MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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Ben and Lillian Gagan

Heritage of the High Country-
A History of Del Bonita and surrounding Districts
Pages 340-341

My father, James Gagan, and I each took a homestead at Del Bonita. A two roomed house was built on the dividing line south of the Milk River.

Lillian and I were married at Fairview Farm, Magrath, July 4,1915. Our eldest child, Jimmy, was born August 23, 1916 and passed away September 4, 1917. While we were at Del Bonita, a daughter was born, and another daughter born later at Magrath.

As father ran a band of sheep, the first winter we lived in a sheep wagon. The following spring we lambed out and Lillian and I trailed the sheep to Stirling, our home was the camp wagon all summer. The lambs were sold there and we returned to the ranch with the ewes. During the winter the sheep were taken out every day on the prairies for feed. I would pile rocks up as a wind shield and many a day my sandwiches were so frozen I could not eat them. In the summer we cut every bit of wild grass for feed and Lillian and I would stack it at the buildings.

To go to Magrath was a hardship as we had so many gates to open, and then we went only to see the doctor and dentist. The R.C.M.P. on his rounds would stay at our place and as we were so isolated, we always looked forward to his coming to hear news of the country.

Lillian on finding fish in the Milk River, loved to fish and in the summer she'd take our daughter and place her in an apple box and pick saskatoons along the river. Also she loved the great friendship of Maude and Ella Hillmer and never forgot the companionship of the Del Bonita people over the years.

Lillian and I worked very hard to save money to get started on the Fairview Farm at Magrath and seven years later we were able to buy furniture and machinery to move there.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup