Family Histories
of the Swan River Valley
Manitoba, Canada
Pioneer Centennial
History Book
100 Years in the
Swan River Valley
1898 - 1998

William and Edith Adams

William or “Bill”, as he was most commonly known as, was born in MacNutt, Saskatchewan, to Phillip and Nettie Adams on March 28, 1913. He arrived in the Swan River Valley in 1934, at age 21, and homesteaded in the McVey district. In 1936 he met Edith Macleod and they were married on December 28, 1937. Their union produced five children- three girls and two boys- Nita, Rose, Orville, Iris and Richard.

In 1944, Bill moved his family off the farm to the town of Swan River. He owned and operated the livery stable and also sold fish. After a short stay in Swan River, Bill bought the Crestview Store and Dance Hall, twelve miles west of Swan River. It also served as the Post Office and gas station. With the Crestview School being just across the road, the store became the hub of the community. The dance hall had dances every week-end and hosted the Thompson Sisters, the Cowley Kings and Frank Matychuk. As the grocery store grew, Bill got involved in the trucking business, hauling grain, lumber and pulp. He eventually established a small lumber yard. As busy as he was, he still found time to be involved in the community, serving as School Trustee for a number of years. About that time, Bill started with the Fuller Brush Company, and had the whole valley as his territory. He achieved the status of “Top 100 sales in Canada”.

Bill was very well liked in the community, and enjoyed having people around. The family was very musical and there were many good evenings at the old Crestview

Store. Most Sunday afternoons, different musicians would stop by for an afternoon of “jamming” with the family. The original store burned in 1963 and Bill and Edith along with their adopted daughter, Christine, moved to Langley, B.C. where he lived the remainder of his life. Bill was actively involved in the Langley Elks Club, becoming Exacted Ruler in 1980-81. He also enjoyed lawn bowling and curling in his later years. Bill passed away in Fort Langley B.C. on July 21, 1988. He was fondly remembered by all who knew him during his life in the Swan River Valley.

The song reprinted below was written by William and Edith Adams youngest son, Richard, to commemorate their 50th wedding anniversary, in 1987.

Mom and Dad
1. My daddy was a Fuller Brush Salesman
My mama ran a General store
The boys drank home brew ‘stead of mountain dew
They could party all night and more
There were goats and a dog and an old Tom cat
And my grandpa lived there too
And they taught us kids
That to love and to give
Was the best that we could do

2. Well the music would ring and we’d all sing The songs from the radio
And sometimes we’d see the big stars
From the Grand Ole Opry show
And when the family band started playing
For dances every Friday night
Well it planted a seed to a life long dream And I’ll follow it ‘till I die
Oh mom and dad you know
We sure are proud of you
And you’ll never know
How much we owe
To the love we have for you.
Bridge:- Then the girls got married And my brother he did too And I left home to sing my songs And follow that old rainbow

3. Lord how we share those memories
When we get together now
And we still feel the same about
Each other ain’t it so!
And if the future ever worries you
Well, please don’t be afraid
Cause you’ll always have your family
Behind you all the way.

4. It’s been 50 years of sweat and tears
And you’re still going strong
And sometimes you must wonder
Where all those years have gone
And when its time to leave
This earthly home we’re livin’ in
We’ll share a place together
In heaven at the end.
Oh mom and dad you know
We sure are proud of you
And you’ll never know
How much we owe
To the love we have for you.

Submitted By: Iris Hrappstead and Richard Adams

L-R: Rose, Nita, Iris, Richard, Bill, Edith, Orville, Christine


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.