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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

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Lars acquired more land as time passed the N. W. 1-17- 18W and the S.E. 1-17-18W. It was to the latter quarter that he looked to build a new log house and farm buildings in 1897.

The new location gave the family access to a better road being situated along the town-line about one eighth of a mile up from the present Clan william-Minto boundary. (It was here that the tragedy of three year old Ethel occurred). The new log house had one main large room with two bedrooms above. The kitchen was built onto the west side as a lean-to. The family lived here until one by one the three older children, Selma, Karl and John left home and went their separate ways. The family at­ tended church at Bethlehem Lutheran at Scandinavia, six miles to the north. Lars and Emma were charter members of that very first congregation, established in 1891 and knew all the hardships of its organization. When the new church was built in 1912, they were again working members. There was of course, no motor-car to take them to church in those early days, so travel was by horses in democrat, wagon or sleigh. In later years as Karl and John's families were growing up, the family custom was to stop in at Gramma's house on the way home from church for dinner and a visit. This was a convenient arrangement and a happy one, a highlight of the week for everyone! During this era of the Oman's life their home was always open to the traveller with his horse and wagon. Friends who travelled up from Smoland south of Minnedosa north to the park, or on their return, would stop in for coffee or perhaps stay overnight. There was always a welcome!

August, 1908, brought tragedy once again. The family's only remaining daughter Selma, became lost while searching for cows in the rain. She spent the night in a haystack and died later as a result of exposure, leaving behind her husband, Andrew Johnson, and three small children, Joseph six, Ethel four, and Andy Jr. two. The children came to live with their grandparents, sometimes spending time with their father until they grew up and stepped out into the world.

Emma and Lars Oman.

Time passed on and son Edwin was growing up and casting about for a mate. He found one in the person of Wilhelmina (Mina) Hofdahl with whom he had become acquainted at church and also when she came to work at his brother John's home. Edwin and Mina came to live with Lars and Emma after Edwin married and the two couples worked and farmed together. Grampa Lars once again recognized the need for a larger home as Edwin's family started to arrive (two sons were born in the old house). The Baglo Bros., who were carpenters in the district, were engaged to start work on a new house in 1916, completing it in 1917. The house was patterned in the style of son Charlie's house down the road with only a foot or two dimension-wise larger and built of B.C. lumber. The house was Grampa's pride and joy! What a contrast it was to the one the family had come to in 1886. That Christmas the family planned a gala Christmas party in the attic of the big new house. The Nystrom Bros. (John, Sid and Nils) provided music with violin and guitar for dancing as neighbors and friends came to celebrate the season and the joy of a new home with the Oman's.

Grampa Lars loved music and played accord ian in his younger days. He purchased an organ for his new home and was happy when someone came along who would play for him. The first family car was probably pur­ chased around 1914, the family had a picture taken in it on Main Street in Minnedosa.

Gramma Oman loved to knit. The Omans kept sheep and their fleece was turned into lovely warm mitts, socks, blankets and comforters by Emma, who carded, spun and transformed the wool into these very useful articles. Winter days was the time set aside for this craft. She also made cheese and soap.

Emma and Lars kept in touch with family members in Sweden but were never able to return to their old home for a visit. Old age and ill health began to take their toll in their lives in the 30's. Lars passed away suddenly in October, 1933, at the age of eighty-five years. Emma lived on, though bed-ridden with arthritis for nine more years, passing away in May of 1942, at the age of eighty­ eight years. Their bodies lay at rest in the Bethlehem Lutheran cemetery at Scandinavia along with daughters Ethel and Selma and son Karl (Charlie). Their two infant sons Hjalmer and Martin are buried at All Saints cemetery south of the old Oman residence.

Selma Josephina (1876-1908), the eldest of Lars and Emma's children came to Canada at the age of 10 years. Whatever schooling she had would have taken place in Sweden. The nearest school to the family homestead in Canada being almost four miles distant (the first location of Lakelet) which was too far for small children to walk and the parents didn't have the means nor the time to take them. So Selma and her brothers settled in and did whatever children could do to help make a living and get the family moving forward.

When Selma grew up she went to work at Minnedosa for a Mr. Jim Rea, owner of the Tremont Hotel and became highly regarded for her good character and fine workmanship. She continued to work in Minnedosa until the year 1900 at which time she married Andrew Johnson. Andrew and Selma settled on a homestead by