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THE SIDNEY QUINNEY FAMILY HISTORY
Sidney William Chater Quinney was born in Orono, Ontario on July 16,1886. He was the second son of Mary Lois Chater Quinney and Joseph Henry Quinney who had immigrated from Staffordshire, England and settled in the Bowmanville area. Sidney had 6 brothers and 2 sisters.
In 1908 Sidney and his friend, James McDonald, headed west to the promise of homestead lands in Saskatchewan. The two young men worked for two years at Grande Coulee, Saskatchewan in order to earn the money needed to purchase land. On June 2, 1910, Sid applied at the Swift Current Court House to file a claim on SE 24-25-16-W3. On July 3, 1910, his application was approved and he began his move to Elrose, Sask. He began the huge chore of breaking the land, building his ten by fourteen foot house and construction of a stable for his animals. Records show that by 1912, Sid had broken 30 acres with his team of trusty oxen. Bo, Buck, Bill and Bright, and by 1914, he was cropping a total of fifty acres. By June 24, 1914, Sidney had completed all the Dominion Land Act’s requirements and the homestead was his!
During the winter months, Sid worked for the Arctic Ice Company in Saskatoon to earn extra money, and as he oft stated, “Just to keep my back limber for picking all those stones on the homestead come spring.” Sid’s brother, Louis Eden Hume Quinney, had decided to come west to homestead as well and Sid often walked from Elrose to west of Rosetown, caught the train on the main line and went to visit his brother in Kindersley.
With the influx of many other homesteaders, Elrose was a growing community. One homesteader, Herb Potter, dug himself a hole in the ground, roofed it and called it home. However, he decided that the Western Canadian lifestyle was too harsh and went back to the East. Sid acquired the Potter quarter which is still in the Quinney family today.
With the true neighborly spirit of the pioneers, many of the bachelors were welcomed into the homes of their fellow settlers for meals and social activities. Mr. Joe Lube and his hired hands, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ruthven, often welcomed Sid to their home. It was here that Sid met his bride-to-be, Agnes Purves Ruthven. She had been living in Nevada, Iowa, and had come up for a visit with her parents and her brother, Robert Ruthven. She and Sid met and on December 6,1916, they tied the knot in Rosetown with Rev. H. McCulloch officiating. They traveled to Bowmanville for their honeymoon and to visit with the rest of the Quinney family still back East. In the spring of 1917, they returned to Elrose to begin their life on the farm.
Three children were born to Sid and Agnes. Mary Edith arrived on October 8, 1917 at the Rosetown Hospital. Lloyd Chater was born on October 10, 1918, at Rosetown with Dr. Myers attending. Arthur Ross came into the world on May 30, 1920 at home. Life on the homestead was always challenging. Agnes was a great cook and housekeeper and threshing gangs were always happy to come to the Quinney home. One visitor repaid their hospitality with a violin which is still in the family. Three small children were always into mischief on the farm. Once incident was when the oil had been changed in the Rumley tractor and left in a tub in the yard. The three Quinney children decided to take a bath in the oil tub – oh, what a mess! Another incident occurred when one of the kids found some matches and managed to torch a hay stack.
The children all attended Elrose School for their education. They rode to school in the horse-drawn school bus from the farm along with their many young friends from other homesteads. The bus driver usually did his shopping and carried the groceries home on the bus. Some of the children managed to get the bag of flour opened as they were traveling home, much to the dismay of the bus driver.
Discipline was strict at the Elrose School with the strap still in use. The Quinney children being mischievous received their fair share of strappings. Lloyd mentioned that if you talked or turned around, you got the strap. If you made noise while someone else was getting the strap, you were the next in line. There was no such thing as lunch hour supervision so the children often went over to the train tracks and played in the tops of the elevators for fun. Winters brought skating, hockey, curling and movies, while baseball was the chief activity of the summer.
Sid added onto the Quinney home until there were three bedrooms, a large family kitchen and a living room, complete with piano. Clydesdale horses replaced the oxen with the Rumley tractor soon to come. The Dirty Thirties were also coming bringing with them the drought and dust bowl. Sid purchased the east half of 7-50-22 in the West Hazel district near Turtleford. He build a one-ply wooden house from lumber purchased at Madden’s mill near St. Walburg and covered it with tar paper and lath for the winter. The family loaded all their possessions on a Ford one-ton truck and headed north in October 1931. Lloyd and the hired man, Dave Fenton, followed with the old Rumley towing the Willys Knight car. Lloyd said that he did most of the driving while Dave read and slept in the Willys Knight on the way to West Hazel, no small task for a 13 year-old lad.
The time at West Hazel was spent working, cutting lumber in the bush, making their own skis and hunting, dances and card parties at the West Hazel school in the winter, and swimming in the English and Saskatchewan Rivers, gardening without the blowing dust and grasshopper infestations, and visiting with friends in the summer. Lloyd was fond of saying that they didn’t have much money but that they never went hungry in the Dirty Thirties. Agnes always had a garden and there was always a cow and chickens to provide nutrition for the growing family. In the spring, Sid would take Lloyd or Arthur and they’d return to Elrose to plant the crops there. They lived on “bully beef and canned tomatoes with the occasional treat of a loaf of fresh bread from Bouclin’s store in Mondou.”
Sid farmed with an old Caterpillar and the 15-30 tractor. There wasn’t a machine that he couldn’t fix and so he, Lloyd and Arthur often traveled to neighboring farms to fix machinery. Lloyd and Arthur enjoyed riding their Welsh pony, Pinto, swimming in Torrances’ dugout, and catching gophers when in Elrose. Lloyd recalls bringing home a bunch of duck eggs from a slough about five miles west of their farm. The eggs hatched and Agnes made the boys take the young ducklings back to the slough.
Things improved weather-wise and so Sid and Agnes sold the land at West Hazel and moved back to the farm in Elrose permanently. Sid and Agnes continued to farm until ill health forced Sid to retire in 1962. They lived in Elrose (in the house that the Henry Ruthvens had lived in on their farm) and moved to the farm for the summers. Sidney passed away in the Elrose Hospital in 1966. He was in his 80th year. Agnes continued to live in Elrose until her passing in June 1981 at age 86. Both are buried in the Elrose Cemetery.
Mary Edith Quinney Lawrence
Mary stayed on in Turtleford, having married Sam Lawrence in October 1937. Sam was born in Devon, England, in December 1903, and came to Canada to farm in the West Hazel district. He and Mary lived on the S ¼ 31-50-21 and built their house and barns there. Land was broken using horses and they raised chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows.
Sam and Mary had two daughters. Betty Lou was born November 21, 1938 and Shirley was born December 28,1947. The girls went to school in West Hazel until the school closed. They then went to Turtleford. Betty had to board in Turtleford for grades 11 and 12 because there was no bus running from West Hazel at that time. Sam and Mary boarded the eleven teachers who taught at West Hazel from 1940 until its closure in the late 1950’s. Social activities that the Lawrences’ enjoyed were the dances, card parties, Christmas concerts, school picnics, ball games and church services, all held in the West Hazel School.
Betty was a wonderful musician and studied piano for ten years. She attended Teachers’ College in Saskatoon and taught in St. Walburg and Edam after graduation. It was in Edam that she met Robert Cole whom she married. Bob and Betty had three children: Marina, Glen and Randy. In November 1970, Betty died suddenly. Bob has remarried to Elaine Gordon and they have two children, Twyla and Tyrell.
Marina, a hairdresser, married Kevin Foulds and they have three children. Glen studied business administration in Vermillion and is married with a family. Randy attended Kelsey Institute in Saskatoon studying computer design and manufacture. He also has a family.
Shirley Lawrence studied business in Saskatoon and worked for a theatre company, Metro Motors and Dodge City. She married Don Pauls of Maymont. They currently reside in Calgary. They have no children.
Sam and Mary retired from farming in 1971. They sold their land and built a new home in Turtleford. There they continued to enjoy bus trips and other seniors’ activities until Sam’s passing. Mary continues to live in the house in Turtleford and is active in the Turtleford ‘Tired Turtles” seniors group having been treasurer for the last 25 years.
Lloyd Chater Quinney
Lloyd Chater Quinney traveled to British Columbia in the late 1930’s looking for work. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find any jobs and so he “rode the rails” back to Saskatchewan. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air force in 1941 in Saskatoon. He was sent to Manning Depot in Brandon, Manitoba and then to #4 SFTS in Saskatoon. He was sent to St. Thomas to train as an aero engine mechanic. While there he met many of his aunts and uncles and his grandmother, Mary Lots. He was then sent to #7 Bomb and Gunnery at Paulson Air Base near Dauphin, Manitoba. He recalls many runway crashes which killed pilots and crews until the “big brass” realized that 80-87 octane fuel should have been 100 octanes for the planes to take off safely.
He remembers hiding in cupboards to avoid the Parade Square, “sword-fighting” through the rafters and floors of the hangers, and even taxiing a plane back to the ready hanger after maintenance with his whole crew on board – only to meet an officer coming out the door of the hanger. Fortunately, the officer didn’t want to make an issue of the mechanics taxiing the plane and ignored them. Lloyd also logged “unofficial hours” flying with pilot officers who made a point of taking their mechanics up for test flights – a good form of quality control! He retained his love of flying and studied for his private pilot’s license which he obtained at age fifty-two.
While he was at Brandon, he met Kathleen Gibbons at a teachers’ college/air force dance. He recalls that the means of getting acquainted was through a “Match the Number System”. It was obviously love at first sight because Lloyd traded numbers with another airman so that he could meet and dance with Kathleen. They were married in Eden, Manitoba on July 7, 1943. Kathleen taught at Oak Lake, Birnie and at Dauphin, all in Manitoba.
At the end of the war, Corporal Quinney and Kathleen left the air force. He was discharged in Regina. They hopped on their Indian Chief motorcycle and headed for Turtleford. They returned to Elrose and lived on the Jim Ellis place for a few years. Lloyd farmed with his father until Sid’s retirement and then purchased the land from his parents. Kathleen and Lloyd applied through the Veterans’ Land Act and received the S.W. ‘A 29-25-15 W3 as their land. They build a house on that land in 1949 where they raised their family and lived for the rest of their lives.
Lloyd and Kathleen were active in the Elrose community. He was a municipal councillor and a member of the hospital board for many years. He coached hockey and enjoyed time hunting and fishing. Kathleen taught Sunday school at the United Church and often entertained with her monologues and puppet shows at bridal showers, community concerts, the library Children’s Hour, and at the kindergarten. She and Lloyd loved to garden and planted many fruit trees in their yard. These trees and gardens provided many habitats for wildlife, something that was recognized through the Canadian
Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Friendly Yard certificate. The trees and gardens also provided lots of weeding jobs for the Quinney children. During the summers, Grandma Mary Gibbons would come to Elrose and spend time with her grandchildren. Lloyd flew his own plane for many years, saying it was total relaxation for him.
Kathleen and Lloyd were blessed with four children. Kenneth Myles died in infancy in 1948. Joan Frances was born on September 21, 1949; Donald Lloyd was born on July 14, 1951; and Douglas John arrived on August 14, 1956. The children attended Elrose School for their education, as had their father, aunt and uncle before them. They all went on to Saskatoon for post-high school education. All took music lessons from Mrs. Josephine Raycroft in Elrose.
In 1995, Kathleen suffered a stroke during surgery. With the help of her family, she battled back through rehabilitation and returned home. On June 27, 1997, Kathleen passed away. Lloyd continued to live on the farm without his beloved Kathleen until his passing in Regina Hospital on April 5, 2003. They both said that their children and grandchildren kept them young and were never too busy to stop for an ice cream cone or a cherry-spitting contest with the grandkids when they rode in on their bikes.
Joan attended the University of Saskatchewan and received her B.A/B.Ed. (Honours), majoring in French and English. She taught for 2 years in Hazlet, Saskatchewan, and then moved to Calgary in 1974. She married Donald Gordon MacKenzie of Regina on July 13, 1974. They divorced in 1981. Joan continued to teach in Calgary until her retirement June 30, 2005 – a great way to celebrate Saskatchewan and Alberta Centennials! She moved to Bragg Creek full time in 1990 and enjoys riding her horse, working in her yard, cooking, sewing, knitting, music and reading as her hobbies. She likes exercise and skis, skates, hikes and bikes. Over her thirty-three years of teaching, she has taught every subject except shop in grades 5 to 12.
Donald attended the U. of S. and received his advanced Bachelor of Sciences. He enjoyed the archeology and anthropology as well as the biological sciences. He returned to the farm and continues farming in Elrose to this day. He lives on the original Sid Quinney homestead. He married Christina Star Knowles on December 29, 1976. Don works as an icemaker at the Elrose Uniplex in the winters. His expert ice making has rinks from all over Saskatchewan booking bonspiel practice sessions throughout the winter. He takes a keen interest in helping bring cheer to others. He has been known to dress up as the Easter Bunny and deliver candies to the seniors’ lodge and the elementary school. Don enjoys hunting and fishing, pastimes passed on from his father and grandfather.
Douglas attended Kelsey Institute and pursued studies in mechanics. He worked in Rosetown and Calgary before returning to the farm in Elrose. He married Corla Gaylene Rogers on April 30, 1977. They raised five children: Patrick Lloyd, Brian Jeffrey, Gordon Douglas, Kristin Janelle and Andrew Lynn. All the children attended Elrose Composite School. Doug coached hockey for many years. He is active in the Lions’ Club and enjoys flying, hunting and fishing, snowboarding and motorcycling.
Corla is pursuing a career in commercial drapery sales. Doug and Corla enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and traveling when they can.
Patrick Lloyd Quinney was born on September 16, 1977. He followed the registered apprenticeship program in auto body through high school and is a journeyman auto body repairman. He is employed in Saskatoon at Sherwood Chev Olds. He married Carla Johnson on July 11, 1998. They have twin daughters, Brittany Janelle and Sydney Marie, born on May 1, 2000. Pat and Carla divorced in 2001. Pat remarried to Raylene Kramchinsky. They have two children: Cody John, born on August 11, 2002, and Brooklyn Rae, born on August 4, 2004. Pat enjoys hunting and fishing and spent time with his Grandfather Lloyd learning these skills. He plays goal in rec hockey in his spare time.
Brian Jeffrey was born on March 29, 1979. He graduated as an auto engine mechanic and worked at an equipment fabrication plant near Rosetown. He enjoyed hockey, rollerblading and water-skiing. His life was cut short on August 23, 1998 when he was killed in a car accident near Clearwater Lake.
Gordon Douglas was born on August 24, 1980. His love of computers and training in auto body has led him to a management position with Wally’s Bumpers in Saskatoon. He and Melissa Moorseide have a son, Bailey William, born June 27, 2001. Gord enjoys restoring and repairing cars, motorcycles and hockey. He and Bailey spend lots of time skating and enjoying Saskatoon.
Kristin Janelle was born on May 2, 1982. She attended Saskatoon Business College and graduated as a medical assistant receptionist. On June 1, 2002, she married J.C. Genest of Dinsmore. She was employed in the Dinsmore Credit Union until the birth of their son, Easton Joseph, on March 20, 2005. J. C. and Kristin operate the Dinsmore Autocare. They enjoy hockey and music.
Andrew Lynn was born on September 12, 1984. He pursued studies in heavy duty mechanics and welding and was employed in Tisdale, Saskatchewan for a year. He is currently working in Fort McMurray, Alberta. He enjoys travel, hockey, farming and rebuilding vehicles. When not in Fort McMurray, Any divides his time between Saskatoon and Elrose.
Arthur Ross Quinney
Arthur Ross Quinney was the third child of Sidney and Agnes Quinney. He attended Elrose School and West Hazel School. In 1940, he joined the RCAF and as R-62436 he was sent to Manning Depot in Toronto followed by technical school in St. Thomas, Ontario.
In 1941 he arrived at #2 SFTS Calgary, Alberta. He met Edna May Kent and they were married on June 6, 1942. From Calgary, he was transferred to #17 SFTS Souris, Manitoba. In 1944, he was posted overseas to Bournemouth, England and then to St. Athens, Wales. At the end of WWII, he returned to Moncton, New Brunswick and received his discharge at Vancouver, B.C.
Art decided that he would pursue a career in construction rather than returning to the farm. He and Bob Fuller founded Quinney and Fuller Construction Company of Nanaimo, B.C. Illness forced him to retire from the business but he continued to love building things. He built a beautiful forty-two foot sailboat, the Meridian II, and sailed for many years. He and Edna sailed aboard it to San Diego.
His last project took him twelve painstaking years. He decided to build an exact replica of a 1917-1918 Newport 28 Scout aeroplane. This is the airplane that WWI Ace, Eddie Rickenbacker, piloted when he shot down 12 German planes. The Gnome-Gar one Rotary Engine had been purchased by Sid Quinney after WWI. Sid’s plan was to build a propeller-driven snowmobile. He soon discovered that the whole engine rotated and decided that this would be unsuitable for a snow plane. Sid abandoned his plans and the engine sat for many years in his shop. Art became interested and decided to build the whole airplane around the engine. He got the original plans printed on silk from historians and built the plane.
During the 1960’s while recovering from surgery. Art listened to many records and tapes and taught himself Spanish. He and Edna spent many winters in Mexico, catching fish, traveling and conversing with his Mexican friends. In the spring, Art and Edna would return to their home in Ladysmith and enjoy the salmon fishing in B.C.
Arthur Ross Quinney passed away May 7,1986. Edna continues to live in Nanaimo, B.C.
The Sid Quinney family continues to be stewards of the land through 3generations. The love of nature and the outdoors is strong in all of the Quinneys. What will the 4th generation bring to our rich history? Only time will tell!