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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

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Charlie and Anna Holmstrom. 50th Wedding Anniversary - 1954.

The Charlie Holmstrom Family - 1919. Back Row: Charlie, Anna. Front Row: Edna, Grace, and Linnea.

They had five children:

Linnea who passed away in 1940. Carl died as an infant in 1908.

Edna married Ezra Gustavson and Edna lives at Norquay. Ezra passed away January, 1983. They had a daughter Noreen.

Grace married Carl Lindgren and she lives at Norquay, Saskatchewan. Carl passed away in March, 1973. They had three children; Clinton, Marvin and lone.

Doris died as an infant in 1920.

430

HOLMSTROM, JOHN AND EMMA

by the/amity

John was born in Vermland, Sweden, and married Emma Estergren in Sweden in 1881. In 1886, John and his brother Eric came to Canada from Sundsvaal, Sweden. It took them nearly six weeks to arrive in Rat Portage, (now Kenora) Ontario. Eric settled there, but John continued on to Neepawa, Manitoba, then to Minnedosa. He settled on a homestead on the N. W. 18- 18-18W in the R.M. of Clanwilliam. John applied for homestead patent May 19, 1888. He received it October 16, 1895. By 1890, the farm contained five cattle and had six acres broken. John returned to Sweden in 1889, and brought to Canada: his wife, Emma, two sons, a daughter, two brothers and his parents. Mrs. Holm­ strom's mother was so grieved to see her only daughter going off to a strange and wild country, that they left their oldest son, John Jr. aged seven, with his grand­ mother. John Jr. was twenty-one before the family saw him again.

John's brother Magnus, homesteaded with the grandparents, John and Kaza Holmstrom on what is now the Viking Valley Farm. Magnus did not stay very long, and finally settled in British Columbia. The grandparents went to their son Eric in Kenora, where they are now at rest.

John's other brother, August, settled in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan. John Holmstrom and family first lived in a "dug-out" in the side of a hill near where the Radar Tower now stands. They came as far as Neepawa first, and here the second daughter was born. They then continued on by oxen to their home in "the hill".

To care for his large family, Mr. Holmstrom went on foot to work in Brandon, Rounthwaites, Rapid City, and elsewhere. On one occasion he was given the only cow that would lead, the "bell cow", and a bag of wheat as payment for work done at Rounthwaite, and walked home leading the cow. It was tied to son Henry while he picked berries in the swamp near their home so that they would not lose him. Henry kept the bell over the years, until 1973, he gave it to one of his nephews. This was just one of Mrs. Holmstrom's ideas employed to cope with the hardships she endured, having been left alone to cope for weeks at a time. A daughter died during one of Mr. Holmstrom's many absences. Meanwhile, between jobs, "Big John", as he became known, cleared land and built a log home. They moved into their home in 1895. John became well known for his ability with the axe, and was particularly expert as an "end-man" in the work of building with logs. It was very exacting work, and he was considered the best man for the job.

In 1901, the family moved to Basswood, where Mr.

Holmstrom filed for another homestead, and became a very prominent farmer, and business man. He had property in Texas City, Texas, where he spent his winters when his health began to fail. Emma died in 1927, and John died in 1933, and are buried in the Basswood Cemetery. Mr. Holmstrom left his property in Texas to Arthur, and a quarter section of land to each of the other members of the family with the exception of John Jr. (the eldest), who had his own homestead.