Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


(Page 25)


the grass close by and we returned to camp. We rode the next morning to see if the baits had been taken and picked up three coyotes. Then we crossed the river and rode a couple of miles out on the Matador range and shot a nice fat antelope. We removed the entrails and poisoned them. There was eight inches of snow and we put a noose over the antelopeís head and drug the carcass to the river, dropping bait every two hundred yards or so. A coyote that found this trail would follow it until he found a bait then follow it to find another and you knew where to find him.

The antelope suffered no damage from sliding on the snow and in a small way our collection of fur began to thrive. We shot an occasional badger in the early winter, before they hibernated. Frank shot one wild cat. When we had been out about one week, two strangers came walking into camp and asked if Frank was there. I told them he was across the river and I expected him back any time. They said they would wait. Frank soon returned and introduced me to Mr. Frank Stoffer and Mr. Charles Mathews.

They lived new the Elbow about 150 miles from where we were they had traveled on the ice most of the way. Frank and Harry Stoffer had camped with my brother Frank, the first winter in my brotherís dugout at the Elbow. It was Harry who had frozen his feet. Charlie Mathews was homesteading nearby at the time. He had no water on his homestead and the Saskatchewan Government was offering assistance to reliable settlers to get water. The Government offered to pay half price for a drilling and cancelled the other half when three wells had been completed. They had come to find out if Frank would run the rig for them. Frank talked favorable and decided that we had better take these men back to their home at the Elbow. The next day we took up what baits we had out and destroyed them then loaded camp and started for the Elbow. We had a ten by twelve-foot tent and a small camp stove, and a blanket or two that we called a bed, but it wasnít enough for two and now it had to do for four.


It took us two days to reach Saskatchewan Landing. We hadnít made two miles until one of the Matadors asked us where we were going. We said, "To the Elbow". "Well", he said, "Its absolutely impossible to get through with a wagon along the river". We could see a way for a hundred and fifty yards and shoved on and stopped at the edge of the Badlands (as they are called). They reached from the river back I guess to infinity! The river banks were nearly perpendicular and ten or twelve feet

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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