County of Ponoka GenWeb Project: Pioneer Biographies Pg 8
Pioneer Biographies pg8
The Richard BLAKE Family
The Gus SWARD Family
The Swan TORGERSON Family
The Albert PETERSON Family
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The Richard BLAKE Family E 1/2 of Section 31 - Hazel Hill District S.E. of 20-42-25 - Seafield District

Richard Blake, was born in Grey County, and his wife was born in Bruce County, Ontario. They married in 1887 and made their first home in Wiorton, Ontario, where they had a family of three boys and three girls. One daughter passed away as a child of age 9.
At that time in Ontario, the west was advertized as the land of milk and honey, so Richard decided to move west in the spring of 1902. His wife and family of five children - 3 boys and 2 girls - followed in the fall.
In 1903 Richard took out a homestead in what was known as the Buckhorn district some 20 miles west of Ponoka. The lived there until around 1911 and then rented a farm in the Seafield district. Around 1915 the family moved into town, and in 1916 Richard joined the 151 battalion in the army. By this point, the family had grown to include four more girls.
Richard was part of the building of some of the early buildings in Ponoka.
In 1923 Richard and family rented the east 1/2 of section 31 in the Hazel Hill District. That year, their son Bill moved out in December with his wife and family to manage the farm.
Richard and his wife spent their remaining days in and around Ponoka. Richard passed away in 1927 and his wife followed in 1947.

The children ...

Celena married Ed McLAUGHLIN of the Malmo district. They ran a service station until Ed passed away. After that Celena made her home in Rimoka Lodge. They had one son.

Bill (William) married a girl from North Dakota. They had a family of four - 3 boys and 1 girl. Bill passed away in 1923 in a drowning accident. He was walking across the lake on the farm, and the ice broke beneath him. His eldest son died prior to 1973 and the remaining family moved to the USA.
Val married Doris SETTLE. They made their home in Nanton. Val passed away in 1959.
Dick made his home in Ponoka. He worked at bridge building, and he drove a truck on the Alaska highway when it was under construction. In later years he became a carpenter.
Mary married Tom TORGESON. They had one daughter. After Tom passed away in 1942, Mary married Morris Rasmussen, and moved to Winfield, British Columbia
Ella married Ray STRAUSE. They had a family of four boys and two girls. After Ray passed away, Ella married George Trainor and they moved to Vancouver, British Columbia
Martha married Gus SWARD. They farmed in the Usona district for 35 years. They retired to Ponoka in 1970. They had two sons.
Myrtle stayed at home and looked after mother when she became ill. After mother passed away, she worked in and around Ponoka. She later made her home in Ponoka with her brother Dick.
Anna married Ray PETERSON. They made their home in Ponoka, Edmonton and Fairview. They had a family of two sons. Ray passed away in 1961. Anna remarried to Arlen Jaycock, a farmer in Hay Lakes.
Based on excerpts from: Ponoka Panorama (1973)
BLAKE Family Researcher: Jodi Wood BLAKE Family web page: unknown

The Gus SWARD Family
S.W. 28-44-26-W4 Reo District
Gus Swared married Martha BLAKE and they came to the Reo district from the Ferrybank district in 1936, residing in the former Edwin Erickson home. They had 2 sons, Victor and Richard who both attended the school in Reo.
Gus had the misfortune of being pinned under a building which collapsed in a high wind. Lightening struck about five times too. Gus and Martha sold their farm in 1970 and retired to Ponoka. They enjoyed a trip to Sweden in 1971.
The children ...
Victor - became a chef, working in various places including Edmonton
Richard - trained at the Alberta Hospital, Ponoka as a psychiatric nurse and moved to Toronto.
Based on an excerpt from Ponoka Panorama (1973)
SWARD Family Researcher: unknown Related BLAKE Family Researcher: Jodi Wood

The Swan TORGERSON Family
S.W. 10-44-26 - Reo District
SE of Sec 36 & E 1/2 of Sec 27 - Hazel Hill District
In 1910, Mr and Mrs. Swan Torgerson homesteaded on S.W. 10-44-26 in the Reo District. In 1916 they sold the landadn some livestock to Erland Paulson and moved to the Hazel Hill District. They then homesteaded the S.E. of Section 26 and later farmed the east half of Section 27 where a home was built. There were 4 children in this family: Anna, Tom, Palmer and Clarence. The three boys spent many a happy hour playing cornet (similar to a trumpet) in the Hazel Hill band. The section 27 land was sold to Mr. Bell and the homestead was sold to Mr. Joseph Fink.
Mrs. Torgerson died while living in the Hazel Hill district.
The children ...
Anna - married Paul MYQUIST, who lived west of Ponoka. They moved to Turlock, California.
Tom - married Mary BLAKE of Ponoka. He served overseas in World War I, and upon his return worked near Lloydminster for Pool Grain Elevators for 19 years, He passed away in 1944. Mary and Tom had 1 daughter, Doreen (Torgerson) Larson who lived in Cranbrook, British Columbia.
Palmer - was killed in action in World War I
Clarence - He served overseas in World War I, and upon his return he married a girl from Kimberly, BC. He worked for the East Kootenay Power Co. in British Columbia. He passed away in 1932, never having recovered his health from the war.
Based on excerpts from: Ponoka Panorama (1973)
TORGERSON Family researcher: unknown Related BLAKE Family Researcher: Jodi Wood

The Albert PETERSON Family
Ferrybank District
Albert Peterson, originally from Sweden, came to Canada from Worthington, Minnesota, taking up a homestead in the Ferrybank district in 1901. On this quarter he built a small house, a barn and a log chicken house. He returned and joined his family in Worthington, and in November, 1902 the family emigrated to Alberta.
Mr. Peterson and his son George came with the two box cars carrying machinery, seed grain, cattle, horses, household goods, etc - all of which was freighted in for a total of $25.85. Mrs. Peterson and the rest of the family came later on a passenger train.
There were 5 children who made the trip from Minnesota: George, Richard, Clarence, Ellen and Esther, and a sixth, Walter, who was born in the spring following their arrival. The same winter there was an epidemic of Scarlet Fever, and in early February 1904, two boys Richard (10 yrs old) and Clarence (6 yrs old) died within four days of one another. In 1906 Raymond was born and Elmer followed in 1910. during these six years a fine new home was built, a section at a time.
As there were no schools when the settlers came, Mr. Peterson built the Ferrybank School in 1903.
Mrs Peterson passed away on April 10,1914 following a long illness with cancer. Albert Peterson continued to live in the Ponoka area until his passing on April 22, 1955.
The children ...
George - Born in Minnesota. In 1920, George bought the East half of 8-44-26 from the Hudson Bay Company. He later added S.W. 16-44-26. He married Mrs. Geraldine (Gerry) Sunderland, who had 2 children from a previous marriage: Phyllis (who became Mrs. Ray Lee) and Raymond, in 1945. Raymond attended school at Reo. In 1945 George held an auction sale and the family moved to Ponoka. Gerry and George's daughter, Georgina, was born there. Later they moved to Chilliwack, British Columbia.
Richard - Born in Minnesota. Passed away in 1904 from Scarlet Fever at the age of 10 years.
Clarence - Born in Minnesota. Passed away in 1904 from Scarlet Fever at the age of 6 years.
Ellen - Born in Minnesota. Married Arthur ELOFSON in April 1915. They lived on their farm until Arthur's death in 1953. Ellen then married Clifford HOLLEM in 1957 and they lived in Worthington, Minnesota.
Esther - Born in Minnesota. Married Henry ROSE in May 1926. They worked for Esther's brother George in the Reo district from 1931 - 1937 when they moved to their own farm in the nearby Ferrybank district, where they lived until October 1971. They then sold up and retired to Ponoka. Esther and Henry had 4 children, 2 sons and 2 daughters. Dorothy and Gordon went to school in Reo.
Walter - Born in Alberta. Married Edith CAPLING in 1934 adn after farming the homestead for several years, moved to Ponoka. They had 2 daughters
Raymond - Born in Alberta. Married Anna BLAKE in December 1930. They had 2 sons. The younger son, Dennis, predeceased his father by 7 months, both victims of cancer in 1961.
Elmer - Born in Alberta. Married Alph McKEDDIE in 1951. Alpha died September 17, 1957. Elmer ran a plumbing business in Sylvan Lake and married Edith Gilchrist.
Based on excerpts from: Ponoka Panorama (1973)
PETERSON Family researcher: unknown Related BLAKE Family Researcher: Jodi Wood


"Pioneer Biographies"
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