Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


(Page 4)

When spring came, we returned to Dakota, the homestead, and dad and my oldest brother, Bert. When winter came again, myself and my brothers attended the country school, which served as a meeting place for the society, we called the "Lyceum". The parents took part in this and we edited the minutes. The latest copy was read at each meeting and contained all the news. We had debates, spelling contests, spoke pieces and argued politics. On one occasion, an adult member delivered "Grey Forest Eagle" recorded in the MacGuffies fifth reader and my brother, Bert, done justice to "Darius Green and His Flying Machine", the latest worth while article to come into circulation. There is one stanza of that contribution, I never forgot, which I quote: "Two bats for a pattern, curious fellows, a charcoal pot and a pair of bellows and a dipper of water which one might think he had brought to the loft to drink." Tell me something. Was it jest, or ignorance, if not that what inspired some person to record such nonsense. It is useless to try to make any use of the quotation until we decide what kink of bats he had in his mind.

These country schools were in operation about three months of the year. The other months gave ample time for a kid to forget what he or she had learned the year before. I did however, manage to get a few months of schooling in the village school of Parker. We lived in this vicinity until 1885. In the early part of the winter, our family increased by the arrival of a new member, whom we promptly christened Ruby Abigail Howard. Shortly after this event, all of us except mother and Ruby boarded a prairie schooner and headed south. Mother and Ruby remained with Mrs. J.M. Roper, our good neighbor, until we could establish a more congenial postal address.

Did you ever inhabit one of these transient Palaces? They boast only conveniences they donít supply. Beside ourselves, we accommodated an Uncle, Mr. B. S. Howard, who brought our party up to five, and went along to see the country. Mother made the cover of this wagon out of store bought canvas. When we left home, mother and Ruby were with us we stopped at Mrs. J. M. Ropers for them to alight. Mrs. Roper came out to meet them and to spend a moment inspecting the wagon and its cover. We said goodbye to them and hit the trail.

Our course, due south soon brought us to the Missouri River near the town of Yankton. We did not cross the river at this point but continued on the north side until we reached Omaha, Nebraska. We crossed on the rail road bridge since there were no wagon bridge. As we passed down the Missouri Valley, I saw more corn than I

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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