County of Ponoka GenWeb Project - Pioneer Biographies pg7
Biographies pg7
The Thomas OWENS Family The Jack JEFFRIES Family
The Humphrey EVANS Family The Hugh Miles PUGH Family
The Archibald OWENS Family --
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The Thomas Rolland OWENS Family
Climax District
My parents, Thomas OWENS( ?? - 1914) and Mary Ellen JONES-OWENS (1865 - 1952), came to Ponoka on October 2, 1902. They arrived on the train from South Dakota, with their children - Uri Richard, Netty, Helen May, Betty (JONES), and Bessie, Nellie, Alice, Stella, Bert, Robert, Archie (OWENS)
They brought all they owned with them, which amounted to a team of horses, eight cows and a calf, some chickens, furniture, and machinery. When they arrived in Ponoka there wasn't much of a town, and the road was only a trail through the timbers. Thomas had come on before with Levi DAVIES and they each bought a quarter of land from the CPR in the Climax district. They returned to move the Owens family up to Ponoka the following year. There were no buildings on this land so the family stayed with Rev. D.L. HUGHES until Thomas had built a barn. The family lived in one end and the horses and cows in the other, and only a cook stove for heat. Snow as melted for water for the cattle to drink. The chickens were under the wagon box and they laid eggs most of the winter. In March 1903, the family moved into the frame house that Thomas had been building all winter. It was like a palace to Mary Ellen after living in the barn for over three months. Thomas worked hard that spring with the help of the older children. They dug a well, cut brush, and got a place for a garden, also feed for the cattle. He broke six or seven acres with a walking-plow and a team of horses. Thomas was a good carpenter so he built houses for Levi and Evan DAVIES and various other pioneers.
Elmer and Viola were born in Ponoka. Nellie went to work in Ponoka for a minister, Rev. PARRY, and later went to work in Edmonton. Wages were very small, $8.00 or $10.00 a month, and she would always send her mother a hundred pounds of flour each month to help feed the rest of the children at home. The Owens' had milk and butter from the cows, and meat that was mostly rabbits and partridges. Mary Ellen made butter and packed it in fifty-pound tubs, and when she got five or six of these they were taken to Wetaskiwin to sell, as they would get 4 or 5 cents per pound more than in Ponoka. The fall of 1903 was a little better as the family had a good garden, they gathered, and canned wild fruit, and Thomas managed to get some hay.
As Climax school was built in 1903, and opened in 1904, so all of the children attended.
As the years passed, times kept getting better. Thomas would walk five miles every day to cut brush for $1.00 a day, to open a road, which is now the Bashaw highway. In 1914, Thomas passed away. He was one of the first old-timers in the Climax district to pass away. There were no cars at that time so the coffin was carried in a buggy, with about forty buggies following. Mary Ellen lived a long time to raise the rest of the family, until they were married and on their own. She died in the spring of 1951, at the age of 87.
The Children ...

The JONES children:
Uri Richard, moved back to Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA and married Olive. They adopted a daughter named Margaret. Uri passed on in 1983.
Helen May (Nellie) became Mrs. George MORRISON, and settled in Calgary, Alberta. George passed on in 1956 and Nellie in 1970.
Betty (Bessie) became Mrs. Ralph LOVELESS, and lived in Pendleton, Oregon, USA.
Nettie became Mrs. Jack JEFFRIES in 1911, and they settled in the Eureka district, Ponoka and had 1 son, Iola. Jack passed on in 1926, Iola in 1931, and Nettie passed on in 1939.
The OWENS children:
Bert Rolland, never married and passed on in 1929 as the result of a shooting accident.
Alice became Mrs. Humphrey EVANS, and lived in Ponoka, Alberta. They had 1 daughter, Viola. Humphrey passed in 1959 and Alice in 1983.
Stella became Mrs. Hugh PUGH, and lived in Ponoka, Alberta. They had 11 children one who died in infancy. Hugh passed in 1965 and Stella in 1983.
Viola became Mrs. Bert JONES and lived in Los Angeles, California, USA and had one son, David.
Robert, never married and moved to Bremerton, Washington, USA.
Archie, married Ruby HOYBAK and lived in the Climax District, Ponoka and had one son, Ronald. Archie passed on in 1976.
Elmer, moved to Spokane, Washington, USA and married Janey.

Based on excerpt from: Mecca Glen Memories (1968) original excerpt written by Stella (Owens) Pugh
OWENS, JONES family researcher: Debra Owens

The Jack JEFFRIES Family
Eureka District
Jack Jeffries, a brother of Rev. Tom JEFFRIES came out to Canada about 1909. In 1911 he married Nettie JONES-OWENS and to them was born one son, Iola. For a few years they lived with Jeff but in the early twenties they moved to the Peace River country where they farmed for a number of years. Nettie passed away in 1939 while Jack died in 1926.
Based on an excerpt from: Mecca Glen Memories (1968)
JONES-OWENS family researcher: Debra Owens

The Humphrey EVANS Family
Climax District
Having been raised in Caernarvonshire, North Wales, Humphrey EVANS arrived in the Climax District in 1913 with only 50 cents in his pocket, and went to work for his cousin, Robert Henry JONES. In 1914 he went to work for George ROOT on the Hawkeye Ranch, as a sheep herdsman, and then together with Hugh PRITCHARD, brother-in-law to R.H. Jones, rented the Walter KOENIG farm, which had been formerly owned by George PATTERSON and Tom MORRIS, in 1917. By 1918, savings were found to purchase the Levi DAVIES farm and the two men farmed in partnership. Later that year, Hugh was called to war, and Humphrey carried on the farming business, except during the flu season when he was laid low and Mrs. Ruby HEADLEY , Luther and Caradog JONES kindly provided nursing. IN 1919, Humphrey sent for his sister in North Wales to come and housekeep for him and Hugh.
In the fall of 1921, Humphrey married Alice OWENS and they rented cousin R.H. Jones' farm until 1923 when they purchased the Walter HEADLEY from Mr. and Mrs. Arthur NEWBOUND (Mrs. Headley remarried), as it was only 1/2 mile away from his cousins' land. In 1930, Humphrey purchased the Bird HEADLEY farm as well, and rented it to now brother-in-law, Hugh Pritchard who was married Humphrey's sister Annie in November, 1922.
Based on an excerpt from: Mecca Glen Memories (1968)

The Hugh Miles PUGH Family
Climax District
Based on an excerpt from: Mecca Glen Memories (1968) - original excerpt written by Stella (Owens) Pugh

TheArchibald OWENS Family
Climax District
Based on an excerpt from: Mecca Glen Memories (1968)


"Pioneer Biographies"


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