Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


(Page 31)


ground by our wagon. The next morning, Mr. Ross called us when the sun was half-visible on the horizon, 15 minutes to four o’clock in the morning. He ordered one of us to bring the horses and the other to help get the breakfast ready. Frank went to get the horses and I went into the house. Mr. Ross sat in his best chair and I asked, "what shall we have for breakfast?" He said, "what’s in the cupboard". I looked and I could see anything but dirty dishes, a closer inspection revealed nothing edible…

I went to our wagon and got some flour to make some bannock, rolled oats and coffee. After breakfast, I made the remark, "we can’t make hay without grub, what we brought is used up, we will have to get some more". "Okay", said the boss, "we will start at once". ‘Twas fifteen miles to MacGrath, the nearest trading post. I paid for his dinner at the restaurant, he said he didn’t have any money. His son lived two hundred yards from his and he wanted some hay. Before we started for grub, Mr. Ross brought his pitchfork and a grindstone into his house and locked the door and put the key in his pocket, so no one could wear them out before his return. We got back before dark with three cans of corn packed in a market basket, and some salt, a package of soda biscuits and one of rolled oats. "Now", he said, "I want some hay" …he never mentioned money. His boy had two sets of harness which one set was new. I paid him cash for it and said I would get it in a few days. Mr. Ross raked his hay Frank and I, each rigged up a hay wagon. Mr. Ross called us a little earlier each morning. The grub played out in two days the hay was stacked in four days. I brought my harness and put it on the team I had been working, an older team, quiet and good breeding stock. I hitched them to the wagon and went to the house and informed him, "I have traded you the young team for the old ones, it was a pleasure working for you, good-bye, we are on our way".

We stopped at MacGrath where Mr. Meekum lived, and made a hayrack and went to Spring Coulee where he had a camp and started haying. It turned out that Mr. Meekum was first generation material from Brigham Young and one notch down in social rating. He had two mowing machines, and two horse rakes, and one team and a hay wagon and enough sons on the job to drive them.

The idea was to run both mowers, one team with the hay rake was to rake and bunch for both mowers, one team with a hayrack and our own was to haul and stack. This worked fairly well for a few days then it rained like it had no business and stopped the work.

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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We encourage links to Lloydminster Gen Web and Howard Family Tree Web Pages. The Lloydminster Gen Web makes no claims or estimates of the validity of the information submitted and reminds you that each new piece of information must be researched and proved or disproved by weight of evidence. It is always best to consult the original material for verification.
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