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William DeWitt and Lydia Bixby

Stirling - Its Story and People
pages 218 - 219
by Halsey Bixby

William Dewitt Bixby was born in Clinton, Ohio, in 1864. His wife, Lyda Parkhurst, was also born in Clinton in 1862. They were married in Lisbon, North Dakota. They farmed and ranched in what was known as the "Sand Hills" of North Dakota. To this union was born eight children: William, Tracey, Aus- ta, Ora, Jennie, Lillian, Arthur and Halsey.

In 1910, word spread over North Dakota of farming advantages in southern Alberta. As a result, Will and his son, Tracey, came to the Raymond area in search of land. This part of southern Alberta was selected because some of the Browns, nephews of Mr. Bixby, were already settled there. They chose a farm near Stirling, now owned by Harry Patching. In October, 1911, the family, with the exception of the eldest son Bill, crossed into Canada by train, at the port of entry of Portal, Saskatchewan, with their household goods, horses, cattle and machinery.

While residing on the Stirling farm, Maybutt was their post office and shopping center. Of the children, only Art attended the Maybutt school, while he was in Grade Two. The teacher was Miss Morrisey. Austa had to upgrade her teaching qualifications in Raymond. While there, and while she taught in Stirling, the school-aged children resided with her and attended both Stirling and Raymond school. The family moved to Lethbridge for more schooling and for a period of time had a hay farm in the Coaldale area and attended school there.

In 1923, the land was sold and the family moved south of New Dayton to property owned by American interests known as the Miller Farm, also buying property both south and north of the rented parcel. The Miller land was sold in 1927 to the Sunny Side Hutterite Colony. The remaining land was farmed by Tracey, Art and Halsey.

Mrs. Bixby passed away in 1927, and Mr. Bixby in 1943.

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Mary Tollestrup