pg 498 More Big Hill Country 2009
Arthur and Isabella came to Calgary in 1913, Isabella from Cautley, Yorkshire and Arthur from Rochdale, Lancashire, England. Arthur had come to Calgary in 1910 but went back to England, met and married Isabella Richardson on March 12, 1913. Her sister Jane Davidson, married to William, lived in Calgary so this became their destination.
They were pioneers and for Isabella to leave a beautiful home with carpets and running water was a cultural shock. They lived on several small acreages and milked a few cows. In Calgary, Arthur worked at the C.P.R. freight yards.
In 1921 they bought a quarter section of land SE Sec 16, Twp 25, R 2 W5M from R.B. Bennett, who was to become Prime Minister of Canada. It was situated at 85th Street and Morley Trail with rolling hills and a big slough near the road. Travellers, including Morley Indians [sic], would often camp near the slough to rest and water their horses.
They came with a few head of dairy cows and continued shipping milk to the Union Dairy. At this time they had three children; Agnes, Tom and Betty.
To supplement their income they also grew a beautiful garden, selling potatoes to the Hudson Bay Company and also to the Tea Kettle Inn. They had four hundred white Peking ducks at one time which they raised on the big slough and sold to the market in Calgary when mature. Mrs. Hawkwood’s fresh eggs were a popular item for people who stopped by.
As time went by their family increased with the arrival of four more children; Miles, John, Margaret and Joe.
With the need for more land to pasture and feed the cattle, they bought land from Burns Ranch, north of their farmland which is now Scenic Acres and here a Twelve Mile Coulee.
Everyone worked hard to make a living for their family through the drought and depression years of the 1930s.
In the early years (where Silver Springs is now the land was open with no fences, so the Hawkwood children would take the cows over the Morley Trail and pasture them on the thick grass. One time, when Tom was a litttle boy on his horse, he saw an owl come out of a hole in the ground with its little ones. (It would have been a burrowing owl which is all but extinct now.) When he went home and told his mother, she scolded him for making up such a wild story.
The eight-gallon cans of milk had to be cooled immediately for good quality milk. They would be put in big troughs of water near where the water from the well would be pumped in from one end and at the other end of the trough the water would run out to another pipe to the trough outside which would supply drinking water for the cows.
During the hot summers of the ’30s, the Hawkwood’s had blocks of ice brought up from Alberta Ice Co. at Bowness. They stored it with wood shavings and sawdust layered between ice blocks in a hand-dug well which was fifteen or so feet deep and had gone dry Every milking time they would put a block of ice into the trough of water with the cans to cool the milk. This icehouse was a wonderful place to keep food, lettuce cheese, and meat cool. The Alberta Ice Company was one of Bowness’s first business enterprises with operations spanning from 1914 to 1954. Ice was shipped to Calgary homes for the old iceboxes. The C.P.R. train got its ice here at the Keith Station for cooling train cars and for preserving food in the passenger cars.
All the Hawkwood children went to the Bearspaw School, walked or rode horseback (no buses then). The little country school has now been moved from its original site near the Bearspaw Lion’s Hall across the road south of 1A Highway near the new Bearspaw School The old school has been restored, put on a basement with plumbing and electricity. Children come from other schools to see how our old schools looked with so little space for eight grades (no computers – very few shelves for books).
Agnes went to England, got her training to be a nurse and nursed in London, England hospitals during the years of WW II. On her return to Canada after the war. she married George Alton in Lucknow, Ontario in 1947 and they had a son, Douglas. George was a widower
with two small girls. After George’s death in 1956, Agnes married Jack Ritchie and had another son, Kenneth. She passed away in 1961. Douglas Alton is now manager of the Watergrove Mobile Home Park in Crowfoot and is married to Joanne Craig from Cochrane. They have two children, Casey and Shelby. Shelby married Shawn Befus and they have little Wyatt.
Betty married Jack Bancroft of the Glendale district in 1945. They lived up the Lochend Road, about two miles north of 1A Highway and milked cows. The road was not gravelled at that time. They had two children. Bill and Judy. Bill married Judy Knight from Irricana and had two children, Jennifer and Guy and they now have two grandchildren. Judy Bancroft married Rod Sydenham and they had three children; Stephen, Michael and Laura. Jack passed away in 2006.
Miles married Leona Walters from Calgary in 1952 and they had four children; Sue, Brent, Janet and Carol. Miles had a dairy farm where Ranchlands is now, sold it and their farm is a few miles north of the Calgary Provincial Gaol. They raised beef cattle and grain. Miles passed away in May 2002. Sue married Gordon MacCraig from Ontario, and they have two girls, Hallie and Kelsey. Brent married Gina and has a son Ryan and a daughter Crystal. Janet lives in Halifax and teaches drama. Carol married Jon Rasmussen from Bearspaw. They have two children, Paula and Ben.
John (Jack) was in the Canadian Navy during World II. In 1952 he married Doreen Clifford of the Sandale district. They bought the Charles Cohoe place, milked cows there and had two children: Debra and Robert. Debra is married to Jim Watkinson. John died in 1991.
Margaret married Sam Chalack in August 1948 and lived on the John Standring place six miles up from Highway 1A for fifty years. They have milked all their lives. They had four sons: David, Dennis, Tom and Tim. Tom passed away in 1978 and Sam in 1986.
Joe married Aurica Chalack in 1955 (a cousin of Sam). The original Hawkwood farm became their place where they, too, milked cows for several years. They raised four children; Howard, Greg, Joanne and Todd. Howard married Nielle Hendricks from Irriicana in 1980, ranches in the Lochend district and they have two sons, Joe and Daniel. Greg married Janice Tolarico from Grand Forks, British Columbia in and they, too, live in the Lochend district and ranch. They have three children: Erin married Alliston Machan, Scott is a welder at Kevin Hoare business in Bearspaw and Megan is at home. Joanne married
Kevin Fraser from Camrose, Alberta in 1986, They live in the Lochend district and have two boys; Garrett and Brandon. Todd lives at home with Aurica. Joe passed away in September 1989.
All the children from all the families attended Cochrane Schools.
Arthur Hawkwood passed away in April 1956, at the age of 68 years, and Isabella, age 88, passed away in 1980. They are both buried at Queen’s Park Cemetery in Calgary. The Hawkwood family had its 60th Christmas Party in December 2006. Originally it was to celebrate Grandma’s birthday, Dec. 25th. Since then the families have grown and there are now seventy-two family members, which includes many little great great-grandchildren.
Tom Hawkwood Family
Thomas Hawkwood and I, Gertrude Hanes, eldest daughter of Gladys and Frank Hanes of the Glendale and Cochrane district, were married April 26, 1947, at Crescent Heights United Church in Calgary. The Hanes family came from Manyberries, Alberta to Glendale in 1924 with Gertrude and the twins, Betty and Lois.
We came here to our farm at 12 Mile Coulee and 1A Highway S Sec 19 Twp 25 Range 2 W5M and this has been our home ever since, sixty years later. It was a bare piece of property – some of the land had been broken for a crop but no fences. Many crops of prairie wool hay had been harvested here.
Tom had bought a small house and had it moved on the land and drilled a well. He had a two-ton truck for custom trucking. Rationing was still in existence…sugar, jam, butter, and meat. Not much for two people. We grew a good garden and Tom built me a chicken house. We bought a few cows so we soon had eggs and cream for sale. Five dollars for a five-gallon cream can! Tom built our dairy barn, our dairy herd increased and we were able to get our milk quota to ship milk to the Union Dairy in Calgary. We milked our cows by hand as most people did in those days. Water was pumped by windmills or gasoline engines or by hand.
At this time (1949) the Foothills Rural Electrification Association was formed. Bill McNeill was President, Ernie Vickie Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Osler and Tom were directors. After many discussions and decisions, the Calgary Power Company brought power to the district. The farmers dug the holes for the poles to speed up the progress. In September 1950 the “lights came on”. Everything from milking machines to washing machines were some of our new acquisitions. What a
thrill! With the advent of power, people were able to have water pressure and plumbing came into our homes.
In the early 1950s, hay balers came into use and swathers and combines for grain crops. The old binders and threshing machines, horse-drawn mowers and rakes became obsolete.
The Bearspaw Lions Club was formed in 1953. The members acquired an old building from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology which has been used by airmen at the #2 Wireless School during WW II. This building was brought out and placed near the Bearspaw School on land north of 1A highway and generously donated to the Bearspaw Lions Club by Mr. Lauritz Pedersen. The members worked hard to make the building into a hall. Before the natural gas came into the district (1970 to our place), it was heated by propane. The hall soon became the hub for social events, 4-H meetings, W.I. meetings, card parties, dances, showers for young people….so many good times. The Lions had Halloween parties and Christmas parties for the children. Over 50 years later the Lions still serve the community so well. Tom was given his life membership for Lions in June 1988
Norman Newsome and his sons, Darrell and David, hauled our milk for over twenty years until they moved away to the Cremona district in the 1970s. Then Les and Bob Gathercole took over their route. At this time eight-gallon cans of milk were lifted from the cooling troughs and then onto the truck.
In 1961 everything changed and all the dairy farmers had to have refrigerated stainless steel milk tanks installed into the milk houses which had to be attached to the barns. The milk was then pumped into the stainless steel tanks on the milk hauler trucks. A big change for everyone.
In 1946 Cliff Gillespie and his brother-in-law Ted Cushing, veterans of WW II, open an ESSO Service Station just east of where the Bearspaw Road and 1A highway connect, on the south side of the road. They kept the neighbourhood machinery and vehicles in repair. A lot of world problems were discussed and solved around their pot-bellied stove. Dorothy and Cliff and children Ronnie and Leanne moved to Water Valley and were very much missed in the community. Cliff died in 1981 and Dorothy in 2006. Kathleen and Ted Cushing and children Gordon, Linda and Maureen all moved away.
In 1953 we built our new house. What a thrill to have a forced-air furnace, an electric cook stove and plumbing.
In 1951 Tom became the Secretary-Treasurer for the Bearspaw Mutual Telephone as well as helping Leigh
Blackwell as a linesman. Keeping everyone happy on a busy party line often took great diplomacy. Tom was good at that. The Alberta Government Telephones (A.G.T.) took over the Bearspaw Mutual Telephone lines in September 1970. Lines went underground. The district had become more populated with many acreages. Times changed.
George Stryker and his brother, who had bought the Pallesen dairy farm when it had a complete sale of land and cows in 1950, bought sections 26, 27, 28 and 33. He sold the land in 1956 to the Alberta Government for the site of the “Spy Hill Gaol”, SW Sec 27 Twp 25 Range 2 W5M. The first inmates came in December 1958.
On top of Spy Hill, there is a huge water tank holding 340,000 gallons. This water is pumped up there from the Bow River, some four miles away. The filtration plant is at the river with a booster station just south of Highway 1A.
We have always had wonderful neighbours. The Maxwell Smiths (Max, Marella, Doug, Dianne and Sandra), just over the 12 Mile Coulee on the east side W5M. McNeill family; Bill, Dorothy and five children
There were Leigh Blackwell, Jim, Mary, Terry and Anne. To the south lived the Damkar family; Brent. Ernie, Norman, Ruth and the Oslers, Bill and Jess and family: Kathleen, Bill, Jack and Hugh. They had come in 1947 from Winnipeg. In 1963 the Calgary Power bought their property for the new Bearspaw Dam site. York Shaw moved their lovely big home up those steep hills to the NE Sec 18 Twp 25 Range 2 W5M. It is still there among the many homes in the Blue Ridge subdivision.
In later years people by the name of Rudolph bought the Osler land and built a big riding arena there. In 1968 the Bearspaw Lions Club and the Glendale Women’s Institute started the Bearspaw and District Country Fair which is now held in Cochrane every year. Our first fair was held at Rudolph’s Arena and was a great event for everyone. Our girls decided that they just had to put their cat, a big yellow fellow “Freddy, the FreeLoader” into the show. After putting him in his cage on the table with all the other cats, he didn’t think it was a good idea. He shouldered and moved the cage to the edge of the table and was soon away. Two tearful children knew they would never see their cat again! However, when we got home and went over to the barn for milking, there he was waiting for his supper.
In 1958 Tom and I became parents. Glenda was born on Oct 15, 1958, and Kathleen in 1961. Our girls went to Cochrane schools with Bob Thomas and fran Pedersen, their bus drivers. In due time they joined the Bearspaw 4-H dairy club and 4-H sewing club. Glenda
took a secretarial course at Olds College and Kathleen took Secretary Arts at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Glenda married Jack Johansen of Strathmore in 1980 and they have two sons, Calvin and Mark. Kathleen lives in Calgary and has worked in the brokerage business for many years.
Miles and Leona Hawkwood got the first TV that we knew of in 1954. Ed Sullivan was very special.
In the early years, an event happened that could have been tragic. It was September with the evenings short and the temperature cooler. Our girls were tucked in bed, the milking done and Tom’s Mom, Tom and I were sitting down for a cup of tea after a busy day. The phone rang and it was the police telling us that a small boy was lost and they needed help to find him. Tom got his flashlight and off he went. The Rocky Ridge Road wasn’t built then and the countryside behind Eamon’s Drive Inn and to the north for miles was rough hills, willow bush, groves of poplars and many sloughs. A lady had a children’s daycare in her house just north of the IA highway and along what is now the Rocky Ridge Road and it was from there that the little fellow had wandered.
Many people had come out from Calgary and the police had them divide into groups and so they travelled up over that rough terrain in the dark. Around midnight after many hours, a very tired but happy Tom came home. He had been with a very distraught father of the boy and a policeman when they found the little boy asleep in a willow bush. He was unharmed, just cold, but no one ever heard of this terrifying event again.
We became purebred Holstein breeders in 1963 and in 1976 sold our dairy herd to Donald Chalack at Innisfail. We had established a purebred Hereford herd os then and enjoyed meeting with a new group of people who raised and sold registered cattle. In 2002 we sold this herd to Greg Hawkwood.
These have been busy, happy years on the farm. We had some good trips to Ontario, England, Hawaii and Arizona. Tom enjoyed his many years with the Bearspaw Lions Club and I enjoy my membership in the Glendale Women’s Institute and attending St. Andrew’s United Church in Cochrane. Tom passed away on Dec. 25, 2004, at the age of 87 and am thankful for dear family and friends.