Friday, 11 December 2015

Photos of Merle

Merle Cassell Boulton's sons and daughter-in-laws spent a wonderful afternoon with two of her sisters and the Boulton photo albums at the farm a few months ago.  Aunt Allie and Aunt Ena were able to put names on some of the unknown pictures and asked for copies of some of Merle from the 40's and 50's when she was first a teacher at Kinloss School and then a young bride and mother on the Boulton farm.  Better late than never!  I hope you are able to right click your mouse on the pictures below and save them to your computers to print out or otherwise let me know and I'll mail you any you'd like!

I believe the photo above on the left was taken on the Elkhorn water tower, right ladies?  Aunt Ena says it brings back memories of when they would take their Dad's (Russell Cassell) lunch to him when he worked at the coal docks in Elkhorn and they would climb the tower.  The one on the right was when she was teaching at Kinloss.  I love how the print of her dress camouflages her right into the trees!

I think the building behind Merle in the first photo is Kinloss School and the second is on the wedding day of Edwin's sister Edna and Ewen Pearn - August 15, 1945.  Two months later, On October 9th, Merle and Edwin were married in Virden.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think these two pictures are Merle with her oldest son Richard Edwin who was born in 1948.  

This baby looks a lot like her second son, Russell James who was born in 1956 and also bears a striking resemblance to grandson Jarrett Edwin, born in 1996!

They are precious moments in time of a beautiful woman who was gone far too soon.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Looking for a Homestead 1892

A recent trip to the Archives in Winnipeg turned up a copy of the letter written by Benjmanin Boulton requesting a homestead dated May 30th, 1892.  If you have an ancestor who acquired land under the Homestead Act of 1872, you might find something similar in their microfilm.  Under the act, anyone who was at least 21 years old could apply for 160 acres of unsettled land .  Title would be granted if they lived on the property for three years and made the required improvement.  They were also given a pre-emption privilege that allowed them to buy nearby land for one dollar per acre.

Reston May 30th 92 
Agent of Dominion

Lands Mr Hiam
Dear Sir
As I am very anxious about getting a place I thought it best to write you a line to see if the place that I cancelled could go on in my favour as it would not be long now untill perhaps you could let me know if there would be any chance of one getting it my friend Mr. Baldwin tells me that I made a mistake in trying to give it up I have a chance of getting some land to work next year so if you can let me know at your earliest convenience the full particulars you will be very greatily
Benjamin Bolton
Reston Man

According to a 1970 Reston School  publication, Through the Eyes of Our Community, the railway did not reach Reston until December of 1892 and the town was not firmly established until the spring of 1893.  Mr. John Baldwin had been approached by the C.P.R. to put the town site on the corner of his land if he would give the company 24 acres of land for a station site and yards.  He turned it down but did reconsider after pressure from nearby residents who saw the water run on the west side as a positive factor for a townsite. The name "Reston" was taken from the Post Office (and later School District) that had been established in 1890 at  William Bulloch's farm.  

It is interesting to see the spelling of his name without the "U". It does indicate in the file that he decided to cancel the application somewhere between the 11th and the 30th of May but it went ahead anyway.  The final patent certificate for this quarter did not go through until 1916, likely because it was held up in probate after Benjamin's death in 1895.  Several letters are included back and forth with lawyers to see what Ann needs to do to get the letter of patent for this land.

Also in the file was a memo that indicates the NE 24-6-28 had 30 acres broken in 1893 and 50 more the next year.  By 1895, 105 acres were broken and under cultivation.  There was also a frame house worth $1000, stable, granary and fencing allowing the conditions of homesteading to be met.  Neighbours William Lau and John William Sutcliffe submitted documents in support of the Boulton claim and they are in the file as well.

Also in the file is a notice to an Albert Armstrong of Pipestone in May of 1892 to cancel his Homestead application for the quarter as he had not replied to letters on behalf of the Minister of the Interior. That would have freed Benjamin to take the quarter for himself.  

In 1892, his son James Herbert applied for and in 1903 he received the North West quarter.  The "x" is claimed to be his mark on this document.  

Monday, 17 August 2015

Ernest Cassel - Part Two

In my search for a photo of Ernest Leroy Cassel - a brother to Randy's maternal grandfather- I paid a visit to the Provincial Archives in Winnipeg to look at microfilm copies of the newspapers of that era.  I first tried the "Virden Empire Advance" with no luck but then heard that there was an "Elkhorn Mercury" that published a paper there from 1908 to 1965. Success! 

The clipping on the left above was printed on November 8, 1917 and the second was in the next week's edition.  No photo but a glimpse at the heartbreaking time this must have been for the family and the whole community.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Edith Beatrice Boulton Morris (1905-1995)

Thomas and Margaret Boulton's youngest daughter of 12 children was Edith Beatrice, born on February 11 in 1905.  Her father left for the west shortly after her birth and she was raised by her mother with the help of the older siblings at Graham Lake, Ontario.  

On the first of June in 1926, Edith married John Moulton Morris at Lyn, Ontario.   He was a 22 year old Anglican farmer and she was 21.  Moulton, as he was known, was a hard worker throughout his life.  Moulton and Edith were initially farmers in their married life and then went on to road construction.  He was the foreman who built many roads on Canada's East Coast and Edith cooked for the crew.  He later owned a Shell Service Station in Athens, Ontario until he passed away in 1966.

Edith was a working Mom in the 30's, 40's and 50's at the Post Office in Athens.  After Moulton died, she moved to Winnipeg in 1967 where she bought a rooming house on Chestnut Street and later a duplex on Lenore Street. Her granddaughters recall that she spelled her given name "Edythe" as well as "Edith" over her lifetime. She had a first cousin, Edythe Boulton (daughter of Ben and Peggy) who lived to be 102 and is buried in Elmwood cemetery in Winnipeg where she lived unmarried most if her life.

Edith and Moulton had three children - Ray, Vernon and Audrey. In the above photo left to right is Edith, Audrey, Moulton and Vernon .  Their daughter Audrey Yvonne (pictured below with "Georgia") was author of a book in 1968 called Gentle Pioneers about Canadian pioneers - The Moody family.  Audrey led a very interesting life in Ottawa and Winnipeg and her lovely home in the Wolseley area of Winnipeg is now the home of the next generations of the family.  

Ray was an excellent mechanic.  His daughters told me that someone could call him up and hold the phone near the running car and he could diagnose the problem over the line! Ray lived with his aunt and uncle on their farm (Lenna Boulton King and her husband Elton) when Moulton and Edith were out east and after they returned.  
"Vernie" as Vernon was known, worked in the mines for INCO in Sudbury, Ontario for 44 years.

Edith Beatrice Boulton Morris was involved in the Rebekah Lodge and was a member of the Anglican Church. Her obituary says that her many interests included travel, gardening, theatre and animals. After living in Winnipeg for 28 years, she passed away in July of 1995, the last surviving Boulton sibling.  She is buried in Oak Leaf Holy Trinity Cemetery with her husband Moulton, near Athens.  
Vernon, Audrey, Moulton, Ray and Edith Morris - 1960's

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A Box of Treasures

The items pictured below were found in a cardboard box in the Boulton house. My brother-in-law  Rick recalls they were taken to Reston for a "Museum Day" event where old items were displayed.  The newspapers  they were wrapped in were from 1958.  That would have been the 75th anniversary of the RM of Pipestone so that would fit.  They were quite possibly never unwrapped for the next 57 years!. I can't resist digging into treasures like that!

The paper says "Tea Set from England - Mothers
Owner - Mrs. Tom Boulton"
There are no markings on the bottom of the few pieces remaining from this set.  It is a pretty shade of blue and quite delicate china. The writing belonged to Merle Cassell Boulton, her sons tell me.  Her mother-in-law, Elsie Bushby Boulton (Mrs. Tom) left her home in England on September 11, 1913 with a trunkful of belongings, including these dishes.  I wonder how many were in the original set with only these dozen surviving for over 100 years.

We believe that this same trunk that made that voyage across the Atlantic so long ago is pictured above. In a twist of irony, the trunk made its way back across the pond a few years ago to the home of Elsie's great granddaughter Cheryl in Scotland.  It's a well traveled treasure!

"Souvenir of Brandon - Mother - 1909"
This type of glass cream pitcher seems to be called ruby flash or ruby stain and if you Google it, you will find many images of souvenirs from all over Canada and the US in this style.  Presumably this belonged to Ann Boulton, given to her by one of her five children; Herb, Thomas, Anthony, Susan or Louisa.

"Brought from England - over 200 years (old)
Belonged to grandmother of Mrs. Tom Boulton"

I am not sure which of her grandmothers this would have belonged to.  Elsie's maternal grandmother was Ann Wooler (ca 1839-1912). Elsie's mother Patience Wooler was born  in England in 1859 out of wedlock and was raised by Edward and Sarah Wooler, her grandparents.  Ann later married James Sanders and had at least 3 more children.
Elsie's paternal grandmother was Eleanor Moore Bushby (1819-1903) and she was born in Ferring, Sussex on the south coast of England.
It almost appears to be a shaving mug with the handle opposite the decoration.  There are similar ones online, even some moustache cups that look like it.  
There is a very faint stamp on the bottom of this cup that says "Made in Japan". There are many examples of this demitasse style of cup and saucer online that were handpainted at the turn of the century. 

 This little drummer boy has a piece of string holding his wings on.  The stamp on the bottom says it was made in Occupied Japan which dates it from 1947-1952, according to Kovels.
A Google Image search of lady with a piano brings up hundreds of figurines but none just like this one.  It makes you realize how many knickknacks there are and without the story of where it came from and who owned it, it's just another dust collector!   

The last two items in the box were beautiful beadwork, possibly done by one of the Boulton women or even by local Aboriginal ladies.  The one on the left appears to be a picture frame and I have guessed the one on the right may have held wooden matches or something else in the pouch.  "1899" is clearly beaded into the piece. Cousin Sharon tells me of a beaded purse that her Mom told her was given to the family by local Aboriginal ladies. Ann always had food to share with them and these pieces may have been their way to repay her kindness.

Any further research or information about these items would be most welcome!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Green Ledger Book

Today's blog post features a green ledger book from the Boulton house.  Although the first 29 pages of the book are missing, the first year noted in it is 1915.  


The Home Account for 1919 includes envelopes, patterns, groceries, gasoline and coal.  Other interesting entries include the car license on April 24 for $10.00 a tea kettle in May for $4.75 and a $5 watch in June.

 Pages 74 and 75 of the Ledger show the cash account for 1920.  January 23's entry looks to be for a Telegram - Western Home (?) for $1.28.  Munroe's, Brady's, and Drug Store show up a few times.  Some of the other interesting entries are the 50 cent Bead Bag on April 24 and $1.20 for fish on April 1st.
 Pages 192 and 193 of the ledger indicate women and men found work at the Boulton Home in the twenties.  Mrs. McDougall worked from March until November, it seems and Mr and Mrs Rae worked every day except Sunday for August and September, it seems.

The harvesting bills above were for work done by Johnny Milliken and Tony Hallick , in the twenties I assume.

Mr. D. McIver worked there in the fall of  1928 threshing, cutting, ploughing, and stooking.  The ledger shows 6 Sundays, one rain day on September 10th and three half days off in his time there. 

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Ann Boulton's Indulgences

Ann Boulton is pictured above with her granddaughters Edna and Ida circa 1916.  She was the matriarch of the Boultons in Manitoba and her ability to build her household from the ground up is amazing to me. The family moved from Ontario in 1892 to begin their life farming near Reston.   Recent cleaning out of her farm home has unearthed the bills and receipts that tell the story of these early days.   They seem to have purchased just about everything on credit and saved the receipts for the paid notes. I don't really know the total cost of some of these items but I am glad that some of their hard earned money was spent on entertainment and ways to make a pioneer woman's life easier.  I'm also glad they weren't thrown out after all these years! 

On June 2, 1903, the Boultons made a deal to pay sixty dollars by the first day of November to purchase a Doherty Organ like the one pictured below on an account with A.H. McLaren.  It appears to have cost them $62 on the first of December to pay this note off. Two dollars would have been the interest, I assume.  Randy recalls it sitting on the front veranda for many years .

March 24, 1897, from R.J. Hulow, Ann H. Boulton purchased a Singer Sewing Machine Number 18767984 in Style  "U.S.A. bak". This website indicates this machine was manufactured in 1874.  I remember Uncle Frank showing it to me years ago and he said he could still get it to work!  Five dollars was due on the machine on June 1, 1897 and the fine print states if this is not paid, the machine must be returned.  As owner of 160 acres of land, she must have been considered a good risk.  

The receipt above is toward the purchase of a washing machine in 1911, I think.  Many of the bills from this period don't use the 0 when writing the year so it may be 1901.  The signature appears to be from McMurchy Brothers.  

Ann's granddaughter Mary (Boulton) Milliken wrote the following description of clothes washing in 1984 for the RM Of Albert History Book Reflections of Time.
Clothes were washed in a hand machine, the handle of which attached to a dolly inside the tub.  When the handle was pushed back and forth, it swished the clothes around in the soap and water.  Two attached, hand turned rollers wrang the water from the clothes.  Water was heated on a boiler on the stove and soap was handmade from lard and lye.  

Although not necessarily an indulgence, this note for the Cream Separator like the one below was important for everyday life.  There is a website here with lots of information on separators.

The bill from G.S. Munroe Company from July 26, 1910 was made out to Miss Boulton.  I presume this would be Susan.  She got 13 (yards?) of gingham for $1.30, 5 more yards for 55 cents, sateen , ribbon, cuff buttons and collar buttons for a grand total of $2.95.  The sewing machine would have been put to use to make the clothing for the family.  

It is so hard to imagine life in the Boulton household over 100 years ago but these scraps of paper bring it closer!

Farm Machinery Purchases

The Boulton family left the Brockville, Ontario area in 1892 and headed west for the open land in Manitoba.  They were farmers there but would have likely not brought much with them and had many purchases to make.  Some of these receipts have survived well over 100 years and give an interesting glimpse back in time.

This note, dated November 1894, was for a $105.00 Mower and Rake from Frost and Wood in Winnipeg, perhaps somewhat like the one pictured below.

In Septmebr of 1893, Benjamin bought a No 7 Plow and Breaker Board from the Cockshutt Plow Company from Winnipeg.  This payment was for $25 and the interest rate was 8%.  

In the spring of 1898, this note is for a Massey-Harris 15 shoe drill. Besides being signed by Thomas, his mother Ann's signature is underneath.  Benjamin died unexpectedly in 1898 and his will was in probate for many years after, finally being settled in 1902.  
This payment was on an 8 foot Ideal Binder to the Deering Harvester Company likely similar to the one pictured below.  

This would be for the 8 furrow Junior Engine Gang Plow that was purchased to use with the Hart Parr tractor.  The $52 freight bill from Winnipeg to Reston on this plow is recorded in the bill below. 

The Boulton Brothers must have felt optimistic in 1912 as in October there is also a note from the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company for 40/62 Sep. Gilss Stkr, #2 Nghr & Wagon Loader, 150 X 8 X 5 Rub Ber .  I assume this is harvesting equipment of some type.  Any help with figuring out these words would be most welcome!