James and Helen Begg Family

by their grandaughter Helen Warner pg 355 Big Hill Country 1977

James Begg and Helen Neil were married in Ayr, Scotland, in 1904. In 1911, Jim and Helen (Nellie) and their young son Matt, decided to leave their grocery business in Ayr and move to Canada to join their friend, Jack Connell on a farm near Claresholm, Alberta. 

In 1912 their second son, Neil, was born in Claresholm. Their son Hamish was born in Carmangay, Alberta, in 1916. Two years later, Jack Connell and the Beggs moved to work on a cattle ranch in the Cyprus Hills. There they prospered, but tragedy struck during a bad flu epidemic after the First World War, when young Matt was stricken with the flu and died in the Dunmore hospital in 1919, at the age of twelve. 

Neil started school in Medicine Hat, while his parents were working on the 76 Ranch near the city. In 1921 Jim and Nellie and their sons moved to Cochrane. Jack Connell bought the Glenfinnan Ranch west of Cochrane from D. P. McDonald; he and Jim worked together there, raising sheep, cattle, and horses. In 1922, the Begg family moved to Cochrane and lived in the “Dad” Johnson house. Hamish started school in Cochrane. A year later, Jim and Nellie and the boys moved to Dunmore, where Jim worked for the C.P.R. In 1925 they moved back to Cochrane, to work at the Rhodes Ranch in Grand Valley. Neil and Hamish went to Chapelton School, and then, when it was opened, to the Grand Valley School. 

In 1927 the family moved to Calgary, and Jim worked for the C.P.R. and later for the city. He and Nellie spent the rest of their busy lives in Calgary. The boys finished their schooling in Calgary. 

Neil worked at odd jobs around Calgary after finishing school. He managed the Hudson Bay store in Banff when it was first opened. He married Adele Templeton of Calgary in 1940. During the Second World War, he served in the Navy. Following the War, he bought a tire shop on the Hope-Princeton Highway in British Columbia. He later sold it and worked for Nestles Products Ltd., until he retired in 1972. 

Hamish worked for Andy Garson in Cochrane after completing his schooling. He also worked for Frank Murray in Claresholm, at the Fuller Brush Warehouse in Calgary, at the Rex Kendrew sawmill and the Mud Lake sawmill, both west of Cochrane, and at Little Yoho National Park, where he helped to build the Alpine Chalet. He married Amy Nagy of Cochrane, and they bought the Glenfinnan Ranch from Jack Connell and Raymond Patterson, a well-known author of many good books. Hamish and Amy lived there until 1969, when they sold their ranch to the Department of Indian Affairs, Government of Canada; the land is now part of the Morley Indian Reserve. They are still living in the Cochrane district. They had four children, Jim, Helen, Donald, and Beverly. Jim works in the construction industry in Calgary. He and his wife have a son and a daughter. Helen married Mark Warner; they farm north of Cochrane and have two sons and two daughters. Donald owns and operates a bronze foundry in Cochrane. He married Shirley Stevens of Calgary, and they have a daughter. Beverly is married and lives in Kamloops, British Columbia. 

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