George Milton Young and Lila Cadieux Young

My grandmother’s sister, Lila, married George Milton Young in 1911. I heard the stories of their traveling out West to homestead. And I remember, sometime in my growing up, that we received a newspaper clipping of their Wedding Anniversary celebration (50th in 1961? 60th in 1971? Not sure.)

Photo: Horses outside Grande Prairie, Alberta, ca. 1920.

In my research, after their wedding, I lost track of their whereabouts. My sister Margo and I were talking about them, and between the two of us we came up with some small tidbits of information. Thanks to research by Natalie Edwards of the Alberta Genealogical Society’s Edmonton branch, the pieces started to fit together.

After living in Saskatchewan from 1914, George and Lila moved on to a homestead in the Peace River area of Alberta. After almost a decade (1919-1926) of a very rough life on their homestead, they moved into town. George took over the Bayhen Livery and Feed Barn.

Their departure in 1941 was chronicled in a newspaper article. The reasons are unclear: the economic times? the difficult lifestyle? “Their leaving is like the disappearance of a landmark,” the reporter wrote.

My Mom had simply remembered that Lila insisted they move into town. But in fact they left Grande Prairie for Ottawa: Lila by train, leaving Grande Prairie and stopping in Edmonton to visit friends; George taking a carload of horses to sell in Ottawa.

“It is not easy to leave a country where during twenty years we have made so many loyal friends. As far as I know at present, I expect to carry on in the horse business. It is quite possible that I will return in the Fall and pick up a carload of horses, ” George told the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune reporter.

It seems that they both did return (in that Fall? later?), and eventually stayed. On his marriage license, George had listed his occupation as “horse dealer” (as had his father Thomas) and that was how George made his living. His obituary explains that “Mr. Young was well known in the early years for his buying and selling of horses, and operating a livery stable in Grande Prairie.”

Lila died February 24, 1975, age 84, in Grande Prairie. George died the following year, April 24, 1976 in the Auxiliary Hospital, Grande Prairie, age 91. Both are buried in the Grande Prairie Cemetery.

Those O’Connor Boys!

Fergus Vincent O’Connor (1890-1915) married Harriet Ann (Hattie) Dolan (1889-1923). Joseph Emmett O’Connor (1889-1964) married Agnes Sevina Dolan (1890-1973 ). Daniel Patrick O’Connor (1881-1965, pictured left) married Gertrude Pearl Dolan (1894-1978). Fergus, Emmett and Daniel were brothers — all farmers in the area of Osgoode. Hattie, Agnes and Pearl were all farmers’ daughters in the Dunrobin area.

How did these O’Connor boys end up meeting the Dolans, as Osgoode and North and South Gower are a hefty distance from Renfrew South ?

Cousin Sharon suggests

It could have been in the days of logging down the river.

I remember my Dad saying that his Dad (Daniel P.) had gone by train to visit Pearl. Seems like he said it was the next stop along the train route. Then it was a bit of a ride by wagon.

Don’t know what there was there in the Renfrew area that they would be familiar with at that stop (besides the Dolan girls!), but I will be looking to see what was in Renfrew in those days, hunting down a town directory.

Did they maybe meet in church?

Sharon suggests

Apparently there were big dances at halls, not sure if church halls, or town halls. I suspect the 3 O’Connor boys met the 3 Dolan girls in that manner. It would be about 30 miles from North Gower to Dunrobin. The Rideau River runs close to Osgoode/North Gower and empties into the Ottawa River which travels up by Dunrobin/Fitzroy Harbour.
There was a train that went to Chalk River in those days, which is on the correct pathway. Not sure where they would have boarded .. possibly on a train to Ottawa, and then changed trains.