September 25, 2017





Homesteading

A small number of settlers had arrived in the surrounding area early in 1882 but only a few remained throughout the winter. More arrived in the spring of 1883 having come by rail as far as Whitewood or Broadview, and then continuing either on foot or, if they were lucky, by oxen. The pace of the oxen, loaded or light, was about three miles an hour, and the oxen were said to be "as stubborn as any cow, and then some."

Consequently, many of the surrounding districts, or colonies as they were called, were settled in 1882-83, such as Kinbrae, Crescent Lake, Clumber, Perley, Boakeview, and Cut Arm. These very early colonies were almost entirely immigrants from the British Isles.

In the early days of the settlement of the prairies any male person 18 years of age or older could apply for a homestead; the application fee was $10.00 for a homestead, a quarter of land, 160 acres more or less.

The homesteader, in order to obtain the title to the land, was required to live on the property at least six months a year for three years and break a given number of acres of prairies sod. A son living with parents could apply for a homestead and fulfill the residence requirements while living with his parents, if in the same general area. Under certain circumstances a person who had completed the required duties on his homestead could apply for a second homestead.

The sections in any one township (36 sections) open for homesteading were confined to the even numbered sections, less section 8 and 3/4 of section 26 which parcels had been granted to the Hudson Bay Company when western Canada was taken over by the Dominion Government.

The odd numbered sections (with the exception of section 11 and 29 which were reserved for financing schools) were the property of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company as part of 25,000,000 acres granted to the Company as part of the deal entered into with the Dominion Government for construction of the C. P. Transcontinental Railway.

Many of the settlers were financed for the purchase of necessary livestock, machinery, etc. by loan companies, with the companies obtaining mortgages on the homestead when title was issued on the property.