1912 Nov 7 – Fork River
George King, of Dauphin, was here renewing old acquaintances between trains.
Miss Grant of Pine View was visiting her friends at Valley River during the weeks end.
Thos. Ramsay, P.M. of Sifton, was here on business with D. Kennedy.
Walter Clark has returned staying for a short time at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. Clark.
Rev. H.H. Scrase, who has been visiting his brother at Swan River and attending the mission at Dauphin, returned on Saturday’s train.
S. Briggs, who was here renewing acquaintances for a short time, has returned to Dauphin.
Mr. and Mrs. D. Kennedy and family have returned after visiting friends at Ochre River and Dauphin.
Miss Olive Clark and miss Comber have returned from a visit to Winnipegosis.
Hallowe’en has passed, and to judge from the looks of the town next morning, those who too part in the the tricks, should be pleased with themselves if they call it fun. Even the church was made to pay toll, which is going the limit.
The elevator gang has left. The elevator is now open for business with Jack Clemens in charge.
What’s the matter with the Bay Centre correspondent of the Press. We must have touched him on a sore spot by the remarks he makes of the Fork River scribe. We would advise him to give up his Hooligan tactics of sandbagging people and to roost with the owls till it freezes up.
One of our enterprising citizens has surrounded his lot on Main Street with an ornamental fence.
1912 Nov 7 – The Fork River Settlement
Pretty much all the history of the Dauphin district dates from the advent of the C.N.R. The actual settlement of the northern part of the country, which includes Fork River and Winnipegosis, commenced in 1897, when the railway entered. It is true there were parties who squatted here and there, but the first settlement amounted to nothing when estimated in figures. It was not until three or four years later that the municipality of Mossey River, which comprises the territory described, was organized. Your correspondent spent a few house at Fork River the other day, and what is more important, spent them pleasantly. It is some fourteen years since the writer first visited the new thriving village of Fork River, and some of those he formed an acquaintance with then, were there to greet him last week. The village of Fork River is located on the Fork and Mossey Rivers, and within a mile or two of its centre, a considerable number of people reside. The land along the Mossey and Fork Rivers is as good as there is to be found anywhere on the American continent, which is saying much. It was but natural then that those who came in first selected the best farms, those along the rivers. The country about was at one time covered with a growth of timber, which included tamarack, spruce and poplar. The latter kind was the most frequently met with. Much of it, of course, has since disappeared before the axe of the lumberman and the wood chopper. Another destructive elements has been fire. In the early days wood had little value and no effort was made to preserve timber. Much timber was needlessly destroyed which would be of considerable value today. But most of us are like the German, if our foresight was as good as our hindsight, we would soon get rich. There is, however, much consolation in the fact that good land will soon produce enough grain to find money to purchase fuel. Like other new districts the Fork River settlement has been up against manta drawbacks, notably wet seasons and poor roads. But somebody remarks, are these not the condition which develop strong men? Yes, truly, but, at times, even the heart of the pioneer sinks. Take the present year as an example. Conditions were such as to try the metal most of us are made of. Even more, the loss of crop is bad enough, but add to this financial obligations incurred and can’t be met, and the burden seems too heavy to bear.
But enough of lamenting. Let us turn to the people themselves. We don’t know where one will find a finer band of pioneers than at Fork River. There is Tom Glendenning, who was there many a day before the railroad. A splendid specimen of the pioneer; good-hearted and a true friend.
Tom Briggs, another who was in the settlement before, we were going say, the war, but we mean before the railroad. The Briggs Bros., Dave and Tom, went though the worst of it, and still wear pleasant faces. Incidentally, it manta be mentioned that Dave is no longer following, like Cincinnatus, the low.
There’s Sam Bailey, who, while not in before the iron horse, has been there long enough to establish his sterling qualities. He’s a good fellow and one can’t meet too often.
Wm. King, pioneer farmer and stock breeder. Has faced difficulties, met them and overcame them. Besides farming on an extensive scale he is bending his energies to improve his own and other people’s stock. Truly a valuable man in any community.
D.F. Wilson – there’s no mistaking him; besides quality he’s got size, both important factors in a new country. He has farmed, is a breeder of stock and fills the important office of municipal clerk. Has also done his share to develop the district.
Nat Little, pioneer merchant. Has been there a long time, and, what’s better, has succeeded. A good fellow with a weakness for the Shetland pony.
Coun. Geo. Nicholson, too, has had the usual ups and downs, seen the rough and the smooth and is still staying with the job.
Reeve Lacey, not such an old-timer as some of the others, but has, in the time he’s been there established his worth and taken a willing hand in the work of development. For several years he has been in the council and is now its head.
W.T. Snelgrove can look quite a ways back. He has seen more than a little of the life of the pioneer. As a hunter he has quite a record in the deer line and can relate some interesting experiences. Some day, when we have time at our disposal and more space we may relate some of W.R.’s exploits.
While speaking of the Snelgroves its opportune to mention morally and Alf. There some pioneers, too.
Alex. Cameron is not exactly one of the prime old-timers, but has been in the distinct quite a few years. There is just this difference between Alex. and most of the other settlers, he had the “dough” and they didn’t. It don’t take long to tell this, but oh, what a world of meaning there is in it. Money is highly important to us all, but when we haven’t got any and need it, words fail to impress its importance on us. May every man who has a healthy pocketbook know how to use its contents as judiciously and generously as Alexander Cameron.
There are many others worthy of a word in this article, but space forbids. They have done their part and performed it well. What more can be said? There’s the Rowe brothers, A. Hunt, Geo. Tilt, W. Northam, C. Clark, F. Cooper, and Frank and Vivan Hafenbrak.
Then, what about the women? Are they, too, not pioneers in the true sense. Yes, indeed; they are worthy of a special article and even then justice could not be done them. They have taken their part, a part which carried its own burden. A burden, no matter how heavy, always cheerfully carried when the interest of their families and their homes was at stake.
Municipal organization should come in for a chapter. Its work is important in our advancement. The reeves and councillors help materially to make history. If they have done their part well and faithfully their names should be writ in large letters.