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James Garson Bews

Tales and Trails - A History of Longview
and Surrounding Area
Page 30 - 31
by Mrs. James Derrick

JAMES GARSON BEWS - 1872-1936

James Garson Bews was an early Pioneer of the Longview district, west of High River. He was born Oct. 1, 1872, the son of a Scottish farmer, Peter Bews, and Margaret Glouston in Sandwich, Orkney Islands. His father, when a young lad, worked in the services of the Hudson Bay Company at York Factory. His father's stories of adventure in this new land fired Jim with enthusiasm for Canada, so in March of 1889 he bid his homeland farewell and sailed for this new land. He came West to Calgary by train, then on to Edmonton by ox-cart. There he made his home with his cousin, Tom Houston. It wasn't long until he found employment in Norris & Carey's Trading Post. Many experiences he had here with the Indians and Traders.

He was of a restless nature so with his strong and vigorous physique he plunged into the adventures of frontier life. He engaged in hunting, trapping and prospecting where his pursuits brought him to the Pembina and Peace Rivers and Lesser Slave Lake areas. His stories of these early days clothed in picturesque and vivid language were a delight to his friends and family.

At one time he owned a Quarter Section of land where the City of Edmonton now stands. The man he sold it to became very rich by reselling it in City lots when the railway came through. He bought cattle with this money and in 1898 trailed them to west of Okotoks where he had a homestead. While here he worked for the Lineham Lumber Company and at the Quorn Ranch. He married Bella Cameron and not long after she died.

In 1902 he came to the Longview district where he rode the range; took fencing and haying contracts and worked for a time with John Sullivan on the ranch that was later destined to be his. While working in the Longview district he met the kind, vivacious, Irish widow Agnes Clancy O'Donaghue.

On January 13, 1904, they were married in James Rooney's home by Father Dubois. After his marriage he sold his homestead west of Okotoks and proved up on Agnes' homestead in the Longview district.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup