“I was born in MacGregor in 1898. My mother Annie' Cook, a daughter of Elizabeth and Tom Cook of MacGregor (not related to Bayard Cook) married Sam Elliott. They farmed south of Austin and had three children, Emily, Harry and myself. Our father died in 1900 when I was two years old. We children lived with Grandma and Grandpa Cook. Mother worked for and ultimately married Jim Tarry **.

“Jim had been married before and had four children, Sid, Mabel, Beatrice and Ada. I can remember reluctantly going with my mother to live with my stepfather, my stepbrother and my three stepsisters in MacGregor.

“Mother and Jim had four children, Charlie, Kathleen, Eunice and Mabel so there were 13 of us.

“I went to school in MacGregor and remember my school mates including your mother Jessie Shaw and her sister Lizzie. I remember my teachers including Miss Finch, and Mr. Struthers. We finished school (Grade 8) in 1913.

“I was now 15 years of age and moved to Sidney to work as a house helper. The rest of our family remained in MacGregor. In 1917 I met and married Lawrence Smith. We farmed and raised our three children, Leonard H., Eileen E. (married Elmer Greenslade) and Hilda M. (married Archie Evanson), in the Sidney community. Our children went to school at Sidney. In 1928 we moved and lived at MacDonald for a few years on a farm rented from Doctor Hazard. We later purchased our own farm in the Nairn (High Bluff) area.

“Lawrence was involved in his community. He was elected a Councillor representing Ward 2 (High Bluff) in 1941 and served until 1948. In 1950 he became Reeve of the RM and served in that capacity until 1961. He died in 1967. Our only son Leonard farmed on our home farm till his death in 1974.

“In 1969 I married Harvey O’Dell and we continued farming at Hargrave, MB, west of Virden until Harvey’s death in 1975. I then moved in to Portage.

“I remember Jack McPhee, Ed Chant, Maimie Lamb and others of the Southend, MacGregor, Austin area. And I remember the businesses of that time including Ezra Turner’s store and Glover’s hardware. I remember the house Hazel Allan now lives in being built around 1912. It was just over the creek”.

Evelyn (Elliott) O’Dell has lived and is living a good life. Born in the last century, she went to school to Grade 8 which was about average for the times, lived through two World Wars and the Depression years of the 30’s. She lost two husbands and a son. She remembers what it was like to live and work on a farm before modern machinery and convenient household appliances.

Yet she says she never really suffered. She says they were fortunate in that their farm provided a good livelihood even during the depression years. And she


has retained a spirit of independence and friendliness. Her daughter Eileen phoned when we were visiting and was told that she couldn’t talk right then because she was entertaining two men. She told us that she had arranged, on her own initiative, to move in to the Lions Manor because she didn’t believe that her family should have to look after her.

Evelyn (Elliott) O’Dell is Brian Graham’s grandmother...see Graham. Unfortunately, Mrs. O’Dell passed away in 1996.

Elliott families lived in the Beaver district during the early part of this century but we have been unable to obtain much information on them. Annie Kerr made a list of some Elliott names and they include;

Jane Anna Elliott (1883-1906) was born at Wellington (Katrime) and is buried at Burnside.

Mary Elizabeth Elliott (1885-1905) was also born at Wellington and is buried at Burnside. Presumably Jane’s sister.

Thomas John Elliott (1887-1966) was born at Wellington, married May Byers on June 25, 1919 and is buried at Beaver. They had two children, Janet and Billie who married Jean Hotel of Austin.

Sarah Louise Elliott (1889-1982) was born at Wellington and married John Kerr ** on November 16, 1909. She is buried at Beaver. Annie Kerr is their daughter.

Myrtle Olive Elliott (1891-1944) was born at Bagot and married E. Wilson Lamb **, in 1913. She is buried at Beaver.

Eva May Elliott (1893-1966) was born at Bagot and married George S. Thompson ** in 1914. She is buried at Beaver.

Edna May Elliott (1896-1959) was born at Bagot and married Hjalmar Emerslund in 1919. They had two children, Bill who died on active service during WW II and Betty. Edna is buried in Vancouver, BC.

ELLIS Pat Ellis and his brothers Jim, George and Jack as well as his sisters Janet, Carol, Margaret and Kay all went to school at MacGregor in the 1930’s. Pat served in the Canadian Army during WW II.


James Elston (1872-1958) was born and educated at Wingham, ON. He came west in 1897 and took Normal School training in Winnipeg. He taught at Sight Hill from 1898 to 1902. Jim married Elizabeth Ann Jones **. He ran a hardware store in Austin for almost fifty years. Jim and Elizabeth Ann are buried at Austin.