MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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Jacob Moger and
Emma Anderson Moger

by Maureen Anderson

Jacob Moger (Born 1873 Iowa)
Emma Anderson (Born 1872 Norway)

Emma moved to the United States with her parents in 1884. Jake Moger and Emma Anderson were married in 1898 and, for a time, lived in Minot, North Dakota - but didn't like it there. About 1905, they heard there was land available for homesteading in Canada, they decided to move. They sold out and moved near Whitla, Alberta, about 20 miles from Medicine Hat. With them were their four young children, Alpha, Judith, Violet and Joseph. They landed on the open prairie without any shelter, so they had to quickly put up a makeshift until a home could be built. Alpha could remember living in a "soddy", a shack constructed of blocks of sod cut from the tough- rooted prairie wool so characteristic of the area. She remembers all huddled together under a parasol to keep the rain off, inside the shack. Pots and pans were set all over to catch the water that poured through the roof. She also remembers blizzards being so bad they had to tie a rope from the house to the barn, so they would not get lost and freeze to death when they had to go out and look after the animals.

There were no schools in the district, so the parents got some books and taught the children as much as they could. When more settlers moved in, a school was built. Hopes of golden harvasts were high; the school was called the Golden Sheaf. Whitla no longer appears on maps of Albert and has been listed as one of the ghost towns of southeastern Alberta. The school was closed in 1964. A new paved highway had bypassed the community and the surrounding district had become large farms and even larger ranches.

They had a few successful years, but started to have failures due to drought in 1916. The Mogers "stuck it out" on the Whitla homestead until 1924 when they again "pulled up stakes" and moved to Slave Lake. They kept some cows and chickens. Milk, cream and eggs were sold to the people of Slave Lake. In 1932, Jake Moger took up a homestead 15 miles away to a hamlet on the Lesser Slave River. There were not many neighbors and they were several miles apart. However, by raising some cattle, milking cows and keeping chickens - along with a large garden - he and Emma managed to make a living for themselves. They were to remain on the homestead until 1944. Then they moved to Kinuso. Jacob died in 1950 and Emma in 1951. They had been married for 52 years.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup