Florence writes: “I was born Dec. 27, 1913, in my grandparents’ home in the settlement of Jacksontown, NB. This was on the 4th tier from the St. John River between Woodstock and Hartland. My mother was born in the same room forty some years previously. The farm was in the Hartt name for over 100 yrs. My Uncle Bedford Hartt was picking over apples or potatoes in the cellar and was happy to hear my first cry. Mother had gone back to New Brunswick for the blessed event, as her aunt was Dr. Elizabeth Secord — New Brunswick’s first registered woman doctor. There were a few tense moments when Dr. Secord, who was elderly, did not have the strength and Mother who had heard Mr. Dykstra tell what to do under similar circumstances helped herself. Furthermore, many homestead ladies lost their lives at childbirth. My father’s first wife was one of these casualties. When I was three months old, Mother took a train back to her home in the West to Stettler, AB. It meant a train travel of 4 to 5 days and several changes of trains. There were none of the modern day facilities to aid a mother with a young baby. My first memories were of my mother spraying my throat with Listerine and applying mustard plasters to my chest. I had a bad case of adenoids and tonsils. They believed that they would grow back if operated on before I was three. I enjoyed living in NB in 1920. I enjoyed playing in the two attics upstairs. There was a spinning wheel, a weaving loom and so many old fashioned trunks belonging to long departed relatives. The house had a baby grand piano that Aunt Olive allowed me to play. My mother showed me an ox- yoke she used when haying with oxen when she was a girl. At the age of seventeen, I had all my high school subjects to enter Normal School to become a schoolteacher. I taught a total of 28 years in the elementary classroom. The first number of years I taught in one-room schoolhouses teaching all grades. I married Donald Webb Clark, July 14, 1942, and we farmed the Syson land for 40 years before retiring to Stettler because of Don’s heart problems. He had open-heart surgery in 1998. Don passed away with pancreatic cancer Feb. 15, 2003. Florence died with bowel cancer at 93 1/2 yrs of age, August 8, 2007. To this union three children were born. (Carole. John & Colleen)
Courtesy: Carole Dick
Courtesy: Carole Dick
Stettler, Stettler County
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