Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


(Page 18)

his departure was offered a piece of fresh meat to replenish his meager food supplies. Most people hunt to kill for pleasure; not so with Frank. Supplying the camp became a monotonous job. His kill was never less than six miles from camp, and the distance was not shortened by the fifty pounds of fresh meat in his pack. There was never a scrap of this meat that was wasted. There could have been even more used if Frank could have furnished it and carried it back to camp.

In the late winter months, another settler left for Davidson. He had relatives in the east; and it was assumed when he did not return that he had gone to visit them. His absence from the settlement worried the Stoffer boys and they made inquiries in Davidson and wrote to his relatives to find out if he was with them. The following spring his body was found near his homestead.

When summer came, the CPR was straightening out the kinks in its main line west from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. So Frank and a settler by the name of Mudge walked across the country from the Elbow to a point east of Gull Lake and got a job driving a team on a slip or dump wagon.

On the 19th day of July 1904, Bert and I left Manhattan, Kansas, by prairie schooner, destination "CANADA" via Parker, North Dakota. Bert had nine dollars in his pocket and I had twenty-two dollars. Before leaving, I had been working at the K.S.A.C. (the college) driving a team hauling chip rock from the quarry of white limestone, that supplied building material, majestic buildings that grace the college campus. The rock was roughed out at the quarry and then hauled to the campus. The road from the quarry passed the edge of town and then up hill to the quarry. People by the name of Balderson lived at the foot of the hill. In their front yard, was a pump that was motionless, yet a stream of crystal clear water flowed from its spout. The weather was hot and I often stopped to drink from this pump. I only knew one of the Balderson boys, a husky chap about my own age.

The first part of our journey was up the Blue River to Lincoln, Nebraska. We had traveled this road twenty-two years earlier. The Penitentiary, with its high walls and lookout towers, was at the southern extremity of the city. After we had passed the Penitentiary on our way north, Bert said, "Now this is the street that our old neighbor Mr. J.M. Roper lives on. When we come to his house, will drive in and see if he can identify us; Iíll propose a horse trade as an excuse for stopping." When we were in Dakota, he had a faithful old team named Tom and Nig; they were a set of blacks.

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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