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John Horchuk and
Grace Lopaschuk Horchuk

Our Treasured Heritage-
A History of Coalhurst and District
Pages 368-369
By Bill Horchuk

John Horchuk was born in the Ukraine in 1891. He emigrated to Canada in 1905 at the age of 14. His first years in Canada were spent working in different lumber camps mostly in Alberta. Later on he acquired work with the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Most of his railway years were spent in the Fernie, Sparwood areas. It was during this time that he got the nick-name 'C.P.R. John'. This name stuck with him right to his dying day. In Coalhurst and Wigan if you mentioned John Horchuk not everyone could place him, but if you said C.P.R. John, they knew right away.

During the construction of the High Level Bridge in Lethbridge (approximately 1909-1910) he was transferred to this area and helped to put on the first coat of paint. It was shortly after this that he decided to come to Coalhurst and work in the mine. It was here that he met Grace Lopaschuk. Grace was born in the Ukraine in 1899. She immigrated to Canada in 1921, and later on the same year she married John. They had one son William, who was born in Coalhurst in 1925. In 1927 John and Grace bought a small farm that borders the north boundary of what was called Wigan. They built a house on it and the following year the Horchuk family moved out of their company house in Coalhurst to their home on the farm in Wigan. John continued to work in the mine, and Grace did most of the chores on the farm.

While on the farm, John acquired a powerful team of horses. At the time, they were one of the finest around the Country, and many a word of praise he would receive for their appearance. They hauled many a ton of coal that was picked off the dump, to different families in Coalhurst, but mostly to people in Wigan. They also hauled many a barrel of water from Coalhurst to families in Wigan, but the bulk of the water was hauled by the people themselves, rick shaw style. Besides the regular barnyard animals on the farm, John kept quite a number of bee hives. During the depression sugar cost too much, during the war, sugar was rationed, so the honey was nice to have.

Due to ill health, John and Grace were forced to sell their farm in Coalhurst. They moved to Lethbridge in 1963. After a short illness, John passed away in 1965 at the age of 74. Grace continued to live in Lethbridge. She passed away in 1977. They had one son who completed High School in Coalhurst.

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Mary Tollestrup