County of Ponoka GenWeb Project - Pioneer Biographies Pg 2
Pioneer Biographies pg2
The Emil HOYBAK Family
The Daniel McMILLAN Family
The Daniel MORROW Family
If any of these bios refer to a family that you are researching, & you wish to have your name/email/website
added here, or have additional information that you would like to contribute, please contact us!

Navigator Bar for site HomeDistrictsPioneers indexBiographies IndexHistory IndexLinks IndexLocal Business Indexponokagenweb@yahoo.comPonoka County QueriesResources IndexSchool Index

The Emil HOYBAK Family NE 4-43-23-W4th Asker District
Emil was born in Asker, Norway, near the lovely Oslo Fjord, on December 12, 1864. He always loved the sea and was a keen sailor. As a young man, he immigrated to the United States, settling near Oakes, North Dakota, where he homesteaded. Anna Grenbeck also came from Skjotte, Norway at the age of 14 with her widowed mother, sisters, and brothers. Anna and Emil were married on March 19, 1897, at Oakes, North Dakota, farmed there for a year and then, due to the drought there, came to Canada with their baby daughter, Eva. Bringing settler's effects, they took up a homestead in the Asker District, on the NE of 4-43-23-W4th. They stayed at the home of O.C. RAVNSBORG until they had built a log house. Anna walked across country from the Andrew VOLD home and marked the building spot with a buffalo skull. They traveled to Wetaskiwin for provisions and medical supplies with horses and wagon, trading butter for them; taking two days for the trip. One time when Anna was home alone with baby Eva she became frightened when some Indians used their grindstone to sharpen knives, so taking the baby she slipped through the brush and ran to her neighbor, Mrs. KRAFT, about a quarter of a mile away. Emil served on the Asker School Board for many years. He also worked on the first Asker to Ponoka trail. Anna was very capable in caring for the sick, assisting at the birth of many, and was a very good seamstress. Mr. LOVIG, a neighbor, made a spinning wheel and she spun the raw wool to knit mitts, socks, and vests. She also taught Sunday School and during the summer months, they would walk the 2 miles to Sunday School with the girls dressed in white starched dresses and bonnets. The Hoybak home was the scene of many gatherings and it was not uncommon for twenty to thirty people to sit down for a meal or to stay overnight. During the first years, wild fruit grew in abundance, which they gathered and preserved for winter enjoyment. They raised a family of 15 children on 2 quarters of land and in 1905, they built a new house. They lived in Asker 42 years and on retiring built a home in Ponoka, then moved to British Columbia where Emil passed away on May 11, 1948, at the age of 84.
Based on excerpt from: Mecca Glen Memories (1968) originally written by the Hoybak Family
HOYBAK family researcher: Debra Owens

The Daniel MORROW Family

Grand Meadow District

Dan MORROW, accompanied by brothers-in-law Alf CARTER and Elmer COFFMAN and neighbour Walter GEE, came from Mondamin, Harrison County, Iowa, USA in 1900. They each bought a half section of land located on the Sharphead Indian Reserve which had just been newly opened for settlement, through the Indian Affairs Branch at Red Deer. Their land all adjoined, but was partly in what became the Grand Meadow School District, south of the Township line. Dan and Minnie (GARNER) MORROW, with children Leslie and Eva, shipped in their effects in August 1901.
Shelter was the first order of the day and with good neighbourly help the MORROW house was soon build, plastered, and made winter snug. This house is a monument to the skill of these early carpenters, for in 1916 it was moved with the help of neighbours and sixteen teams of horses to its present location where it forms part of the large home.
Pioneering days were not rosy ones. Small, meager crops on a few hand-cleared acres of land; no markets and no money! There was the day that Dad and Walter butchered three hogs in hopes that they might be sold for cash or trade. By sled and team, they took them to Lacombe where there was a butcher shop. One dressed hog was sold for $2.50, and they returned all those miles with the other two. From where the strength to stay and dream their dream? Perhaps my dad did lose hope in the face of all these hardships, because in July 1904, he called an auction sale. The day of the sale came, but no buyers, so he was thwarted in an attempted to leave the country. They did return to the U.S. for a year, but Dec. 1905 saw them again with a carload of settler's effects starting back to Canada. Mother and we three children (Esther, the youngest, was born in Colorado in April, 1905) arrived by train day-coach to stay at Walter GEE's home until Dad came. (The A.J. CRAWFORDs were living in our house during our absence).
Dad's journey, supposed to be about a week's time, had stretched into twenty-one days of misery for him and the stock. Trains were shunted onto sidings waiting for snowplows, which were at times snowed in themselves. Feed ran out and stock had to be unloaded and fed. Calgary was the last feeding place and that is where Dad spent his Christmas day. Once the family was sheltered, the men went to work to clear the land, often with only a double-bitted axe, a team of oxen or horses, and that old breaking plow. Grain was needed to add to the native grasses for feed for the few animals that had been brought in.
The women tried to raise a few vegetables to supplement the wild game and wild berries that were so plentiful then. Varieties of grains and vegetables were not yet developed for early ripening, and the settlers often saw their efforts destroyed by frost. Perishable foods were not easily kept over the winter.
There was no central heating, so in spite of deep digging of cellars and banking of foundations, there were many times we ate frozen potatoes and cabbage, and saw jars of fruit burst open with the frost. Those were days of hardship, but they were days of closeness of people too. Homemade entertainment there was aplenty: socials, house parties, dancing and skating. When the temperature dipped to thirty degrees below zero, my dad said "No" to us kids to take that half mile walk to the river where the young people gathered beside a huge brush fire to enjoy the weekly skating party. At social gatherings, I remember Dad singing songs while Mothers chorded on the organ. In later years, he recited his verses which often were about some incident in which the neighbours were involved. These poems were published in his book, "Homespun Rhymes", in 1948, and dedicated to the Grand Meadow Local, United Farm Women of Alberta.
He was very active in the formation of the union of farmers, when they simply banded together to buy coal and binder twine in carload lots in order to get it more reasonably. Dad was the first president of Grand Meadow U.F.A. Local of the United Farmer Movement which was organized in 1911 to study matters of concern to the farmer and to give him a voice in the setting of fair prices for his products.
By the time the First World War broke out the pioneers were fairly well settled and many were the fund-raising events of our neighborhood. About this time, Mrs. Aro CRAWFORD and Mother helped to organize a women's group. One of there objectives was to open the Ladies' Rest Room in Ponoka, where women could rest and feed the baby after a long treck into town by horse-drawn sleigh or buggy. The first little room stood near the site of the first post-office, and was later replaced by a modern building with monies raised through teas and raffles. Now all the rural districts are represented in keeping up this much needed service. Dad held an auction sale in 1926 and we lived in the U.S. for two years while renting the land to Bernard CISSELL. The family returned to the farm, Dad took up auctioneering again, and Esther and I resumed teaching in district schools.
Dan and Minnie (GARNER) MORROW were both born in 1874 in Harrison County, Mondamin, Iowa, USA and were married on the Garner Homestead there, in 1896. Minnie died at home, October 1933, and Dan followed in October 1948. Although they passed in Alberta, both Minnie and Daniel were buried in the Magnolia Cemetery, Mondamin, Iowa, alongside their forefathers.

The Children ...

Their son, Leslie, was born in Harrison County, Iowa, USA, emigrated with his parents to Canada, and educated in Ponoka district schools. He served overseas with the American army, and died in France, June 1918.
Their daughter, Eva, was also born in Harrison County, emigrated to Canada, educated in the district and Ponoka High School, took a business course in Edmonton, and finally graduated from Camrose Normal School in 1924, along with her younger sister Esther. She later married Roy SAUDER, had 2 sons, LeRoy and David, and lived for many year in Vancouver and Chilliwack, B.C. After her husband's death, Eva moved to Grande Prairie, Alberta where she taught school and eventually retired. Eva has since passed on.
Esther was born in Colorado, USA, was educated in Ponoka district schools and became a teacher after graduating from Camrose Normal School. She married Duncan McMILLAN and they farmed the Morrow place.

Based on excerpt from: Ponoka Panorama (1973) originally written by Eva (Morrow) Sauder
MORROW family researcher: Debra Owens
For more family history on the MORROW and GARNER families, see the Harrison County, Iowa GenWeb site
For more family history on the GARNER family, see Helen Carter's web page

The Duncan McMILLAN Family
Grand Meadow District
Duncan McMILLAN and Esther MORROW were married in January 1935. They took over the MORROW farm in the early 1940's. Esther's father, Dan MORROW, made his home with them. Two children were born to them: Joan and Daniel. Joan married to Ronald OWENS, and they farm east of Ponoka. They had two children Craig, and Linda. Dan works in Alaska but manages to get home to the farm to help Wayne in the busiest times. Duncan was a charter member of Ponoka Lions' Club, a member of the United Farmers of Alberta and Modern Woodmen of America, Also of the Ponoka Savings and Credit Union. Esther belonged to the Hope Rebekah Lodge, Grand Meadow U.F.W.A., and the Rest Home Association. They were community workers and took part in sports. Dunc played with the "Diamond Motors Hockey Team" in the early "Thirties", and Esther liked curling and playing softball before she was married. She will be remembered by so many as a dedicated teacher who taught the Sharphead School for ten years. Duncan passed away in October 1950, and Esther in December 1952.
Based on excerpt from: Ponoka Panorama (1973) originally written by Joan (McMillan) Owens
McMILLAN family researcher: Debra Owens


Looking for more information ? Check out these sites....
Come, visit our Archives site for more bakground info about the County of Ponoka
County of Ponoka ARCHIVES
Come, visit our Historical Archives for more about the development of the County of Ponoka
Visit the Alberta GenWeb Project
Visit the Canada & Alberta GenWeb Projects...
Visit the Canada GenWeb Project
Deb's logo... All articles & graphics were developed, compiled or created by D.A. Owens. 1997 - 2003. All Rights Reserved. The information provided is for research purposes only, and it's accuracy is subject to confirmation. Commercial use of this information is prohibited.