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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Susan Boulton Bigney (1882 - 1957)

Susan Henrietta was the youngest member of the Benjamin and Ann Boulton family, born on February 22, 1882.  When she was 10 years old, the family left the Brockville, Ontario area for Reston, Manitoba.  Her brothers Herb, Thomas and Anthony have been previously featured on this blog. Thanks to Lee Beck for the picture of the siblings below. 

Aunt Susie, as Uncle Frank called her, married Hazen Ethelbert Bigney on January 22, 1913.  I wonder if the badly water-damaged portrait below was taken at their wedding. It was found in the rafters of an old shed at the Boulton farm in the 1990's. 

Hazen was born in Nova Scotia in 1886 and had come west to work in 1907.  He worked as farm labourer for the Boultons for a time and would have met Susan there and their fate was set. They had one daughter, Ida Mae born June 20, 1914.  One of Ida's daughters and Susan's namesake sent me the photos below of the Bigneys.  Thank you Susan.  

Uncle Frank told me that Hazen didn't know much about carpentry work to start with, but his sister-in-law Elsie's Boulton's brother Arthur Bushby, needed help with the carpentry business and Hazen learned from him.  

The back of the photo above says it was a snowmobile made by Hazen for Sherman Dayton in 1936.  

In 1946, Hazen was tasked with putting up the frame building the Reston Creamery for "Paddy" Paddock, south of the tracks.  The history book Trails Along the Pipestone written in 1981, says it was a 40 by 50 foot building. It also says that Mr. Bigney suffered a serious and lasting injury when he fell from J. Reid's barn loft onto a pile of stones and badly crushed his leg.  Hazen helped build the Hillview Church, north of Reston.

On the 1921 Canadian census, Hazen and Susan lived on Second Avenue, next door to Arthur and Lou Bushby. Lee (Boulton) Beck recalls that her dad Leslie Boulton (son of Herb) and the Bigneys were close cousins and they visited there often. She remembers staying with them while her parents went to the Brandon Fair.  She couldn't accompany them because a bee had stung her foot and she wasn't able to walk very far.  It is said that our memories are made from deep emotion and I imagine she must have been very sad to not have been able to go!   Hazen always found a quarter to give to Lee and she still has a wooden box that he made for her mom Ruth (Howden) Boulton.

Bigney white wedding 1939

from Winnipeg Tribune Dec. 6, 1939
Ida married Lorne Maxwell White of Rivers, MB in 1939.  The clipping above details this event.  They went on to have 4 children who grew up in Reston.  They were named Alexander, Maxine, Raymond and Susan.  Ida and Max are pictured below at God's Lake in Northern Manitoba in 1941.

Susan died in 1957 and Hazen in 1964.  They are buried in the Reston Cemetery.

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