her oldest brother, as it was the custom in that country. The war brought great hardships to their family and district, so Frances missed the chance to go to school.
Another brother was a sailor in the Russian Navy. His ship visited Vancouver one day, and the young man was impressed with the country and the climate.
Frances sailed from Danzig with her brother and his wife and one daughter known as Mrs. Alexander Stadnichuk in what was the last big wave of western immigration in 1929. She remembers it as a scary kind of experience for a young teenager. She didn't know the language, the customs were so different, and worst of all she couldn't even read the signs. She knew the very first thing she had to do was to learn how to read. Many of the group hoped to take up farms. When they left Montreal and began to cross the country north of the Lakes, the men were quite discouraged. It was a wilderness of rocks, trees, and water. When they got to level land near Winnipeg, the black soil appeared and their faces became happy again. The Nagorny's settled near Plumas, Frances with a family whose children were attending school. Her plan was to learn English and some work skills as quickly as possible, so that it would help her to get a job. She was doing well enough for there was no end to cooking, cleaning and farm-work. The family where Frances was employed, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bohn spoke German. Fred of Polish origin and Mrs. Bohn of Russian origin. Frances remembers understanding them, but answered in Ukrainian. She learned but a few words of English. Frances changed jobs and went to live at Vatcher's near Gladstone. It was now 1930, the beginning of the Great Depression and many peop]e, like Frances, could thank themselves for the opportunity to work for food, shelter, and clothing. Frances, in her mid-teens was adopted by the entire Vatcher family. Vestiges of the bonding remain to this day.
While there was good progress made with language and schooling, Frances was priveleged to attend with the Vatcher children.
Frances became eminently employable and James Caddoo hired her to help Annie whose health was failing. This gave John more time in the field. James also was getting on in years and busied himself with the daily chores. Frances was lured to some extent by the knowledge that Annie had been a teacher. Annie died not long after Frances came.
In 1933, the Caddoo farm consisted of 156 acres of broken land, most of which was in crop. Wheat and barley were the main crop with approximately 30 acres of oats for the livestock. There may have been 30 acres devoted to summerfallow that year. There was a hay lease on some crown land across The Ridge. The Caddoo herd of about 50 cows were pastured wherever it was convenient because of an open herd law in effect. Usually the milk cows were pastured close to home. Farm power was supplied totally with horses. James was opposed to tractors. Although there were telephones in the area, the Caddoo farm had not been connected. Electrical power was still very much in the future. John had bought a 1928 Model T Ford Coach in 1929 at Dominion Motors in Winnipeg. He paid $500.00 when a bushel of wheat sold at Gladstone for perhaps 80 cents and barley about 40 cents a bushel.
This then was the farm which Frances came to work. The milk was put through a hand cranked separator which needed daily washing, and the cream was hung in the well to cool. There was a trap door to a cellar under the livingroom where food such as milk, butter, table cream, eggs and potatoes were stored along with preserves in glass sealers. Kerosene lamps and lanterns were used for light. There were globes to be cleaned daily, the wicks trimmed and the founts filled as needed, and the wood box in the kitchen to be kept full of dry wood.
The three meals each day were fairly precise. James saw to that. He was quite methodical about his work. The milking was done at the same hour each morning and night and it connected with breakfast and supper. Washday came once a week, there was bread to bake, and butter to churn. When harvest came, John drove four horses on the binder, while James and Frances stooked.
Although the family here was vastly different from Vatcher's, James was a kindly employer and John an agreeable person with a sunny outlook on things. It was a bit lonely at times being the only woman, but there were other farm women near-by who called in from time to time to pick up the mail or just to chat. Mrs. Hall and Mrs. Hanneson came by quite often, but Mrs. Frank Roberts, (Ketchen), became a special friend. The Gardiners and Puddicombes too were near neighbours and quite sociable. While living at the Vatcher's, Frances learned to read, write and spell, especially with books on a Grade 2 and 3 level, and Bible stories. With paper from wrappers and bags Frances practised spelling and writing. Eventually, she learned the Ukranian alphabet, and began to correspond with relatives in Europe.
Not long after Annie died, John and Frances found a way to fix up the house. John nailed beaverboard over the dark and bare cracked walls. This board made a tremendous difference in the lamplight, reflecting yellow light from the kerosene flame to the furthest corner in the room.
John decided he wanted Frances for his wife. It was no simple matter to contemplate a marriage in the days when permission was a factor. Perhaps John and Frances discussed the matter with James and perhaps they didn't. Living so intimately as these three lived it is likely that each knew the thoughts of the others sufficiently enough to predict whether James' blessing would be denied or delayed.
In 1940 during the stooking, James was taken suddenly ill in the harvest field and Frances had to carry on alone. James was urged to see a doctor, but he thought there was no sense. He knew that clever doctors couldn't cure old age. James died on June 12, 1941.
A few days after the funeral, the work horses went down the road and John came home with a tractor. The daily currying, the harnessing, the feeding, and the manure was over. The tractor was a 1941 John Deere Model AR on rubber tires in gleaming green wilh yellow decals. It had a two cylinder engine, four speed transmission, and a lever operated clutch. It pulled a brand new three bottom gang plow with power lift. A short while later was the wedding. Edith Vatcher from Frances' adopted family was brides- maid and Fred Wild was best man. John and Frances went to Clear Lake for the honeymoon.
The winter of 41-42 was notable for other developments as well. Besides the new battery pack, Viking radio from Eaton's, the very first on the Caddoo farm, Frances discovered that she was expecting. Plans for the new house were drawn up as the old homestead shack would not do as a nursery.
The new house was built beside the old which was moved a little ways and used as a repair shop and a storage place for farm items. It was a grand house with waterworks, a big sunny kitchen, and three bedrooms, each with a door to close out the world. The coal fired furnace in the basement kept the house warm and it was a luxury to wake up in the winter to a warm house! The house was ready about the time Norman was born in 1942. Their lives took on a kind of serenity brought about by the routine necessary to maintain the family and the farm.
Many hazards encountered on farms today were absent on the Caddoo farm in 1942. Highway facilities, for instance, were less prevalent for the reason that there and on other farms the car was put on blocks when the snow came. There was no power line to watch out for, no gasoline pressure lamp to catch fire, and no dangerous mechanical devices to wound or maim the operator.
In 1942 stoves and furnaces burned solid fuel with the consequent danger of stove pipe and chimney fires. Even this hazard was minimized. John made sure that the stove pipes were cleaned every eight weeks and Frances marked the calendar accordingly. Further to prevent fires, no kerosene lamp was improperly placed to cause an accident, and matches were stored with care.
Raymond was born in 1945 when his older brother was three. Like their parents, their sons too seem to have grown up quite free of injury despite the hazards of the times.
The Caddoo saga is not complete without mentioning some events which were milestones for them and perhaps for other Western farm families as well. While washdays today on most farms with hot water, detergents, and electrically powered washer may be little more than an annoyance, in 1948 the appearance of the first gasoline powered washer in the Caddoo household must be considered something of an event.
Even more dramatic was the advent of electrical power. It came to the district and to the Caddoo farm in 1952. Instant brilliance in every room. No more lamp chimneys to clean. Even better, a refrigerator to store the cream. In hot weather even the cream remained sweet. Prices were better for Number One. John and Frank Roberts bought a small pull type John Deer Combine on partnership. Then John bought his own combine IHC harvester and Norman operated it. Their first self-propelled combine, a Massey Harris Model 26 appeared in 1958.
Today at Lakeland only a few of the original families remain. Norman and Raymond operate large modern farms nearby. John still controls a quarter or two but like James before him, he now does mostly chores around the farm.
The cultivations has devasted most of the trees except the ones on difficult ground.
Some things remain the same. The wild geese and the Canadas still rest on the lake nearby and fly out in their thousands, spring and fall, some to feed on the stubble fields at Hungary Hall. Prairie chickens are fewer today. There are no winter feed stacks in the yard to bring them in, but they still abound.
The hot spring sun brings the mosquitoes. Mallards and pintails feed in the roadside ditches. The grass is rank and tall in the summer. The grain colors up in the fall just like it always has, and the tearing winds strip the yellow leaves from the poplars almost as soon as they appear.
Winter will come in November as it always does. The Caddoos are ready. submitted by Mrs. John Caddoo
Raymond Caddoo married Sharon Robbins, of Virden, in July, 1972, after she had been teaching in both Gladstone and Mather, Man. But their marriage was almost not destined to be. On the last day of their honeymoon, with Sharon at the wheel, they took a quick trip into the ditch at Russell, Man., on a road under construction. Raymond's beloved Custom Sport was no more, and miraculously Raymond escaped with only a few bruises and Sharon with none.
After such a precarious beginning, things settled down, and they started their life together in a mobile home on the site where Raymond's brother, Norman, now lives. After a year of Sharon's teaching at Sandy Bay, they then moved the trailer to their present site, about a quarter of a mile from the original Caddoo farmstead, where Raymond now operates his grain farm. In 1976, they moved from the trailer to a new house just a few yards away.
Raymond and Sharon have three children: Vicki, born in 1974; Garth, born in 1976; and Crystal, born in 1980.
Vicki and Garth have both been involved in figure skating, and Vicki takes piano and swimming lessons. Sharon is a part-time organist for the United Church, and is active on the UCW, and Raymond on the United Church Board, both local and for the Charge, at one time being secretary for the Charge.
Both Raymond and Sharon are looking forward to many more years on their farm near Lakeland.
CADDOO, NORMAN AND LINDA
Norman was born in Gladstone on October 30, 1942, the first son of John and Francis Caddoo of Lakeland. He took his schooling at Lakeland, and has resided in Lakeland all of his life. On July 4, 1970, Norman married Linda Ball of Roland, Man. Linda was born at Carman on May 13, 1949 and in 1968 she moved from the farm at Roland to Winnipeg.
When Norman and Linda were married, they moved to a grain farm at Lakeland. They have four sons -- David, born April 1, 1972; Darren, born April 2, 1974; Chris, born August 16, 1976; and Michael, born March 11, 1982.
Memories of past by Norman Caddoo.
History tends to be what we like to think things were like in the past rather then how they actually were at the time. Nostalgia of the kind so often shown in the movies is also working hard in our memories hence the saying "the good old days". Unfortunately there are no gauges or meters to measure such things as enjoyment or boredom of daily life or the spirit of co-operation between neighbours. From my own observations sparked by books such as this, I have noticed that these qualities of life as seen by individuals varies greatly from one district to another. Many old timers (the definition of that term I'll leave to someone else) claim very strongly that there was a much greater spirit of co-operation between farm neighbours some years ago than there is now. And in the Langruth area, this certainly appears to be true. Probably the arrival of better transportation available to everyone gave us all a feeling of independence. Also in the past there were simply far more neighbours to choose from. Therefore, it was much easier to work and swap favors with certain people, because one could choose friends with similar character to one's self. Now farms are bigger so there are less people making compatibiiity a problem. I believe that the truth of this theory is born out by the fact that when visiting my wife's relatives in southern Man., I hear of marvelous co-operation between farm neighbours. Farms there are quite small, probably averaging one half to three quarters of a section of land per farmer and they certainly aren't forced to rely upon one another from lack of money, but times change and it would seem that in the past several years there is a slight tendency toward more community spirit in this area, although the manual labour that once was traded so regularly probably will never be necessary again. My own personal philosophy is to always look to other parts of the country or world when things are rough, because one can always see millions of people so much worse off than we are, and if it ever happens that everyone appears to be better off than we are, well then it is time to feel bad.
Jim and Edna Emberly came from St. Claude in 1940. They bought the cafe owned by Herbert Robertshaw. Four of their children moved to Langruth with them.
Alfred DeMill married Verna Lowry and is now retired and lives in Delta, B.C. Their children are Donald of Delta, Ronald, his wife of Calgary. Clarence Emberly and Freda Forsley - his family history is mentioned elsewhere.
Irene married Henry Penner and now reside in Brandon. Their children, Jim, wife and family live in Winnipeg, Daphne and her husband live in Prince Rupert, Douglas resides at Prince Albert.
Doreen completed her schooling in Langruth and worked at the Royal Bank. She took her nurses training at the St Boniface Hospital and is still nursing at the St Rose Hospital. She married Ken Brown of St Rose. They have two children - Glen and wife and family live at Balcarres, Sask., and Robin, Sara and son reside at Lloydminister, Alberta.
Jim and Isbella Clearwater (nee Emberly) moved to the Anderson farm in Oct of 1947, where they still reside. Their children are Howard, who with his wife Joanne and family, reside in Calgary, Alberta. David and Brenda (Trelenberg) and two boys live at Williams Lake, BC and Jane married Bob Tully of Portage La Prairie and they have two boys - Richard and Jamie.
Many interesting tales could be told of hunting season episodes, storms on the lake, etc. One very wet snow with high winds caught Jim and George Armstrong on the lake. They returned home, sitting one on each side of their camp stove with only the frame work of the van left. It looked funny to us, but not really amusing to them.
- submitted by Isabelle.
ISFELD JACOBSON THORKELSON FAMILY
Ingborg and Erickur Isfeld lived in Mjoafjordur Nordurmulasvsla, Iceland. They had nine children -- Andres, Groa, Gudlaug, August, Paull, Jardthrudur, Sigurjon, Anna and Einar.
While out fishing one day, Erickur and his young son Andres had their boat capsize on them. Erickur told Andres not to leave the boat, to sit on the bottom (as it was upside down). He would float to shore. Erickur attempted to swim to shore, but his body was never found.
Alone now with her children, Ingborg remarried Thorsteinn Jonsson Mjofjord. They had one son Olafur Thorsteinson.
In the early 1880's, Ingborg and Thorsteinn brought their children, with the exception of Einar, to Cavalier, North Dakota. In 1884 Einar met his family there.
With the family all together they moved to Husavick, Man. in 1889.
Anna and Einar were the only two children from that family to venture to the shores of Lake Manitoba. Anna was born in 1870 and Einar was born on December 29, 1866.
Anna married Peter Jacobson. He was born in Ireland on June 18, 1863. Peter had two children from a previous marriage, a boy and a girl. Anna and Peter raised his son Paul, and Peter's daughter was looked after by his parents. Later, Peter and Anna adopted a daughter, Florence. The family lived at Big Point, lived at Marshland around 1903, then went to the Egland farm on 30-17-9, and it was there that Paul got ill and passed away in 1933. The Jacobson's moved to Langruth. Florence married Norman Simpson and they had one son, Orville. He is living in Sacramento, Calif.
Peter passed away on September 16, 1940 and four years later Anna passed away on July 10, 1944. Florence died in 1981.
Thuridur and Fridfinnur Thorkelson came to Canada from Iceland in 1882. They had four children which they brought with them, Sigridur, Sigrun, Gudni and Jonina. Sigridur married Asmunder Johnson. They had four boys and two girls.
The Thorkelson family lived a mile south west of the Isfeld homestead.
Sigrun passed away at a very early age.
Gudni remained a bachelor all his life. He was born in 1882 and passed away in 1976. Living most of his life at Big Point.
Jonina married Einar Isfeld in 1890. They had five daughters and eight sons.
Thuridur was born on April 23, 1852 and passed away on June 12, 1917.
Fridfinnur was born on July 12, 1843 and passed away on July 29, 1915.
- submitted by Mrs. Phyllis Hanneson
EINAR AND JONINA (THORKELSON) ISFELD
My grandparents were both born in Iceland. Einar was born on December 29, 1866 and lived with his parents in Mjoafjordur Nordurmulasysla. Jonina came to Canada with her parents, brother and sisters in 1882, when she was nine years old. In 1884, Einar came to Cavalier, North Dakota. At an earlier date, his mother and stepfather, brothers and sisters had come and settled in Cavalier.
As destiny would have it, the family moved on to Husavick, Man. where Einar and Jonina met. There was a double wedding in the Isfeld family on February 10, 1890. Einar and Jonina and his brother August and Lena (last name unknown) were married.
From Husavick, Einar and Jonina moved to Bru (Glenboro), and on September 1, 1892, their first daughter was born, Sigridur (Sarah) and on February 13, 1894 their first son, Erickur.
Finding times hard, they left Bru and moved north of Leifur. Their home was made of logs with a dirt floor and a sod roof. While there, Jonina had another son, Adalsteinn. As people could not get out to be treated by doctors in those days, the children got the flu and whooping cough, and Adalsteinn at a year and a half passed away.
Einar and Jonina, with two children Sarah and Eric, left and moved to Big Point in 1896. They homesteaded on NE 3-17-8. In 1897, another son came along, they named him Adalsteinn (Steine). They also had two daughters, Ingibjorg (Emma) in 1899 and Thuridur (Thura) on September 11, 1901.
My grandparents having chosen to settle on Big Point, lived three quarters of a mile from Lake Manitoba. My grandfather taking advantage of this, fished to feed his family, and also to sell. At that time he used a team of dogs and a sleigh on the lake, and for quite some time after. He would take the fish, with a team of horses and sleigh, following the lake shore and going up the White Mud River to Westbourne. He would sell the fish there, and with the money, the groceries were bought.
Being born into the family were Fridfinnur (Fred) on January 19, 1904, Ethel in March, 1906, Haraldur (Harry) on April 5, 1907.
These children went to the old Big Point School, it was located on NE 30-16-8. The school was made of logs. Some of the teachers that were there were Mr. Windsor, Mrs. Haldorson, Miss Baldvinson, Magnus Hjaltason, who became the first doctor in Langruth. The new school was built in 1909 on S1/4 20-17-9. The teachers there were Mrs. Lena Thorleifson, Mrs. Hall Hanneson, and Magnusina Magnusson (Hanneson).
Yet to be born were Gudjon (John) on August 3, 1909, Anna on April 25, 1913, Victor on March 19, 1915, and the last son Luter on February 18, 1917.
All the children, except for Luter, were born in the Isfeld home at Big Point. My grandmother's midwife was her mother Thuridur Thorkelson.
My Aunt Sarah recalled that their first home at Big Point was made of logs with a sod roof. She remembers her mother white-washing the walls when it started to rain. The rain ran through the sod roof and down the walls, making awful brown streaks on the walls. Sarah said she was about eight years old at the time, and it turned out to be quite a flood as a lot of people left their homes. The next house was built of lumber a few years later, with a log kitchen.
Harry remembers running behind the dog sleigh on the lake as they used dogs at first, later one horse and a small caboose, then teams and fish camps were taken out to "the deep". The boys would stay out on the lake all week and come home on weekends. Now, it wasn't all work for thesehoor boys' from what is understood. Luter bought 'the boxing gloves'. There was a little log cottage across the road from the Isfeld house, which is where the boxing ring was. There were two fish camps 'the Tomasson camp' and 'the Isfeld camp'. In the Tomasson camp were Art, Oskar, and Jim Tomasson, also two hired men, Jim Foulton and Bob Gould. In the Isfeld camp were Luter, Victor, Harry, John and the hired man, Eddie Wechal. Now there could be more to tell to this story, and more to it than I've been told.
The girls remember other entertainment, such as going to dances and having parties at home. Victor played guitar, John and Luter the violin and their father played the accordion.
Thura and Anna talk of their mother making a brine in a very large crock. This is what she put the mutton in so it would not spoil in the summer.
The boys clipped the sheep, then their mother washed the wool, carding and spinning it. She knit all the socks and mitts for the boys for the lake plus stockings and mitts for the kids that went to school. She also knit to sell in Westbourne and later years in the Langruth Trading Store. With this money everyone got a Christmas gift (and always something they wanted).
For summer, my grandmother used to make sheepskin slippers for her kids. She used to soften the sheepskin in her hands first, cut out a pattern and sew them by hand. She also made clothes out of bleached 100 Ib. sugar bags, making a pattern out of paper and then sewing by hand. Around 1918 Grandmother got a Singer sewing machine, and Victor would sew horse blankets. He tried sewing other things as well (his mother thought he should be a tailor).
I would like to thank my Dad, Harry, my Aunts Sarah, Thura, and Anna for all their memories for this history (for my history).
The kids in this family never thought they had hard times, only that their parents had them. Only when they speak of life growing up do they feel bad that the pay wasn't better for all of the hard work that had been done. They remember the love that 13 kids had for each other and for their parents, and also the good times they shared.
Their parents passed away: Jonina on September 12, 1940 and Einar on May 19, 1960.
- submitted by Phyllis Hanneson
Before retiring, in the late 1970's, Margaret Cantelon taught at Royal School in the Assiniboine South School Division (Winnipeg). The short story, "My Uncle Bodvar", was first published in a collection of short stories, "Through the Gateway to Yesteryear" (1981), written by students in Eric Wells' 'Writing and Journalism' class (University of Winnipeg Seniors' Program). Margaret and her five siblings were orphaned and, as was the custom in those days, the children were distributed among relatives to become part of their families. Margaret grew up with the family of Bodvar and Gudrun Johnson at Big Point, near Langruth, Manitoba. The original story referred to Bodvar as "Uncle David" and to Gudrun as "Aunt Bertha". I discussed this with her, before we published the story as part of a collection, under the title "Through the Gateway to Yesteryear". Margaret did not wish to offend any of the family, so it was published as she had written it. Bodvar Johnson was my Grandfather and when I first read Margaret's story twenty years ago, I was very touched by the way in which it paralleled my own experience with him. I had gone to live with my Uncle Archie (Bodvar's son) and Aunt Svienna, in order to attend high school. They were then operating the farm and living in the house referred to in Margaret's story. Bodvar was still living with them and was still a strong presence in the family. The only change that I made in preparing this for others to read, was to substitute Gudrun and Bodvar's names for those used in the original story. I hope that Margaret would understand. This story is about our grandparents and I hope you all enjoy and appreciate it as I did when I first read it. (Dr. Allan M. Johnson, Aylmer, Quebec)
My Uncle Bodvar
By Margaret (Olafsson) Cantelon
The day I went to live with Uncle Bodvar and Aunt Gudrun is as clear in my mind as yesterday, though it is more than half a century ago. It was on the day of my mother's funeral, and I was eight years old. This was to be my new home, and I sat on the stairs leading up to the bedrooms, feeling lost and desperately unhappy.
Then Uncle Bodvar approached me, and handing me a dishtowel, he told me to dry dishes for Eleanor. He gave me no words of comfort, just an order, and it was his abruptness on that day which startled me and made me remember. Immediately, I was pitched into the reality of that boisterous family of seven children, and my new life began. I knew that the universe revolved around my Uncle Bodvar.
He was tall and powerful with reddish brown hair, flecked with grey. His face was round and florid, adorned with a bright mustache. He was big and blustering and with his presence any room in the house appeared to diminish. I can see him to this day at the head of the dining table, talking most of the time, spearing potatoes and slapping large slices of meat onto his plate. At the table he held everyone's attention with whatever topic chose his fancy.
Children were to be seen but not heard at his table, and transgressors were abruptly banished. Around the household his discipline covered every conceivable situation. A glance from him was usually enough, but upon occasion an offending child within his reach would receive a cuff from one of his gigantic hands, and I was no exception.
Aunt Gudrun was a small, pretty woman. Her large brown eyes would light with sympathy for the offender, but she never intervened. I never heard her argue and I never heard her laugh, but her smile was the sweetest thing in the house. This big rough man never raised his voice to her, and often he would sit beside her at the spinning wheel with his big hands delicately sorting the wool for two-ply yarn. I was astonished when her removed a foreign object from Aunt Gudrun's eye -- with his tongue.
Even this act of gentleness was in keeping with his line of direct action, for my aunt's eye was badly swollen, and several attempts had been made by others to remove the irritant, but Uncle Bodvar solved it in a few seconds. This was typical of his approach to unexpected problems. Once at a picnic, when a boy had been injured in a fall from a horse, Uncle Bodvar came and looked at him while the other adults were wondering where they could find a doctor. The boy was moaning, and with a sudden movement of those big hands Uncle Bodvar put his dislocated shoulder back in place. The boy let out one sharp cry and then laughed in relief.
Uncle Bodvar walked off while the others stood around expressing admiration, and I felt very proud of my strange gruff uncle.. In the years that followed there were several other examples of his method of direct action, which always surprised others.
I remember the time a neighbour's horse broke its leg, and there were several people gathered around the injured animal as it lay there with its big frightened eyes. Uncle Bodvar came up, took one look, and returned in a few minutes with a rifle. Without a word to anyone, he shot the horse in the head, and it was all over -- no fuss.
Throughout my childhood, I was aware that my Uncle Bodvar was a complex person: his iron rule over the farm chores to be performed by his children and me, his gentleness with his wife, and his direct solutions for unexpected events, which he applied without consulting others. In each field he seemed to have a complete and distinct character which gave no hint of the other facets of his being, and I'm sure that very few people, with the possible exception of Aunt Gudrun, knew the all round man.
Throughout the district, it was his direct action, which was best known and he demonstrated this at our field day. Suddenly, there were cries of alarm from the far side of the field. There was a runaway tem coming down the track, and people were jumping aside and grabbing children as a team with a wagon came hurtling towards us. Uncle Bodvar stood alone on the rutted track; he grabbed the reins as the wild team passed, and then pulled them to a halt single-handed. There was applause and cheers for him as he stood there comforting the horses, and then he wlked off without a word.
It was a big heroic episode in the life of the district, but Uncle Bodvar never referred to it in his conversation when neighbours called, nor would he allow much local gossip in his house. Instead he would boast of other exploits involving nature and ghosts, swearing to most of them as personal experience. He had an inexhaustible store of preposterous stories, which he paraded as solemn fact. In all of these he was the hero, and when listeners tried to confirm them with Aunt Gudrun, she kept a face just as solemn.
He was a "no fuss" man and he applied the same rules to himself. When his hand was caught in the threshing machine, he managed to extricate it, and walked into the kitchen with three fingers badly mangled, and two of them broken. Aunt Gudrun was as calm as he was, as she prepared the splints and bandages according to his directions. He set the fingers himself with his good hand and they healed, and although disfigured for life, they worked. He never saw a doctor, he'd effected the cure himself, with no fuss.
One night when the fish flies were piled up about a foot deep along the lake, our visitors were saying they had never seen a year like it, but Uncle Bodvar said they were not nearly as thick as when he had first started homesteading. Then, he said, the dead fish flies had completely filled the bay, and in testing them he had found them as sound as the sand at the bottom. So in coming back to his farm, he had saved himself many miles by driving his team right across the lake on a "fish fly road" as solid as any dirt road in dry season. Aunt Gudrun would neither confirm nor deny whether she had travelled over that road, but Uncle Bodvar never waited for confirmation, he was off on another story.
The man's extraordinary personality has been with me for more than fifty years but only two of his daughters survive, and I recently checked with them to discover what remnants of memory still linger of their father. One immediately recalled his compassion when she was stricken with rheumatic fever, and the other recalled his harshness when he had compelled her to take a job as a housemaid in the city.
But I remember his kindness, his roughness, his understanding, his insensitivity,
his silences, his garrulous boasting, his courage ... I have met many successful
people, but the most unforgettable person I have ever met was my Uncle
JOHNSON, JOE AND LYDIA (1984)
Jonas Eric Johnson was born to Archie and Sveina Johnson on July 16, 1947. He attended both Elementary and High School in the town of Langruth.
Joe married Lydia Gloria Hoffmann on June 26, 1971 and they reside on the Johnson farm in the Langruth area. They have four children - Kevin Jonas born October 24, 1972, Christopher Conrad on August 9, 1974, Trevor John born on Ausust 9, 1976, and Patricia Leigh born on July 14, 1980.
JOHNSON , MAGNUS AND INGIBJORG
Magnus Johnson started in business in Langruth in 1911, when he and John Hanneson jointly opened a Barber shop and Pool Hall. He took it over the following year as John went into the Hardware business. The barber shop and pool hall were at that time situated north of the hotel, but when they were destroyed by fire, he rebuilt them across the street.
In 1920, he married Ingibjorg (Emma) Isfeld, daughter of Einar and Jonina Isfeld. He operated the shop until 1926 when he was forced to quit due to illness. Several different men operated the shop under the management of his wife. Emma took a hair-dressing course in 1930 and did hair at home. Their son, Clifford, took over the shop in April 1947, and in 1949, Emma moved her beauty-shop equipment into part of the building. She continued in her business until her death in 1962.
They had three children: Grace Heavenor, presently living at Edmonton, Alta.
Violet Grant, presently living at Portland, Oregon. She has two daughters -- Kathy and Sue. Clifford, presently living in Winnipeg, Man. He married Lorna Gothard and they have two children -- Sandra and Siggi (both married). Clifford worked until 1954 in Langruth, going then to MacDonald Airport to carry on the barbering business, and finally moving to Winnipeg.
- submitted by Margaret Arksey
JONASSON FAMILY HISTORY (1984)
Jacob and Paulina Jonasson arrived in Manitoba from Iceland in about 1891. They first lived around the Interlake area and later moved up to the Bluff Creek area. A couple of years later they moved south and in about 1894 they settled in Big Point. The original homestead was approximately one half mile north of where their grandson Ted and Lynne Jonasson now live. They remained on this farm until the time of their death. Jacob died in 1923 and Paulina in 1959.
The Jonasson family were of Lutheran faith and attended church in the Big Point Hall until such time that they went to the Grace Lutheran Church in Langruth some years later. Paulina was also a member of the Lutheran Ladies Aid.
They had eight children:
Gisli -- who was only a couple of years old at the time of their arrival from Iceland. He grew up and farmed on the family farm with his brother until he passed away in 1973.
Thorstienn -- was born in 1891, shortly after they arrived at Argyle. He grew up and married Eliza Demerais of Bluff Creek in 1939. They settled at Silver Ridge where they stayed until his death in 1965. Eliza now resides in Dauphin, Man.
During these years they had five children - Pauline -- married Edward Turko, having four daughters, Beverly, Barbara, Bernice, and Bernadine. They reside in Alonsa. Barbara recently married Ray Zulluski and they have one son, Stewart. Allan -- married Velma Twaites, and have two children, Shawn and Andrea and reside in Winnipeg. John - married Dianne Downy. He resides in Brandon and has two sons -- Raymond and Richard. Stienne - married Linda McCrae, and has two boys, Allan and Robert. The fifth child, Frederick passed away at two years of age in 1955.
Jacob and Paulina's third son;
Hernit -- was born in 1896 on the family farm. After he grew up, he farmed a quarter section of land about a half mile northwest of the original homestead until the time of his death in 1954.
In 1898, another son was born;
Jonas -- who grew up on the farm and married Annie Kneuttner in 1933. They settled approximately eight miles west of Amaranth. They farmed there until they moved to Langruth and then to McCreary in later years. Joe passed away in 1977. Annie still lives in McCreary and is now married to Bert Holman.
Jonas and Annie had four children. They were: Jonas -- who married Merlaine Callander and have four children -- Debra, Tammy, Angela, and Robert. Their second son Valdi -- married Diane Johannson, and they have four children -- Cindy, Shelly, Shawna and Laura. They all reside in McCreary. Their daughter Gladys -- married Richard Fast. They have three children -- Kerry, Sandra and Sherri. They reside in Brandon. The fourth child Harold -- married Norma Smith, and have two children, Douglas and Cheryl. They also reside in Brandon.
Jacob and Paulina's fifth child to be born was a daughter:
Sigridur Maria (Mary) who was born in 1900. She married Alex Holmes. They had two children; Alice who married Frank Lasson and now lives in Portage and Gordon who married Elaine Bagshaw. They have two children -- Heather and Brian, and have made their home in Boissevain. Mary and Alex made their home in Langruth, where they lived until the time of their passing, Alex in 1952 and Mary in 1978. Alex was born in Ontario. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in Regina and served overseas. He was disabled and later discharged in 1918. He was Drayman in Langruth for 30 years and was Steward in the Langruth Legion for three years, until he passed away.
Another child was born to Jacob and Paulina. Daughter, Gudrun Snjolaug (Runa) -- in 1902. She married Charles Harding in 1924 at Portage. They resided in the Langruth district for several years. Charles passed away in 1964 and Runa later moved to Winnipeg in 1966, where she now resides. They had one son Lawrence -- who married Marlyn Peters. They have two daughters. Cathy who married Glen Cordy and have one son Jason. The other daughter is Lori. They all reside in Winnipeg.
The next child born to the Jonasson's was another daughter;
Helga Jonina -- born in 1905. She married Gustave Johnson in 1927. They resided in Big Point until 1941, when they moved to Silver Ridge. They had eight children. Eric married Rose Boulanger and have two daughters, Valorie and Ardis and reside in Wpg. Fred married Margaret Crate and has one daughter, Joanne. They reside in Kamloops, B.C. Wally married Anna Zaikow and has two children -- Wayne and Cindy and reside at Charlie Lake, B.C. Pauline married Delmar Hazzard and has three sons -- Ted, Terry and Donald. They also reside in Kamloops, B.C. Marlene married Ron Schnieder and has five children, Kenny and Kathy at Silver Ridge. Keith married Hilda Schifona and they have one son They reside at Thompson. Lynda married Ken Brun. They have two daughters -- Cheryl and Kimberly and live at Camperville. Peggy married Robert Carr and have two sons -- Robert and Ronald residing at Kitchener, Ont. Caroline married Fred Zalluski and has four children -- Sandra, Robert, Sharon and Susan all of Winnipeg. They also had twins Sheila and Arnold. Arnold is in Edmonton and Sheila is married to Eric Carlson and has three children -- Kim, Kelly and Eric, all in Winnipeg.
Gustave died in 1968 and was buried in Big Point, and Helga moved to Winnipeg in 1969 where she now resides.
The last child to be born to Jacob and Paulina was a son;
Thidrick Harold (Fred) -- born in 1908. He married Halla Margaret Peterson in 1934. They resided on the family farm until they moved to Langruth and their son took over the farm. Fred passed away in 1979 and Halla still lives in Langruth. They had four children -- Snjolaug who married Jim Armstrong. They have two children -- Dawna and Christopher and they all live in Winnipeg. William married Dot Johnston and they have two children - Kim and Kevin. They also live in Winnipeg. Theodore(Ted) married Lynne Kelm and have two sons -- Kory and Robert. They live on the family farm in the Big Point District. Ralph married Margaret Soos and have three children -- Larry, Ryan and Jennifer. They live in McGregor.
Relatives in family photo:
Back row, left to right: Jim Armstrong, Bill Jonasson, Ted Jonasson, Ralph Jonasson Snolaug Armstrong, Dot Jonasson, Lynne Jonasson, Margaret Jonasson. Kim Jonasson, Larry Jonasson, Fred Jonasson, Halla Jonasson, Dawna Armstrong, Chris Armstrong Sitting: Robert and Ryan Jonasson Front row. Kory and Kevin Jonasson Inset: Jennifer Taken in 1973.
The Empty Stretcher - by Margaret (Olafson) Cantelon
Before retiring, in the late 1970's, Margaret Cantelon taught at Royal
School in the Assiniboine South School Division
(Winnipeg). "The Empty Stretcher" is a true World War I story. It is about the experience of her brother, Jim Olafson.
She interviewed Jim before writing the story and then wrote the story in the first person. This marvelous story of
survival during the Great War was first published in a collection of short stories, "Through the Gateway to Yesteryear"
(1981), written by students in Eric Wells' 'Writing and Journalism' class (University of Winnipeg Seniors' Program).
The assignment was to interview somebody with a story to tell. Margaret
Cantelon interviewed a veteran of
the First World War, and told his story in the first person. That veteran was her brother, Jim Olafson.
I came out of the darkness into a world of devastation. The memory of my last moment of consciousness was so vivid I was sure I was dead -- looking back. The darkness was complete and there was stillness around me, although I could hear noises far off, harmless noises to me. I was dead. A blinding flash and it was all over, no painÖ
Then I realized that I could see, the darkness was not all the same.
I could move my eyes. Mounds and bumps, and I remembered we were in mud.
I knew I was somewhere in France, and I knew I wasn't dead. I could feel
the cold air on my face. Something was on top of me and I couldn't move.
Nothing would move; only my eyes.
I wondered how long I had been here. My last memory, clearly my mind brought back the words of the sergeant as he had handed me the rum can: "Here, Jim, and take a snort yourself before you start off. You need it if anyone does. How you find your way about in this mud I'm sure I don't know." But this was the very reason I had been chosen for this task -- to take the rum ration to the boys out there somewhere in the swamp.
I was known as something of an expert on swamp travel, by night or day, for I had spent my boyhood in the marshlands of Lake Manitoba but here I was, at age 17, flat on my back, my swamp lore at an end. But I thought about it lying there in the mud -- I even felt some pride in my craft. I was a scout, often sent out into No-Man's-Land to creep within listening distance of the enemy trenches. I always came back. My comrades said I had a charmed life.
The words came back to me. I remembered somebody saying: "Jim, neither a bullet nor a German will ever get you, for a bullet will just slip off you, and you will always slip away from any German." Maybe he was right but there are more than bullets and Germans in the front line. It must have been an artillery shell that got me, maybe the first one to come over that night. It had been quiet and then suddenly nothing more to remember.
I could hear voices. I couldn't hear the words. Were they Germans? They were coming closer. Would it be the bayonet? Then I heard English words, men talking in subdued voices, stretcher-bearers; I could see their flashlights. I tried to shout and couldn't speak. But I could hear them -- "I don't think there is anyone alive hereÖThey're piled up on top of each otherÖpoor fellows, they're out of their misery."
A tall man pulled the body from on top of me, and then another took a close look at me. I could see him but there was no recognition in his eyes. "Let's move on," somebody said, and suddenly I was afraid. They were going to leave me.
I could never tell you of the agony and fear I felt -- to be left in the mud alone. I had no way to express my frustration and desperation, I lay there in disbelief that it was all to end this way. Then another voice said: "Look, this chap moved his eyes!"
They gathered around and put a flashlight on my face. Now I was paralysed
-- I couldn't move my eyes, and I just stared straight ahead into the light.
Then hope within me died. They could see no movement. But I heard the same
voice again, "I saw him move his eyes," and then another voice added, "Let's
take him anyway -- we've got an empty stretcher."
PUDDICOMBE, Fred and Florence
Fred Puddicombe came to Canada from Dunsford, England in 1911 and resided in the Longburn District, Manitoba. He returned to England in 1914 where he married the former Florence Edith Saunders. They came back to Canada the same year and lived in Longburn District buying the farm then owned by the Caskey brothers. They retired to Portage la Prairie in 1960.
They had four children: -Fred, Ellen Forsley, Joseph and Edith Wilson.
Mrs. Puddicombeís sister, Miss Alice Saunders came to Canada in 1917 and lived with the family for many years before moving to Rivers, Manitoba.
RAINCOCK FAMILY - Langruth, Manitoba (circa
Alex Raincock, son of Lawrence and Adelaide Raincock, was born and raised at Lakeland. Alex attended North Lakeland School. He farmed with his Dad and in winter they fished on Lake Manitoba. Alex married Gladys Fleming from Longburn. When Alex's Dad died, Alex and Gladys continued on the farm. Farming consisted of grain and cattle. Alex and Gladys milked cows and shipped the cream to Portage. They loaded the cream cans onto the train at the Lakeland Siding. They hauled their grain to the elevator at Westbourne by horse and in later years by truck.
Alex and Gladys raised four children:
Beryl, attended school at Lakeside School and High School at Langruth, and continued on to Normal School to obtain her Teacher's certificate. Beryl married Murray Liske from Inglis, Man. They moved to Calgary, Alta. where they now reside with their daughter Leann.
Linda, attended school at Lakeside and also attended the high school at Langruth. Linda went into training for a nurse at the Misercordia Hospital. After obtaining her R.N., she married Sid Smith of Langruth. They now live in Aurora, Ont., where they are raising their son Gregory and daughter Karen.
Cyril, was stricken with diabetes at an early age. He attended school in Lakeside and High School in Langruth. Cyril passed away in 1974 at the age of thirty-one. Alex died in 1960, and Gladys and Clarence continued on the farm until 1971, when Gladys married Fred Isfeld, and they moved to Portage la Prairie, Man. Fred has since passed away in 1978, and Gladys continues to make her home in Portage.
Clarence attended school at Lakeside. He was active in the 4-H Beef Club. In the year 1957 Clarence won the "Grand Champion" 4-H Steer Award at the Portage Fair. At that time he received $.50 a pound for his champion steer. Clarence stayed on the farm after his Dad passed away and is presently still farming. In 1971, Clarence married Ann Gunn from Poplar Point, Man. and they now have four children. Darren, married Wanda Blagden in 1981, and they live in Portage la Prairie, Man., where Darren is Manager at the Canadian Tire Store. Todd, married Janice Goertzen in 1980 and they live in Glenboro, Man. Todd is a mechanic at Ramsay's Garage in Carberry, Man. Della, married Larry Cogar in 1982. They live in Portage la Prairie, Man., where Larry practices Dentistry. Wade, the youngest, is at home and attends the Langruth Elementary School.
In 1976, the original house on the farm was retired and a new one moved in. Wade was the fourth generation of Raincocks to live on the farm in the original house. The old house was a landmark for the fishermen on Lake Manitoba to find their way back to shore. - submitted by Clarence Raincock.
SCHALDEMOSE, Joe and Ethel (circa 1983)
Ethel, daughter of Einar and Jonina Isfeld, was born in 1906 at Wild Oak Post Office, now known as Big Point, Manitoba (near Langruth). She attended the Big Point School, then left the farm in the summer of 1926 for employment in Winnipeg. On September 29, 1928, she married Joe Schaldemose.
Joe was born in 1905 at Winnipegosis where he received his education. He came to Winnipeg in 1925 and worked in the building trade for about 10 years. Then, he joined the staff of Burn's Foods Ltd as a foreman until his promotion to Mechanical Superintendent, the position he held at the time of his retirement in 1970 after 35 years of service.
Joe and Ethel were married in Winnipeg and have resided in the city all of their married lives. They celebrated their golden Wedding Anniversary on October 1, 1978 with family, relatives and many friends attending from rural Manitoba, Kamloops, Victoria and Toronto.
Joe and Ethel had three children. Beverly, born in June, 1930, resides at the West Coast and has two daughters and two grand-children; Gary, born in October, 1935 and passed away on November 2, 1969. He has one daughter. David, born in May, 1944, resides in Winnipeg with two daughters.
WALTER AND EMMA SEPKE (1984)
Walter Sepke married Emma Hersekorn or December 3, 1926. They farmed in the Purnes and Snowflake areas until moving to Langruth in 1948.
Their seven children were born before moving to Langruth. The three oldest were married before their parents moved to Langruth. Their seven children are:
Ervin -- their oldest son, married Vina Brooker on November 12, 1948. They are living at Allan, Sask. They have five children.
Ruth -- married Archie Brown on November 12, 1947. They are living in the town of La Riviere, Man. They have two children.
Alice -- married Waiter Brown on January 15, 1947. They are living on a farm at La Riviere, Man. They have four children.
Clifford -- married Sheila Callander on October 29, 1954. He is the only one of the family who made his home in Langruth. They have three children.
Lorraine -- is one of the twins. She married Earl Garrioch of Langruth, on October 10, 1951 They have eight children; a set of twin girls. They made their home in B.C.
Lorne -- is Lorraine's twin brother. He married Charlotte Cotton, on December 18, 1959 making their home in B.C. They have a family of two.
Gordon -- married Violet Vanderburgle on October 18, 1963. They made their home in Winnipeg, Man. They have two girls for a family.
Walter and Emma farmed for years, till they retired and moved to La Riviere, Man. They lived in the town of La Riviere until Walter passed away in 1970. Emma then moved into the home in La Riviere and lived there until she passed away in 1982.
LORNE SEPKE I am the third son of Walter and Emma Sepke. I was born in the Purves, Man. district. I took part of my schooling at Mountain School at Purves. When the family moved to Langruth in 1948, I continued in school at Hollywood for awhile. When I left school, I worked for Barry Johanason (farming), and in the winter for John Isfeld (fishing). In the years 1958, I left for Redciiff, Alta., where I worked for Parry Brick and Tile and then changed to Dominion Glass. I met and married Charlotte Cotton. We had two children, Roxanne and Clayton. Charlotte lives in Redcliff, and in 1965 I moved to Vancouver. I worked for Capital Construction, and the last four years I've worked for Richmond Municipality.
Clifford is the second son of Walter and Emma Sepke. Clifford married Sheila Callander on October 29, 1954. He worked in Langruth area for a year. Their first son, Roy, was born on March 26, 1955, in Gladstone Hospital.
They moved to Stonewall the following year, to work on a farm. They spent 12 years working at the same place. Their other two children were born in Stonewall Hospital. Elaine was born on October 7, 1958 and Glen was born on May 31, 1962. In the year of 1968, they moved back to Langruth and bought Harry Isfeld's farm, six miles north of Langruth. Clifford and Sheila had three children:
Roy -- married Cindy Moffat and they have three daughters -- Lindsay, Tara and Leslie (deceased). Roy works for Manitoba Telephone System and at the present, they are living in Island Lake.
Elaine -- married Ken Smith of Headingly. They have one little girl, Kaeleigh. Ken works for the C.N. and they are living in Brandon.
Glen -- finished his schooling in Gladstone a few years ago. He went to University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and took Computer Programming. Glen lives in Winnipeg where he works. He went back to the U. of M. this winter to further his field in computers.
THORLEIFSON, GUDNI AND LENA (Langruth,
Manitoba; circa 1984)
Gudni and Lena Thorleifson were married November 20, 1912 in Big Point Hall by Rev. Bjarni Thorarinson, a resident minister in the Big Point district.
Gudni was the only living son of Olafur and Gudbjorg Thorleifson, who came to Winnipeg from Iceland in 1887. Gudni was born September 21, 1883. In 1894 the family homesteaded at Big Point, five miles east of the present town of Langruth and a mile and a half west of Lake Manitoba, thus providing for the early settlers good pasture land and fishing.
Lena, born on November 21, 1890, was the daughter of Johann and Sigurborg Gottfred who came to Winnipeg from Iceland in 1876 and resided in Winnipeg. They were married in 1884. In 1889 they had a longing to farm and went to the Rural Municipality of Argyle where land had been opened for homesteading. For a number of years they were squatters, hoping to secure land. But as there was no hope of securing a homestead, they, with others in the same predicament, moved with their three little daughters Thora, Pauline, and Lena to the Rural Municipality of Pipestone in 1891. They secured a homestead seven miles north of the town of Reston, Man. There they struggled for a few years or until the father's death in 1898, leaving the widow with six girls and in dire poverty. Kind friends came to the rescue and moved the widow's shanty and all she possessed to the Icelandic community 12 miles west around the town of Sinclair, Man.
The widow's brother-in-law Eyjolfur Olson of Winnipeg came to the funeral and took two of the girls, Pauline and Lena, back with him to give them a home and a chance of going to school.
Pauline went to school for three or four vears and then started earning a living as a maid. Lena remained with her uncle and aunt and was favored to obtain a Grade Ten standing, which enabled her to teach on a permit and in 1907 she obtained the Big Point School.
After a year of teaching, she went back to school and, by alternating teaching and upgrading her education, she managed to get her permanent certificate. Up through the years, before and after her marriage, she put in 24 years of teaching in the Langruth area.
In 1913, Gudni bought the blacksmith shop in Langruth, driving daily to the shop from their home on a farm close to his parents' home. In 1914, they built a shanty on an acre of land in the town of Langruth and the same year moved their cottage from the farm and placed it onto the shanty. In it they resided, until Lena as a widow moved to Portage ]a Prairie in 1971, where she waited to secure a small suite in the Rotary Housing in 1973.
After a few years of blacksmithing, Gudni sold his business and took over the International Harvester agency, plus the sale of cars. In 1940, he sold the agency to the Finnbogason brothers, John and Thor, who after a few years sold it to Frank Collinson, who was followed by Albert Schmidt.
In August of 1959, Gudni passed on after a lengthy and severe diabetic illness. Gudni and Lena had three children: Allan, born in 1919 and who died in 1977; Edna Lovett, born in 1921, of Harbor City, Calif., and Herbert, born in 1923, of Brandon. Both the boys joined the army during World War Two and spent more than four years in the war zone, returning in 1945.
On his return, Allan was offered work in the Baldur garage. He married Thora Johannson in October, 1947. He continued his garage work until his health began to fail. He then, with his wife, bought the Baldur drug store, but minus prescription drugs. There they fared well until his cancerous condition forced him to sell the store. They raised five boys (Allan, Ian, Roderick, Harvey, and Thor), all of whom hope to find their niche in life according to their education. The widow married Ray Gunnlaugson of D'Arcy, Sask. where they reside.
Edna married Lawrence Lovett of Morden, Man. in 1946. For a few years, they resided in Winnipeg where he was a Manitoba Telephone System employee. In 1956, they with their three children Marnie (Jackson), Craig, and Derek, moved to California in the Los Angeles area where he secured employment with the Southern California Hydro. Another son Roger was born to them in 1963. Edna has been employed by the Bank of America most of the years since moving to California.
Herbert married Violet Bergson (Bergie) in 1948. The same year he re-enlisted, but in the Air Force, and after 26 years of service in both forces, he retired, settling in Brandon with his family of three children: Sylvia Styles, Olafur (employed with the Barrie T.V. station for many years, but now of Brandon), and Deborah Moore of Barrie, Ont. Since his retirement, Herbert has been employed with Canada Motors.
Gudni had three sisters, all of whom resided in the Langruth area for many years. Freda was married to Steini B. Olson, the lumber merchant in Langruth for many years. They moved to Vancouver in 1942 and both have passed away, he in 1964 and she in 1969. They had 10 children. Mary married Hall Hanneson in 1912, but passed on in July, 1937. They had seven children. Anna Lamb, a widow of George Lamb, is now a resident of a Senior Citizen's Home in Vancouver, B.C. They had no children.
In 1914, Lena's mother had a longing to live near a married daughter so moved to Langruth and had a small house built on her son-in-law and daughter's acre. There she struggled along, making a meagre living by doing wool work of various kinds, and odd jobs for the townspeople. She gave of her time to assist in the needs of the Church and was a member of the Lutheran Ladies Aid. She died in 1936.
Lena had five sisters, some of whom lived in the Langruth area. Thora married Jack Watts, a veteran of the First World War (1914-18) and they farmed northwest of Langruth. Pauline married Sigurdur Magnusson and they farmed in Tantallon, Sask. Begga married Halldor Magnusson of the same area. Sigrun married Oddur Oddson and they moved from Tantallon to Langruth in 1919. He died in 1958. The youngest sister, Hansena, married Sigurdur Anderson of Baldur. They have three children. He passed on in 1971.
Both Gudni and Lena were community and church minded. Both served on the Hall Committee at various times. He was interested in the securing of land for a town cemetery in 1930 and became the manager and held that position as long as his health allowed. He was also interested in the formation of the Rural Municipality of Lakeview in 1920, and was the first enumerator.
Both were members of Grace Lutheran Church and sang in the choir as long as health allowed. Lena was a charter member of the Lutheran Ladies Aid, as well as the Women's Institute and Auxiliary to the Legion. She also took great interest in the Sunday School and teaching confirmation pupils for a great many years.
Her most loyal interest for the community was being the weekly reporter of news printed in the Portage Leader. She did this for 46 years, or until her health forced her to give it up in 1963-64.
Lena is still in 1983, managing in her small suite in the Rotary Housing, but often feels ready to move into Lion's Manor or any nursing home.
VEREB, JOSEPH AND HELEN
Joseph Vereb was born on May 19, 1900 in Sankovce, Czechoslovakia and immigrated to Canada in the year 1926. He obtained various employment in Windsor and Hamilton, Ont., and in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1932, he came for a visit to the Andrew Lasson home in Lakeland, Man. A year later he returned from Cleveland, Ohio and on June 17, 1933 he married their eldest daughter, Helen, and secured employment on the Robert Armstrong farm. Later, they started farming for themselves on a quarter section owned then by Steve Lucas. Joseph fished in the winter in partnership, first with Louis Soos and then with Louis Huyber and Lanise Armstrong, finally branching out on his own. They resided in many different farm homes until 1949 when they purchased the Roy McEwen farm in the Lakeland district. There they lived and raised their two children -- Mary, born December 15, 1933; and Joseph Jr., born February 14, 1935 until their retirement in 1970 to one-half mile south of Langruth -- the Walter Bertram home. Both of their children attended the North Lakeland School. Mary furthered her education by taking a Secretarial course in Winnipeg, Man., and Joseph Jr. started immediately farming with his father.
On October 17, 1958 Mary married William Arksey Jr. and they have two children -- Brian and Susan. They all reside in Winnipeg.
On May 3, 1958 Joseph Jr. married Velma Hildebrand and they have four children -- Phyllis, Marcella, Stanley, and Yvonne. They reside on the family farm in Lakeland, Man. submitted by Velma Vereb
VEREB, JOSEPH JR. AND VELMA
Joseph Francis Vereb Jr. was born on February 14, 1935 at home with only the local nurse, Mrs. Elizabeth Bjarnarson, attending the birth. He attended North Lakeland School and upon completion of Grade 8, he commenced farming with his father. On May 3, 1958 Joseph Jr. married Victoria Velma Hildebrand of Langruth, Man. They took up residence in Lakeland with his parents on the farm. They have four children -- Phyllis Jo Anne, Marcella Louise, Stanley Joseph Allan, and Yvonne Elaine. Phyllis and Marcella attended North Lakeland School until its closure. All the children have attended Langruth Elementary followed by high school at William Morton Collegiate Institute in Gladstone, Man.
Phyllis Jo-Anne, born September 25, 1958, furthered her education after graduation from high school by attending the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Man. She was the recipient of The Faculty of Home Economics Medal of Merit, Bachelor of Home Economics Honor Degree and Helen Broughton Prize for High Standing in the Foods and Nutrition option. On June 14, 1980 Phyllis exchanged vows with Thomas Shand from Montreal, Que. and they reside in Edmonton, Alta. She returned to university, this time at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alta. where she received her Masters Degree in Food Science and Nutrition. Phyllis is presently employed by the University of Alberta and her husband, Thomas is the Public Relations Manager of the Lung Association of Alberta.
Marcella Louise was born on August 29, 1960 and found employment in Calgary, Alberta after completion of high school. She now resides in Edmonton, Alta.
Stanley Joseph Allan, born June 2, 1962 graduated from high school and is presently residing at home. He plans to attend the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man. specializing in economics.
ZASITKO, MARY AND WILLIAM
In March, 1962, my wife Mary and I first came to view the Langruth area, in particular the Ridge Hotel, to determine whether we would like to settle there and bring up our family in that part of Manitoba.
We purchased the hotel from Lloyd and Jean Orsted and on June 6, 1962, along with our three children, Margery 11, Gloria nine, and Randy five months, left Cranberry Portage and took up residence in the hotel's upstairs suite.
Although the girls had already completed their current school year, we felt the transition would be eased if they enrolled in school at that point, (rather than waiting through the summer for the fall term,) and perhaps acquire new friends. We need not have worried, for as Margie settled into Grade 5 and Gloria into Grade 3, my wife and I settled into the business.
The hours were long, with myself in the Beverage Room and Mary in the restaurant. Over the years there were several changes -- not only in the business, but also in our surroundings. We saw the change of the beer bottle, from the tall, long- necked type, to the squatty type of "Listerine" bottle as I called them, -- these selling for 28¢ each in the Beverage Room, or $3.80 for a case of 24 in the Vendor!
Slowly we began a renovation of the building. First, we tackled the upstairs, gutting the entire inside and completing six new rental units. Next the exterior, which had originally been covered with insul brick siding was changed to stucco, and awnings put up, resulting in quite a "different look".
As one year passed into another, it was not all work and no play. We became involved in Elks, Royal Purple, curling, the odd baseball game, (Charlie Horse included) and even attempts at skating (when skates were never worn before).
The girls also made fast friends and were a part in Explorers, CGIT, music lessons, Sunday school and different sports activities. Randy became a toddler, often surveying the town, hands in pockets, accompanied by our dog, Jette. He became a sociable little fellow "helping out" at the neighbouring garage and in particular Hanneson's Hardware.
There were many incidents which were amusing, helping to lighten the stress of running a business, and which still, to this day make us chuckle .
As the hotel was centralized in town, and several of the other business had their burglar alarms connected to our suite, Mary was thus inspired to appoint herself "town detective". On one particular occasion, an embarrassed assistant bank manager was "collared" by the RCMP, with guns drawn, for using the lavatory in the bank on a Sunday night -- all because Mary was "on her toes" !
There were Beverage Room frog hunts, chicken fights, and the odd serious scuffle -- all this during the "normal" work day.
We found Langruth to be an extremely warm and friendly town and during our 61/4 year stay, the entire family benefited from our experiences.
Our business was sold to Mike and Helen Mospanchuk and in July of 1968 we moved on to Winnipeg, with Margie to begin Grade 12, Gloria 10, and Randy Grade 1.
Langruth is, however, a place where one can always "go back", where there are always "ties". These ties are strengthened still further for us, since years after we left, Margie married a Langruth boy, Leifur Johnson, whose parents, Victor and Maude, still reside in the community.
--submitted by William Zasitko
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