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Malcolm Collin Cameron Farries and
Ruth Lucille McCowan Farries

Heritage of the High Country-
A History of Del Bonita and surrounding Districts
Pages 322-323

Cameron Farries came to Alberta from Ontario in 1909. Ruth McCowan came to Alberta from Wisconsin, U.S.A. They were married in 1917. Born to them were three children: two sons and one daughter.

Cameron and Ruth lived at Purple Springs, Alberta until the fall of 1924. Then they moved to Del Bonita where they had bought the N- 1/2-10-1-21 -W4th from Gene Robinson. The winter of 1924-25 they lived at the Wilson place. In the spring of 1925 they moved the lean-to shack that belonged to the Gene Robinson place, back on to N.E.-IO-1-21-W4th where the house now stands. There were no roads or fences around them.

The shack had two rooms; the boys' bed folded up against the wall. If the boys got too rough in bed the unit would come down off the wall on them.

In 1928 there was a terrible blizzard over night. When they got up in the morning the blizzard was still on but they couldn't get the door open. The old shacks usually had the door swing out. Cam figured maybe some horses had backed up against the door. The two boys went out through a window to investigate. The snow was drifted to within six inches of the top of the door.

The N-1/2-10-1-21-W4th had only twelve acres broke on it in the spring of 1925. Cameron and Dennis Guthrie used Jack Guthrie's oil pull Rumley tractor to pull a five bottom plow to break more land. Cameron was in Del Bonita in 1912 when Grandma Farries homesteaded, but he did not homestead at Del Bonita.

Cameron was chairman of the Del Bonita School board in the early 1930's. He went to Lethbridge to interview teachers. He hired a teacher for a year for two hundred and fifty dollars.

In the 1930's he hauled oil from Maple Leaf Refinery in Coutts for the steam boilers on the oil wells in Twin River.

Cam, Nels Forsberg, and the two boys hauled old six inch drill pipe into Lethbridge from Twin River. There the boxings were cut off the pipes, rethreaded for casing, and then hauled back to the oil wells. They hauled with 1935 and 1936 two-ton Fords. These had eighty-five horse power motors and V-8 engines. Their trailer was made from a Model T Ford rear end. The trucks and trailer all had 32 x 6 tires.

On one trip the snow was very deep on the old road that went two miles northeast of McIntyre Farm buildings. Cam and his son had a load of this pipe on the truck and trailer. They had to shovel most of the two miles. They noticed a half ton following them. They would shovel a hundred feet or so, then drive the truck up to the deep snow. The other half ton truck would stop a quarter of a mile back and wait till they moved up, then moved up a little more. He would not come up and help shovel. They decided to fix him. When they started shoveling again, they piled it behind their trailer on the road. They didn't see any more of that truck. Finally they recognized it as being one of the Jew cattle buyers. Cameron did a lot of bundle threshing for different farmers. He threshed for John Tangen in 1936 when his crop was ninety-six bushels and again in 1938 when he had a bumper crop of thousands of bushels. Number one wheat was sixty-two and five eighths cents per bushel, and hauled direct to the elevator. They threshed for Bernard Powlesland in 1942. Sid Powlesiand was pitching bundles. He had a big fork and would throw on four or five bundles at a time. He was loading, down by a ditch and got too close so upset his bundle rack. The reach broke. One of the boys was running the separator and saw Sid coming in with the team pulling the front wheels. He had the lines in one hand and with the other hand he was pulling the rear wheels across the stubble field towards the separator. Really amusing!

In the early 1930's Ruth made butter and turned it into Fisher's store for other groceries at seven cents a pound. The boys were left at home for a week to take care of things. They were told if they wanted to take care of the cream, wash and cool the separator, they could have the cream cheques. They took good care of the cream and shipped a five gallon can of cream into Cardston by Vesper's truck. When they got the cheque it was for sixty-five cents, a whopping thirteen cents a gallon. After that they milked the cows and fed it to the pigs.

Ruth also boarded some of the school teachers. In 1931 a group of doctors, nurses, and dentists came to the Del Bonita School to work with patients of the area for a week. One of the boys had his tonsils out in the old Del Bonita School house.

Cameron Farries had a header for cutting grain in the early 30's. In 1933 they cut some for Oscar Weiss among others. In 1936 they rigged it and a header box up to be pulled by a tractor. Mick Walburger ran the tractor and one of the boys ran the header.

In 1936 they had some grain that wasn't worth cutting. That was a very dry year, followed by the hard winter of 1936-37.

Cameron, Ruth and Phyllis Farries moved to Lethbridge on December 1, 1944. Cameron passed away January 29, 1945, less than two months after he had moved to Lethbridge. Ruth continued to live in Lethbridge. She passed away June 27, 1975.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup