Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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In 1880 Mr. and Mrs. Hugh McKee came to the district of Glenburney from Stratford, Ontario with four sons and a daughter. They homesteaded on 20 1316. Alexander McKee took out the patent on 12 13 17, on October 7, 1885, after fulfilling the requirements of homesteading. The oldest son Jim, farmed for awhile at Glenburney, then moved to Asquith, Saskatchewan about 1908. The third son Tom, went to Birnie, and established a farm there.

The youngest son, John died at the age of 22. The daughter Mabel Gregory, lived at Asquith.

On August 20, 1889, Alex married Barbara Robertson. In 1898 they built the main part of the house which is still standing, adding the north part in 1912. Three generations have lived in this house.

Alex and Barbara had seven children. John and Robert were twins, born in 1890. Robert was accidentally shot at 14 years. Hugh McKee married Rosanne Stinson and farmed at Asquith, Saskatchewan.

Agnes married Will Webster and lived at Welwyn, Saskatchewan. Margaret married Charlie Allan and lived at Welwyn for a time. William, the youngest son, married Myrtle Doncaster in 1930, and farmed the home place. Barbara, the youngest daughter was named Bertha but her name was changed to Barbara when her mother died six months after her birth. She married Ole Oleson and farmed at Percival, Saskatchewan, then moved to Victoria, British Columbia.

In 1904, Alex built the barn. The logs were cut and hauled from Kerr''s Lake. When the logs were assembled, a carpenter or builder was hired. He squared the logs with an adze. Then he cut the ends to fit together; drilled holes in the ends to take wooden pegs. When the logs were ready, a building bee was held to put the logs in place. The logs had to fit perfectly in order that the pegs would fit in place and hold them together. The original barn had a windmill on top but was later taken down, possibly it shook the barn. In 1938, a tornado badly damaged the barn, but it was fixed and used for many more years.

Before the new barn was built, a row of sad barns were along the edge of the hill. A winter storm covered the barns with snow. The men had to dig a hole down through the roof to feed the cattle until the storm was over.

Alex''s mother and dad moved in with the family and spent their last years there helping to raise the family and being cared for in their declining years.

Hugh McKee spent many hours beside the heater smoking a short stemmed clay pipe. Grandma Sarah McKee suffered from rheumatism and was confined to a wheel chair for several years. Her grandchildren remember that she always had candies for treats in her apron pocket. She lived until 1916, she was 93 years old. Grandpa Hugh was 90 when he died in 1910. They are buried in the Glenburney Cemetery.

Alex McKee lived part of the time with his son Bill and the rest of the time with his daughter Agnes Webster. He died in 1939 at the age of 80. He was also buried at Glenburney.

Bill and Myrtle had two children, Norma and Ken. They went to school at Glenburney a distance of two miles west. They drove a horse and buggy during the summer and a van in the winter.

Bill was a trustee on the Glenburney School Board for a number of years. He also curled at Cordova when the rink was built.

Norma married Bob Buchanan of Neepawa.

They lived at Biggar, Saskatchewan for several years, then moved to Winnipeg. Bob has been employed by the C.N. Railway. They have six children, Wayne, Ken, Darlene, Linda, Donnie and Neil.

Ken married Betty Lou Crook of Neepawa on November 6, 1965. She was employed by the Manitoba Telephone System after high school.

They have two children Beverley (1966) and Ronald (1970). They went to Brookdale and Neepawa schools. Beverley and Michael Pickering of Weyburn, Saskatchewan are planning their wedding for 1986.

Ken and Betty Lou have enjoyed the winter sport of snowmobiling and Poker Derbies. During the summer the farm has been their main interest and activity.

In 1976 Bill and Myrtle moved to Minnedosa, they returned the next summer, but made a permanent move that fall. Bill died in 1979 at the age of 78. Myrtle is now living in "The Manor" and enjoys a visit with friends and family.

Ron is still in high school but takes an active interest in the farm and will probably be the fourth generation to operate the McKee homestead.


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