Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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MEMORIES OF MRS. WILLIAM ALEXANDER JR.

Most of Mrs. Alexander''s life was spent in the Oberon district.

On the date of her fifth birthday in April 1889, she with her parents, Sam and Isabella Arbuckle, brothers and sisters, arrived by train in Carberry. They came to this district, settling where her daughter Merle Chisholm and husband, George, lived until 1984.

Mrs. Alexander well recalled seeing Indians, led by their chief, wandering around Boggy Creek. She told too, of the location of graves of Indians. She stated also, that before there were cemeteries, several white children were buried on the homesteads of their parents.

Prairie fires that would rage for days, were also within her memory.

In the mid 1890''s she remembered picking large wild strawberries with the late Mrs. R. Robertson, down along the creek on the old Alexander homestead, the S.E. 2112-15. She said that the early settlers would sometimes drive 10 or more miles with team and wagon to pick wild fruit. At night they would sleep in the wagon -box, slapping at mosquitoes through to the wee small hours of the morning. The next day they would pick more fruit and go home happy and proud of their berries.

Mrs. Alexander was sent off to school at a very early age as the school was located close by. One day when she was five years old, she was scouting around Boggy Creek by herself in the afternoon. Feeling tired, she lay down on a binder platform and fellasleep. After considerable searching, she was found before dark.

Next morning her mother pushed her off to school with her brothers and sisters - in that way her mother would know her whereabouts.

Mrs. Alexander often told about the cyclone that passed through the district in July 1901. She never forgot the terrible roar, the sucking up of water from Boggy Creek, and the path of destruction left behind.

She told about John Widden saving his mother''s life, by grabbing her from the buggy as the cyclone was approaching.

Mrs. Alexander spent hours and hours riding horseback over the virgin prairies that existed between Boggy Creek and the present site of Brookdale. Her father owned a large herd of cattle which wandered over the whole countryside as there were no fences in those early days. Sometimes she rode as far west as the Dodds'' farm (owned now by Chas. Swanson), or as far north as the Oberon School, and sometimes as far south as the Harte railroad tracks.

 

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