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Charles Thomas Ripley and
Leona Margaret (Beimler) Ripley

Pinepound Reflections - A History of
Spring Coulee and District pages 314 - 315
by Gerri Ripley

Charles was born near Rock Falls, Whiteside County, Illinois on February 19, 1894. He helped his father on the farm until age 21, when he came to Spring Coulee on section 9. He said there were many buried rocks and when his horse-drawn plow struck them, he was thrown from his seat becoming bruised and sore. He was thrown so many times, he almost went home the first day, but he stayed through that season. He returned to the U.S.A. where he spent the next year with a sister in Wyoming but the lure of Southern Alberta beckoned and in 1917 he came back and rented 400 acres from Beswicks. Three years later, his brother, Clarence came to help and they formed a partnership, later buying the east 1/2 of section 9 and north 1/4 of east 1/2 of section 4. They farmed together for over thirty years.

In 1923, Chuck married a belle by the name of Leona Beimler. He always said that there were "hitched" because when they returned from their honeymoon some of the town folk hitched Chuck to a wagon and had him pull Leona down Main street.

They lived on Section 4 with Clarence for one year, then moved to section 18, eventually buying it and resided there for 31 years. In 1955, semi-retired, they moved into Spring Coulee, purchasing the old Boettcher house from Elmer Beswick. Chuck continued to help with the farming for many years until his health stopped him. After Leona's passing and having spent two years at the Diamond Willow Lodge in Magrath, he once again returned to his home in Spring Coulee until he was 92 years of age. He passed away at age 94 in 1988.

Both were active community members. Many card parties were held in the old farm house. Both were members of the Spring Coulee United Church. Leona was a member of the Women's Institute - president from 1959-1964, President of the U.C.W. also a member of the Ladies Aid. Chuck was a member of the A.O.T.S., and an avid baseball player and in his later years a faithful spectator, even slow pitch which he considered a sissy sport.

Chuck wrote many poems during his lifetime, of his early years in Illinois, the Sweetgrass Hills, Milk River Ridge, Salute to Alberta and Vacant Houses.

He marvelled at the many changes he saw in 94 years. As a youth he saw a world of horse drawn power and men living and working on the land to the present day of planes, trains and machines that carry men off the planet.

Chuck and Leona had 3 sons: Donald is now deceased.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup