The Dwight Rice Family Excerpt from Cherished Memories.
A compilation by Ardrossan Unifarm. (1972)
ISBN     0-919212-16-6

Pages 79-82


I, Mary, first daughter of Clyde and Mary Storms, was born on their homestead (S.E. 18-53-21, W. of 4), when the West was young. Our log house had a shingled roof so at least we kept dry when it rained.

As I look back over the years, I can't help but admire the courage of those pioneer mothers. They had come from comfortable city homes. It must have taken a good measure of endurance to cope with all the hardships.

There was such neighborliness in those early days. Folks lent anything they had, and would be repaid when the borrower got to market. Homesteaders' children were happy and carefree and didn't suffer because they lacked material things. I was typical of those children.

My dad would often make us whistles on our many walks through the woods. He always had a story to tell us too. Mother made all of our clothes and I can remember how pleased I was with my new dresses.

I can also remember how frightened I would be when going through mud holes or stretches of water. I didn't enjoy water in the wagon box.

There had been school in our district (Baker) a number of years before I was old enough to attend. I started in 1909, my teacher being Miss Elizabeth Lackey, my mother's first cousin. She was a lovely person and a wonderful teacher. We lived close to school, which meant a great deal in those days.

At fourteen, when I was through grade eight, my parents sent me to Edmonton to attend High School. My cousin, Sarah Parker, and I were the same age, so we always had each other for company.

We came home on week ends by train and on Sunday nights we would return to the city. Often the train was very late. Mr. and Mrs. Hastings were at the station then and while we were waiting Mr. Hastings would entertain us with his Irish jokes. On more than one occasion the street cars had stopped running when we got in. On one particular night Vera and Mabel Garbe were with us. They lived much closer to the station than we did, so they asked us to spend the night with them. I don't know how much sleeping we did, with four of us in one bed.

We stayed with our good friend Mrs. Clapp and attended Victoria High and later Normal, which was held at the Highlands School.

I really enjoyed teaching. I have never taught since my marriage. In those years there were far more teachers than schools. The last year I taught in my home district. Some who were my pupils are now my neighbors.

Besides my parents, I had a brother and two sisters who meant a great deal to me. I was also fortunate in having other relatives. Many a happy time I spent with Aunt Bella and Uncle Clyde and their children. We always looked forward to the visits from Grandma and Aunt Martha Widdis, when they came in the summers, from South Omaha. A well-trodden path and a plank across the creek led to Aunt Lottie and Uncle Hammie Lackey's home.

In July 1926 I married Dwight H. Rice, son of Rev. and Mrs. H.G. Rice. Dwight was born in Montreal, and had a twin brother, Gladden. The family moved to Forest, Ontario, when the twins were quite small. A few years later, they moved to Dodsland, Saskatchewan. When Dwight was thirteen, they moved to Edmonton, where he attended Strathcona High School. After graduation he enrolled in Camrose Normal. He taught school for eleven years and then decided he would try farming. These were the depression years so it was quite hard getting started.

My father gave us our first cow and Dwight bought calves. Soon we had a good sized herd.

The first breaking on our raw quarter was done by horses and a walking plow.

We also raised chickens and sold eggs privately. I often fed the chickens and cleaned the eggs, but Dwight always did the candling. Our days were always very long in those years.

After shipping cream for a number of years, Dwight and his elder son, Hillis, decided to change over to shipping fluid milk.

Dwight was Secretary-Treasurer of the former Baker School for a number of years, also the United Church and the F.U.A. He has always been an active member of the church and farm organizations. Time doesn't permit him to do much more community work.

We have four children - L. Hillis being the eldest. All of our children took their first eight grades at Baker School. Hillis then went to East Clover bar and completed grade eleven. He went by bus with Mr. Melvin Olson. At seventeen, he decided he wanted to farm, so he stayed at home and helped his Dad. He has been a very faithful son. Now he is manager of our dairy farm.

Mary Ruth came next. She went to Clover Bar Village for grades nine and ten, and then to Fort Saskatchewan to finish her high school. After her graduation she attended University and became a teacher. As she was growing up, she took part in all the church activities, and took her turn in playing the piano. She sang in the University Chorus, where she met Reg Underhill B.Sc., whom she married in 1950.  They live in Victoria, BC. Their three children are Arthur - 19,  Owen - 18, and Janet - 12. The boys are both in university.

Lyall is the third member of our family. He attended East Clover Bar and Fort Saskatchewan High. He was in the 4-H Beef Club when Mr. Alex Bell was the leader. Like all teenagers, he was anxious to earn money, so he worked at a few jobs before he decided to go through for a plumber. He graduated from N.A.I.T. He is very fond of music. Lyall married Gwendolyn Scheers, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Scheers in 1956. They live at the corner of N.E. 7-53-21, W of 4. They have three boys, Lyall - 15, Wayne - 13 and Dale - 9. They all love outdoor sports, especially ski-dooing.

Frances is our youngest. She attended East Clover Bar for grade nine and went to Fort Saskatchewan for the other three years, graduating in 1955. She then took a secretary's course at Alberta College. Upon completion she obtained a position with I.B.M., and worked there for eight and a half years. She has always been active in church work. Once when she was playing at church, the piano stool gave way and let her down "kerplunk" on the floor. Several came to her rescue and soon things were running smoothly again. Frances married Percy W. Jackman, grandson of a pioneer family, Mr. and Mrs. W. Jackman. Frances' Grandpa Rice assisted in the wedding ceremony and also in Ruth's. They have two children, David - 6 and Anne - 4.

In 1962 Dwight's parents celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in Edmonton, where they had been living since his father's retirement from the ministry. After his mother passed away, his father lived alone for a year until he sold his home. Then he came to Ardrossan to live with us. Both of Dwight's parents loved flowers so much and cared for them so well. when spring came his father worked diligently in the garden and that summer his beautiful flowers made it a paradise. We could see him failing day by day but he wouldn't give in. He was so deaf we had to write down all our communications. I never realized before what a handicap it was to be so deaf. He passed away after eight short months with us - a few days after his ninety-third birthday.

I am still living in the same district where I was born, so I really feel that I belong here. It is a great community, we have always had good neighbors. I hope I have helped to make it what it is.

Gratefully, Dwight and I wish to honor our wonderful pioneer parents who so graciously guided us along life's way.

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