of the Swan River Valley
100 Years in the
Swan River Valley
1898 - 1998
James and Isabella Blaylock
James Troup Blaylock
James left his parent’s home in Kirkandrews-on-esk in England about 1895 and went to work as a tram operator in Newcastle-on-Tyne. While there, he met and married Isabella Miller. They had three boys; Stan in 1901, Harry in 1903 and Richard (Dick) in 1905. Stories of the riches in Canada reached them and they moved to the Toronto area in 1912. Hilda was born in 1912, but she only lived for one year. Alice was born in 1915 Eglington, Ontario.
The family moved to the Ochre River area in 1916 and James attempted to provide for his family on very poor soil. He finally decided to follow his sons to the Bowsman area in 1925 and bought a farm and house in the Lavender District, one and a half miles south of the Lavender School, in the east half of Section 25-37-28W.
James passed away in 1948, Isabella in 1949.
Stan married Mary Dalton, of Minitonas, in Bowsman in 1943. They took over his Father’s homestead, raised cattle and grain, and remained there until 1972, when they moved into Swan River. They had one son David in 1948. During this time Mary taught school for 28 years. Stan was active in the Royal Orange Lodge, the United Church, a director of the Bowsman Pool Elevator, and became a very good at bowling after retirement. Mary passed away in 1992, Stan in 1994.
Harry married Gladys Shinn in Bowsman in 1934. They bought a farm in the SE of section 36-37-28W. and raised cattle and cereal crops until the early 1970’s. They had four sons; Lorne,Larry, Robert,and Calvin. Harry was active in the Lavender School board and both he and Gladys played with the Lavender Orchestra. They moved into Swan River in 1976. Harry passed away in 1995.
Richard (Dick) Blaylock
Dick married Hilda Lindbergh in Hammond, BC in 1937. He worked in the mill with BC Forest Products for forty years, eventually retiring as supervisor of Quality and Control. Hilda passed away in 1972; Dick in 1979. They had no family.
Alice married Murray Sharpe in Bowsman in 1934, and they spent all their life in the Bowsman area. They farmed the east half of Section 30-37-27W.;until 1950, when they moved into Bowsman. Alice took on casual work with the Co-op store in 1951, and after three years worked full time. She worked eight years in Bowsman and another fourteen years in the Swan River Co-op store. She was President of the Seniors Club in Bowsman for ten years. At present, she resides in the new Lions Plaza in Swan River.
David married Arlene Heimark in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1971. They lived in Bigger for twenty one years and now live in Calgary, where David works on golf course. They have one son Bryan, born in 1975.
Lorne married Patty Mault in Swan River in 1974. They live in the Lavender District and Lorne works as a mechanic for a farm machinery firm in Swan River. They have two boys; Douglas born in 1969 and Marty in 1971.
Larry married Audry Carson in Langruth, Mb. in 1965. Larry works for the Provincial Departement of Highways and they live together in Portage la Prairie. They had two daughters;Sheri in 1972 and Lori in 1973.
Bob married Esther Debruin of Birch River in 1969. They moved to Quesnel B.C. where Bob has been involved in auto body repairs and auto wrecking. They have one daughter Kyla, born in 1976.
Calvin married Glenda Riddell of Swan River in 1970. They worked in Winnipeg before moving to Spruce Grove, Alberta. Calvin was involved in auto body repairs and now the oil industry. They have three daughters; Michelle in 1971, Deanna in1978 and Heather in 1980. Calvin and Glenda are divorced.
Stuart married Maxine Fawcett of Kenville in 1960. He worked for the Departement of Highways, in Manitoba, for 34 years and they are now retired to Westbank B.C. They have three children; Donald, born in 1961, Debbie in 1963 and Duane in 1971.
Submitted by: Stuart Sharpe
Manitoba's Swan River Valley is an area rich in history. These family histories were a part of the 1998 Pioneer Centennial History Book project. If you would like the history of your area available online, have your historic group contact the Key Rock Group for information on electronic publication. We offer publication free of charge and also provide the option for making your history book available on CD.