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George William Murray and
Sarah (Sadie) Jane McKay Murray

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts Page 390
by John Murray

George William Murray and Sarah (Sadie) Jane McKay were born to Scottish Immigrant parents in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. As a young man, Dad came west and worked as a lumberjack in the forests of Oregon and Washington. In the late 1800's Mother and her family came west to Winnipeg and were employed in the Hudson Bay Trading Post. They later returned to Nova Scotia.

Dad came to Southern Alberta in 1910 to take over the operation of his sister's farm (Grace Marshall) southeast of Lethbridge (E 1/2, Sec. 2, Twp, 8 Rge 20 W4th). In 1912 Dad returned to Nova Scotia where he and Mother were married on June 12 of that year. The young couple later that year returned to the farm in Lethbridge. After farming a few years, and funds became available, Dad purchased some C.P.R. land (W 1/2,Sec.30,Twp.7, Rge.2OW4th). This half section is still in the family.

George and Sadie had four children, three sons and one daughter. We all grew up and lived on the Marshall farm and were educated in White School. The house we were born in still stands today.

Ethel (deceased), after graduating from high school, attended Calgary Normal School and returned to teach in a number of Southern Alberta schools. She later attended Guelph University and obtained a degree in home economics. Again she returned to Southern Alberta and taught in that capacity for a number of years. In the early 1940's Ethel met and married an oil patch welder, Reg Rault (deceased), and they lived in Edmonton. Ethel and Reg had three children.

Memories by Don Murray

1, Don, am the eldest son of George and Sadie Murray. My early boyhood years were spent with my family on the Marshall Farm. My recollection of attending White School was when it was a one-roomed school, in its original location, one-half mile west of McNally. The school teachers often boarded in our home. As the eldest in the family I had the dubious honor of driving the horse and buggy to school each day. My passengers included the Shields' children, who were neighbours, my own brothers and sister, as well as the school teacher, Lily Morris (Henderson). As she boarded at our place, we were never late for school!

In those days the farming was all done with horses - Dad always kept a dozen or more. The land was irrigated, so a large hay crop was grown. Some of it would be hauled by the wagon load to the city - to the dairy, or to the R.C.M.P. for their horses. A long trip if the weather was cold and windy!

We always had an excess of cream which Mother churned into butter. Once a week, I would drive the buggy, loaded with fresh butter, to deliver to her steady customers in Lethbridge. Of course I had to wait while she had her weekly little visit with each one.

We had a mixed farming operation, requiring hired help. Sometimes relatives would come to stay and help with the farm work including cousin Jim Ross, and Wes Dwyer (who married mother's sister Irene). This all added to the family fun, as many jokes and tricks were played on one another.

Mother and Dad were both very much part of the community. Their neighbors meant a lot to them, as did social gatherings at the various homes and in the school. They provided entertainment. Dad was one of the founding members of the Alberta Wheat Pool in 1923. He was also an active member of the local U.F.A. and of the local school board.

The ladies of the community held quilting "bees", where they would spend the day making a quilt for someone who needed one. Mother also hooked rugs, made from woollen clothing cut in strips. Her biscuits were famous and would just melt in your mouth.

In 1937, the folks moved from the Marshall place to their own farm, SW 1/4-12-8-21. During the ensuing years we all worked hard to make our home in this location. The original house and barn were moved from the north-east comer of the property, to a more convenient spot, with easy access to the road. An addition was built to the house; trees were planted as a shelterbelt. During the war years I continued to farm with Dad on the home place, as well as some other land he had acquired. This we continued to do until 1950 when Dad and Mother retired to Lethbridge, and I purchased the home place. Dad was always proud of the many trees he had planted in the area - both at the Marshall place and at our home place. They grew to be quite the landmarks, and some of them are still standing today. Dad and Mother had many happy retirement years, and celebrated both their 50th and 60th anniversaries. Mother passed away in 1973, and Dad in 1977.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup