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Jacob and Mary Weselowski are now retired and reside in Erickson.
WEST, HARTLEY AND LENA
by Lena I. West
Hartley and I moved to the Erickson district in the spring of 1934. We had been married in 1930 and had farmed at Ogilvie for our first three years. These were very dry years and we experienced severe dust storms as well. Our crops were very scant and so, hearing of a place to rent on heavier land at Erickson, we decided we might do better there.
We rented the P.K. Petersen farm, N.W. 19-17-18W and 30-17-18W across the road, and Hartley went up in the fall of 1933 to do as much field work as they could before freeze-up. He batched there while I took care of things at Ogilvie. In early March of 1934, we loaded our furniture and cattle in a rail car at Ogilvie. Hartley and our dog rode in the car too and it was taken to Muir, then changed over to another CN line and went to Neepawa, staying on a siding overnight, then on to Erickson the next day. The 60 miles required three days going by rail. Hartley returned to Ogilvie and brought a sleigh load of pigs and his horses, returning later for our car.
Mr. Petersen had a few cattle and horses he had left in our care so we had my brother, Frank Wilson, and his wife Alice, stay there and care for them over winter until we were able to move. Frank was able to meet Hartley as the train arrived and help him move our stock and furniture out to the farm.
I had taken the passenger train to Clan william and visited my parents, George and Mary Wilson, while the stock was being moved, so I arrived at Erickson shortly after the freight train. I was able to help Hartley unload our smaller possessions and load them on a hay rack, then we proceeded out to the farm. Though it was only a distance of three miles I still remember this as being the coldest ride of my life. What a welcome it was to find Alice had the house nice and warm and supper ready, too!
We had a busy spring settling in and repairing the buildings. Frank and Alice helped us for a while then left
for the job they had near Russell till his school opened for the fall term.
We lived there for six years and milked ten to fifteen cows by hand. Like everyone else we counted on the cream cheques to buy the groceries, gas and clothing.
In October of 1935 our son Ronald was born. We had Dr. Elliott and nurse Lillian Cumming on hand for his arrival. Ronald weighed only four lbs. four oz. but by one year was twenty five pounds.
In 1936, rust hit the district and we had to burn our lovely field of "Ceres" wheat. The first two years we threshed with Art and Ragnar Bergeson, but later Hartley bought a John Deere tractor and separator and threshed our neighbors' crops as well as our own, and had their help on the stook teams.
In 1938 and 1939 we rented the Gilbert Gusdal farm S.W. 19-17-18W and Art McIntosh worked for us. We threshed for Bob Johnson, Mark Soltys, Tom Chambers, Bill McMillan, Anderson's and Arvid Ulberg, and made many good friends during that time. In 1939, also our baby daughter Rhoda arrived. We were so happy to have a son and a daughter.
Mr. Petersen did not wish to sell his farm, as he hoped his son Norman would take it over, so we finally had a chance to buy a farm two miles south of Clanwilliam from H.S. Taylor and Son of Minnedosa. We moved there in the spring of 1940 and have resided there ever since.
We have fond memories of our years near Erickson, the friends we made and the loyal help we had from Louie Amyotte and Oscar Sieland over the years we knew them.
Lena, Rhoda, Hartley, and Ronald.
o Lord, You'd have us ponder this, One truth You'd have us see-
It's in this life we chart our course for all eternity.