Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
RALPH JOHN WESLEY HOWARD

(Page 29)

 

as soon as they were partly dry and set to the shape of the stretcher, I removed them and hung them in loose bundles to finish drying. There was an average of fifty per day brought in for about two weeks and then the catch began to dwindle and we were hard run for grub. We had brought very little meat with us. I remedied this by riding out to look for antelope one afternoon. I returned at dark with a fine specimen; Frank matched it with a plump goose, the first to appear for the season.

We thought there was a new and better trapping, up the valley farther. We loaded up camp and started, but came to nothing worth stopping for. We were nearly south of Tramping Lake, so we turned north to see what it was like. No good for muskrats! So, we headed for Battleford to get supplies. As we approached Battleford, we met teams hauling lumber, household goods, machinery and the like. We arrived in Battleford on May 1st, ten days before the close of the muskrat-trapping season. The Hudsonís Bay offered twelve cents a piece for prime number one muskrats. We traded our share to Loomis for one of his horses; then parted company with him and started west following parallel to the CNR tracks. We saw lots of good agricultural land, partly open and partly covered with poplar trees. We finally arrived at Lloydminster and camped at the edge of the village. Before arrival, we had sold one of the ponies for $75.00.

The next day, a man walked into our camp and asked where we were from. We said, from the States, "Been looking around at the country". He said that he was from Montana, and was also looking at the country. He said, "I stopped south of Lethbridge and had a look, I seen lots of horses, good ones too, big enough to farm with". We visited with him for a couple of hours and he went back up town and we didnít see him again. On the following day, another man came to our camp and asked where we were from and Frank said, "Saskatchewan Landing". We talked a while and then he said, "Iím holding a bunch of cattle north of town". Frank then asked if they were IGL brand and he said yes. After he left, I asked Frank, who our visitor was, Frank said, "His name is MacGee, I know two of his brothers. They had a ranch near the landing".

We knew if we had some heavier horses, we could do enough homesteading to establish a permanent camp. We could go out to the North Saskatchewan River and be far enough away from the railroad to make a success or the livestock business either; and the country north of the river might have some game or fish, or fur. It only took us a few days to find a buyer for our team, harness and wagon. Then we packed

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.
sites.rootsweb.com/~sklloydm/Howard/autobiography29.html

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