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Frederick LeRoy Gibb and
Rebecca Elizabeth Brown Gibb

Heritage of the High Country-
A History of Del Bonita and surrounding Districts
Pages 341-344

Frederick LeRoy Gibb was born in Dingledell, Bear Lake, Idaho, on September 9, 1890. His father, John Lye Gibb, born in England, immigrated to Utah in 1875. John Lye met and married Hannah Simons, who was also born in England. They settled in Utah for a few years.

They came to Raymond, Alberta, September 3, 1901, put up their tent, and began building their home. Theirs was the first home to be built in Raymond. Fred was the eighth child of ten children.

Fred attended the public school and the Knight Academy. At the age of nine, he went to work at the Page Ranch on the Milk River and also worked on the Knight Ranch. In the spring of 1910, Fred and two of his brothers built a store at Hillspring, Alberta. He was there for five years.

On December 6th he married Rebecca Elizabeth Brown, the daughter of Van Tile Mac Brown and Caroline Christiansen of Denmark. Rebecca was a talented woman. She was an accomplished pianist and dancer. She used to play the piano for the silent movies in Cardston. At one time Fred was the champion mile runner for Alberta. He also played baseball and basketball.

Fred bought a hundred and sixty acre farm at Hillspring. While living here, there were six children born to this union. In 1926, he bought an eleven hundred acre sheep ranch at Shanks Lake, about twelve miles north of the Del Bonita store. He moved his family and all of their belongings out to the ranch. Their home was surrounded by big beautiful hills, and the Milk River ran one hundred yards from the house. Fred also leased thirty-three hundred acres. They had forty-five hundred sheep at one time. Their most memorable sheep herder was Bill Dougherty.

There was no school when they moved to Shanks Lake, but there was a school house on the land they had bought. Fred and Becky got together with the neighbors - Hillmers, Jim Foggin, Guthries, Russ Baxter, Swansons, and others and finally had a school going. Their first teacher was Marion Bingham from Magrath. He boarded with them. Then Arvid Larson was their teacher for about seven years.

By now, the depression years were upon them, The most trying times were getting the children to school and home safely during the terribly cold winters. Around Christmas time, Rebecca would walk to the school and back, two or three times a week to play the piano and help the teacher with the Christmas program. No matter what the weather was like, she would go. She did this for years.

They lived there for eighteen years, and then Fred turned the ranch over to his son. In 1943, he bought a hundred and fifteen acre farm just west of Cardston, on the Waterton highway. Here they had one hundred and twenty-five head of Rambouillet sheep. They lived here for five years, and then decided to move south and leave the cold winters behind. They sold out and bought a lovely home in Ellensberg, Washington, and one hundred and sixty acres of irrigated land and some cattle. Fred had two hay barns, one held six hundred tons of hay and the other four hundred tons. While living there, Fred and Becky joined four square dance clubs. They travelled to various cities to put on exhibition dances. They also served a four year mission for the L. D. S. Church.

While at Ellensburg, Fred had a bad heart attack, and the work became too much for him, so they sold out in 1960, and bought their retirement home in Renton, Washington. By this time there were thirteen children in all; ten living. They are all married and have left the nest.

Fred and Becky celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in September, a few months ahead of the original day so that all of the family could be there, and on the 28th of September, Fred passed away in his sleep. His funeral was held in Ellensberg, Washington September 30, 1963.

After the funeral Becky went home with her daughter who lived in Fort Macleod, Alberta. She lived with them for a year.

Becky sold her home in Renton, Washington. She now resides in a mobile home park near Oregon City. She has perfect health, and is eighty-four this year. She had made twelve quilts and ten beautiful afghans this year. She still plays her piano and organ, attends her church activities and is enjoying life to the fullest.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup