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Prairie Farming

After father, George Parrett, bought his farm at Pilot Mound, Manitoba, he sent for his English bride, Mabel Purchase, in 1912. His bother Will arrived from England at that time and, liking it there, sent for his bride, Elsie Brooks, of Salisbury. Settled on the Manitoba farm, the two couples posed for a photo- with bowler hats!

The happy couples posing at the Pilot Mound farm
L to R- Elsie, Will Parrett, George Parrett and Mabel

The ladies put on their fine dresses- the men donned bowler hats for this photo, taken about 1914. The fine furniture came from "home"- unpacked for the first time.

The chairs and rug were part of a trouseau brought from England in a steamer trunk, to brighten the homestead farm. Later, father George "borrowed" the trunk's leather straps to repair some harness, much to mother;s disgust. (They were miles from town, and had little money for new harness!) The trunk took up space in basements unused, for many years, until given to Goodwill in recent years. It fetched $65 even then.

Pilot Mound got it name from the early use by Indians as a lookout for hostile tribes bent on attack. It is a 116-foot high hill visible for up to 16 miles, formed by an upheaval of natural gas, geologists say. There have been drillings to try to find some oil, but without result.

Will and Elsie Parrett in formal attire
Heading for their own farm at Khedive, Saskatchewan.

Father George and Mabel Parrett with first born.
Brother George died in the 'flu epedemic of 1917/

Soon Will and Elsie got their own farm at Khedive, Sask., but tragedy struck, a daughter, Elsie Elizabeth,  born December 1914, died at 15 months,  but a son, Kenneth, was born in 1916.His father Will Parrett died on the farm in 1917. Elsie, left alone on the farm, married a neighbor, Fred Vogeli, and adopted a daughter,  "Dot" who later went by "Miki." Ken was fatally injured in a logging mill accident in 1937.

My father George Parrett and his English bride farmed for five years at Pilot Mound, plagued by early frosts, rust infestation, and hungry grassghoppers. Finally in 1917 they had what looked by a bumper cropp, with fields of ripe waving grain. But a black cloud appeared on the horizon- hail clouds appeared and beat the crop to the ground. The war was on, so dad joined the army, was concentrated at Valcartier, Quebec for overseas. Mother headed for England with my sister Mabel, a toddler, and me an infant in arms- four days on the train and 17 days on the ship! But, as the war was winding down, dad did not proceed, so mother stayed with her English family until  gaining a berth on a "Bride Ship" for soldier's dependents in 1919, for a return to Canada.

Here is a closeup of baby George in 1914.
He was tragically lost in the 'flu epidemic of 1917

George and Mabel Parrett later in Brandon
They ran PARRETT'S GROCERY on sixth street.

Settling on a farm- CLICK HERE

Other military happenings listed here:

More pioneer farming!

More interesting notes- CLICK

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