Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


(Page 14)


machine, where I sat to dress my feet. By this time I was shaking like I had the ague, I was cold all over and my legs were stiff and hurt to stand on. I thought I would be all right when warmed up again and I did my best with little relief and it seemed the last seven miles would reach into eternity. I did somehow reach the stone house that was my parentís home. Later in life I had another similar experience, and heard of others who had suffered the same thing from the same cause. It was called, "Water

Founder." I could not possibly stand on my feet the next morning but my condition improved after a day or two. Bert favored dealing for the well drilling machine. We loaded the chuck wagon with camping equipment, including a good tent and went to Liberal and closed the deal. We moved the outfit to the location of our first well. Al Blake came out and helped complete the well and erected a 36-foot windmill and got it working. The well was 222 feet deep, and that means that we drew $222.00 for the well and $25.00 for erecting the tower and installing the windmill. We were about two weeks on that job. Our next well took us to my homestead on Bull Creek, about four miles above the headwater. We completed a 125-foot well and erected a windmill and made a dirt reservoir to pump the water into and then turned the mill loose. Before we left for the next location at the head of Fulton Creek, a wagon with three people aboard drove up and asked permission to camp and water. Permission was cheerfully granted. They said they were undecided whether to homestead in Beaver County, or to homestead and lease in Texas, just across the state line. We moved the drilling rig to the location on Fulton Creek and completed a 125-foot well, and erected a windmill to pump the water. When this was finished, the parties who had asked to camp at our place, informed us they had decided to locate in Texas and asked us to drill a well for them. This meant a 40-mile move for us to a location 12 miles southeast of Ochiltree, Texas. This well was 346 feet deep and required a much larger windmill to power the pump; but was a complete success. We operated in the Panhandle for two years and completed twenty wells that were successful also three dry holes that were not and we made no charge for them. But we tried again in a slightly different location and were successful. These wells were all between three and four hundred feet deep. The deepest one was four hundred and four feet. Many times we were asked to take cattle as part payment, which we did. The number of cattle wearing the Half Circle D brand had passed the first hundred and the horse herd numbered between 25 and 30. Our drilling schedule was up to date and we relaxed and amused ourselves with the chuckwagon.

We procured two 14 foot 4X4ís, hardwood timbers, then we removed the wheels and the skeins, they were turned on and fitted them to one of the timbers. The other

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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