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enjoys when family and friends come to the farm for a visit or a card game.
John Raymond (December 30, 1958) went to school at Lakelet and Minnedosa. After finishing school, he went to Winnipeg where he sought employment at various estab lishments including the Pembina Hotel and Pembina Shell Service Station. John continued to return to the farm in the spring and the fall to assist Brian with the seeding and harvesting. In 1988, deciding that city life was not for him, John bought the former Herman Oman farm (SE 6- 17 -17), but continued to live at home with Adolph, Emily
and Brian. In 1996, John moved into the house on a farm bought by Brian (SW 6-17-17, formerly owned by Merril Johnson). John enjoys the quiet country life, gardening, maintaining the lawns, curling in the winter and fanning with Brian.
SILLEN, ELLIS AND VIOLA SILLEN, ALBERT AND AGNES Submitted by Agnes Sillen
Ellis Sillen married Viola Oman. Ellis's parents, John and Margaret Sillen, were farmers in the Hilltop District. Viola and Ellis began their married life together on a rented farm in the Hilltop District. Later, they purchased the SW 1123-17-18, at Crocus, where they lived until their son, Albert, took it over in 1952. Then, they purchased a farm close to Erickson, living there until they sold the farm to Paul Warwarnk in 1970, and bought a house in Erickson.
Viola worked as assistant cook at the Erickson Hospital for several years until she retired in 1978.
Viola and Ellis had two sons, Albert and Kenneth.
Kenneth passed away in 1964. Ellis passed away October 20, 1990. Viola still lives in her home at Erickson.
Albert married Agnes Moyer of Onanole on October 22, 1955. We have one son, Harvey, born October 27, 1966.
We started farming on the SE 1123-17-18. We began farming with a W 4 International tractor and a few cows. I remember the first year we were married we had a lot of snow. That winter it seemed to be stormy most of the time. It was a difficult task just to feed those few cows and bed them. Albert forked the hay on the sleigh wagon then forked it into the bam, as at that time you kept all the cows in the bam. You also had to shovel all the manure from the bam.
We did not have snowplows at that time to clear the roads. The boundary road was blocked all winter until the end of April. I remember we kept a trnck out at the high way and when we needed groceries, or wanted to go to town, we walked out to the highway and just hoped the trnck would start. Then, we walked back home. The snow mobile was not yet invented, but I thought one would have been handy.
For entertainment, we would walk to our neighbours, Ernie and Hattie Johnson, usually every Friday night, to visit and play cards. We spent many enjoyable evenings with Hattie and Ernie.
The next summer we started milking cows. We carried the milk into the house and separated the milk for cream. We sold cream for $6.00 a can and it was enough to make a living on.
As we bought more cows, we soon realized we did not have enough land to pasture them, so Albert purchased a quarter from his Grampa Charlie Oman, SW 14-17-18. Then he acquired a pasture quarter from Carl Johnson. He later bought three quarters from Ed and Mac Marcino, which were next on 14 and 1l.
There were a lot of saskatoon bushes on the quarter he bought from Grampa. Vi and I picked many pails of saskatoons and other berries for jam.
Albert thought he couldn't grow much grain on that land as it was, so he had Colon Campbell clear the land with his bulldozers. He also had him clear the bush from the quarter he bought from Carl Johnson. Colin Campbell and crew were here all one winter and part of another winter. They had a trailer in our yard.
At first we had a well for the cows a quarter of a mile out in the field. We would pump water by hand for the cows. I pumped the trough full; then Albert would let the cows out for water. It didn't take long for the cows to empty the trough, even if you kept on pumping. When you are in the cow and calf business, you have to be prepared to miss hours of sleep. Albert spent many hours checking the cows with a flashlight. I was his helper and sometimes helped a cow to deliver a calf. Often I would help a calf get sucking, if it wouldn't get sucking on its own. It was all rewarding though, seeing all the new calves rnnning around.
In 1977, we purchased N 11236-16-18 from Albert's uncle, Harry Oman. As the work was getting heavier, I thought we needed a hired man. Albert said he would like to get Clarence Larsen. Clarence agreed to work for us in the spring of 1978. He has been Albert's right hand man ever since. I'm sure the farm would not rnn without him.
Farming has changed so much. When we first started farming, Albert had a small International combine. We thought it was big then. The combines did not have cabs on them. I remember Albert sitting many hours on the combine when you could hardly see him for dust, espe cially if it was windy. I drove the trnck and at night, I waited for him to blink the lights as a signal to unload the combine. Now, the combines are much bigger, with cabs, and with 2-way radios in them and the trnck so that we can communicate making things much easier.
In 1980 we built a new house, which was much bigger than the little house. I keep busy with my garden and flow ers, which I enjoy.