Tuesday, 28 January 2014

A True Pioneer

My great-grandfather was a homesteader in the Peace River country. His obituary was published in the Northern Tribune in December of 1937.

Charles McNaught Appleton District Passes Away

Was Pioneer in Western Area, Having come into The Country in 1912 A True Pioneer-Funeral One of the Largest Ever Seen in the District-Death Casts Gloom Over Whole Community

APPLETON, Dec 14  A shadow fell over this and surrounding districts when the death of Charles McNaught on Friday morning at the family home became known. While it was known he had been in poor health, it was hoped that he would regain a measure of good health again.

Born in Brantford County, Ontario, in 1856, son of Samuel McNaught, Scotch immigrant of 1834, Mr. McNaught with his brother Samuel (late of Halcourt), operated the family farm three miles from the city of Brantford.  He married Eliza Connor of Brantford and later moved to the village of Glen Morris, where he farmed until he left the East for the last frontier of the West- the Peace River country.

With Mrs. McNaught he made the trip over the Edson Trail, homesteaded and filed on land in the Beaver Lodge Valley in 1911.

The following year Mr. McNaught brought in his family and farm effects and built was has been not only the family home but also the centre of all community activities in the early days. (The McNaught homestead is now a designated provincial historic resource) 

McNaught Homestead
The McNaught home in a new land has ever cherished the hospitality and helping spirit that characterizes the true pioneer.

For several years after 1912 Mr. McNaught was a familiar figure on the old Edson Trail, making the trip down to Edson on eleven different occasions as well as trips to High River for supplies.

Whenever he came among men he brought June sunshine and made even despondent and surly men feel a fuller and warmer summer was at hand for in the late Mr. McNaught was embedded all the great and noble traits of the Scotch race. 

No more eloquent nor true tribute could be paid by his friends than to say he was one of nature’s noblemen.

The late Mr. McNaught had the courage to come to a new country, and he would not shudder to go out on a voyage of discovery which shall reveal a vaster and more brilliant country, not fear the ascent of the eternal hills.

Left to mourn Mr. McNaught’s death are his wife, one son John, four daughters, Margaret, Isobel, Euphemia at home and Mrs. George Martin of Edmonton; also two grand-daughters, Margaret and Janet Martin.

The funeral cortege was one of the largest ever seen in the western district.  

Funeral services were held at the family home Monday afternoon, Rev. Sidney W Semple officiated.  J.B. Olivers had charge of the funeral arrangements.  Internment was made in the family lot at Halcourt.  Pallbearers were Messrs E.J. Heller, B Elcome, J Perry, Mortwedt, L. Mackie and J Dixon, close friends of the departed

To the bereaved ones the sympathy of the community is extended.

There were many floral tributes.

O sweet be thy sleep in the land of the grave
Where suffering can no longer harm ye
Where the songs of the good, where the hymns of the blest
Through an endless existence shall charm thee.

-Robbie Burns
The Northern Tribune
December 16 1937

View the family tree on ancestry.ca