Michael Salmon was born near Arrowship, Illinois on Dec 3. 1881. He spent his young years in Minneapolis, Minnesota working in a store with one of his brothers. In 1909 he came to Canada and filed on a homestead in the Pendant d'Oreille district. He filed on Sec. 22 of 3-8-W4 and stayed there until it was proven up, then with so many years, decided he couldn't make a living farming.
He moved to Etzikom in 1915 and started a general store in partnership with Al West. The store, Salmon and West, carried dry goods, groceries and hardware and was a productive business and operated for many years.
On August 16th 1916 Mike married Della Mae McFall. Della was born near Petersburg, North Dakota in Adler Tsp. on June 2nd 1895. Della's folks had come to Canada from Michigan North Dakota and her father filed on a homestead in the Etzikom district. Della stayed on the farm with her brother Roy and her folks for some time but decided she didn't like living in the country, so went to work in the store for Salmon and West. She married Michael Salmon and they had three children.
Mike eventually sold out the business in 1928 and the family moved into Sakatchewan. Two more children where born there. Mike had built a large two story store. The family lived upstairs.
When we arrived in Billiman, there had been a terrible wind storm and the roof of our home was in a neighbour's field. That was just the beginning of tough luck as the depression started in 1929 and it affected everyone. When you are young, nothing seems to affect you like it does older people. I never remember being hungry or deprived of anything and wonder now how my mother kept us all fed and happy. We went to the French school and in the summer walked the 3 miles to and from school. In the winter I drove a neighbour's horse buggy as their two girls were too young to drive. The teacher only taught to grade 8 so I took correspondence courses for grades 9 and 10 and the teacher helped me at noon or recess if I needed help. I went to Orkney, Sask. for my grade 11 and to Sacred Heart College in Regina for my grade 12.
My folks finally moved to Spnng Coulee in 1937 where they operated the Hotel. My mother kept busy as the dam was getting started and she also had drilling crews staying at the hotel. Lon Kroeger was one of the engineers at the dam and his room was always crowded with cores from the base of the dam.
In 1942 my folks moved to Granum where my father bought and operated the Alberta Hotel. In 1952 they sold the Hotel and moved to Lethbridge.
Mike died in 1962 and my mother lived until she was 89 years old and died on Dec 3. 1984. (Della lived in her home for many years and was very active in her clubs and church.)
Return Pioneer Histories