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Frederick Garrick and
Minna Voight Garrick

Our Treasured Heritage-
A History of Coalhurst and District
Pages 327 - 330
by Laureen Christensen and Harry Garrick

Frederick Garrick was born in Germany on November 7, 1874. Minna Voight was born in Germany on August 24, 1877. They were united in marriage on April 19, 1897.

They had five children, four sons: Harry, William, Alfred, Walter, and one daughter.

Frederick and Minna came to Canada in 1902 and first settled in Nova Scotia. Frederick worked in the coal mines at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia before moving to Lethbridge in 1906 where he worked at No. 3 and No. 6 mines.

They moved to Coalhurst in 1910 where Frederick obtained a job at the Coalhurst Mine. There was a period of time that Frederick and Minna lived at Wigan prior to Coalhurst but date is unknown.

While living in Coalhurst Frederick and Minna purchased in 1927, a tract of land composed of all the west half of legal subdivision ten (10), section twenty-one (21), township nine (9), range twenty-two (22), west of the fourth (4th) meridian containing (18.09) acres more or less.

Frederick was a prominent poultry raiser and the Canadian National Poultry Record Association Blue Book, 1930 issue, advertised Garrick's single comb Rhode Island Reds. His pen won the 1928-29 laying contest in Lethbridge, Alberta and led all breeds from start to finish.

Frederick and Minna's Rhode Island Reds won many ribbons from 1928 to 1932. A newspaper article in the Lethbridge Herald stated as follows: "Coalhurst is proud that its chicken fancier, Fred Garrick, whose hens have been entered in the poultry contest at the Experimental farm, is leading all others in points obtained. Mr. and Mrs. Garrick are getting results by their hard work and careful attention to their poultry flocks. The Garrick birds are becoming quite widely known over western Canada and orders come from both far and near for both the poultry and eggs from this wonderful strain of Rhode Island Reds.

Another article stated as follows: "There are fourteen laying contests in Canada and thousands of individuals watch every week for the reports issued from the various centres situated in every Province in the Dominion, some having two or more contests. The number of pens in the different contests varies, the smallest being eighteen and the largest number seventy. There are ten birds in each pen. There are 468 pens in all containing, therefore, 4,680 layers. These had laid, at the end of the 32nd week, 502,263 eggs. The normal or average weight being two ounces each this means 1,004,526 ounces or 62,783 pounds, or, slightly over 31 tons of eggs!

The Alberta contest, held at Lethbridge, is in foremost place by reason of having in its group the pen that has laid the most eggs since November 1, when the present contest began. A pen of Rhode Island Reds owned by Fred Garrick, Coalhurst, Alberta, has led the procession almost from the commencement. Their score is 1719 points and 1491 eggs. This means that their eggs are much above the two ounce standard, Mr. Garrick has a second pen with a score of 1682.9 points and 1499 eggs.

Frederick and Minna also raised large crops of ever-bearing strawberries which were sold along with gooseberries and red and black currants to Eaton's, Safeway, and residents of Coalhurst. Fresh mixed vegetables, eggs, milk, cream and butter were also sold to residents of Coalhurst and surrounding area. Mixed vegetables, during marketing time, were sold to Eaton's and residents of the Crowsnest Pass area.

It is interesting to note that, during marketing time, when vegetables were supplied to Eaton's the money was left there like a bank deposit and when purchases were made they were taken off the balance.

Minna was well known as an experienced midwife and, whenever she put on a big white apron, you knew that she was on her way to assist the doctor in delivering babies.

It has been brought to the attention of one of the writers of this history that once upon a time, long long ago, a prominent committee member of the Coalhurst History Association, when a wee lad, committed a dastardly deed upon Frederick. The incident occurred during the night and involved this individual, fellow cohorts, a generous length of rope, two saddle horses, and a pair of telephone pole climbing surs or spikes. These dead end kids of the prairies then "borrowed" Fred's democrat and proceeded to take it apart, using ingenuity, sweat, muscle, rope and the saddle horses. Our individual in question, with spurs on, climbed various telephone poles, and the resulting masterpiece was the democrat in disarray; wagon wheels and various other pieces hanging from the tops of telephone poles.

Lo and behold this was the wonderous sight to greet Frederick come early morn. You can well imagine the righteous rage and mixed emotions which must surely have coursed through Fred's veins upon viewing his beloved democrat in such a deplorable condition. Enough to make a person's hair turn gray or, at the very least, drop out.

Needless, to say; Frederick called in the long arm of the law in the form of Constable Davis of the R.C.M.P. Police. Constable Davis, in the company of Frederick and various other onlookers which included the perpetrators, viewed the scene of the unparalleled crime.

Constable Davis gazed upwards at the hanging parts of the democrat, scratched his head, and in a voice filled with awe and respect exclaimed! "I wonder how on earth they managed to do that? And how are we going to get the parts down?" Whereupon the leader of the gang went and got the spurs, rope and saddle horse and in full view of Constable Davis, Frederick and onlookers; put the spurs on, climbed the poles, threw the rope and with the faithful horse's help, lowered all the parts down. It is not known if the culprits were given a good lecture or taken on a stroll to the wood shed. It is known that it was a case which was solved in a very short time.

To top it all off - Minna treated the boys to cookies and milk for their good deed.

Minna and Frederick survived the above episode and, no doubt, others. They managed to purchase another 55.83 acres consisting of parcel No. S.E. 21-9-22-4. This was land on which the mine company houses once stood and also included the famous Coalhurst landmark - The Coal Dump.

In 1942 Minna and Frederick sold their original tract of land to their son Walter and moved to Vancouver. They retained the title to parcel No. S.E. 21-9-22-4 and, in 1947, sold it to Mr. Alex Veres.

Frederick worked in the Vancouver Shipyards until his retirement in 1949. He passed away, at seventy-eight years of age, in Vancouver on June 29, 1952.

Minna passed away, at eighty-six years of age, in Vancouver on July 2, 1964.

Their four sons have since passed away and their daughter is the only remaining member of Minna and Frederick's immediate family.

It was not an easy life during the Dirty Thirties" and many hardships were endured what with the depression and dustbowl conditions. It is indeed a credit to those early pioneers of Southern Alberta that they persevered and overcame these hardships.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup