Giles Family

pg 463 More Big Hill Country 1994

John Henry (Jack) Giles purchased land in the Cochrane area in 1957 from the Gallelli family. Every summer they pastured cows and calves there, trailing them from the home place near Shephard. They went right through the city of Calgary, up 14th Street, along 24 avenue NW. They stopped at the Spy Hill Jail farm overnight and continued the rest of the way the next day. Eventually, the cowherd stayed at Cochrane year-round.

As time went by more land was purchased and in 1969 the family moved to E Sec 17 Twp 27 Range 3 W5M which had been purchased from Walter Hutchinson. At this time the family consisted of Jack, his two daughters Thora and Joan, his son Merv and Merv’s wife Claudia Giles and their children Charlene, Carrie and Clint. The children attended Westbrook School then Cochrane High School. The Giles families continued to farm and ranch on both the Cochrane and Calgary properties until 1984 when the last of the Calgary property was sold. 

Jack passed away in 1975 at the age of 86 years. He was buried in Burnsland Cemetery, Calgary, beside his wife Jessie who had passed away in 1939. 

Merv and his sister Thora still continue to farm and ranch, raising mostly cattle feed for the commercial beef cow herd. Over the years, the Hereford X Charolais cow herd has evolved to almost a complete Black Angus herd. 


In 1981, while driving through the USA for their 25th anniversary, Mery and Claudia visited some miniature horse farms and came home with three weanling foals. The miniature horses have been a wonderful hobby for the whole family over the past 26 years. Merv and Claudia have participated in parades every summer for UFA for 20 years with an eight-horse Miniature Horse Hitch. They enjoy driving and seeing the country and meeting people so the parades have been a lot of fun. 

As well as helping on the farm and ranch, especially with the cattle, Merv’s sister Thora also did the farm books for many years. 

Jack’s daughter Joan married Elwood Delorme, of Calgary, in 1996 and they live in Calgary. 

Merv and Claudia’s daughter Charlene married Stephen Gale, of Calgary, in 1979 and they have three children: Kendra, John and Michael. All three children attended Westbrook School and Cochrane High, like their mother. They enjoy showing the miniature horses, both at breed shows and through 4-H. The Gale family lives on the SW Sec 6 Twp 27 Range 3 W5M on the old “Cairns” place. 

Merv and Claudia’s second daughter Carrie is a medical lab tech who worked at Grace Women’s Hospital before it closed and now works at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, preparing labs for the Lab tech students. She lives at the home place. 

Mery and Claudia’s son Clint married Glenda Roth, of Burstall, Saskatchewan in 1990 and they have three children: Randi-Lyn, Cole and Taylor. The children show beef cattle at 4H and Junior Livestock Shows. They live at the home place where the whole family assists Mery and Thora with the continuing operation of the ranch.

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