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John and Dora Aben

Our Treasured Heritage-
A History of Coalhurst and District
Pages 237 - 238

Holland was the homeland of John and Dora Aben: However it was in Canada where they met, and married on December 26, 1927. They then took up residence near Coalhurst on a farm owned by J. McDermott. After renting for a number of years, they purchased this property and farmed here until 1954. It was at this location that two sons were born and raised, and which holds many fond memories for them.

As was the case for most farms in the area, this land could be "irrigated" and was well suited for grain, dairy, hog and poultry farming. During the early years on this farm, income was generated by delivering milk, cream and butter to customers in Coalhurst, particularly when the coal mine was still operating. In later years as people became more mobile, customers came from Lethbridge for cream, homemade butter and a friendly visit to the farm.

The pond near the farm house was a favorite skating spot during the winter months and attracted many youngsters from neighboring farms. It always seemed that the "younger" kids always cleared the ice of snow just in time for the "bigger" kids to take over.

It was in 1954 that the Aben family moved from the original location to a farm directly east and adjacent to the Picture Butte highway. It was in this same year that one son set out to seek his fortune in Calgary. He still resides in Calgary, with his wife and three children. John and his other son farmed in this "new" location until 1972. John and his wife Dora took up residence in Coalhurst, in a house directly north of the Catholic Church and his second son moved to Lethbridge where he still resides, with his wife, one daughter an three sons.

After spending a number of years in Coalhurst, Dora moved to a nursing home in Lethbridge where she passed away on May 28, 1980. John remained in Coalhurst until 1979, and then moved to the same nursing home in Lethbridge. He resided there until his death on November 2, 1982.

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Mary Tollestrup