Five generations of Livingstons have lived in the Coalhurst area, helping shape our community. It all began in 1917, when William James Livingston and his wife, Anna, sold their mixed farm near Eldora, Iowa, and lured by the "get-rich-quick" stories they heard about Alberta, moved to the Burdett and grassy Lake area, to farm dry land. Their oldest daughter remained in Montana to teach school. (Later she moved to the Olds area where she married.) Their three sons came with them.
They were discouraged when, year after year, their daylight-to-dark labor resulted in no crops, just drought. The family was among the first group to buy land in the newly organized Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District. In the spring of 1927, their home was completed on their new irrigated land, situated three miles east of Coalhurst near the Picture Butte highway. There they worked and lived through the Depression years and World War 11.
William passed away in September, 1948. Anna continued living on the farm until 1953 when she bought a house and moved into Coalhurst.
Their oldest son, Marshall, married and they bought land adjacent to his father's farm, and also took up residence there in the spring of 1927. Marshall had one of the first threshing machines in the area. He hired young men from Coalhurst to help him do custom threshing for farmers from West Lethbridge to Picture Butte.
During World War 11 the farmers and their wives had to help each other thresh due to the shortage of man power. The Livingston cattle brand was half diamond, LX: L X . Their horse brand was A, lazy A:
.Marshall was forced to sell his farm in 1954 due to ill health. They moved to Coalhurst in February, 1955, where he lived until his passing in May, 1978.
"Our Treasured Heritage-A History of Coalhurst and District"
by by Ruth Willsie
My parents Wm. James Livingston (a young farmer) and Anna Klatt were married at Steamboat Rock, Iowa, on March 7th, 1901. Four children were born to this union in the state of Iowa.
They all immigrated to Burdett, Alberta in the fall of 1917. It was a different life on the prairies, but they still farmed with horses, then changed with the times, from dry-land farming to irrigation on the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District in 1926. Their new home was two miles east of Coalhurst on Highway 25. They started with raw land, added buildings and planted two hundred trees in 1928 on the west side of the buildings to break the wind from the west. In 1948 when the highway was improved more land was needed and four rows of trees had to be destroyed. The remaining trees still grow and are a land mark on the prairie.
During the early days on the irrigated farm, everything grew. They produced most of their living on the farm. They had horses, cattle, pigs and poultry, and grew the feed for them. They sold table cream to a creamery in Lethbridge, and eggs and chickens to the miners families in Coalhurst.
My mother was a real home person. She enjoyed her family and friends and was always ready to lend a helping hand. They really kept "Open House".
The grandchildren and their friends spent many weekends on the farm with their grandparents.
My father died in September 1948. Mother continued on the farm until retiring in 1955. She moved into Coalhurst and continued her crocheting and gardening.
She spent ten days in hospital having an eye operation in 1972.
She decided to leave Coalhurst in 1973, moved to Sundre to make her home with me. She had to give up crocheting, and reading became difficult. She enjoyed company and the family gatherings, and spent many hours sitting by the window watching traffic on the street. She celebrated her 100th birthday on December 13, 1982. Part of the families were present and pictures were taken. She died on September 7, 1983, and was buried in Mountain View cemetery in Lethbridge. Six grandsons were her pallbearers.
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