Wednesday, 2 November 2016

William and Agnes Cassel - Homesteaders

A previous post here about William and Agnes Snider Cassel gives some details about their lives but a recent trip to Winnipeg filled in some of the gaps with documents from the Manitoba Archives as well as the wonderful photos, taken around 1890 above from a their granddaughter Allie.  William's father John homesteaded the NW 1/4 of 14-13-28 W1 and this post will tell the story of the Southeast quarter.  

Sorry for the poor quality but the note from the homestead file above says:
Fleming NWT May 23 1902
Dear sir in replying to your letter of the 7th I learn that section 14 township 13 range 28 is for homesteading I apply for the SE 1/4 of 14.
Wm G Cassel Fleming NWT
In July of 1902, the Cassel family - John, William, Agnes, Gertie and Ernie - made their way to a piece of land which has been described having "Noah's Ark Hill" on it.  On a recent trip Randy and I knew we'd found it with its distinctive mound on road 74 north just east of highway 256 north of Elkhorn.  It must have been a landmark for miles around and was later called Cassel Hill!  The land was later owned by Americans who used it for dog trials (perhaps like these ones) and is currently pasture.


The family of five would have likely lived in a tent at first or perhaps with William's sister Lizzie Asselstine and her husband Warner, about 5 miles away. 
Siblings - Lizzie Asselstine and William Cassel about 1940

 Records would show their own home was built and they were living in it by September of 1902.  I have read that William was a carpenter as were other members of the family including his son Russell. By 1905, they had 30 acres of breaking done, a house worth $600, a stable worth $50, 15 acres of fencing worth $30 and 13 head of stock.  These details are found on the documents that were submitted to apply for the title to the quarter.  William requested the inspection with the letter below. 

April the 13, 1905
Dear sir
I now give notice that I have been living on my homestead since 1902 June the 5th  it is section 14 township 13 range 28 it is SE quarter Manitoba
I have all necessary improvements done I have lived on it my-self and family ever since I took it up I would like to have my reckmend (recommend?) as soon as possible
I am yours
William George Cassel
Burnbank Manitoba
Papers were then submitted from William as well as 2 witnesses (Peter Asselstine and George Jeffrey) to prove that he fulfilled his homestead obligations before he was granted the land.  He included the following note at the bottom of his declaration:  
I might have had more broken if I had of had a team of my own but I hired 20 acres broken the first 2 years and this year I have got a team of my own so I will be able to break a lot easier than hiring it done I will appear with witnesses how many and where and when can I get it done the nearest for me. May 16, 1905

After three years of hard work, watching the skies and praying, it all paid off.  Patent was issued for the SE quarter to William on the 8th of November in 1905.  The land was theirs.  

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