This page is a text version of the Beckoning Hills History Book. This is the story of the Turtle Mountain Area of Manitoba. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

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In 1889 my father went on a trip to Ontario, back to the old neighborhood. On Feb. 27 he married Annie Emma Mitchell. Early in March they came back to the prairie home. It was her first trip to the West. That year was very dry and the crop was a failure. The returns were only five bushels to the acre.

The 1890 crop was completely hailed out and my father wanted to quit but mother said, "Try it for another year," so they did and were always thankful they did. Crops were better for the next few years and in 1896 we built Our stone stable. The following year my father got out the timber for the barn. He did the hewing and framing himself in the winter. Then one fine day when all was in readiness a crowd of neighbors gathered for the barn raising. I can still remember how it looked that evening, in silhouette against the western sky. When the barn was finished my mother held a quilting bee and a social evening in the new building.

In those days there were many pedlars on the road, men of dark swarthy complexion, with dark brown eyes and coal black hair. Some called them Jews but some at least were Assyrians. They travelled on foot carrying huge boxes or bags of merchandise. They went from door to door endeavoring to sell and seeking a night's lodging wherever they might be at the close of each day. Mother did not like sheltering these stranger, but dad's soft heart would not let him say no. "You know, Annie," he would say, "I can't turn anyone away. I know what it is to be hungry and have no place to lie down. All that summer of '79 I tramped over that north country in search of land. The settlers were so few and so far from supplies that they hardly dared to part with half a loaf of bread. Many a time I had money enough to buy all I wanted, but there was nothing to buy. I knew how they felt and I sympathized with them. But there were others who, when I asked for shelter for the night, refused even the privilege of lying on the bare floor of their cabin. I vowed then that if I ever had a home of my own, I would never turn anyone away. And I never will." He kept that vow.

Another little incident he used to tell us about when any of us complained about eating crusts (as children will)-It was that same summer up north. "I had travelled a long way on foot and was tired and very hungry. There was not a dwelling in sight. I came to a clearing where the Indians had camped. I looked around and saw on the ground what looked like a small loaf. I picked it up; it had been baked in the campfire but was burnt black on the outside and they had hooked the inside out of it. It may not have been very clean, but! ate it and thought it was good."

Then there was another time he told about, I think it was that same fall. "There were four of us. We had tramped a long way, and were coming to a stopping place where we knew we would get food and shelter. I was asked to be spokesman for the party, so I knocked on the door. A girl opened it and started back, frightened at what she saw. I thought I must be a tough-looking customer to