The Argyle Document Archive

William Craik (*By May Graham)

Mr and Mrs Wm. Craik came to Dry River in 1885 and homesteaded the N E 1/4 of 22-4-12. They had come to the Purves district in 1879. They came originally from Athelston, Quebec. When they came to Purves my mother was just a babe in arms about 3 months old and they had two older children namely Alex and Jessie. They later acquired the S. W. 1/4 of 23-4-12 from the CPR at three dollars per acre. There was a great deal of bush on this quarter, but some prairie and a natural spring of water, so it was used as pasture land. Later thev bought the north-west quarter of Sec. 22 from David Bentley for $900. After Mr and Mrs Bentley moved away, Mr and Mrs Wardman lived in the house for a short time. The Craiks moved to this place in 1900. Mr Craik was the first man from Dry River to serve as a councillor for the Rural Municipality of Argyle. representing Ward 1. That was from 1906 to 1909.

In 1890, while the Craiks were still living on their homestead, a| strange incident took place. The only one of its kind to ever occur in the Dry River district to the best of my knowledge. In the month June 1890, Mr Craik had 3 pigs weighing about 175 pounds
which he kept in a log pen some little distance from the other farm buildings. A bear came along one night, climbed into this pen, took
one of the pigs and carried it away a short distance, eating about half of it. The next day Mr. Craik moved the two remaining pigs
to a small stable with a sod roof. It also had a good tight door. On the night of the bear's second visit he fed on the pig he had killed
the evening previous. The third night he returned again and as there was no more of the pig left he had to get a supper some place
he visited the stable where the pigs were, climbed up the corner to the roof and tore a strip about thirty inches wide out of the sod
rooof but apparently didn't care to ju'mp down so went to another stable close by, tore a hole in the roof of it and as this was Mr Craik's hen house, he got three hens.

The following day Mr Craik's neighbors assisted him in a search for the bear but without success. They held a council of war that
evenin and decided to sit in the stables, 3 men in each stable and wait the return of Mr Bear. Wm. Craik and his son Alex, along
wiith James Baird were in one stable. In the other stable were Wm Davis, David Bentley and Stewart Robinson All were fully armed with rifles and shotguns loaded with buckshot.

It was a very dark foggy night and everything was silent until about 3 am when Mr Bear came to the stable where the pigs were
He walked around a couple of times and then climbed up the corner to the roof and appeared at the hole in the roof. Mr. Davis immediately jumped to his feet, pointed his gun at the bear's throat and fired both barrels. This however did not kill him but he lost his balance and fell into the stable. Then Stewart Robinson fired at where he thought the bear had fell but still Mr Bear was going strong. Somebody opened the door and out went the men, the pig, and lastly the bear, The men being the most scared. The bear then took up his position on a manure pile outside the stable door and the men circled around. Everybody got their guns into action but after remaining a target for a little while Mr. Bear got up & walked a few yards and fell into a water hole but still alive. Only one man had any ammunition left and he walked down to this hole but the night being so dark he apparently didn't hit the bear for very soon he crawled out of the hole and walked away into the bush. Although they didn't get the bear that night he didn't live to return and it was reported that Indians found 'him dead about two weeks after.

It was a mighty exciting night for some people and according to the amount of ammunition used on so dark a night it was only a miracle that someone wasn't killed. This was one of the remarkable adventures of the good old days.

The Craik's had 8 children, 4 boys and 4 girls. Alex, born 1875; Jessie, born 1876; Christena 1879; Fred 1881: George 1884, Lillie
1885, Mary 1887, Ira 1890. A baby born in 1892 died at birth.

Alex married Bella Wilson. They had five children, 4 girls and 1 boy. Namely, Marv, Lillie, Edna, Robert and Gladys. For a short
time they lived on the NW of 18-4-12, then took up business in Greenway. After being in business for some time they went farming in the Greenway district. Bella passed away there in 1932. Later Alex retired and went to live in Baldur. He passed away in 1962.

Jessie married James McClellan. They had a store and post office in Greenway. They also farmed for a time near Greenway and later they ran a store in Baldur. They had 3 children – Mary Edith and William. James died in 1946 and Jessie in 1961. Mary and Wi'llie are also deceased, and Edith now a widow resides in Winnipeg.

Christena married Stewart Robinson in 1903. They had 3 girls and 1 boy. Stewart died in 1948 and Christena passed away in

Fred married Jessie Urquhart. He spent the greater part of his life as a traveller for Massey Harris. They have 6 sons Bill, Douglas Harold. Donald, Gerald and Roy. Three of their sons served in World War II - Bill, Donald & Harold. They were all overseas but fortunately none of the three were wounded. Mr and Mrs Fred Craik later took up farming in the Greenway district. Now they have retired and live in the village of Greenway.

George married Elsie Dillabough in 1917. They had 1 boy, Murray, and 1 girl, Alice. Murray joined the Air Force and was killed in action over Germany in World War II. Mr and Mrs G. Craik farmed for a time. They also ran a hotel in Baldur and George was the caretaker of Baldur Hospital for several years. They arenow retired in Baldur.

Lillie married Charles Tisdale in 1923. They had 1 girl Marjorie and1 boy Bill. They lived on the old Tisdale farm in the Greenway District and their son and daughter still remain on 'this farm. Charles died in 1949. Charles died in 1966.

Mary married Andrew Embury. They had 1 bov and 2 girls Gordon, Marjorie and Alice, Andrew died in 1966. Mary died in 1967. Andrew was a storekeeper in Rosendale, then Vandura and later  Fairlight and finally in Neelin. He sold his store there and
they settled in Belmont where they spent the remainder of their lives Their son also served as a Lieutenant in World War II.

Ira married Cordelia Young in 1917  They have 2 boys and 1 girl - Russell Jean and Donald. Ira worked in the elevator in Greenway for a time. They also lived on a. farm south of Greenway for 8 years. Then in 1925 he took over the store in Greenway and is still there.

In 1910, a cyclone went through this district. It took the roof off
Lou Freedy's house as well as that of Wm Craik, but fortunately no one was injured. I remember well the following morning when my Mother and Dad took me up to see the Craik house. My Uncle IIra took my hand and led me up the stairway. When I got there I said to him ''My, it's just like outside up here." He just laughed. I don't know what I thought it would be like.

Mr.and Mrs Wm Craik left Dry River in 1909. They moved to Greenway and built the store that is still there. Ira and Lillie continued on the farm until 1912. Ira then went to work in the grain elevator at Greenway. George came back from his homestead at Gurnsey and rook Ira's place in the farm. Lillie remained there until 1916 when she went to Greenway to stay with her mother and father . George remained on the farm and married Elsie Dillabough on January 4, 1917. They stayed on this farm until 1922, Murray was born here.

The farm was rented to Jack Fidler until 1938 when it was sold to Octave Jaboury. In later years the SW 1/4 of 23-4-12 was sold to
Israel Desrochers.

Mr. and Mrs Craik coratinued in the store in Greenwav untill 1925. They then retired to live in Greenway. Mr Craik passed on
December, 1929 at the age of 81. Mrs Craik died in November 1936 at the age of 85 years.

Daily Nor' Wester,  Aug 28, 1894

Daily Nor' Wester,  Feb. 6, 1892

Daily Nor'Wester, May 7, 1895

Daily Nor' Wester,  Dec. 5, 1895

Daily Nor' Wester,  Jan. 7, 1895

Daily Nor' Wester,  May 14, 1895

Brandon Sun, June 20, 1895