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George Stringham and
Sarah Lavina Stringham

Heritage of the High Country
A History of Del Bontia
and Surrounding Districts
Pages 30 - 31
by Enes Stringam

Stringam Ranch

George Lewis Stringam, came from Utah in 1910, and settled his family in Glenwood. He had considerable ranching experience in Utah, where he ran cattle in the mountains in the summer, and on the desert in the winter. When the opportunity came to purchase more land in Canada, he decided to move his operation there.

George purchased the Milk River ranch in 1928. There had been a series of owners. Colonel Mackie owned it until 1907, at which time he sold it to Pat Burns. About 1917 the government reclaimed four and one half townships for the establishment of a community pasture to the west, homesteads to the east (1-17 area), and grazing leases to the north. The remaining two townships were sold to R. C. Harvie, a sheep rancher. They had to ford the river until 1920, when a bridge was built.

R. C. Harvie sold the ranch to George Stringam in 1928. The ranch remained in the Stringam family for many years. The Stringam family lived in Glenwood. George relied heavily upon the help of his two older boys, Owen and Lonnie, who were fourteen and fifteen, were often sent to purchase, animals for the feed lots. Many humorous accounts of some of the "deals" made by the boys have sifted down from the past. Father would advise them to go back to the owner and give him more money for the livestock.

George entered the political scene in 1921. For fourteen years he carried the U.F.A. government banner in the Provincial Legislature. Del Bonita was part of his jurisdiction as M.L.A. He was always a great friend to the farmer and rancher, and was noted for his integrity, honesty, and respect and consideration for others-a man of conscience.

During his many absences, his wife Sarah Lavina, directed the affairs of the ranch and the children. She ran the business and her home with efficiency. It was a time of struggle to provide for an ever growing family. Eleven children arrived over the years. Nine children survived. Emily, Owen, Alonzo (Lon), Briant, Woodrow, Elwood, Bryce, Mary, and Mark.

Morris and Dale died at an early age.

George Stringam was fortunate to have a wife and helpmate who never faltered in her support of him in every endeavor. Lavina always raised a huge garden, and canned all of the vegetables, meat, chickens, fruit, jam and pickles. She made her own bread and butter. She also managed to find time to sew most of the clothing for her large family, as well as quilts and pillows. She served in several executive offices in the church and school board. For many years she was on call as the community's home nurse. She saved many lives with her home remedies and devoted many sleepless nights to nursing the very ill back to health.

In 1936 George lost half of his herd in one of the snow storms that had become legends over the years. Across the western plains thousands of cattle died. Many ranchers lost whole herds.

In 1937 George and Lavina and the two remaining children, Mary and Mark, moved to Lethbridge where they rented a home.

In 1959, George became ill and passed away.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup