Showing 50 results


Zess Family

  • Family
  • 1853-1943

Alexander Grant Zess was born in Wellington County, Province of Canada on May 3, 1853. Alexander married Christina Dalgarno in London, Ontario on December 1875. Christina Webster Dalgarno was born on December 13, 1857 in Arthur, Province of Canada.

They moved to Detroit and had their first son Robert Theodore on November 25, 1876. Their second son Alexander Grant was born on February 13, 1879 in Arthur, Ontario. The family returned to Detroit where Alexander Grant Zess worked as a teamster, and then as a labourer, teamster, and a merchant of beer and ice after their third son, John Andrew, was born on August 9, 1881. The couple had a daughter, Florence May, on May 21, 1884, and sons Elgin Gordon on June 25, 1886, and Bruce Irvin on August 20, 1889. After having their last Detroit born child, the family returned to Canada for good.

The Zess family moved west to the Moose Jaw area in 1890 to join Christina’s brother Andrew Dalgarno who had begun farming in the area after working for the CPR. The family first lived with Andrew Dalgarno, afterwards renting the Dalgarno farm, and eventually farming on land northeast of Moose Jaw.

It was around this time that Alexander Grant Zess spent approximately $5000 to develop and patent a cultivator for farming. The first 100 units were delivered in the Summer of 1898 and were mostly sold out. After some improvements, Zess sold the rights to his patent to Henry Kern and William Crosgrove in 1899.

The family then moved into Moose Jaw, living at 110 Fairford Street East. They again moved to 822 - 5 Avenue N.W., the house where Alexander Grant Zess would live out the rest of his days, some time later. Alexander Grant Zess first appears in the Henderson’s Directories in 1906 as having a meat market at 31 Main Street. He was to become a successful and well-known cattle and horse buyer, and also became involved in sheep ranching south of Assiniboia.

The couple had their last three children, William Garfield on January 24, 1893, Christopher Calder on August 22, 1895, and Wilfred Webster on September 19, 1899.

Alexander Grant Zess died at his home in Moose Jaw on May 30, 1937, the couple having celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary less than two years prior. Christina Zess died in Cranbrook, British Columbia on November 30, 1943.

Wilson Family

  • Family
  • 1866-1957

Richard Wilson was born on August 6, 1866. Mary Caroline Wilson was born in Cotswold, Ontario in 1871. They were married on November 29, 1893 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. They had one son, Francis St. Clair Wilson, who died around 1969.

Richard Wilson died on March 6, 1944. Mary Caroline Wilson died on June 5, 1957.

Wickenden, Horace Watson "Wick"

  • Family
  • 1901-1995

Horace Watson (“Wick”) Wickenden was born in South Sea, Hampshire, England, in 1901. He immigrated to Canada in 1921, settling in Saskatchewan in 1922. Wickenden attended Normal School in Regina, before earning his BA from the University of Saskatchewan (1929). He continued to take classes in art through the University of Saskatchewan, studying with Augustus Kenderdine (1929-1933), Nikola Bjelajac (1947-1951) and Eli Bornstein (1950-1953). Wickenden served with the Royal Canadian Air Force (1942-1945) and while stationed in Alberta, again used the opportunity to take art classes, this time at Coste House in Calgary, Alberta with Henry George Glyde (1943). Wickenden taught English and art at City Park Collegiate until his retirement in 1964. He also taught at Emma Lake (1952, 1953), and served as director and vice-president of the Saskatoon Art Centre from 1946 to 1948. He married artist Margaret Mary Robertson (born 1915, Winnipeg, Manitoba). Margaret moved to Saskatoon in 1938, and also took evening classes at the University of Saskatchewan with Eli Bornstein and Nikola Bjelajac (1946-1956). She was a member of the Saskatoon Art Centre, and held membership in the Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers. Both Horace and Margaret Wickenden had their work exhibited in Saskatchewan and Ontario; Horace Wickenden was part of a group exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in 1944. Wickenden Crescent, in Saskatoon, is named in their honour. Horace died in Saskatoon in 1995; Margaret died in Victoria, BC, in 2000.

Turner Family

  • Family
  • 1926-2016

Richard William Turner was born on October 13, 1926. He attended the Marlborough School, Northwest of Moose Jaw, in 1932. Richard joined the Canadian army during the Second World War. Richard married Ethel Terry in 1949. Ethel was born on January 4, 1923 in London, England. They had one daughter, Gloria, and one son, Dave.

Ethel died on April 25, 2011. Richard died on March 23, 2016.

Skwara, Joseph and Stella

  • Family

Joseph Zigman (“Joe”) Skwara, born in Krydor, Saskatchewan, on 6 January 1916; one of nine children born to Frank and Polly Skwara. Stella Florence Millich was born in the Orolow district on 7 August 1919; the youngest of seven children born to Mary and Frank Millich.
Joe and Stella married in 1945, and together they farmed in the Borden area from 1945 to 1983. They had two daughters. Joe and Stella retired to Borden in 1983, where Joe died in 2005. Stella died in 2012.
Their property included NW ¼ -16-41-9 W3rd – the homestead quarter, and the site of the family house and yard; SW ¼ -17-41-9 W3rd – quarter section purchased by Joe Skwara, likely at the same time as the homestead quarter, ca. 1944; and NE ¼ -5-44-8 W3rd – a quarter section located near Krydor, Saskatchewan, adjacent to land where Joe Skwara’s father homesteaded at the turn of the 20th century. Joe Skwara acquired this land from his mother [before 1944] and sold it, around 1960. He was then able to buy SE ¼ -17-41-9 W3rd, adjacent to his other property near Borden.

Shepherd Family

  • Family
  • 1833-

Fanny Shepherd was born in Kent, England in 1866, the youngest daughter of baker and operator of a public house, Edward Hopper. Edward Hopper was born in Eastry, England in 1833.

William Shepherd was born on the Island of Sheppy, England in 1862. William originally worked in a butcher’s shop in Canterbury. He and Fanny married in 1887 and had three sons, Will, George, and Charles in Canterbury before moving to Deal in 1894. They had a daughter, Kitty, and sons Harry and Geoffrey in Deal, and a last son Tommie in Ramsgate. After attempting to farm and returning to the butcher business, the family decided to immigrate to Canada. They ended up acquiring 640 acres of land to farm outside of Stalwart, Saskatchewan.

Fanny, an active community leader, gave the leading address for the women’s section of the Moose Jaw Grain Growers’ Convention. She also wrote a regular column titled Mother’s Hens that was published in The Grain Growers’ Guide.

In February 1916, Will Shepherd married Fanny Howland, who hailed from Kent. They had three children, Edgar, Margaret, and Sylvia. Edgar served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in WWII, and married Betty Ritchie who passed away in 1983. They had daughters Patricia and Sylvia. Edgar died in 1999. Margaret was born in 1922, and married Gordon McKay. They had two sons, Bill and Paul. Gordon McKay passed away in 1984, and Margaret in 2004 in Moose Jaw where she had lived for most of her life. Sylvia was born in 1928 and married George Gow in 1957. George died in 1980. They had a daughter, Nancy, in 1958, and a son, Richard, in 1962. Sylvia resides in Moose Jaw.

Charles and George Shepherd, sons of William and Fanny, left the family farm in Stalwart to go West in search of land for new homesteads. They started in Maple Creek, but eventually settled South of Cypress Hills and also West Plains. Every family member would eventually move West to join except for the aforementioned William Junior and his wife Fanny.

Charles married Helen Banks and had sons, Jack, in 1922 and Charlie, in 1926. Charles died in July 1926, and his youngest brother Tommie would marry his widow Helen in February 1929. They raised children Joan, Lloyd, and Ruth.

Jack enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1942 and fought in Europe. He contracted tuberculosis in Italy and recuperated for 18 months. He married Mary Mitchell in 1949, and they assumed control of the family ranch in 1950. They had daughters Barbara, Sheila, CIndy, and Susan.

Lloyd went to school for engineering and graduated in 1956. He married Florence Lavers in 1957 and returned to school at the University of Saskatchewan, earning a Phd. in physics in 1963.

George married Irene Thompson in 1927 and had children Gordon and Eleanor. Gordon attended Luther College High School in Regina and then went to Harvard Medical School, and then to Yale. He researched nerve cells and wrote books about his research. He married Grethe Gadegaard and had children Gordon, Kristen, and Lisbeth.

Sharpe Family

  • Family
  • 1884-

George Benjamin Cubitt Sharpe was born in Ashmanhaugh, Norfolk, England on May 16, 1864 to Benjamin George and Naomi (Cooke) Sharpe. He had eight sisters and three brothers. Sharpe immigrated to Canada in 1886 and applied for a homestead on NE 20-17-25-W2, near Moose Jaw, North-West Territories (now known as Saskatchewan) on December 14, 1888. He was declared the legal owner of the land in 1893. Sharpe later moved into Moose Jaw, where he worked in various occupations, including as partner in a lumber business. Active in the local community, Sharpe served as a municipal official, was involved with the Methodist Church and was a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 3, A.F. and A.M. and Independent Order of Foresters. Sharpe died in Vancouver, British Columbia on April 30, 1949.

Georgina Reynolds was born in Ontario on August 31, 1861. She married George B.C. Sharpe in Moose Jaw on December 31, 1888. The Sharpes had two children: Ernest Wesley Cubitt (born March 1, 1891) and Walter (1894-1901). Georgina Sharpe died in Markham, Ontario on October 12, 1945. Ernest W.C. Sharpe, often referred to as Cubitt, practiced law in Vancouver. He died on December 9, 1975. He and his wife, C. Jane Devitt, did not have any children.

McWilliams Family

  • Family
  • 1840-

The McWilliams family history in the Moose Jaw area consists of several generations beginning with Thomas Edwin McWilliams (Tom). He was born in Kingston, Ontario in 1840. He married Martha Jane Dunseith and had six children - Eliza Jane, Margaret Ann, Mary Victoria, Samuel Henry, George Edwin and William John. He spent from 1879 to 1882 in Fort Garry, returned to Ontario and then headed west to the Moose Jaw area in 1883. His family followed in 1884. He rented several properties in the Pasqua/Drinkwater area including a railway section house and E½ 10-16-25 W2. He worked away from the farm at various jobs including as a freighter of supplies for the military during the Riel rebellion.
In July 1886, Thomas discovered the hills south of Drinkwater contained deposits of a clay suitable for ceramics and brick. By 1887, he had registered a homestead claim for the property containing the deposits. He and his family moved to Moose Jaw and lived there for several years. Martha leased the Queen’s Hotel and operated it as a boarding house for a number of years.
By 1889, Thomas was in danger of forfeiting his homestead claim as he had not abided by the rules requiring habitation and agricultural development. He and his son, Sam, moved to the property - Thomas living there for six months of the year and working elsewhere the rest and Sam staying there year round while the rest of the family stayed in Moose Jaw. They cared for cattle on the property to help fulfill the agricultural requirements.
There are several different sources providing conflicting timelines re: the early development of the clay deposits. One states that after trying unsuccessfully to interest investors or raise capital to start manufacturing, Thomas sold the property to a group of businessmen in August or September, 1899. They then started what is known as the Claybank Brick Plant.
Another source suggests that McWilliams hauled clay from his property to Moose Jaw for sale to various manufacturers in Moose Jaw until he partnered with the Moose Jaw Fire Brick and Pottery Co. from 1904 until they reorganized into Saskatchewan Clay Products and bought out his shares in 1912.
Thomas was also a founding member of the Moose Jaw Orange Lodge and was recognized as being one of the longest serving members of the lodge in the Canadian west.
He died on River Street in Moose Jaw at age 78.
Samuel Henry McWilliams (Sam) was the son of Thomas E. McWilliams. He was born in Muskoka, Ontario ca. 1874 and moved with his family to the Assiniboia territory in 1884.
At the age of 15, Sam worked as a water hauler for the people of Moose Jaw. All the water used in the construction of Victoria School was hauled to the site by Sam. He attended the school the following year.
In the Fall of 1889, Sam moved to Claybank, Saskatchewan to help fulfill the residency requirements for his father’s homestead claim.
In June, 1892, when he turned 18, he filed for his own homestead on NE 1/4 24-15-25 W2. He purchased SE 1/4 31-14-24 W2 in 1904.

He married Bessie Ann Coventry of Coventry, Saskatchewan and had five children - Leslie Earl and William Henry who later rented the family farm from their father when he retired to Moose Jaw, Harry Hector who worked for the CPR, and daughters Fern Louise (who married an Englishman in the RAF and moved away) and Olive Jane.
Sam was active in the community and was an original member of the Moose Jaw Agricultural Society and was also a member of the Saskatchewan Grain Growers and the Moose Jaw Museum Committee.
He retired to Moose Jaw in 1939. He died November 13, 1962, age 88.
Leslie Earl McWilliams (Les) had one son, James Leslie (Jim). William Henry McWilliams (Bill) had three sons - David, Ronald and Murray and one daughter, Sandra.
A number of family members were involved in the St. Andrews Society and Scottish pipe and drum bands.

McClelland Family

  • Family
  • 1890-1988

Kathleen McClelland was born April 7, 1907 in Moose Jaw to Samuel “Ernest” Milburn McClelland and Ida (Battell) McClelland. She taught in various rural Saskatchewan schools from 1932-1938 and then in Moose Jaw from 1938-1970. She died in 1988 in Moose Jaw.

Samuel “Ernest” Milburn McClelland was born January 4, 1877 in Moose Jaw. He married Ida Battell on October 4, 1904. Shortly after their wedding, the couple left for a honeymoon in Ontario and stayed in Toronto until 1906. Ernest taught in Moose Jaw until 1917 when he was offered the school inspector position. He worked as a school inspector until 1942. Ernest lived at 160 Ominica St. West from 1907 until his death on July 28, 1961.

Ida (Battell) McClelland was born May 16, 1879 in Wicklow, Wentworth County to Martha Battell Brubaker and Henry Battell. Her family moved west to Moose Jaw on a wagon train in 1882. They were one of the earliest pioneers of the Saskatchewan District. Ida was a homemaker and had three children: Kathleen (1907-1988), Milburn (1909) and Laurella (1912-1993). Laurella was a doctor and worked in preventative medicine in the United States. Ida died March 13, 1966 in Moose Jaw.

Rella (Brubaker) Hunter was born February 8, 1895 to Martha Battell Brubaker and John Henry Brubaker. She was Ida (Battell) McClelland’s half-sister and Kathleen McClelland’s aunt. She married Harold B. Hunter and taught at the Alexandra Public School in Moose Jaw until her retirement in 1941. She lived in Vancouver until 1961, when she returned to Moose Jaw. Rella died September 28, 1966.

Henry and Martha Battell lived together in Moose Jaw. Henry, and their daughter Bertha, were both struck by lightning and killed. Martha remarried John Henry Brubaker. She died September 2, 1903.

Samuel McClelland was born January 12, 1833 in Ireland. He travelled to Peterborough, Ontario when he was about 15 to be with his sisters. He worked as a blacksmith. McClelland married Mary Milburn on April 1, 1856. Mary (Milburn) McClelland was born June 20, 1835. The couple moved to Bobcaygeon and by 1860s had opened a blacksmith shop and general store. They are considered one of the founders of Methodism in Bobcaygeon. They had nine children, seven daughters and two sons, the youngest being Samuel “Ernest” Milburn McClelland. Samuel McClelland died on November 21, 1920.

Mackenzie Family

  • Family
  • 1892-1980

Duncan Alexander Mackenzie was born in 1892. His wife, Mary Irene Mackenzie, was born in 1894. They resided in the Stelcam district. Duncan died October 1, 1957 and Mary died August 28, 1980. They are both buried at the Rosedale Cemetery in Moose Jaw.

Logan Family

  • Family
  • 1855-1976

A.M. Logan was born in Carleton County, Ontario in 1855. He homesteaded in the Manitou district of Southern Manitoba in 1879. In 1881 he returned to Ontario and on Feb. 22, 1882 married F.L. Hayes. They returned to Manitoba. In 1904, Mr. Logan and several of his sons moved to the Central Butte, SK district (Bridgeford area) and took up homesteads. Mrs. Logan and the other children joined them in 1909. The Logan children were Wilbert, Albert, twins Norris and Hardy, Ormond, Victor, Wilfred and one daughter Pearl.
Mr. Logan was a member of the Loyal Orange Lodge, No. 338 for nearly fifty years, and a member of the Independent Order of Foresters, No.135, of Manitou. He died on Feb. 22, 1928 at his home in the Central Butte district. His sons Albert, Hardy, Norris and Wilfred all served in World War I. Hardy was killed overseas in 1916 while serving with the 5th Artillery Brigade. Norris married Jane Ellis, his English war bride. He passed away in Central Butte on Dec. 11, 1976 at age 80 years. Jane died on July 10, 1978. Wilbert resided at Kindersley and Albert in Estevan. Pearl never married. She came to Moose Jaw in 1948 and passed away there on Oct. 22, 1976 at the age of 83 years.

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