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Will and Lulu Shields

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts Page 428
By Clyde Shields

The family moved to the White School District (two miles southeast of Lethbridge - now known as McNally) from the Writing-On-Stone area in 1920 and lived there until 1928. They rented eighty acres of land just south of the Stewart Beet Dump and across the road from the Andrew Grahams. Later they moved to the Zettle place, across the road from the Marshall place.

Will and Lulu had five sons when they came to the district; Leland and Ned are deceased. They were immediately involved in school and community organizations. The Alberta Wheat pool was just starting up, so Will and Lulu became active in that organization as charter members. The older boys had to be boarded with families in Lethbridge in order to attend high school. Ned and his younger brothers attended White School.

The family increased in size by three members, two girls and one boy, while they lived in the area. The first daughter was born August 25, 1921, and she was followed by Daisy in 1922. Daisy was not very old when the doctors determined that she had water-on-the-brain, a life threatening condition, and she only lived about nine months. The death of Daisy was very hard on Lulu - she had been so excited to have another little girl. The sixth son arrived on October 10, 1925.

Will and Lulu endured other personal hardships through these years. Lulu had developed severe asthma on the Masinasin homestead and it continued to plague her. Then, in 1927, Will was forced to file for bankruptcy to clear the outstanding debt that continued to hang over them.

A break came late in 1927 when the farm they were renting was sold. They bought a half section (320 acres) of irrigated land near the small community of Diamond City, north of Lethbridge, in the Plain Butte School District. The property cost $65 an acre - $10 per acre for the land and the remaining $55 for the water rights. Here two more children were born. Will and Lulu retired to White Rock, B.C. in 1946.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup