The Bradshaw Family
Excerpt from Cherished Memories.
A compilation by Ardrossan Unifarm.
THE BRADSHAW FAMILY by Mrs. Clarence (Jack) Allen
January 25, 1972, 12:00 o'clock noon, -28 degrees.
To begin with I must let you know I do not like stories written in the
first person so this will not be many volumes like the Forsyte Saga or
the Whiteoaks of Jalna. So with this in mind I'll begin.
I was born at Ardrossan on a homestead slightly over half a mile east of
where Baker School was situated. I was the third child of Mr. and Mrs.
Clyde Storms who began their pioneer life there at the turn of the century.
Then we moved approximately three-quarters of a mile west of the school,
where my brother Lorne and family still reside. I took from grades one
to eight at the school mentioned.
Music played a large part in our lives. My mother and father had
both sung in a Methodist Church in South Omaha, Nebraska. Mother had taken
vocal training. I guess some of the music rubbed off on us for our whole
family was fond of music. So imagine how delighted we were when Dad bought
a piano. The school teachers usually staved in our home and most of them
played very well, Then when my sister Mary learned to play we were in business.
Many a pleasant evening was spent around the piano, sometimes with friends
,and relatives, but often just our own family. Often too, the kids and
young folk gathered to practice for concerts. My mother and Aunt Bella
(Mrs. Parker, Mother's sister) used to go all over the country to sing
at concerts, Mother sang alto. We kids were usually bundled up and went
too, for very often it was winter - no baby sitters in those days!
Another thing we all enjoyed was skating on the lakes and sleigh rides.
I will not dwell too long on my early life, which was quite uneventful
But I must tell you about one amusing incident t. Mary was getting ready
to go to Edmonton Normal School so she and Mother were going to Edmonton.
All except Dad went to the station, driving in a wagon with two spring
seats on a double decker box. Lorne and Mother were in front and we three
girls behind. just as we were going up what we call 'Alex Allan's Hill'
my sister Ruth pushed her foot against the front seat. Over we all went,
head over heels down the hill. It was quite steep then, too, It was quite
a fall but we were not hurt. Like in Elvis Presley's song 'We Were
All Shook Up'.
Now I'll continue with my later life. After a good many years
out of school I went back. finished my high school, went to Edmonton Normal
School and became a teacher. I enjoyed the teacher training immensely and
got good marks,
My first school was Stoney Creek, which was five and one-half miles from
South Cooking Lake. I taught there two years and then two years at Baker.
It was at Cooking Lake I met my future husband,
Jack. I boarded at the Bradshaw home. Jack's Dad was an Englishman, Herbert
Bradshaw. He came west to Manitoba first. There he married Gertrude Smith,
who came from Michigan. They then came out to Edmonton. Jack was born in
Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. He had one older sister Ethel (now deceased)
and two younger sisters, Isabella and Dorothy, who both reside in Edmonton,
The Bradshaw family settled first on a homestead in the Cooking Lake area
and then moved to the farm where we still live. Before this Jack's father
had worked in Edmonton and Bawlf on the railroad.
Jack and I were married at my parents' home in 1938. We had two children,
LaVerne Ruth and Lorne Glenn.
When LaVerne started to school she had to walk one and one-half miles.
This was a long walk for a little girl alone, No other children lived near
us, When LaVerne was in grade four or five the Inspector, Mr. LeBlanc,
asked me if I would teach Stoney Creek School again. I agreed and spent
another three years teaching, Then Lornie, who had just started to school,
became ill, so I gave up the school.
Although we took him to several doctors it was not discovered that he had
had rheumatic fever, until we took him to a heart specialist, Dr. I. Bell,
He was in the hospital a long time but his heart was damaged to such an
extent that he never recovered. In the fall of 1953 he passed away at the
age, to the day, of nine years, eight months.
No one understands the grief and loneliness one experiences when one so
young is taken from you, unless you have gone through it.
We worked very hard and the next year our district got the power which
lightened everyone's load immensely so now we had many conveniences.
Soon I was back teaching again. This time at Clover Lawn about seventeen
miles south and west of New Sarepta. Here I met some of the kindest, friendliest
people I have ever known.
Jack had a milking machine now so could handle all the milking alone and
LaVerne was going to High School at Salisbury but had to board out. However,
the next year the bus went by our gate so she took her grade twelve at
New Sarepta. I got home only on week ends so her dad was glad of the help.
I resigned and planned on staying at home after two years at Clover Lawn.
However, before holidays were over I applied for and was accepted to teach
grade eight in Tofield a small town about twenty-five miles from home.
I enjoyed the life in this little town. It had been quite lonely living
in a teacherage at Clover Lawn. LaVerne was now attending University taking
Education. The next year I was lucky enough to get a position in New Sarepta.
Here I taught for eleven years.
LaVerne's first school was at Sherwood Park. She taught for three years
and then married Constable George Hawkins, dog master in the R.C.M.P, This
was in August 1961. George was stationed at Sydney, Nova Scotia, then had
a taste of life at Nelson, British Columbia. Here, he and his dog Stoney
were instrumental in rounding up the Douks (Sons of Freedom) who were on
the rampage blowing up bridges, power plants and their own homes with their
home made bombs.
Wendy Lee, a daughter, was born in April 1963. Later they were transferred
to North Surrey, B.C., where George did a lot of excellent work with his
One event, in particular was the surrender of a criminal who had killed
a policeman and wounded a young girl. He also helped recover bodies that
were buried in slides at Hope and Stewart.
Gregory Darrell was born in September 1964. He was very delicate at first.
There was a great deal of crime in this area and George and Prince were
kept very busy.
In the late summer of 1967 George was transferred to Brandon, Manitoba,
They did not like the extreme cold here, and wished they had not been transferred
from the balmy climate of the coast.
In May George, now a Corporal, became very ill with encephalitis,
from which he never recovered. On June 6, 1968, he passed away. A sad and
premature death for such a brilliant and promising career.
LaVerne and family now moved back to Edmonton to be near us and George's
At time of writing Wendy is in Grade 3 at Avonmore School and Greg is in
Grade 2. They attend Avonmore United Church and Sunday School.
Now to end our story - we're still on our farm at South Cooking Lake, but
our address is R.R. 1, Ardrossan. Jack has sold his dairy herd and I've
quit teaching. However, we still keep very busy, especially in summer.
As I look back I think of the sacrifices our parents made for us, also
of the training and Christian faith that I was brought up with. What has
one to fall back on if you don't have something to believe in? So with
this bit of philosophy I'll end my story.