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The Dustin Family History
Elbert (Bert) Dustin and
Matilda Dustin

Pinepound Reflections - A History of
Spring Coulee and District pages 237 - 238

by Arvel Dustin

Elbert ( Bert ) Dustin and his wife Matilda with their son Arvel, moved from Wyoming to Southern Alberta in 1911. They shipped all of their worldly possessions which included horses and wagons, on the train. They first lived in Magrath, where the second son was born. They moved to Spring Coulee in 1912, where they had gotten some land. Their crop was frozen that autumn and was of no value. Bert Dustin then filed on a "Homestead" in the Boundary Creek District only 1/2 mile from the Montana boundary. Bert Dustin kept some of his connections in Spring Coulee at this time.

While homesteading in the Boundary Creek District, the third son Roy was born in Cardston March 21, 1914.

Becoming discouraged by the deep winter snows in the Boundary Creek area, the Dustins moved back to Spring Coulee in 1915. They rented a section (640 acres) of land from Clara Thompson family. This was section 19 and the buildings were one mile west and two miles south of the village of Spring Coulee. The next few years they had very good crops, and Bert, having been raised on a ranch in Wyoming, soon got some more cattle and horses and also half interest in a large steam threshing outfit.

Early in 1918 Bert Dustin took Lee Carter in as a partner.

Bert Dustin died of the dreadful 'Flu' Dec. 21, 1918. He had gone to help the closest neighbor, Bert Ackeberg, who was sick in bed with the flu and they were both dead within a week.

Matilda Dustin kept on with the ranching and farming partnership with Lee Carter.

The Dustin boys got nearly all of their schooling in Spring Coulee. I started in 1918, riding on a horse that my dad Bert had bought for me. Later when there were three of us, we went the three miles to school in a two wheeled cart, pulled by a buckskin colored Indian pony. We had a few runaways and spills with that "Rig". We went right by the large Thompson house in the coulee just west of the village, and, of course, had to water the horse at the big "spring" there.

We attended the United Church Sunday Schoo] for many years. Our mother took us in a spring wagon ( sometimes called a democrat ) pulled by a team of horses.

How well I remember the Sunday School sponsored camping trip to Waterton Park in the early 1920's. We were camped just below where the Prince of Wales Hotel now stands.

We moved from Spring Coulee in 1926 to a ranch that we had purchased on the Milk River Ridge near the district of Del Bonita.

Matilda Dustin died in 1952. Roy the youngest son died in 1944.

Arvel and his wife Winnie (Newton) Dustin retired and lived in Warner, where he operated a small electrical appliance shop as a hobby. Winnie passed away in October of 1989 and Arvel died two months later.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup