O.P.Godin's Store

Family Histories, Part 17



Leverton, Jesse James and
Premischook, Julie

Jesse James.

Julie and Jesse James.

Jesse's parents origin: Father's name, Walter Alexander Leverton. Came to Saskatchewan from Napanee Ontario. Mother's name, Lily Cutler. Came to Saskatchewan from Birmingham England in 1888. Jesse's parents were married in Carlyle Saskatchewan. They settled on a ranch north of Imperial Saskatchewan where Jesse was born on January 1, 1906.

Julie's parents origin: Father's name, Mikata (Micheal) Premischuk. Mother's name, Euphrozina (Roza) Kashewich.

Both parents were born and raised in Ukraine and came to Saskatchewan in 1900. Julie was born at Melville Saskatchewan on January 20, 1914. In 1917, they moved to the Debden area.

Jesse was 19 years old when he and his sister Hildred drove a team of horses from Imperial to Debden, approximately 350 miles, to visit their older sister Ada. Jesse was also in search of a homestead at this time. He stayed in the Debden area and during the winter of 1926. Jesse came to Big River to work. He worked for Beaulac's hauling ties to build the railroad. He also worked for - Sundby's hauling wood, and for Paul LeGouffe hauling ties from Miriah, now known as Nesslin Lake.

Jesse married in 1927 and his first son William was born on November 24, 1927, a second son Fred was born December 2, 1928. In 1928, Jesse got his homestead and lived there until 1932, he left the homestead and lived in the Debden area with his companion Julie.

In 1936, Jesse and Julie along with Gilbert Olsen, Edwin Olsen, Bertha Olsen, and Rene Boulet made their way from Debden to Hall's lake, 30 miles north of Big River, to determine the prospects of ranching in this area. It was April when they got caught in a snowstorm and had to spend the night at Craddock's. By morning there was eight inches of snow. During the time that they spent looking for a prospective farm, they had eaten most of their supplies. They started looking elsewhere for food.

Jesse spotted a blue heron that had caught a fish, so he ran after the bird and in the excitement, the heron dropped the fish, which supplied them with their next meal. They were also lucky enough to catch a partridge, which was used to make a big pot of soup.

The group travelled until they reached Pete Pasternack's where they were able to buy some provisions. They returned to Big River and with the fifteen cents Jesse had in his pocket he bought oats for the horses, some bread and sardines. Once they found a suitable place to live Jesse and Julie returned to Debden to gather their livestock and possessions. It took four days to get back to Big River. With them, they brought forty cattle, seventy hens, six horses, three wagons and all their worldly goods. Their saving totalled was two dollars and ten cents.

Once they arrived in Big River, they pushed on towards Rat Lake. On their way, they lost a six-month-old colt in the muskeg. When they finally reached their prospective ranching area they found that the Sprecker family was already there, so they had to begin searching for another place to settle down. They finally found a suitable place at Hall's Lake.

Jesse and Julie began to build their home immediately. It was a log house with a sod roof, and their windows were made with waxed flour bags. To keep the house warm they covered it with white clay, which they found near the lake. Jesse and Julie moved into their new home just before it was time to start haying. During haying season Jesse and Julie were very busy. They succeeded in putting up one hundred and twenty-five tons of hay using two oxen and three horses. The hay they didn't need was hauled into Big River and sold to provide them with a source of income. The hay they sold was stacked as loose hay, and then baled in the winter months with an old-style baler that you used wire to tie the bales by hand.

During their stay at Hall's Lake, they faced some tough times, like having trouble with bears, which Julie was chased by once. They also faced Mother Nature, when they almost lost their farm to fire but had the good fortune of a wind change and the fire bypassed their buildings. At one time they had taken out a loan from the bank for four hundred dollars, which Julie tucked in a little purse and put it in her jeans, they spent the rest of the day haying and at the end of the day, Julie noticed the purse was gone. After spending hours searching through the field and the stack of hay they had put up that day, they were about to give up when Jesse turned to walk away from the stack and spotted the purse only a few feet away.

Along with the tough and trying times, there were also lots of good times. Jesse and Julie always enjoyed visiting. Families would gather and after having lunch they would enjoy visiting and dancing. Jesse and Julie spent three years at Hall's Lake and in 1939 they moved five miles north of Big River and bought Joe Nicholson's farm. There were less than ten acres broke when they got the land. Jesse and Julie worked very hard breaking more land. They lived in a log house that was on the land at the time. In 1956 Jesse and Julie built their new home. They both continued to work hard, farming, raising cattle, horses, sheep, ducks, geese, chickens etc. They also grew a very large garden. In 1965 Jesse and Julie retired from farming, and sold the land and cattle, keeping a 20 acre parcel where the house sits today.

Through the years Jesse and Julie's home was open to many people who stayed with them and went to school or worked for them. Some of the people that stayed and went to school are Louie and Doddy Schlogel, Alvina and Noreen Harron, Erwin Webster, and Grace Forbes. Some of the people that worked for them are Lewi Lutz, Jim Forbes, Doug and Fred Herdman, and Randy Bradley.

In 1984, Jesse and Julie's granddaughter Debbie Gunderson, with her husband Doug and their three children Roxanne, Leanne and Chad moved to the acreage, where they built their home in 1985. Jesse and Julie enjoy having their great-grandchildren around, spending lots of time teasing and playing with them. Julie would take the kids and go for walks, searching for beaver houses, frogs and many other treasures the kids would drag home.

In 1999, Jesse's health was failing and Julie was unable to care for him at home. Jesse moved into Lakewood Lodge, where he made the best of being there, keeping the staff on their toes and enjoying the company and the activities at the home. Jesse kept his sharp mind until his passing on November 25, 2001.

Julie remained on the farm and in 1998 their grandson, Bruce Leverton with his wife Treena and their three boys, Jesse, Gary, and Warren moved into the house with Julie. She remained on the farm until July 2003 when she moved into The Big River Health Centre, where she enjoys company, activities, visiting with other residents and the staff.

Julie says that some of the biggest changes they have seen in 90 years of their lives were the automotive industry, vehicles, tractors; bulldozers, aeroplanes and rockets going to the moon. Julie also talks about how they used to go buy groceries. They didn't take a cart and go around the store to pick up their supplies, you gave your order to the storekeeper and he would put your order together for you. Sugar came in solid blocks and they would just cut off a pound or whatever you needed. Apples and pickles came in barrels, and candy came in large pails. Money was also a big change. Jesse and Julie bought a new truck in 1966 which they paid $2,300.00 for, and now today, a plain brand new truck is over $20,000.00.


Levesque, Bertha (Doucette)

I was the first one born (1919) on the Doucette homestead in Bodmin, Saskatchewan, where five more children were born. My parents and older siblings had lived in Big River for nine years before that. My parents, Fidele and Anna Doucette were from New Brunswick.

George Levesque also came from New Brunswick. He came to southern Saskatchewan in 1928 to do some harvesting. Then he came up to Big River with Jack Miller, who told him he could probably get a job fishing on the northern lakes, which he did. There was also lots of cordwood cut in those days, which was shipped to the prairies to heat the homes.

George and I were married in 1936. Our four children were all born in Bodmin. In 1941, George went out to British Columbia, as there was more work out there. The following year he had the opportunity to go to the Yukon. It was booming up there, as the American Army was getting ready to build the Alaska Highway. George did carpenter work in the town of Whitehorse, and also at the airport. He made a couple of trips back to Bodmin to visit us, and then in 1943 the children and I moved to Port Alberni where we bought a house. George worked at Whitehorse until the summer of 1945. He continued to do carpenter work in Port Alberni and other towns, where ever his work took him.

Our son, Gerry, passed away in 1979. He had been working in Victoria. Shirley moved to Sudbury with her husband. They have one daughter and one grandson.

Louise and her husband have three sons who were all born in Eastern Canada. His work took him to Phoenix, Arizona, where they have resided for over 25 years. They have two grandchildren in Los Angeles.

Joyce now lives in Port Alberni, so I am lucky to have her living close by. She was widowed six years later. I have many fond memories of Bodmin. Times were hard then, but neighbours could always be relied on if help was needed. I have always kept in touch with some school friends - we still correspond.

George passed away in 1998, four days after our 62nd wedding anniversary. I am still in good health, so far.


Levesque children.

Gerry, Shirley, Louise, Joyce.

Lindskog, Beverly (Gunderson)

Beverly Doris (Gunderson) is the daughter of Roy and Mildred Gunderson. My mother's maiden name is Anderson. I was born in Big River, Saskatchewan at the Big River Union Hospital on July 7, 1962. I am the youngest of twelve children.

We lived on a small farm 3 miles west of Big River. I started school in Big River and when I was eleven years old we moved to Pine Point, North West Territories. I went to school there for two years, before moving back to Big River in 1975.

I met Lyle Lindskog in 1979 and we were married November 15, 1980. Lyle started in the bush for Max Wilson Trucking (now known as Wallace Wilson Enterprises Ltd.) in July of 1979 and worked there till 2000. We rented for a couple of years and then bought a trailer from Camille Swanson in 1983. It was located on the corner of 109 Bengston Street.


Beverly Gunderson.

Diana, Tyler, Sept, 2003.

We have two children. On January 30, 1987, our first child was born, Diana Kari. She was born six weeks premature in Saskatoon at the University Hospital. On March 12, 1992, our second child was born, Tyler Mathew. He was born two weeks premature in Prince Albert at the Holy Family Hospital. As of today (September 23, 2003) Diana is sixteen years old and is in Grade Eleven at the Big River Community High School. Tyler is eleven years old and is in Grade Six at the T.D. Michel Community School.

In 1998, Lyle and I separated. Lyle moved to Marwayne, Alberta in 2000 where he is currently working as a truck driver. Diana, Tyler and I still reside in Big River on 6th Avenue North (Sesame Street).


Lineman, Fred and Susan

Fred Lineman first came to Big River in the early 1930s, looking for work and a possible homestead. This was about the same time the Luekens came. Fred found work with Harry Boyd who had a logging operation on Stoney (Delaronde) Lake, and various other logging and freighting companies.

Fred came to Big River again in the spring of 1942 as a private contractor, cutting pulpwood. With him were his wife Susan and son Melvin. In the winter of 1942-43, he hauled freight north of Big River with horses. At one point that winter it got so cold (70 below F) that the horses never left the livery stables for a week. The livery stable was located just south of the town pump house. The family moved to Kississing, Manitoba in 1943.

After the closing of the Sherrit Gordon Mines in 1953 in Sheridan, Manitoba, the family moved back to Big River for a year.

In 1965, Fred and Susan moved back to Big River to stay. They bought the property at the corner of Mill and Main from John Hoehn. They also bought property on the West Side of Cowan Lake. At the time, on the property at Main and Mill, there was a house which still stands, and a garage and a barn were also on the lot. This was because it had been the site of the dray operator; Mr Hoehn, he was the last dray operator in Big River. The dray-man was the person who delivered freight and expresses from the railway station so its location next to the station made it ideal.

When Fred and Susan moved back to Big River in 1965, Fred farmed and worked as a night watchman at the mill. At that time it was still located in town. Later on, he worked for the town. Mrs Lineman tended her garden and eventually became known as the "Bun Lady" of Big River. She proceeded to do this until not long before her passing in 1995.


Lomax, Peter and Kathy

Peter and Kathy (Lambert) were married on March 23, 1957, in Birmingham, England, and came to Canada that same year and settled in Ontario. They tried many different trades, including running a restaurant, sewing centre, and a printing company, but the love of the outdoors was missing until they went into the tourism industry.

Peter was sales manager of the printing division for Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, which brought him north to Saskatoon. Here, he could enjoy his 3 weeks holiday touring northern Saskatchewan, and enjoying the outdoors.

Finally, in 1975, he decided to purchase a small camp, 21 miles NW of Big River, from Frank Strauss, (who had bought it from Ed and Denise Coldwell). A lot of work went into fixing it up and promoting tourism to attract the people to come and spend their holidays fishing the great Cowan Lake. Due to putting all his profits back into the resort, he had to find work during the winter months, so he became an Income Tax Accountant, specializing in farm and small businesses. This, he did in Saskatoon until they decided to build a house at the resort area of Poplar Point, where they could live year-round, with the BARE necessities of no power. In 1985, they sold the resort to Keith Wilson.


Lomax childen.

Robert, Jarvis, John, Victoria.

Peter and Kathy had one son, John, born in 1961. John moved to Big River with his parents in 1975, and helped with the construction of more cabins and mainly ran the fishing boat rentals at the resort. John has 4 children: Jarvis (1989), Robert (1991), John Jr. (1993), and Victoria (1995). Kathy's love for her grandchildren has helped her carry on her life, after losing her husband Peter, in 2002.


Lomsnes, Andrew and Lily
(Deedie Schneider)

Lomsenes family.

Standing Shirley, Bob, Deedie, Stan,
Seated: Marie, Henry, Jaynell, 1963

Andrew Joseph was born on December 15, 1940, on the family farm in Big River. He was born to Reidar and Anna (Nylund) Lomsnes. He was the younger of two children, a brother for Leonard Raymond. He attended school grades one to eleven in Big River. When Andy finished school he was employed on road construction and logging for his father. He also worked at the planner and mill for Saskatchewan Forest Products in Big River.

On November 15, 1961, he married Deedie Schneider in Big River and they have three children. Their first home was Reidar and Anna's old farmhouse. They lived there for two summers and moved to the bush camps for the winters. Andy and Reidar built their next small house in 1963; this is the house that their son, Ken, and his family currently live in NW 30-56-7-W3rd. In 1966, they moved the house onto a basement and built on. Andy bought 33 cattle in 1964 and his herd soon grew to 200. In 1978, he started a logging outfit. He liked sporting events of any kind, rodeos and horse racing. He coached minor hockey and enjoyed attending anything his children were involved in. Andy also liked coffeeing and visiting with family and neighbours, Leverton's, Reed's, Mysko's, Dunn's, Panter's and Servatius' to name a few. On December 29, 1980, a bush accident claimed Andy's life.

Lily Edith (Deedie) was born on April 22, 1943, in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan to Henry and Marie (Brander) Schneider. She is the third of five children: Stan, Bob, Shirley, and Jaynell. Deedie attended school in Meadow Lake grades Kindergarten to seven, Dore Lake (correspondence) grade eight, and Big River grades nine to eleven. Deedie's family moved to Big River in 1958. She married Andy Lomsnes in 1961 and they have three children. Delano Reidar was born April 7, 1962, (Lisa) and now lives in Red Deer, Alberta. Kenneth Andrew was born May 19, 1964, (Lynn) and lives in Big River. Cheryl Lynne was born November 1, 1968, and now lives in Calgary Alberta. They lost two babies, a boy in 1963 and a girl in 1965.

Deedie's first job out of the home was in 1973 at Grant's Shell Service, owned by Grant and Vivian Gould. That year she also worked at the Big River Pharmacy, owned by Jack and Stella Hartnett. From 1974 to 1979 she worked at the Big River Tree Nursery (Saskatchewan Government). In the fall of 1979, Deedie started working at Earl Beebe Trucking Ltd. and is still employed there.

Deedie's father was employed as a fish buyer for Waite Fisheries. He died on July 9, 1979, at the age of 72. Her mother was a nurse's aid at the Big River hospital. She died on April 25, 1969, at the age of 56.


Reidar Lomsness family.

Back Row: Lisa, Del, Ken, Lynn.
Front Row: Reider, Deedie, Drew, Cheryl. Insert Andy.

Lomsnes, Del and Lisa

Del was born in Big River on April 7, 1962. He was the eldest son of Andrew and Deedie Lomsnes. He was raised along with his brother Ken and sister Cheryl on the family farm. It was three miles north of town at the start of the Black Duck district.

Neighbours and friends living nearby consisted of Jessie and Julie Leverton, Oscar and Helen Reed and family, Steve and Tess Mysko and family, Bob and Deanna Dunn and family, and Dave Briggs. As a child, Del has very fond memories of large district parties that were hosted in the area. He attended school in Big River from 1968-1980. Del was a very active participant in the local sporting scene especially hockey and ball. Upon graduating from high school, he moved to Fraser Lake, British Columbia and then to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to attend the University of Saskatchewan. Del graduated from university in 1986 and entered the education profession. Del currently lives in Red Deer, Alberta and is employed with the Red Deer Public School District, as a physical education specialist.

Del married his wife Lisa (Hewalo) on July 19, 1986, in Montmartre, Saskatchewan. Lisa is a practising veterinarian doctor and currently owns her veterinarian hospital in Red Deer, Alberta. They have two children Tanner and Kaitlyn, who are nine and seven respectively. They continue to enjoy visiting family and friends still residing in the Big River area.


Lomsnes, Kenneth Andrew

Ken, Lynn, Walter Choynicki.

Ken, Lynn and Walter Choynicki.

Ken was born May 19, 1964, in Big River to Andrew and Deedie (Schneider) Lomsnes. He was the second of three children. He has lived in Big River all his life and completed grades one to twelve there. He played hockey from the age of five, playing for the Big River Braves senior team for thirteen years, retiring at 31 when his cattle numbers increased too much and calving season became a priority. He also played baseball for several years. He enjoys watching various sports and attends hockey games and drafts. Ken has coached hockey and baseball over the years and has recently returned to coaching for his son Matthew's team. Other interests are team roping, golfing, and fishing. In 1980, at sixteen, he spent the summer in Saskatoon working at Marquis Downs racetrack. In 1980, he lost his father in a logging accident. His mother lives in Big River and is employed at Earl Beebe Trucking.

In 1986, Ken's grandpa, Reidar Lomsnes, took him and his cousin Jordon on a trip to Norway to meet many relatives and to see where his grandfather grew up. Ken and his family remained very close with his "Gramps" until he died on April 22, 2000, at the age of 92.

Ken worked in a bush camp for John and Ross Dunn as a skidder operator and faller. Since 1986 to the present he has been employed at Earl Beebe Trucking Ltd. as a Mechanic/Truck Driver. In 1985 he completed his Truck and Trailer Mechanic course. In 1993 he bought the family farm three miles north of Big River from his mother. At this time, following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps, he purchased ten cows. In ten years his herd has grown to 135. On July 16, 1994, he married Lynn Bogner.

Vicki Lynn Bogner was born August 8, 1967, in Big River to John and Vicki (Mirasty) Bogner. I lived there until the age of seven. At that time I discovered that John was not my biological father, but that Walter Choynicki was. From this time until 1993, when John passed away from colon cancer, I considered myself very lucky because I had two "dads" who both treated me very good. For eight years my brother, Vern, and I spent every summer and major holiday with dad and Clarice Brettle in Carrot River. There were many camping trips and fishing trips and trips to Big River to visit Grandma Bogner. I am the youngest of six children - Terry, Val, Rosemary, Ted and Vern. From 1974 to 1983 we lived in Allan, Hudson Bay, and Weirdale. In 1983 I returned to Big River and completed grades ten to twelve there. I lived with my sister, Rosemary and Gerald LaPlante. My mom said that the time would come when I would have to "cut myself from Rosemary's apron strings". Although it was hard, I left in 1986 for Prince Albert and Red Deer, Alberta. In Prince Albert, I waitressed and attended business college where I received a Diploma in an Executive Secretary course. I also joined a bowling league and later won first place in a province-wide, co-ed tournament in Regina. My prize was a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In Red Deer, I completed more computer courses, waitressed and worked as a Secretary/Typist at an accounting office. I returned to Big River in 1993 and married Ken Lomsnes in 1994. I worked at the town office from 1994 to 1997. I then worked at Earl Beebe Trucking until the birth of Lucas in 2002. I then chose to be a stay at home mom. I keep busy with the kids, gardening, woodwork, sewing, knitting, cooking and running a tanning bed. I plan to build a fitness centre and mini-spa at our home.

My mom is retired in Drumheller, Alberta and my dad has a home in Prince Albert. He has retired about three times since turning 65 in 1998, but he continues to return to his job as a Delimber Operator. He has always worked in the logging industry except for a potash mine for four years in Allan, Saskatchewan. Ken and I have four children.


Lynn and Ken Lomsnes.

Lynn (holding Lucas), Matthew,
Ken (holding Zach), Shelby.

Shelby Rose Marie was born on February 5, 1996. She is a happy and very social child who has a hug for everyone. She is active in ballet, tap, jazz, skating, swimming, baseball and any event that she can attend. She loves animals and you can bet if there is a sick or hurt calf, she'll claim it.

Matthew Kenneth was born on September 27, 1997. He is involved in hockey and baseball, unlike Shelby. He is very shy but does enjoy any event as long as limited attention is brought his way. He has no interest in the cattle industry but does enjoy quadding, swimming and fishing. He is an excellent artist and has a lot of patience to spend time on tedious projects.

Zachary Andrew was born on June 7, 2000. Zach is a mixture of Shelby and Matthew, unlike Matt, at three years he loves the cows, horses, and tractors - whether it is being in the middle of the herd or "bucking around" like them. His aunt and cousins have nicknamed him 'me too' as he is always afraid to be excluded from activities and says this a lot.

Lucas Walter was born on March 21, 2002. Lucas loves the attention he receives from everyone. We're all pleased that he is happy and healthy after being born one month premature with pulmonary stenosis (a heart condition).

Our whole family looks forward to our annual "branding" held on the May long weekend. It involves lots of hard work, a meal, and socializing with about 45 men, women, and children. Our main branding crew was Bruce and Scott Reed, Lee Holbrook, and Rick Hartnett, but it has grown dramatically as the herd has.


Lomsnes, Leonard and Marlene

Leonard was the first of two sons born to Anna and Reidar Lomsnes. He was born in Canwood, Saskatchewan on January 28, 1939. About one week later, mother and son caught the train to Big River, where dad picked them up with a horse cutter. It was 48 below E We travelled to the farm, which was 3 1/2 miles north of Big River and spent eleven years there. In the summer, we farmed and spent the winters in the bush camps. Leonard took the first three years of schooling by correspondence and moved into town in the early fifties. He continued school until grade eleven and took grade twelve at Luther College in Regina. Leonard spent three years in a college of Engineering in Saskatoon and decided that was not what he wanted out of life and dropped out of University. In the spring of 1960, he decided to get married to Marlene Evans on October 10, 1960. To this union, two daughters and two sons were born.

In 1961, Marcia appeared on the scene. She completed grade twelve in Big River and then went west to Calgary to work for CIBC. She met a yank by the name of Don Hoylk and got married. They live in Medicine Hat, where Don teaches school and Marcia has a very successful business with Avon. They have four children - three girls and one boy.

In 1962, Cayla was born. She finished school in Big River and ended up marrying her escort for grad, Collin Colby. They live in Prince Albert and have three children, two boys and a girl. Cayla works at Mount St. Joseph's Nursing Home and Collin works for the pulp mill.

In 1965, Jordan was born. He finished school in Big River. Then worked for his dad in the bush for a couple of years. He decided to explore the north and ended up in Yellowknife, North West Territories. He worked in the gold mines for a few years and then went to work for Diavik Diamond mines. He met a young lady, named Keli in Yellowknife, and got married in 1999. Keli works as a social worker, and they have no children yet.

In 1969, Cory was born. He finished school in Big River and worked in the bush for his dad for one year. He joined the army and spent three years in the forces. Cory lives in Calgary and works for Alberta Carpet Cleaners and met a young lady Jennifer and got married in 1999. They have no children yet.

In 1964, Leonard, Marlene along with Anna, bought O.P. Godin's store. They spent seventeen years there until the store burned down on October 9, 1981. During these years Leonard was very active in the local issues. He spent a few years on town council; B.P.O.E exalted ruler for two years, and many years either as president or secretary of the local board of trade. He also spent six years as a director on Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, and two years on the executive council. During those years they fought for and were successful in many things for Big River. The T.V tower, and rebuilding the mill when it burnt down, was just a few.

In 1975, Len got itchy feet and decided to go logging. He logged until 1987 and then sold out to Darrin Hodgson. He was semi-retired for one year and then sold life insurance for two years. He then went to work for Beebe Trucking for five years. In 1994, he got a job with Weyerhaeuser and is still working there. After the store burnt down we moved to the farm two miles north of town and are still living there. Marlene was born in Radville, Saskatchewan on June 18, 1940. In 1955, her family moved to Big River where her father Gerald Evans ran the liquor store. Marlene took a hairdressing course at Marvel in Saskatoon and had a good career as a hairdresser. In 1957, she had a blind date with Leonard and have been together ever since. They were married in 1960 and she has been very helpful and supportive in helping Leonard in his various aspects of earning a living. We live on the farm and Marlene just loves it and insists that's where she wants to die.


Lomsnes, Reidar and Anna
Submitted by Leonard Lomsnes

Reidar Lomsnes.

Anna and Reidar Lomsnes.

Reidar was born in Norway on August 18, 1905, and immigrated to Canada in March of 1927, to seek a better life. Things weren't so rosy in Canada as it was the start of the depression. He ended up riding the rails and living in hobo camps. He did some work on farms in Saskatchewan in the summer and went to Luther College in Unity for the winter to learn English and further his education. In 1929, Reidar moved north as things were better up there. He got a job with George Anderson at the sawmill at Stoney Lake, until the sawmill burnt down. He met Sam Lyons and went to work for him on the farm in the summer, and freighted fish in the winter by horse. He decided to go north and trap. He had a trap line on Porter Lake for three years and made good money. He met Anna at this time.

Reidar and Anna were married on August 22, 1936. Anna would not go on the trap line and so they bought the farm and started farming. Anna and Reidar had two sons, Leonard in 1939 and Andrew in 1940. Reidar worked for Andy Sundby and Joe Friedman as a logging contractor in the winter. In 1946, Reidar and Oscar Eikel bought out Sundby and Friedman. In 1950, they were the largest lumber producers in Saskatchewan. He sold his share in 1964 and semi-retired to the farm with his son Andy and worked in the store with Anna and Leonard at the Red & White store.


Andrew, Leonard, Jan.28, 1945.

Andrew, Leonard, Jan.28, 1945.

Anna (Nylund) was born in Sweden on September 28, 1917. She immigrated to Canada with her mother and stepfather in 1928. Anna worked for John Swanson and Nels Edson as a housekeeper for five dollars a month in the early 30's. In 1964, Anna, Reidar and Leonard purchased the Red & White store (0.P. Godins), from Joe Friedman. Anna was very active in local clubs and charities. She was the first female council member in Big River. Anna and Laura Wilson spearheaded and worked very hard to bring sewer and water into Big River.

Anna had a tumour in her brain and spent the last years of her life in the Big River nursing home. She passed away October 9, 1989, and is buried in the Big River Cemetery. Reidar passed away on April 22, 2001, and is buried beside Anna.


Lowe, William, Charles and Fred
Submitted by Doris Mitchell
and Phyllis and Lorne Erickson

William Lowe.

Bill Lowe.

William Douglas was born April 25, 1920, in Three Creeks, Saskatchewan to Charles and Anne Lowe. He moved to Park Valley to a homestead in 1928 with his father. In 1942, he moved to Hall's Bay on Delaronde Lake to raise cattle with his cousin, George Campbell. Bill had a great interest in horses and loved riding, he also liked to hunt and trap. Later they moved about fifteen miles north of Big River and continued cattle ranching. In 1975, Bill moved into town at which time he purchased the Craddock house. He passed away December 7, 1994, of cancer.

Charles Lowe was born January 20, 1881, in Branston, Leicestershire, England. He was directly related to Lord Samuel Lowe, who had a castle, Bella Mere of Goadby Hall, Goadby Marwood, England. Many members of Charlie's family have been to visit this castle. Charles came to Canada in 1903 with the Barr Colonists. He left the colony when they reached Saskatoon. The colony people continued to Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and Charles took up a homestead at Three Creeks, Saskatchewan near Holbein. He married Annie Bartlett, a sister to Mrs Elgin (Maude) Campbell of Big River. He later moved to Park Valley and then to Big River until the sixties at which time he could not care for himself anymore and moved to Duncan, British Columbia to live with his oldest son, Fred. Charles passed away July 9, 1969, at age 88.

Fred Lowe and family lived in Big River for one year, 1955. He purchased the Hoehn house by the railroad tracks. Fred operated the dray, which picked up freight from the train and ice from the river with his horse and wagon. It was then delivered around town to the merchants. He also operated the livery stable where people could put their horses in this large barn when they came to town to shop. Fred moved to Duncan, British Columbia in 1956 where he resided until his death in November 1983 at age 72.


Lublenkhoff, Helen (Ausland)

Helen Lublenkhoff (Ausland).

Devin, Shane, Brenda, Bernie,
Helen, Charlene.

I, Helen, (nee Ausland) was born in Big River and I worked as a telephone operator. In 1967, I moved to Calgary, Alberta, where I worked for the Foothills Hospital. I married Bernie Lublenkhoff, a construction worker, and have three children: Charlene (30 years), Brenda (Shane Groves) (28 years), and Devin (23 years). Brenda and Shane have two children, Nicole, age 11, and Samual, age one year.

We are presently residing in Airdrie, Alberta.


Nicole and Samuel.

Nicole and Samuel.

Lueken, Anthony (Tony) and Jenny

Anthony Lueken.

Back Row: John, Brian, Joanne, Paul, Cindy, Ian, Cameron.
Front Row: Jenna, Cheryl, Cara, Jenny (holding Lee), Tony
(holding Ryan), Linda, Lisa, June 1995.

Tony and Jenny (Wicinski) were married on June 22, 1955, at the Roman Catholic Church in Big River. They made their home on a farm three miles West of Big River NW 36-55-8-W3" known as West Cowan, where they operated a mixed farm, which Tony purchased in 1950.

Tony was the youngest child born to Henry and Emma Lueken. He was born in Carmel, Saskatchewan and at the age of four, the family moved to Big River. Tony held various jobs while farming initially; he worked for the Local Improvement District, constructing roads. Tony then was employed in the forest industry until he suffered a serious injury in January 1957. Afterwards, he went on to work for Waite Fisheries packing fish. In 1972, he was seasonally employed with the Big River Forest Nursery where he worked for 22 years, as well as continuing with farming until he retired in 1994. Tony loved to farm and enjoyed having the cattle and especially horses on the farm. Tony passed away on March 18, 1999.

Jenny is the youngest child born to Steve and Katherine Wicinski. She was born in Ladder Valley, Saskatchewan where her parents had started a homestead after emigrating from Ukraine. Jenny went to school at Ladder Valley and Big River and completed a secretarial course at Park City Business College, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. She worked for Fayerman Bros., in Prince Albert, before she was married. She also worked for Dr Crux for a short time. Jenny remained a homemaker while raising her family. Jenny was a secretary when the rural telephone company was first organized in their area. In 1978, she commenced a part-time job with Canada Post, where she worked for 21 years. She served on the local school board and has been an active member of the church, where she had been a member of the Catholic Women's League for 30 years. Jenny retired from the post office in July 1999 and lives on the farm. She is still active and does voluntary work in the community. She enjoys gardening and knitting.

Jenny and Tony raised five children, four sons and one daughter.


Brian born October 22, 1956.

Paul born November 17, 1958,

Cameron born February 26, 1961,

Cheryl born August 29, 1963,

Ian born December 24, 1970.

Brian married Joanne (Russell) on November 4, 1978. They live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and have two daughters, Jenna, born July 22, 1986, and Lisa, born September 1, 1989.

Paul married Cindy (McBurnie) on March 18, 1989. They live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and have one son, Joey, who is married to Lori (Seymour) and they have a daughter Kirsten, born October 17, 2002.

Cameron married Linda (Rogoschewsky) on October 8, 1988. They live in Melfort, Saskatchewan and have three children, Lee, born May 15, 1994, Lain, September 23, 1995, and Lauren, February 22, 1999.

Cheryl married John Chester on June 28, 1986. They live in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and have two children, Cara, born August 3, 1991, and Ryan, born September 8, 1994.

Ian married Tammy (Bogdane) on August 19, 2000. They live in Regina, Saskatchewan and have one daughter, Tayah, born on April 22, 2002.


Lueken, Arnold and Brenda (Scorgie)

Arnold Lueken family.

Back Row: Brenda, Arnold.
Front Row: Jessica, Kendell, Cody.

Arnold was raised on a farm near Big River. Brenda also grew up in Big River. They were married in 1983. Arnold and Brenda have three children, Kendell, Jessica, and Cody.

During high school, Arnold worked at Waite Fisheries packing fish and freight. Later on, he found employment, driving log truck and hauling gravel. Arnold also worked in construction for fifteen years before going to work for Weyerhaeuser in 1994.

Brenda has worked at CIBC since high school and is nearing her 25" year with CIBC. Arnold and Brenda started a Bison Ranch in 1997 and are still enjoying the animals very much.

P Kendell, Jessica, and Cody all love sports. Arnold has coached Softball since 1990. All of his children have been coached by him and have medals on their walls. Other sports enjoyed are snowboard-ing, hockey, volleyball, broomball, basketball, swimming, and golfing.

Lueken, Henry and Emma
Taken from the book Timber Trails

Henry Lueken family.

Henry, Herbert, Nora, Mrs Lueken, Leonard.

Henry and Emma Lueken came from Humboldt to Big River in 1935. The Luekens, like many families during this time, secured a homestead. Henry's main concern was with the farm, but sometimes he worked out. He was involved in repairing the bridge on Cowan Lake, and also in the construction of the dam.

The Luekens had eight children: Marie (Hanghofer), Nora (Darbyshire), Laura Lueken, Delphine (Story), Ralph, Herbert, Leonard, and Anthony.

First Henry and son came followed by the family. Emma, her children and Fred Hass came by wagon train, driving cattle as they came.


Lueken, Herbert and Eleanor
Submitted by Arnold and Brenda Lueken

Herbert moved to Big River from Humboldt with his parents Henry and Emma in 1935. They came to Big River to secure a homestead. Eleanor came to Big River from Faust, Alberta with her parents, Chris and Katherine Bittman.

Herb and Eleanor were married in 1953. The Luekens had four children: Arnold, Ken, Sharon (Paul), and Carol (McKnight). Herb worked in the logging camps for twenty years, also started a farm, and worked at the mill for ten years before retiring. Eleanor worked at Yurach's Hardware for fifteen years. Eleanor loved to garden and pick berries.

The couple remained on the farm until their passing, Herb in 1990 and Eleanor in 2000.


Lueken, Laura (Hilaura)
Submitted by Nora Darbyshire

Laura Lueken.

Laura Lueken

She was the second of nine children born to Henry and Emma Lueken. Laura was quite young when her parents moved the family from Pandora to Carmel, Saskatchewan.

When Laura was eighteen, the family moved to Big River. A short time later, Laura started working for the Receiver family in Polworth, Saskatchewan. She looked after their children and helped with the day to day chores.

Laura moved back to Big River in the 1940s. She worked as a waitress at the Rex Cafe. In 1950, Laura started working for Joe Friedman at O.P. Godin's store. She worked there until she retired in 1978. When her father passed away in 1955, she moved back home to take care of her mother. She remained in the family home until she passed away on October 8, 1998.

Laura's door was always open to her many nieces and nephews. She cared for them all as if they were her family. She enjoyed gardening, especially all the lovely flowers she grew. Laura always gave vegetables and berries from her garden.


Lueken, Mr and Mrs Leonard
Excerpts from Timber Trails, 1979

Leonard lives and farms on the place his mother and father lived on for several years, about a mile from the nursery along the grid road. Therese, Leonard's wife, was formerly from Green Lake, Saskatchewan. They have a daughter, Donna.


Lueken, Ralphael (Ralph) Anthony
Submitted by Jenny Lueken

Ralph Lueken.
Ralph Lueken.

Ralph Anthony Lueken was born November 9, 1919, and passed away on March 23, 1998. Ralph lived in Carmel, Saskatchewan until 1934 when at the age of sixteen years he moved to Big River. He first worked at the Cowan Dam. He then moved to Polworth on a farm where he got his first experience at farming and using horses and tractors on his own. He then joined the army in 1941 and was there until 1945 as a heavy artillery gunner. He returned from the war and went out in the bush, logging for Billy Wilson for a few years. He decided to farm and cleared his own land. Ralph's homestead was located on SW 2-56-8-W3rd.

Ralph worked at the Big River sawmill while farming until retiring from the sawmill in 1984. He continued to operate his farm until 1996.


Lundy Family
Submitted by Ruth Buckingham.
Taken from an article written by Huldah
(Lundy) Johnson in 1980

Edward Lundy family.

Back Row: Irwin, Mabel, Huldah.
Front Row: Elizabeth, Edward.

My Dad, Edward Eliot Lundy was born to Samuel and Rachel Lundy at Uxbridge, Ontario on October 20, 1873. He passed away at my home on July 24, 1953, in Big River, Saskatchewan.

As a young man growing up Dad did various things, but mostly worked in the bush and logging while living in Ontario. He came west to Brandon, Manitoba and apprenticed in butchering and the meat business. Later worked in Whitewood, Saskatchewan before moving to North Dakota.

My Mother, Elizabeth Huldah Willson, was the youngest of seven children born to Robert S. and Huldah Willson. Mother was born in Pickering, Ontario, on January 11, 1876. Mother had six older brothers, Morris, Warren, Frank, George, Andrew, and Eleazer. Mother and Dad were born only about thirty miles apart in Ontario but did not meet until later years in North Dakota.

My Grandmother, her six sons and Mother emigrated from Ontario to Leal, North Dakota, some years before Dad arrived there. Grandma Willson and most of her sons took up homesteads in the Leal and Uxbridge areas. It was called Uxbridge area because most of the settlers there were from the Uxbridge area of Ontario.

When Dad arrived in North Dakota, he did farm work for his uncle and others in the area. He met Mother during that time. They were married on January 11, 1904. They had three children of whom I am the oldest. I was born on December 28, 1904. My sister Mabel was born March 6, 1906, and my brother Irwin was born on March 12, 1912. We were all born in Leal, North Dakota.

Shortly after Mother and Dad were married, Dad started up a butcher shop business at Rogers, North Dakota. The butcher shop business in those days was very different from now. There was no refrigeration except ice. An icehouse was necessary to keep it in, and many blocks of ice-cooled the cold room of the shop. All animals were butchered at the slaughterhouse, owned by the shopkeeper, and all meat was cut by hand saws and sliced by hand. Dad made his sausage, wieners and cured his own ham and bacon.

Later, we moved to my Grandmother's farm and Dad gave up his meat shop but did custom butchering for some of the larger farmers. During World War I, help was very scarce. Mabel and I worked in the fields with Dad. I think those years were very hard for Mother. She had all the sewing, cooking and canning to do besides raising chickens, making and selling butter and raising 100 or more turkeys to sell each year. Since we girls helped Dad, Mother did not get as much help as she should have.

I have always been very grateful to my sister Mabel for making Mother's last years so much easier and comfortable. Shortly after Dad's death in 1953, Mabel took Mother to live with her in Renton, Washington, where the climate was so much warmer. Mother passed away there on February 17, 1968.

The only holiday that I remember my parents talking, I think, was in the summer of 1922, when they went to visit George Burke and his wife, in Minnesota. The family owned a lake they rented to a sportsman's club. George filleted the fish these men caught. Dad was interested and got George to teach him how to fillet, never dreaming that he would make use of the skill in later years.

Farming was pretty tough in North Dakota and Dad wanted to see what it was like in Saskatchewan. In July of 1926, he and I drove up to visit some relatives in southern Saskatchewan. We learned my cousins; Bruce and Lloyd White and Clayton Allewell were determined to try winter trapping in the north. They had trapped small furs and coyotes on the prairie but Uncle Will White did not want them to go into the bush country without bush experience. Dad was asked to accompany them. Bruce's wife, Pearl was going too and I was asked to go along as well. In late October Dad and the three boys headed to Big River, Saskatchewan in a Model T Ford. They found a location with a cabin at Rat Lake (now Taggart Lake) and sent for Pearl and me. We came by train and landed in Big River at midnight, November 28. We were guests at the hotel that was nearing completion.

Trapping that winter, with the very deep snow was poor, and since we had no dog team it meant the men had to walk six or seven miles to Delaronde Lake, catch a ride to town with freighters or the Frazer Boys and then have supplies freighted in. The men wanted to trap muskrats in the spring. Pearl was pregnant so Bruce sent her home in March. While in town he inquired about work for me. I came to town and started work at the hotel on April 5, 1927. Dad and the boys' trapped muskrats, then came into Big River in the car after the snow was gone. The boys went home by train. Dad stayed for about six more weeks and then sold the car and went home by train.

In August of 1927, the folks wrote to me that they were moving to Big River. I went back to North Dakota, sold some sheep I had been raising since 4H days and helped the folks pack.

I had met John Johnson in June of 1927 and shortly afterwards we started dating. So when we all moved up here, John found work for Dad and also things for Irwin to do, as he was only fifteen at the time. Mother started working at the hotel and I worked for Rex Mathews, who had the store on the corner known as Yurach's Store now. Dad and Irwin went to Dore Lake that winter. Dad cooked for John's fishermen. Someone gave Irwin some old nets and he learned to fish that winter.

John had purchased the old I.C. Fisheries buildings down across the tracks near the bridge. In the spring when Dad and Irwin came in from Dore Lake, they stayed there in the cookhouse. John had a couple of other fellows staying there to hang nets. I had quit working for Mathews that spring and had rented a room from Mrs Clarkson and had been sewing for other people. Dad and John talked me into cooking for them. Dad and Irwin went fire fighting, mother quit work at the hotel and she and I moved into the cookhouse. Dad went to Dore for John again in the winter of 1928-29. Irwin stayed here and hauled wood to town for John to ship out. Then John started a boarding house for freighters and Mother and I cooked for him.

The following year Dad bought John's Dore Lake fishing outfit and he and Irwin fished for several winters there and various other lakes. Mother went with them. In the summer they took any work they could get. They often worked for fifty cents per day but always kept from going on "Relief", as welfare was then unknown.

In the spring of 1938, the sale of fish had dropped right off and much of the fish had to be dumped. Dad filleted a few boxes of fish, wrapped them and took them to two stores in Prince Albert, one of which was Eaton's that also handled groceries then. He asked them to try the fish, which they did and they were favourably impressed. Fillets at that time were practically unknown in this country. Dad told Len Waite about it, and in 1940 Len asked Dad to fillet some for him. They were scaled with hand scrapers. Joyce, who was ten, use to go over and wrap the fillets. That was the beginning of filleting for Dad. He trained many girls when Len enlarged his business and kept on filleting for Len until he had to retire. He was then well into his seventies. Dad always felt it was the most useful, profitable and enjoyable knowledge he had ever learned. No family can be more proud of the hardships and struggle their parents made for them than I can.



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