Heritage: Father Tries New Things

by Annie Coleman (Kerr) Sexton, published in Stanton Stats February 17, 1995

In 1890 Bidford School District was formed. There was a Board of three Trustees and a Secretary. After a few years Father was a Secretary. Later he was a Councillor in our Rural Municipality of Winchester. Then he became Reeve and succeeded in getting the Municipality out of the red into which a former Reeve got it. Later still, he ran for member of the Provincial Parliament in our constituency, but, this he lost.

In his mid-fifties he switched from guns to hunting dogs. He got several greyhounds, a democrat buggy and had a cupboard put on the back with a padding in the bottom. In this he put his dogs. A string from the door on this ran to where he sat and when he spotted a wolf, fox or rabbit he pulled the string, opened the door and told the dogs to get going. Then he rushed his good driving team over fields and rough ground in pursuit. When he returned at night with his catch, his first job was to feed his dogs rabbits if he had caught any. As well, Mother had to bake a sort of bread with cheap flour, and this was mixed with milk. He skinned all the animals he got and we certainly didn’t enjoy the smell of those drying skins, especially if they were skunks. One Fall he got two hundred dollars for his furs and we were elated.

Finally, Father rented the farm, but we lived on in the old home. He built a house near the barn for the tenant.

Two Falls [Father] had a job as Weed Inspector. He drove over a big area with a horse and buggy noting the weeds on each quarter section and jotting it down. He said he knew by the colour of the wash on a line where to stop for meals. When he had completed the survey, I copied it all into a big book, a monotonous job for which he gave me five dollars.