My parents, Scott and Anne (Porter) Davis, moved to the White School district from Duchess, Alberta, about 1922. They left their farm at Duchess because all the land went alkali when the irrigation system was put in. The eighty acres they came to adjoined Harry Snowden's to the east, and had been passed down from Scotts father John Rogers Davis. He had used this patch of ground to raise extra hay for his stock, as he owned a ranch west of Lethbridge.
He tried growing sugar beets one year but it was such a bad year for that crop, that he gave it up and just grew grain after that. They supplemented their income by growing raspberries, strawberries, and red currents, and of course chickens, turkeys, and pigs. Then there was the usual milk cow, along with three geese, six head of horses, and one saddle horse that my brother Russell rode the three and a half miles to White School. He only went to grade four there, and then we, my brother Russell and myself Joyce, were transferred to Coaldale Consolidated. My mother taught me Grade I at home, so we started out in grades five and two.
My earliest recollections of White School are quite vague, but I do remember standing in the doorway facing east, looking down a fair flight of steps onto a yard that was a sea of mud and rain water. It was just after, I believe, a local U.F.A. meeting, and there were numerous horse-drawn vehicles of various types and descriptions, some Model T Fords, and one very posh sedan with side curtains containing isinglass windows, which was the height of luxury. Who owned it, I don't remember, but whoever it was gave us a ride home in this very up-to-date vehicle.
Another thing that stands out in my mind is how the neighbour's pigs invaded our yard and created havoc. Being a very resourceful person, my mother got out a 22 rifle and shot shingle nails at them to drive them home. This worked very well, and the pigs soon learned that when that screen door slammed it was time to go, and they ran squealing home.
Dad built, and drove, the first motorized school van in the Coaldale area, in about 1933. We left the farm shortly after moving to Coaldale, where he was a successful business man.
My father passed away in 1975, my brother in 1982, and my mother in Nov. of 1992. As for myself, I haven't moved very far away in all these years, having married James Owen who farmed north east of Coaldale. My husband passed away six years ago. We had three children.
Return to Individual Histories