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shelter while father built a house, and I broke the land. We also built a sod stable with some of the sod slabs, and brought in our few livestock.

Some of the first winters were pretty severe. Sometimes we had a blizzard every week. I remember one blizzard in particular. It was in 1891, early in the fall. I was helping Abe Houck thresh on the farm now owned by Clarence Ferguson. On October 8th it rained all morning, but by mid-afternoon it turned into a raging blizzard. The next day I walked nearly seven miles in two feet of snow before I reached home. I never saw snow like it before in my life.

The winter of 1892 stands out in my mind, for it was the year my father died; and I, at the age of twenty, was left to carryon our venture in this new land.

In the fall of 1892, I recall the prairie fire which swept through Boissevain district. It was caused by a spark from the steam engine owned by Sandy Cameron, who had his outfit eight miles southwest of town. I remember that day well. I had taken in a half load of grain to the elevator in the last week of September. I was putting the team into the livery stable, when Noah Brownsberger came running out, hollering "Fire!" Sure enough! We could see the low black cloud in the southwest. I had the only team handy, and hitching them to a plow, we went to work plowing a firebreak south and west of where No.3 and No. 10 Highways meet today. We rnade two furrows about fifteen feet apart and all the grass was .burned between them. In less than thirty minutes the fire, which was half a mile wide, swept in from the southwest. Much to every­ one's relief, the fire did not jump the break and the town was saved.

There were two other prairie fires; both came through in 1897.

The one, which was in the spring, started when Bob Kirkpatrick had burned off a slough and had lost control of the fire. Earlier in the spring, the house which my father built in 1890 had burned to the ground. As I remember, it was started by a spark from the stove. We immediately began to build a new house. This was on stones at the four corners, and was directly in the path of the fire; but for some reason, the fire hardly touched it. Instead, it swept right on under the beams and kept going.

Many prairie fires were started by sparks from the C.P.R. loco­ motives. The fire that came through in the fall of 1897 was started that way. It was nearly a mile wide, and spread out from Wallace Ludgate's farm .There was a south wind behind the fire and it sent the fire racing straight north toward our place. A field of breaking, directly south of us, was the only thing that broke the force of the fire. It divided, and when the wind died down, mother and I beat out most of it with wet gunny sacks.

Those were the good old threshing days! There were not many -211-