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 the fall of 1885, the soldiers returned to Winnipeg to be mustered out of active service, but still belonged to their regiment for a term of three years from enlistment. During that time blood poison set into John's wound and he spent the most of the winter in hospital.

He then went through the west with a Smith "Horse Dealer.," gathering horses and driving them to Winnipeg for sale. Many and varied were his experiences while thus engaged. He then went with a drilling outfit through the west drilling for coal. Later he went with a government outfit between Duck and Moose Mountains to bore for oil. They got everything but oil.

In 1891 he went to Estevan to the Dominion Coal Co. mines where he got a job as a coal weigher. The mines shut down so he returned to Manitoba. He hired with Wm. Cumpstone, Sr. for his first year's salary, he got a car of oats at 15 cents a bushel.

In 1896 he married Emily Cumpstone, Wm. Cumpstone's daugh­ ter. There were five boys and two girls, James, Ted, Sidney, Dell, Joe, Bessie and Mary.

During the winter of 1996 he cut cord wood for Charles Eaket for fifty cents a cord and boarded himself.


Franklin Howell, at the age of twenty, arrived in Brandon from Paris, Ontario, in March 1882. Buying a yoke of oxen, wagon, plow, tent and supplies, he drove south toward the Turtle Mountain, accompanied by Duncan and Peter Henderson and Jas. Rae.

The first day's journey took them as far as the Souris River, where they camped for the night. In the morning, not liking the appearance of the soil or terrain, they travelled farther south, all four taking up homesteads in what are now the Royal and Caranton districts.

After breaking the number of acres required by homestead regulations, Mr. Howell sold his outfit and returned to Paris for the winter. He returned in the spring of '83 with a car of settler's effects, including horses, a cow and lumber for a shack. A neighbor, Mr. Perrin came out with him this time.

After a few years, better buildings replaced the first make­ shift ones, his next house being painted frame with red roof, it being the first painted house in the district. The school district was organized now, and with the building of the school, Sunday School and other meetings were held, Mr. Howell being a leader in many of these gatherings.

Mr. and Mrs. John H. Thompson and family were the next to arrive, four of which were of school age. Mr. Howell's mother arrived in 1887, but after a year on the prairie returned to the East. The next year on Aug. 1st, 1890, Mr. Howell was married to Miss Jennie Thompson.