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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prairie all night when I saw an object in the distance and headed for it. What do you think it was but the boy and oxen I had left at home. I had been walking in a circle. The boy was disappointed and wished he was back in Ontario. Next day I started out again but I took some grub and a tin cup with me this time. I managed to get there and get my papers for the homestead and get back home again.

I then went back to Portage to get my wife and family and we loaded our trunks, bedding, a churn of water and seven fowl in the wagon and Mrs. Graham and the children had to go in the wagon too. We had a cover on it like the gypsies. The wife and family slept in the wagon and the men underneath on a straw tick. It took us a week to come from Portage la Prairie to 30-5-19 where Sandy Scott lived, We lived in tents for the summer until we got our buildings up. Mrs. Graham baked scones on top of the tent stove in a big pan with another pan turned down over and when the men were home on Sundays, she would make a big loaf and put it in Mr. Campbell's bake kettle (a flat iron pot with an iron lid) and he would take it to the smudges and cover it over with fine ashes and coals and we would have a fine big loaf. There was no variety in food in those days. We had to get our wood from the Souris River eight or nine miles away. We always took the cattle with us when we went for wood and let them have a good drink at the river, as we had to melt snow to get water at home.

In 1882, I sowed five acres of wheat and broke more for oats.

I cut my crop with a cradle that year and made bands out of the wheat to tie the heaves and then stacked. Two men came along with a threshing machine they had bought in Brandon on their way to Deloraine. I got them to thresh my grain for $25.00 and I had to put a team on to help draw the machine the rest of the way to Deloraine. I sold my wheat in Brandon for about five years. It took three days to make the trip. That was before the railway was through and Boissevain started. We got the logs for our first house from the Souris River and the logs for the barn from the Turtle Mountains. While we men were taking out the timber, the wife had to look after the stock and haul water up with a pail and rope for them, as well as looking after the family.

We had nine of a family. Two died of diphtheria while I was homesteading and had to secure medical attention from Brandon until a doctor was located in Boissevain. Our daughter died in 1930. The other six are all married and looking after themselves. We have twenty-four grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Graham was real handy and besides baking bread for the bachelors in the district at $1.00 for 100 pounds of flour, she attended people when they were sick and was a great help to the pioneer women.

Mrs. Graham, who was a good wife and good mother, pre­ deceased me in 1932. Although we had our share of hardships in

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