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Agnes Bridget Bews

Tales and Trails - A History of Longview
and Surrounding Area
Page 31

AGNES BRIDGET BEWS - 1865-1941

Agnes Bridget Clancy was born June 16, 1865 in Templetenny, County, Tipperary, Ireland. Before completing her dressmaking course she married James O'Donaghue and they immigrated to Kansas City, Missouri. Here her son John was born and a year later her husband died; a victim of typhoid fever. Agnes and her son came west from Kansas City in 1901 with a friend and bride, Mrs. James Rooney. She remained in the Rooney home and was eligible to file on a homestead because she had a son. Again she was faced with a test of courage; the loss of her handsome, curly-haired little boy.

When Agnes and Jim were first married they lived in the Frank Watt house while theirs was under construction on Agnes' homestead. Here they carried on farming and ranching successfully and strove for the betterment of their home, family and community. Agnes' kind nature and cheerfulness coupled with Jim's musical ability and exciting tales of pioneering, were contributing factors in making their home a haven of hospitality for neighbors and passersby. Many dances, meeting and church services were held in the home. This meant extra work for Agnes but she enjoyed doing it and always seemed prepared. They were promoters of the many community projects such as the building of the Big Hill School in 1906. He was one of the early Trustees. In July 1910 when a picnic was in full swing, the Mounties arrived looking for recruits to fight a forest fire west of Longview. Jim, as did many others, volunteered to go. He was a great asset for he was familiar with the area. Agnes, along with many other women in the District, baked hundreds of loaves of bread, large roasts and other foods for the hungry fire fighters.

In 1912 they purchased the Sullivan Creek Ranch. The Ranch was their pride and joy. Here Jim spent most of the summer caring for his stock and fishing; his favorite sport. The ranch was a stopping place for travellers up the Highwood River and he extended the privilege of his property to campers. Jim was most charitable; liked people, and the genuine social atmosphere of pioneer days. Agnes devoted her life to her home, family, church and community.

They had three children. Jim died in Rochester, Minn. on Nov. 23, 1936, where he had undergone an operation. Agnes died June 29,1941 at home.

Both are buried in the Highwood Cemetery, High River.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup