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Parkland Community History - Tomahawk

Contributed for use in Alberta Digital Archives by Darlene Homme


Excerpt from the book 'Tomahawk Trails' published by the Tomahawk Trails Book Club in 1974.
The fall of 1902 Ed Martin, Chas. Lindell came up the old Indian pack Trail looking for land. They reported good land. In March 1903 Lewis Shaw and Marting McDonald came up with Martin Loyer, as guide. In April, Chas. Lindell, Jno. L. Cropley, Dan McKaig, Ed Martin, Ernest Bennett and John Kelly, came. They arrived here on April the 26th. There was a man named Robinson had a shack built on SW-8-51-5-W5. He did not stay to see the improvements. Lewis Shaw and M. McDonald returned in June and built shacks. McDonald moved his family up in July. Shaw did not move his family up till later. Mrs. McDoanld was the first owman west of Jno. Bennetts now Keephills. There was no road cut yet perople still followed the pack trail. 1904 Switzer brothers moved up. David Plant, Fred Green, H. Spencer and Browns came up. 1905 Jno. Odonell, Jno. Burnham, Jno. McCoy, H.E. Kingley, U. St. Onge and the Groves boys. 1906 Knechtels moved in. 1907 the Halletts moved in and built houses. Followed the next year by Mrs. Hallett and family. In 1905 Max Peters cames, the Kingleys came in 1904. Mrs. Kingsley was the first woman to die in Tomahawk. Lewis Shaw, one of Alberta's great pioneering tycoons was the man responsible for naming the Community of Tomahawk. He was one of its first founders and he also became the first permanent settler. Tomahawk was taken from the name of Tomahawk, Wisconsin where Mr. Shaw had once travelled to and worked in his younger years. The first post office was opened in 1907 with Martin MacDonald  as the first postmaster. Among the earliest settlers of Tomahawk were David Plant, Max Peters, the Brown family, Hallett family, Jenkins family, Mike Schadeck, Mr. Wakelam, Peter Crawford, John and Chris Schwietzer, Palmer family, Fitz brothers, Dan McKague, George Jouan, Paul Esquilat, Martin McGinn, H.E. Kingsley, John McCoy, Ralph and Guy Thatcher, F.A. Robertson, Donald McLeod, Ganske family, the Harrison brothers, Rudolph Schadeck, Zanders, Pischkes, Steinkes, Jabs, Welks, William Reich, Riedlingers, Campbells, Underwoods, J.W. Rowland, the Case family, Stones, Shields, Knechtels, Combs', Gus Lundstrom, Joseph Laits, Engstroms, Hamilton family, H.W. Norht, John H. Millar, Dr. Millar, Rumstad brothers, Peter and Charles Duschene, Adolf Reich family and Jean Martin family. The schools in the area designated the smaller districts. These included the Tomahawk School,  Millbank, Southend, Whitby, Limeson, Shoal Lake, Low Water and Dniproo. Some of the families attending Dniproo School were Nachai, Ditchuk, Daviduk, Serna, Myckan, Porowski, Swirid, Kalutich, Wolodko, Walchuk, Yaschuk, Androschuk, Hadzariga. Some of the families who attended Limeson School were Harrison, Olsen, Knechtel, Case, McCallum, Combs, Lutz, Piskunowicz, St. Onge, Jones, Chechotko, Koyko, Shepel, Enjeneski, Novak, Lasachuk, Korzan, Leskie, Kozachuk.  Families attending Millbank school included Combs', Millar, Hamilton, Sullivan, Engstrom, Solomon, Maudy, Reynolds, Chamberlain, Harris, Harrison, Holenko, Moroz, Parfieniuk, Shumborski, Namchuk, Machuk, Yakimovich. Some students who attended Shoal Lake School were Mitchell, Harrison, Vallilie, Hallett, Combs', Burton, Teague, Hugie, Facette, Fiscuss, Hammer, Cuthbertson, Quam, Walker, Hoffling, MacDougall, Stone, Osborne, Piskunowicz, Henkel, Checkotko, Criss, Ostopchuk, Handziuk, Lash, Rubinski, Joneson, Reich, Taylor, Stewart, Koyko, Fornemann, Zaniewicz, Homme, Rabe, McDonald, Tatarewicz, Wiedemann, Wilkie. Early families attending Tomahawk School were Evans, Shaw, McDonald, Wakelam, Hamilton, Little, Peters, Combs, Hallett, North and later Knechtel, Ftiz, Stone, Jouan, Switzer, Martin, Dieb, Terry, Crawford, Ganske, Boyko, Earl, Brown, Myck, Zinn, Leskie, Dmitroca.

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