Atkinson/McFadyen - F1372

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Abraham Neilson Atkinson

Abraham Nelson, Mary, Archie Atkinson.jpg

Abraham Neilson Atkinson was born at Paisley, Ontario and worked as a blacksmith at Liverton. About 1874 he married Mary McFadyen (1852-1927) from Glamis, Ontario. In 1880, the family moved west to Pilot Mound, N.W.T., and took up a homestead at Coulter, Manitoba. The children had to walk through dense bush to attend school and too often the river was so high they could not cross it. As more of the children were becoming of school age, Abraham and Mary traded their farm for a farm six and one-half miles southeast of Glen Ewen in the Florence district. In 1900 they moved to the Mount Pleasant district. Abe Atkinson retired from farming in 1913 and moved to Glen Ewen. He died in 1917. Mary lived until 1927, baking her own bread, tending her garden and often boarding the teacher.

Abraham and Mary had eleven children:

Robert Neil Atkinson, born in Ontario in 1876, was educated in Manitoba, and homesteaded in the Mount Pleasant district. Rob later moved to British Comumbia. He married Pearl Dunn. They adopted two children.

Hugh Neilson Atkinson and Libby.jpg

Hugh Neilson Atkinson (Nels) (1878-1940) was born in Ontario and educated in Manitoba. After moving to Glen Ewen he became a carpenter. He built houses at Spanish Banks, Vancouver until the depression hit the building industry and he returned to Glen Ewen and worked on the farm. In 1916 he married Nat Cranson’s widow, Libby Rodgers, who had five children; Nellie, Ched, Cliff, Stan, and Jack. Nels and Libby farmed the Cranston place at Tilston, later renting it out and returning to live in Glen Ewen where he operated Jack Cranston butcher shop. After Nels died in 1940 Libby moved to Port Coquitlan, B.C.

Helen Estella Atkinson (1879-1978). Nellie was born in Glamis, Ontario in 1879. She attended school at Coulter and at Maple Grove School. In 1901 she married Andrew Walker (1875-1966). They homesteaded northeast of Glen Ewen. In 1913, they moved south of Alameda and again to west of Alameda. In 1927 they moved to west of Kisbey where they farmed until 1946, retiring to the village until 1964, when they moved into the Senior Citizens’ Village in Stoughton.

Abraham Allan Atkinson and Annie.jpg

They had eleven children: Catherine (Mrs. Percy Taylor); Mary (Mrs. Gordon Brown); Laura (Mrs. John Stephen); Jean (Mrs. Clifford Ball); Isabelle (Mrs. Robert Forsyth, Mack); Marjorie (Mrs. Charles Swallow); John A. married Ruth Collins; Grace (Mrs. Ralph Johnson); Archie, an airforce gunner, was killed in action in 1942 and Bruce an airforce pilot, was killed in action in 1944.

John Sylvester Atkinson (1882-1965). John was born at Pilot Mound. He improved up a homestead beside his father wile working as a blacksmith in Glen Ewen. He sold this, was in the lumber business in Revelstoke, B.C. then took a barber’s course in Winnipeg. After barbering in Frobisher, he moved to Pilot Mound where he operated a barber shop, pool hall and bowling alley. He and his wife, Jean Nash, retired to Selkirk. There were six children: Leone (Mrs. Borden Hanford); Earl; Orvil; Dorothy (Mrs. Morley Fallis); Ralph and Lorne.

Abraham Allan Atkinson (1882-1927) was born at Pilot Mound and homesteaded beside his brother Rob, northeast of Glen Ewen. He moved to Spruce Lake, Saskatchewan. He married Annie Philco, sister of his brother Ross’ wife. His daughter Jean died as a child, by accidentally drinking lye, and Abe died in an accident when moving a granary. His surviving children were Dorothy (Mrs. W. Barker); Laura (Mrs. O. Forsyth); Ruth (Mrs. E. Cleaves) and Mary (Mrs. W. Forsyth). His widow married Jack Barker.

Atkinson - Herb and Mabel.jpg

Herbert Justin (1885-1958) was born in Coulter. He attended Maple Grove and Mount Pleasant Schools, and worked on the farm with his father. He married Mabel Barker, and when his father retired, farmed the home place. Later he farmed south of Glen Ewen and on the Antler Creek, Herb spent some time in the T.B. Sanitarium. In the early 1930’s he and his brother Ross went to Spruce Lake to farm. They retired to Selkirk, Manitoba. There were five children: Nelse (Jim); Lorraine (Mrs. Earl Rusaw); Loretta (Mrs. Ivan Jefferies); Abe and Huel.

Ida Margaret (Atkinson) McIlmoyl was born at Coulter in 1887. She attended Maple Grove School. She married Ernest McIlmoyl (1875-1964) who was teaching at Mount Pleasant School.

Mary Isabelle (Atkinson) Benedict (1888-1949) was born at Coulter. She worked as a grocery clerk at Hirsch. She married Jack Benedict.

Atkinson - Ross, John, Archie.jpg

Rosswell Murdock Atkinson (1891-1962) was born at Coulter. He attended Mount Pleasant School and helped his father on the farm. He married Kate Philco (sister of bother Abe’s wife). Ross worked on the Glen Ewen C.P.R. section gang. In the thirties he moved to Spruce Lake, Saskatchewan where he farmed, and retired to Selkirk, Manitoba. There were five children: Jean who married twice (Mrs. Olson, Mrs. Ralph Vining); and twins Jack and Nels; Helen (Mrs. Gordon Dalzel) and Norma (Mrs. Fred Dodding). Ross died in 1962.

Jennie May (Atkinson) Rennie (1896-1975). Jean was born on the “Lolly” farm and when she was four the family moved northwest of Glen Ewen, where she attended Mount Pleasant School. After finishing school, she became Glen Ewen’s post mistress, which job she turned over to her cousin Vera Barker (Mrs. Roscoe Harrison). In 1915 she married Leonard Emmerson Rennie (1885-1978) merchant at Frobisher. They continued to operate the general store for 59 years. In 1932 they leased the Jack Cranston butcher store with Frank Rennie as manager. Jean spent her last years in the Estevan Regional Nursing Home. Her husband spent six years of retirement at home and died in his 93rd year. They had four children: Clayton Atkinson married Mayda Broberg; Melba (Mrs. Ken Collopy); Huel married Norma Frith and June.

William Archibald Atkinson (1898-1968). Archie was born on the “Lolly” farm and attended school at Mount Pleasant and Glen Ewen. He worked for his brother John on the farm then joined the army. After the war he worked for brother Nelse at Tilston. He married Minnie Masson (1903-1965) and rented a farm from her brother. In 1927 when his mother died, Archie inherited the Glen Ewen home which he sold to James Moore. He later worked for Moore’s Taxi and Transport in Winnipeg and Kenora, Ontario. He retired to Vancouver to live near his daughter Mary. Archie and Minnie had four children: Mary (Mrs. Doug Luff); Marjorie (Mrs. Jim Hinze); Sherlie (Mrs. Hugh Wilson) and Neil who married Janet Jefferies. Although the bones of Abe and Mary lie beneath the big grey headstone in the Glen Ewen Cemetery, in reality they are still alive in a very large family of great and great-great grandchildren who are spread across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

(Furrow to the Future: Oxbow and Glen Ewen, Volume 1, pg 355-358)

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