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The Gallaway Family, Estevan, Saskatchewan
The Gallaway farm is located four miles northwest of Estevan on Highway 39, a family farm that has been the home of four generations of Gallaways. The Gallaways trace their ancestry back to Gray Gallaway, a native son of the Emerald Isle, who emigrated to Canada when Toronto was known as “Muddy York.” The Gallaways established themselves as agriculturists, with succeeding generations following in the footsteps of their fathers. In 1891 John T. Gallaway decided to cast his lot on the western prairies. At that time many people in the east considered this a foolhardy undertaking. Nothing daunted, John Gallaway made his first trip west in 1892. He returned to wind up his affairs and move his family west that same year. Gordon Gallaway, at that time a lad of seven, recalled the trip and the thrill of crossing the river at Oxbow. Their first homestead was five miles north of Alameda, their first home a sod house with dirt floors.
When the railway was completed to Estevan in 1893, Johm Gallaway decided to move his family there and settled on the edge of that community. He purchased a dairy herd of fifteen cows and sold cream to Moose Jaw. The Gallaways were the proud possessors of the first cream separator brought to the district, an English table model made by Lister. The price was $35. John Gallaway filed on a second homestead in 1910, which is now a part of the Gallaway farm. He died eleven years later in 1921. The farm was carried on by his son Gordon, who built a new home in 1916 and added considerable acreage to the original homestead.
Until his marriage, Gordon Gallaway’s sister Elsie lived with him and managed the home. She later married T.A. Torgeson, founder of Prairie Nurseries, Estevan. Gordon Gallaway married Fannie Louise Clendenan of Arcola in 1920. The Gallaways had two children, Ronald and Marjorie. Marjorie, a fine arts graduate of Mount Allison University, married Clarence B. Christie and moved to Brighton, Ontario. Ronald graduated from the School of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1951 he married Marguerite Cameron, from Birsay, Saskatchewan, a teacher at the Estevan Collegiate.
A good grade Shorthorn herd had always been maintained at the Gallaway farm. In 1946 they became interested in purebred Herefords, making their first purchase from Alex Mitchell, of the Battle River Ranch, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. Herefords continued on the farm until 1970 when the cattle operation was discontinued.
Gordon Gallaway served his town and district in many ways in such positions as Reeve of the R.M. of Estevan No. 5 for thirteen years. He was a founding Director of the Estevan Cooperative Association and an original signer of the Wheat Pool, Chairman of the United Growers in Estevan, secretary of the Hildahl Rural Telephone company, and active in his church.
Gordon Gallaway died in 1964, predeceased by his wife in 1961. Ronald Gallaway became the operator of the farm.
Ron, a graduate of the School of Agriculture (1948), in 1986 received a Distinguished Graduate Award. His wife, Marguerite, is a graduate of the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan and the College of Arts at the University of Regina. They have two sons, Donald and David, and two daughters, Joan and Elizabeth, (Beth). David is a graduate of the School of Agriculture and both girls have degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, as well as Masters’ Degrees from other universities. All are married. Ron and Marguerite have four grandsons and one granddaughter.
Ron and Marguerite have both been active in the province, Ron in many agricultural organizations and Marguerite in the arts. Ron has been President of the Western Canada Fairs, the Saskatchewan Association of Agricultural Societies and Exhibitions (SAASE), the Saskatchewan Society of Agricultural Societies (SAAS), and has served on the Advisory Council of the College of Agriculture. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been a member of the Senate of the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina. He was a leader in bringing the Saskatchewan Agricultural Societies into SAASE to create a productive relationship between the Societies and Exhibitions. He has been a member of the Board of the Western Development Museum, the Surface Rights Arbitration Board and District One Agricultural Advisory Board. He has served as President of the Estevan Agricultural Society and was active in the development of new facilities. His work with Agricultural Societies and Fairs, locally, provincially and inter-provincially, gained him a place on the Roll of Honor of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions in 1983. He is a life member of the Western Canada Fairs Association and the Estevan Exhibition Association where has been involved since 1948. He was awarded the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal in 2000.
Ron has also served his community for twenty years on the School Board, in many positions in St. Paul’s United Church and the Rotary Club. He has served on the Board of the Estevan National Exhibition Centre and the Estevan Historical Society.
Marguerite Gallaway was employed for thirteen years as Executive Director of the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils. She expanded the organization from seven to sixty two Arts Councils, established the Stars for Saskatchewan Concert Series and Koncerts for Kids throughout the province, and coordinated a visual arts touring program. The tours of performing artists included many famous names such as Maureen Forrester, Jon Vickers, The Canadian Brass, and Lois Marshall and the Festival Singers.
Her work was recognized with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the Order of Canada, and an Honourary Degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She has served nationally on the boards of UNICEF Canada, the Canadian Arts Presenters Association, and Festival Canada; provincially, on the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SIAST, the Board of the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts, and the Saskatchewan Council of Cultural Organizations. She served for six years as Chair of the Saskatchewan Honors Advisory Council. In 2001 she was elected President of the provincial organization, Art School Saskatchewan and President of the Estevan Arts Council where she assists in organizing the Stars for Saskatchewan Concert Series. She is a founding member and past president of the local branch of the Canadian Federation of University women.
In retirement, Marguerite organized a Tourism Committee, manages the Souris Valley Theatre, a professional summer theatre, and spearheaded the establishment of the Souris Valley Museum and the Heritage Mining Display. For her work in tourism she received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2002 she was appointed to the newly formed Regional Health Authority, now known as Sun Country Regional Health Authority.
Ron has retired from the farm and he and Marguerite now live in Estevan. He is still a Director on the Exhibition Board, an elder in the church, and a member of the Rotary Club. The farm is now operated by Donald and David who have added to the acreage. Many different crops are produced to meet the demands of today’s markets. The crop diversity, the immense equipment, and the computerized management reflect a farm operation that could never have been imagined by its founder, John T. Gallaway.