Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
RALPH JOHN WESLEY HOWARD

(Page 12)

 

At this period in growth of our nation the universal weapon for self-defense was a regulation, 45-40 black powder, single action Coltís six shooter. It had some commendable qualities and some that werenít. The practice of fanning the trigger was nearly out of vogue. The smoke screen it provided was nearly as lethal as the slugs it delivered. It was seldom either parties, survived these greetings. My choice of a weapon for self-defense was a smaller double action, smokeless weapon. I remember seeing a 22 of this nature perform, and at the earliest favorable opportunity possessed one. There was twenty-four milestones registered on my career at time and twenty-two on my partnerís. We rented a house in Liberal and I got a job driving a dray wagon.

At this time B. E. Blake and son had bought the Marten Hardware store. Before buying the store, Blake had successfully operated a well drilling outfit I located this machine behind a feed store. The belt from its motor ran an old feed grinder instead of the power shaft of the drilling machineÖ "Now," said Darius "Hurrah for some fun."

A few years back, I had worked for Mr. J. P. Mullock, a successful rancher on the Paladora. I had disappointed him by not plowing his fireguards when he wanted me to. He was running 1400 head of cattle and his pasture was over grazed. He wanted a million fence posts to make it bigger. There was a short canyon that ran back from the Paladora Valley, in his pasture, and some knarled white cedar trees grew in and on the sides of this canyon. Mr. Mullock wanted me to harvest the entire crop of posts and I told him I would for half, and he said okay. I established a cyclone cellar in the bottom of the canyon with a stone fireplace and chimney, and a dirt roof. Then I made a trip to Liberal to get some flour, bacon and coffee. I mixed a jar of sourdough and was in business as usual. I gleaned out 1600 serviceable posts, then hired to him for twenty dollars a month, to gather and haul them to his ranch. At the end of the month, I sold my half to him for ten cents each, doubling my usual salary for three months work. The next work I did for him was the following autumn. Mr. Mullock wanted two miles of his pasture fence moved two miles out. I told him I would do it for fifteen dollars a mile and be paid with a heifer calf at weaning time and five dollars in cash. He said, "Okay."

My parents, Fernando and Alice, had left Manhattan and homesteaded on the Bull Creek, on the quarter joining Bertís homestead on the north. This quarter had a spring

The Howard Clan webpages were submitted by Patrick K. Best The Howard Clan were some of the original homesteaders of the North Bend District. It is hoped that you and many more people enjoy this history that this clan went through everyday to strive to live and provide a great part in making the history of Saskatchewan come alive.
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