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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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KARTON, SYDNEY AND MARYJANE
by William and Charlie Karton
Sydney, at age 16, came from England and settled in the Killarney district where he was employed on the railroad as a section man. During World War I he joined the Killarney Infantry from 1914 to 1918 and he was sent overseas returning with a leg wound. After the war, Sydney returned to the railroad to work in the Holmfield area of southern Manitoba where he met and married Mary Jane Holt, a hired girl working with families in that area. Mary Jane had also come from England with her brother to farm and she and Sydney were married in 1920. They weren't long in Holmfield when he was transferred to Lena, Manitoba, where he bought half an acre of land and built a house there. Four children were born to them; William, born in Winnipeg, Dora, Charlie and Sidney, born at home in Lena. They lived there until 1931 when they moved to Erickson.
Tom Hughes, a friend at Lena at the time, owned a farm north of Erickson and asked if Sydney and his family would work it for him. Theywere there for a short time, then chose to move to the Whirlpool district to Mr. Clym's place. In the spring of 1932, on her way to help out Mrs. Jack Moir, Mary Jane hurt her back riding on the hayrack. The horses jumped, she lost her balance and fell against the end of the rack. Later in December, she was taken to Winnipeg where she died of cancer. Sydney, left to raise the four children, purchased a half section of land from Dr. Rutledge, nine miles north of Erickson. There he learned to cook and can, besides milking cows and making butter to sell. He had four horses to farm the land and he cut and sold cord wood for $1.00 a cord to a man from Minnedosa who came up by team to take the wood back.
Sydney broke up much land, helped build the first school at Onanole, and helped build the no. 10 Highway which ran through his farm.
In September of 1937, Sydney also died leaving the four children who were looked after by Albert Dawson during their father's illness and death. Dr. Rutledge took on the responsibility of selling the farm, auctioning the
Mary Jane Karton
belongings and seeing that the children were put into foster homes with the money from the sales going toward their keep.
Bill Karton Fami/y. Back Row, Left to Right: Janice, Doris, Bill. Seated: Iris, Melanie, Laureen. Centre Front: Carolann.
Their four children are:
William, after the death of his parents, he went to live with Fritz and Florence Bergwall. Being 16 years of age, he was regarded as being independent, therefore he was responsible for finding his own way. The invitation from Bergwall's was indeed a welcome one. In 1939, he left Bergwall's to work in the Smoland area south of Min nedosa on farms for about three years. He joined the army in December of 1941, during World War II. training at Fort Osborne, Manitoba, Dundern, Saskatchewan and Chilliwack, B.C. in the Royal Canadian Engineers. He was sent overseas and served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany until the war ended. He chose to return to civilian life and was discharged. He made his home with his sister and her husband, Steve and Dora Marcino, who were farming at Erickson on S.W. 5-17-18W. There, for eight years, he went each winter to Ontario to work in the bush camps near Dryden returning to work on the farm in the summers except for two years when he worked for Pete Slobodian who had the International dealership in Erickson. William married Doris Shellborn in December, 1954, and they moved to a small farm by Hart's Lake, S.W. 6-17-18W which he rented from Steve's aunt. During the three years they spent there, two girls were born to them, Laureen in 1955, and Iris in 1956. The family then chose to move to British Columbia in 1957, to Whonnock where Bill was employed at the Whonnock Lumber Company. Three more girls were added to the family, Janice in 1959, Melanie in 1965, and Carolann in 1968 during which time they moved twice, ending up in Maple Ridge, B.C. Laureen moved back to Erickson in