Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


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and I inquired if there was a man present by the name of Smart. One replied, "There is, and speaking". I asked if Frank was at the ranch, he said yes and I told him I wanted to see Frank. He asked if I could ride horseback and I said yes, some and I could also walk and I would mosey up to the ranch all right. When I got there, Frank was reading a letter out load and I was in time to hear, "Our stable and horses burned, yours as ever, T. Stoffer". He looked up and said, "Well, you make it!" I asked who Stoffer was and Frank said he was a settler from the Elbow. Mr. Smart soon arrived and took me in and introduced me to his wife and said, "You are as welcomed as the flowers in May, rest up and get well" Ö and then I knew that all the good people in the world were not confined to the United States.

Mr. James Smart had been a veteran of the Boer War in Africa, and he and his partner Mr. Johns had at one time taken a herd of fifty of their beef cattle and driven them to the Klondike where they made them into Pemmican and sold the product. Occasionally in the evenings, I could get one or the other to tell of some of their experiences and never before in my life had I heard anything so interesting. When I left Kansas, I brought along my axe, all but the handle. After a few days rest, I asked Mr. Smart if any hardwood grew in the country. He said only the occasional white ash and there was some over near the Rim Rock. I borrowed his axe and went to the Rim Rock and cut the best one I could find and brought back a three foot length which I split and roughed out and finished a handle which done me very well. I then went to his woodpile and limbered up. But I soon tired, but when rested, would go at it again. In a day or two, his woodpile was all stove lengths. He sent Frank with a bunch of cattle to a rancher that lived down the river about 25 or 30 miles away. I knew Frank would need some help. I had my saddle that had followed me from Texas, but I was weak to stand a two or three day ride. When Frank returned, he was to haul in some hay from about ten miles out. I told Mr. Smart, that if he would rig up another team and rack, I would go along with Frank and we could bring in two loads of hay on the way back instead of just one. This suited him fine. I tied my 30-30 carbine to rack the next morning and started out. I thought I might get a shot at a coyote. The trail from the valley up to the higher level was worse than I had ever traveled, especially so with a load of loose hay. So steep in places that the horses could just make it up with the empty rack. Coming down loaded, you had to out run the rack and wagon or be run over. Before you got to the bottom the trail would turn side wise to the slope, then the centrifugal force combined with the slops would act together and the person riding topside would not be able to enjoy the scenery, at least I didnít.

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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