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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

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by Katherine Pollan

Hugh J. MacPherson was the youngest son of James and Mary. He was born in 1895. Like his older brothers, Hugh stayed on the farm as well. He married Rita Me­ Bratney, daughter of T.A. McBratney, C.N.R. agent at Clanwilliam and Erickson till his death there. They married in 1931, and moved into the farm home of his uncle Hugh MacPherson, who had lost his wife in 1931 and farmed with him until the older Hugh MacPherson retired and moved to Clanwilliam. Hugh and Rita were both musical and entertained with Joyce Wright and Clara Oman at all the community dances for years. They had four children. The oldest, a son Hugh, was born in 1932, and died in infancy at six days of age. Mary was born in 1933. She was educated in Grey School, Clan­ william, and attended one year in Brandon University and Normal school in Winnipeg wher she obtained her teacher's certificate. She taught in Marnie and Brandon. In 1957, she married Vernon Reynolds and moved to Ontario. Vern and Mary had six children; Laverne, only daughter was born in 1958, and died accidently in 1960. Bruce born in 1962, Bradley born in 1963, Terry born in 1964 and Kevin born in 1972. Vern and Mary now reside in Kamloops, B.C. where he is employed as a miner. Katherine was born in 1935, attended Grey School in Clanwilliam, later went to Manitoba Technical Institute in Winnipeg for training as a stenographer, gaining employment with the Royal Bank in Minnedosa. In 1955, she married Gordon Pollon. (refer to Andrew and Lillian Pollon).

Hugh and Rita MacPherson. Katherine, Mary and Islay MacPherson.

Islay was born in 1936. She attended school at Grey in Clanwilliam, later attended St. Mary's Academy in Brandon and entered the banking profession and has been with them for over 25 years. She has worked in Brandon, Calgary and Winnipeg. She married Norman Henry in 1969, and has one son, James (Jimmie) born in 1970. Islay and Jimmie presently reside in Winnipeg.

Hugh and Rita farmed until 1957, when their son-in­ law, Gordon Pollon took over the farm. Rita passed away in 1965, Hugh stayed on the family farm alone and then spent a few years with his sister Kate and the last year of his life between the homes of his three daughters. Hugh passed away quietly in the Minnedosa Hospital at the age of 85 in the year 1980.


by Bessie Simmons

One of the original pioneers of Bethany - a farmer, humorist and civic leader - Mark Madill was born in Grey County, Ontario, and came to Manitoba in 1877 as a small boy of seven with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Madill. They settled at Palestine (later Gladstone) and in 1879, moved up to their homestead in the Clanwilliam District.

As a lad of nine years he went to work for his nearest neighbor, George Burgess had 'horses' and his own father was still using oxen. He also helped at home to clear the land. In 1894, he and his brother George bought the N.W. 2-16-17, and farmed together till 1897 when Mark bought his brother's share in the farm. In October, 1897, he married Margaret Marshall of County Monaghan, Ireland, and they lived to share their Diamond Anniversary in October, 1957.

Mark was very active in public life. He was chairman of the school board for 10 years, and at the time the Consolidated School was built in 1920. He helped with the erection of St. Johns Memorial Church in Bethany and was always a supporter and member of the vestry. He served on Minto Council - nine years as Councillor and five years as Reeve. He belonged to one of the first farm organizations in the West, and helped Donald McKenzie organize U.G.G.locals, later called the U.F.M.

He was an Honorary Member in his local Orange Lodge and in the Grand Lodge of Manitoba.

His love of animals was 'legend' and his barns were full of horses and cattle.

His keen sense of humor, and ability to see the bright side, made him many friends.

And now a word of tribute to his loving wife, who was known affectionately to all the Bethany folks as 'Aunt Maggie'.

Mrs. Madill, former Margaret Marshall of County Monaghan, Ireland, immigrated to Boston in 1893, coming up to work in Brandon in 1896. In 1897, she married Mark Madill and worked hard as a pioneer, along with her husband. Five children were born of this union. The first two children died as infants and in 1920 the youngest daughter, May, passed away. The oldest son William lives in Minnedosa. He married Elvera Boyd. They have a son, Ray, and a daughter, Joy. The oldest daughter, Bessie Simmons, lives on the old homestead with her eldest son Bill. Her husband, Ernest, passed away in 1976 (refer Simmons - Ernest and Bessie). Her other two sons are Jim, a teacher at Shilo, and Don, a surveyor in British Columbia. There are eight grand­ children in the two families.

Mrs. Madill was faithful to her Church, and her Orange Lodge, being an Honorary Member in the Lodge; also an Honorary Member of the W.A. She was an ar­ dent worker for the old Lady Minto Hospital.

In her earlier years she was in demand as a 'singer' and 'reciter'. She dearly loved the Irish songs of her native land.

One of her favorite hobbies was gardening among her flower beds. She felt very close to her maker in the gardens as He created all things that are bright and beautiful.