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JOHN A. MUSGROVE By Pearl Musgrove Mills

Of my father's early life I know little. He was born in a little Ontario town on April 19, 1853. He was the eldest son of James and Elizabeth Jane Musgrove, whose maiden name was McAvoy. He was named John, after his father's only brother .

At the age of three, he, with his father, mother, and elder sister Mary Jane and one younger child went into the bush country around Bluevale, in Huron County, to hew out a home. I can only remember in a hazy sort of way the stories of those early struggles and also the stories of the winters he later spent in the pins woods in Michigan. But I do remember his saying he handed over all his winter's savings (except a few dollars he kept to buy schoolbooks) to his father to help support the family. Such was life in the Ontario bush.

The family later moved to a farm near Gorrie, also in Huron County. Across the line fence lived the Mitchell family. In the Musgrove family there were six sons and three daughters, also in the Mitchell family there were six sons and three daughters, many of them bearing the same names.

As young men my father and his brother Jim learned the trade of carpentry and barn-framing.

In those early years there was a veritable exodus from the bush­ lands of Huron, Bruce and Grey Counties in Ontario to the open prairie lands of Manitoba, a new province with great possibilities, a land of great promise.

My father, weary of the struggle to make a home in the East where he had grown to manhood, and where he had seen his parents spend the best years of their lives clearing land and making a bare living for their large family, decided to look for something better.

In 1879 he came West. He wanted land that did not need clear­ ing, land that he could go on and plow. Yet he must not get too far from the railroad. If he settled fifty miles from one, he had a good chance of getting one close by in time. That summer my father did considerable looking around. He travelled on foot all over what was then called the "north country," up around the Riding Moun­ tains. He was not satisfied with the country as he saw it then. There was too much bush or scrub land that needed too much clearing. He went back to Ontario.

In the fall of 1881 he returned to the West along with his brother Jim. They spent that winter doing carpenter work in Win­ nipeg. The city was young then, with no paved roads. Dad said he had seen many a good team stuck in the mud on what is now Portage Ave.

In March of 1882 they were on the road again. With them was their cousin Robert, known to us later as "Big Bob." As I remember him, he was a big man, with a loud voice, expressive language, and

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