William Jackson

Submitted by George Jackson, son of William Jackson

Born at Gleason in the border country of northern England. The following is based on excerpts from his diary.

I first went to work at the age of nine years at the Park Mines blowing air mto the miners. My pay was 24 cents a day.

He sold milk for his grandmother until he was around 13 years old when he went to the iron works at Asken.

William Jackson
William Jackson

My mother died about that time and f left home and hired out to a farmer for six months at a time. I was 15 years old then and got $30.00 for my board and room for the six months.... In the summer of 1872 I set sail for America accompanied by my sister and her husband's sister. It took six weeks on the ocean to arrive at our destination.... When I landed in America off the boat, I was met at the landing at Castle Garden with one of the slickest scoundrels in the world. We spent three weeks in jail but the captain of the ship got us out, flat broke, not a cent to our names and a bad start in a new land.

He went to Montreal and got a job in a saloon as a bouncer after he threw the bouncer out.

I immediately got his job which was to throw drunken men out and then Joe Beef would rob them. I only kept that job for four days. As soon as he found out I was going to squeal he hired a couple of fellows and they kicked two of my ribs in -- more bad luck in America.

He worked his way to Toronto, firing the engine with cordwood.

We got a job to go to Wingham to work on a ditch to drain a swamp. We were paid 60 cents a day for twelve hours of work. We worked there for two weeks and then ended up in a fight in which I lot three teeth and nearly had my thumb bitten off.

He later got a job grading on the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway from to Mount Forest.

After I finished this job I went and worked for a Dan Mann for two weeks. Dan Mann had a team and a wagon on this railroad -- more about him later.

He worked on the railroad till freeze up, then went to Muskoka. Having had bad luck in Muskoka he got a job in a lumber camp skidding logs with a yoke of oxen. After working in a quarry and then a rolling mill in the Hamilton area, he went to hunt for a job in the Hamilton area, he went to hunt for a job in the states.

I got to Rochester in New York State from there to Buffalo doing odd jobs and was awful hungry lots of times.... I arrived in Cleveland, Ohio. I got a job in a Foundry and started work af $1.75 a day.

He worked and saw a negro hanged on the Superior Bridge and saw Edison try his electric light in Cleveland.

The first time it was put on the people thought it was a crazy idea.

From Cleveland he went back to Hamilton where he worked six or seven years in the Burrow, Stewart and Mellons Foundry.

February 2nd 1882, I started for the west with money in my pocket and everything fine.

He arrived in Winnipeg in March travelling both by railroad and boat.

I went to Brandon, it was the end of the C.P.R. Then on from there I went by foot and a yoke of oxen to take up a homestead at Fort Qu'Appei but that was another bad break.

November,1882, he came to Caigary and, failing to get a job with Major Walker of the Cochrane Ranch, he stayed with John Glenn at Fish Creek.

I came back to Medicine Hat about December and then I went to Maple Creek.... I went south to Cypress Hills and saw some buffalo, three or four of them, and saw some Indians. They said they had been in the Custer massacre..... Early spring 1883 when work resumed on the railroad right of way. On arriving in Calgary I filed on homestead NW 1/4 of Section 15 then continued on through the mountains to completion of the railroad, I worked in the first tunnel, Dan Mann was the contractor. He was a hard driver but good pay.... On returning to Calgary I found my homestead application had been cancelled.

In 1885 (the recorded date of entry is May 27, 1886, Ed.) he took up a homestead in Priddis, NW 1/4 24-22-3W5. where today highway No. 22 turns south to Millarville. He proved up on this homestead. While he was there he hauled firewood to Calgary. His diary frequently mentioned John Ware and other old timers who stopped for lodging. He mentioned meeting Bill Standish and his family at the station 1886.

Will and Minnie Jackson
Will & Minnie Jackson

In 1894 rnarried Mary Elizabeth Grace "Minnie" de la Penotiere, (d. 1949) who came west in 1890 from Toronto to visit her brother, at that time manager of the Alberta Hotel. In 1894 (1896, according to the Registers, Ed.) he filed on the land known as the "Big Slough", NW1/4 30-21-2W5, where better water and grass were available. He sold the Priddis quarter to a man named Hawkey Wilf Edgar's grandfather. Moving from Priddis in 1897 to the "Big Slough" he lived and expanded his homestead along the Pine Creek Ridge to include E 1/2 31-21-2W5. On his retirement in 1937 he moved to Calgary. William Sr. died in 1945 and Minnie died in 1949.

Will and Minnie Jackson
Will & Minnie Jackson

(Minnie) Mary Elizabeth Grace (de la Penotlere) Jackson

Submitted by Anne Vincent, grandaughter of William Jackson

Minnie was born in Ontario. Her parents were William and Isabella (Finlayson) de la Penotiere. Her great grandparents (de la Penotiere) escaped from France during the French Revolution in 1789-99. They settled in Cornwall, England. Minnie's mother died, when she was nine years old. She was raised by her grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Finlayson, in London, Ontario, whose home Is now a historical landmark there.

In 1890 she came west to visit her brother Frederick, who managed the Alberta Hotel in Calgary. Minnie went to work at the Ramsay Farm in Priddis, where she met William.

Along with William, she was involved in the community and was a member of the Women's Institute.

After William passed away she lived in Washington for a few years, with her daughter Florence. She passed away in 1949.