Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


(Page 32)

Mr. William W. Campbell, our brother-in-law, arrived at our camp direct from the States. Frank and I stacked our hay separate we were to get $1.25 per ton for it in the stack. We had a nice stack for forty loads. It rained some more and the stack started settling, it rained some more and ‘twas a week before we could get at it again. Will, got a job, driving for a farmer, putting in 300 acres of winter wheat. It rained some more and stopped haying and seeding. So what! Frank and I had a date in Lloydminster that we had no intention of breaking. We told Mr. Meekum that we were grieved to leave him before he got his hay measured. (I had already measured the part we were interested in and there was $17.00 due to us. He said he didn’t have any money until the hay was measured, he said, "I will send you the money by Will". Wills month lacked two weeks of being up he was to meet us in Lloydminster. Before we left Mr. Meekum, unknown to us, he had put a good 14-foot logging chain in our wagon that he probably stole. It took a day to get ready for the journey. We oiled our rifles, bought a box of twenty 30-30 ammunition and a new tent, a camp stove, some salt, matches, baking powder, lard, flour, coffee and two pounds of bacon. We headed a little east of north and were on our way.

As soon as we were out of the Mormon settlement, we began to see the occasional coyote. It was too early to get fur for the market but we though a pelt or two might come in handy for our own use. We didn’t molest any, unless they were within easy rifle range and we took it about, just to get in practice. Frank got one, the first shot and two days late, I did the same. We also had a fine Winchester Repeater 22 for smaller game. It was prairie country until we reached the Battle River, some timber along the streams. There were ferries on the largest streams if you could find them. A dim trail led down to one crossing there was no ferry. The river was broad, at least 150 yards, I believe or more. The water was crystal clear and the bed of the river was covered with rocks of all sizes, rounded and smoothed by erosion. From our seat on the wagon, we could see every rock and how deep the water was. It never reached the hubs of the wheels but it was the roughest road I’d ever traveled! We discovered the 14-foot logging chain in the wagon and we fastened it to the wagon and hauled it farther out of the water and set up tent. Then we rigged up a fish line pole and hook, and at a place fifty yards up there was a little still water near the shore. We caught a half dozen, ˝ pound Gold Eye fish. We fried a couple a golden brown in some bacon grease, made some fresh bannock and a lard pail full of coffee. When these had served their purpose, we lit a pipe and were ready for business. The wagon tongue itself was not completely ruined. It was the hounds that were ruined and we had to have a new set. Green soft timber would not do. We noticed some beaver cut peeled

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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