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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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Daughter, Bertha, was married to Carl Amos Johnson (refer to Carl Amos Johnson). They had two daughters, Vera, Mrs. Challborn, now living in Alberta and Mavis, Mrs. Hyde, living in Winnipeg. Also born to them was a son who died in infancy.
Daughter, Ingeborg, was married to Harry Sundmark (refer to Harry Sundmark). They had two sons, Vernon (living in British Columbia) and Cecil (living three miles south of Erickson).
SJOBERG, BIRGER AND WINNIE
by sons Laurence and Donald
Our father John Birger Sjoberg was born April 17, 1895, at Vindeln, Sweden, and came withhis parents Johan and Clara, one brother and two sisters to the Clanwilliam district in 1905 and settled on N. W. 6-17- 17W, which Johan had bought from Mr. Hartvig Hanson. This farm was later given to our father after our grandfather, Johan, also bought another quarter of land corner to where he was living, S.E. 12-17-18W, from Mr. Hakanson.
As a young lad of nine years, our father promised his aunts and uncles in Sweden that when he got to this new land he was going to send them apples and oranges. He, like many others thought the new world promised good things. It was different story. His sister, Beda (Munson) recalled one of the first nights when she huddled up with her mother in fear of the Indians, who held a pow-wow near their home. The Dejarlais Trail passed near their home. Dad attended school at Hilltop for only a short period.
During the long cold winter months Dad, along with his father and brother, cut cords and cords of wood and would haul this the following year when seasoned some fifteen miles to Minnedosa by oxen and get $1.00 a load. Dad worked on the Minnedosa Dam when it was built and spent several summers out with Harper Con struction, building elevators and houses. For a number of years Dad was road boss, this was to get men out to cut scrub, building roads with horses and a scraper, then to haul gravel with horses and wagon which had been shovelled on by hand.
In harvest time he first operated a steam engine for Theodore Johnson of Clanwilliam and then later for Roger Crawley also of Clanwilliam, this coming closest to fulfilling his boyhood dreams of being a railroad engineer. But there were also cultural activities. Some of the early pictures that we have show Dad with friends playing violins and accordion outside of a cabin. For a number of years Dad was Secretary Treasurer of the Hilltop Reading Club back in 1922 till 1929. This was organized to provide reading opportunities for the people in the community.
Here is a list of men who belonged.
Alfred Sjogren, Hjalmer Korberg, Paul Johnson, Alex Bergquist, Knut Peterson, John Magnell, Frank Larson, Olov Olsen, John Sillen, John Booth, Matt Olsen, Magnus Forsman and John Sjoberg.
Dad and mother were married at Minnedosa in July 1923 and farmed on the same farm till 1960 when they
Four Generations. Standing: Lawrence Sjoberg and son David. Seated, Left to Right: Margaret Sillen Sr., Winnifred and John Sjoberg, Clara Sjoberg Sr.
sold to Mr. Helge Johnson and bought a house in Erickson which they moved into.
During the Twenties and Thirties, life on the farm was not easy for Dad and Mother. Dad spent many winters up at the park taking out logs to get sawed into lumber. He would go up on Sunday with enough feed for the horses and food for himself to do for the week and would return on Saturday. These are the men who worked for Dad doing chores and cutting wood; Harry Armstrong, Howard Spraggs, Stanley Luscka, Fred Woloshen, Knut Sorenson and Herb Skogstad. By 1933, Dad had cut and taken out enough logs for a big barn and he had Bill Larson helping to hue them and was erected that year. Mr. Rupert Naslund of Scandinavia had sawed the shingles for Dad and those are still on today. In 1939 Dad had enough lumber which had been sawed and planed by the Hillstrand Brothers and Albin Olsen to build a new house and I can remember what a thrill it was. In 1950 the hydro was put in which really made things easier.
The old house that we moved out of was very cold and only one room with two small bedrooms upstairs and a small summer kitchen built on one side of the house. In winter time we stored wood and ice in there. Every spring we used to whitewash the log walls and board ceilings. Only a small earth cellar large enough for a potato bin and fruit cupboard which was always full by fall with summer canning of wild fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, saskatoons, cranberries and rhubarb. We always used to have a trap set for mice and rats which always found their way in. There were no storm windows or doors, no telephone, waterworks or hydro and radio. Many a cold morning you would find ice in the kettle and also the chamber under the bed.
It was always a weekly job to fill the coal-oil lamps and stable lanterns and clean the lamp shades, baking bread, churning butter and washing clothes. Melting ice or snow for washing was a big job, lots of times Mother would melt the ice the night before, then to get the wash tub and scrubboard out and rub and rub. The big thing was to wring them out by hand. Ironing was also a big job, as