Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


(Page 34)


floundering on ‘til they reached firm footing and we were across and the SUN CAME OUT! We headed straight north until we came to the CNR tracks here a trail paralleled the railroad to our destination. As we entered the little village of Lloydminster, we spotted Will Campbell, working with a crew making a cement foundation for an elevator. We said hello and told Will to come out to camp for supper.

The next morning, we removed our property from storage and headed northeast for the North Saskatchewan River. We left Lloydminster by what we called the road to Onion Lake, north of the river. It was a prairie trail to a ferry on the river. A mile and a half form Lloydminster on this trail was a settler by the name of Sutton; near the trail there was a spring of fairly good water, and as this water flowed, it brought forth a stream of bubbles. We later often stopped at this spring to water our team and get camp water. After we passed this spring, on our first trip, I spotted a coyote about 75 yards off the trail, having a look at us. I reached for my carbine and our expedition delayed until I took his pelt, which would bring in a dollar. A dollar would buy a fifty-pound sack of second grade flour. Second grade flour would bring delicious biscuits under the influence of the sourdough jar and good management.

We crossed the Big Gully, twelve miles out from Lloydminster, where a settler by the name of Charlie Hay lived. Down the Gully, two miles farther, another settler had completed his shack and moved in.

At the Big Gully, a trail branched off to the east and angled northeast to the east-end of Greenstreet Lake. Ranchers by the name of Greenstreet and Jones had a good bunch of cattle and were located here. We passed their ranch and headed northeast to pass a high hill, then headed north until we reached the North Saskatchewan River Valley, which was narrow and deep. We drove along the brink of the valley until the river made a bend to the east. We scared out a bunch of deer and made camp here. It was late afternoon and we tried for some venison but were disappointed.

We drove around and looked the country over for a week. It was very much alike, deep black soil, stony in places and thick poplar in patches to match open patches of prairie. The survey was twenty-seven years old and we couldn’t find a corner to get section numbers. We had a township map but that wasn’t enough. I don’t know what possessed Will, but before we left Lloydminster, he bought two small watch sized compasses with a strong light strap attached. He gave one to me and one to Frank and

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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