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History of Judge Robert Harold McCllelland

Judge Robert Harold McClelland

A History of Judge Robert Harold McClelland

April 1, 1913 - August 27, 1984
Son of Robert James McClelland and Ethel Beatrice Smith

When I die and go to heaven I shall look up my father and let him know the sad consequences of a prank mother insisted he played on her when I was born.

baby Robert (Harold) McClelland - with his mother, Ethel (Smith) McClelland

According to mother, I arrived in this world at 11:45 p.m. on the 31st. of March 1913, at Herbert, Saskatchewan but - so she said - dad and his doctor friend insisted that I was born at 12:15 a.m. on the 1st of April. Mother claimed dad gave my birth date as April 1st. so he could tease her about me being an April Fool's joke. Although dad denied that he had "fiddled" my birth date, mother never was convinced. If mother is right, then dad's little joke did me out of a full month's Old Age Security and Canada Pension Payments, for these payments commence the month following the month of birth. Possibly the disadvantages of being born early in the month are offset by advantages, but, if so, I haven't yet discovered them.

I was born at Herbert, a small town in south central Saskatchewan, to which my father (Robert James McClelland) had come to practice law in the late spring of 1911. When dad arrived, the prairies were in the midst of the greatest wave of immigration Canada has ever known.

Harold - age 3

The main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway had passed through the vast treeless plains of southern Saskatchewan in 1882 on its way to the West Coast. What were considered the habitable part of the province had been surveyed into townships and road allowances. A normal township is an area six miles square, containing thirty-six sections, containing 160 acres, more or less. Road allowances of sixty-six feet in width ran north and south every mile apart while east and west the road allowances were two miles apart. Thus every quarter section had access to a road allowance. The survey was made before Canada adopted the metric system. The metric system is superior to the cumbersome English system of measures. Unfortunately the whole of the west has been surveyed under the old system with the result that the metric system will never be fully realized.

For centuries the rolling treeless prairies had been the pastures for countless herds of buffalo and antelope. These herds had supplied the scattered itinerant bands of Indians, who then inhabited the country, with their main source of food. The grass, "prairie wool" as the early settlers called it, was of excellent quality, but it took a long time to produce sufficient grass to maintain many animals. The rainfall averaged 10 to 15 inches a year. Winter often set in to stay in early November and continued through April. The summers could be hot with long dry spells. When I was a boy there was a standing joke about the Englishman, who on his return to England, was fond of relating the hardships of a prairie winter. When asked about the summer, he replied that he could not say as he had only been in Canada for 11 months. Prairie weather is never monotonous by its predictability. Mild winters and pleasant summers are not unusual. The short growing season has been offset by the development of new early maturing serials, and lack of rainfall to some extent by improved farming techniques.

The earliest use, to which the land in southwest Saskatchewan was put, was for ranching. Lands north south and west of Herbert formed huge cattle ranches. The severity of the winters discouraged this type of operation. About the turn of the century the Canadian Government, with the railroad companies, embarked on a scheme to populate the open spaces with farmers, with a view to promoting farming rather than ranching.

Grants of land were offered to those willing to make their homes on the prairies. On payment of $10.00, a prospective settler could "file" on a "homestead," a homestead being a quarter section of land. The "homesteader" obligated himself to bring under cultivation at least ten acres of his homestead each year for three years after entering his homestead, and to live on it for six months a year during that time. On proof that he had performed these obligations, and was then a British subject, he was given title to the land.

Homesteaders had the privilege of "filing" on preemption. Preemption was an additional quarter section of land for which the homesteader agreed to pay $3.00 an acre or $480.00 in easy installments with low interest, and to comply with certain other terms. Homesteader's sons of the age of 18 or over had the right to apply for homesteads and preemption. Cheap railway and steamship fares were offered to prospective settlers for themselves, their families and effects.

Advertising campaigns were conducted in Britain, Europe, eastern Canada, the settled parts of Manitoba and the western United States. The prairie climate and suitability of the land for agriculture were grossly exaggerated. The severity and loneliness of the early Saskatchewan winters and mosquito-infested summers must have been a sore disappointment to those who had been taken in by the blandishments of the advertisement campaign.

It must be remembered that when these hardy people were searching for family homes. There were no roads or even fences to guide them. The surveyors had left iron stakes, around which they had dug four pits, to mark the location of each section of land. The prospective settlers had only these stakes to find their way about empty plains.

According to Mr. Schulz, the area around Herbert began to be settled in the spring of 1904. After that people, lured by the exaggerated claims of the government and the railroad, flocked in from everywhere. Some came with little or nothing, others, more fortunate, brought horses, oxen, cattle, household effects, equipment and money. The government had a large tent erected on the Herbert town site, which was partitioned off to shelter thirty-five families, where they could remain until they could look after their needs.

Some of the settlers used prairie sod that they plowed up to build shelters for themselves and their livestock. A well-built sod shack was often warmer than a ramshackle lumber hut. In those days prairie fires were common. Lightning, carelessness, or sparks could start fires from homesteaders' shacks or locomotives, and they could sweep through the country with terrifying rapidity. Fireguards were plowed about the farm buildings, but in spite of this precaution, many a settler lost his farmstead. Sometimes lives were lost.

Many of the earliest settlers suffered extreme hardship. Those who were forced to stay on their homesteads over the winter there (there were many who returned to Manitoba or to the United States for the winter), were terribly isolated. Their crude shacks were cold, fuel was costly and scarce, and if there was a doctor, he was miles away. The gravestones in the old cemeteries bear witness to the early ages at which many of the settlers died, and the high mortality suffered by women in childbirth and by small children.

When dad (Bob McClelland) arrived in Herbert in 1911, its population was just under 600. From the first small store that opened in 1904, the town had grown rapidly. There was a real estate office, a bank, hotel, two or three general stores and a large department store, in the upper story of which dad had his first law office. There were several livery barns, blacksmith shops, implement shops, lumberyards, two barbershops and two poolrooms.

In 1906 a four-story elevator and flourmill had been built, an important addition to the community. Now farmers could have their own grain ground into flour and feed instead of importing it at great cost. There were several grain elevators, garages, and most important a doctor (Dr. Roy). As Herbert was on the main line of the CPR mail services and freight services to the larger center were excellent. Passenger trains soon arrived daily.

In 1912 the old school was replaced by a large two story, eight room brick building. There was a tailor, a bakery, photographer, drug store and a theatre. Later the town could boast of two doctors, two law firms (each with three lawyers) and two banks. A new three story brick Commercial Hotel was built but unfortunately it burned shortly before World War I ended in 1918 and prohibition set in. Later the Dreamland theatre was burned, and never replaced.

By the time dad came to Herbert, the areas immediately adjacent to the town were fairly settled. The Mennonites had settled much of the land to the north and north east of Herbert as well as to the southeast. To the south there were Scandinavians, Scotch, English, Irish, with a mixture of other nationalities.

The Mennonites played an important part in the development of Herbert and its community, for they far outnumbered all other peoples who settled there.

The term "Mennonite" refers to religion rather than nationality. The Mennonites as such have never been a nation. They were followers of the teaching of a Dutch Roman Catholic priest, Menno Simmons, who broke away from his church on a question of dogma in 1536. During those troubled times when the Catholic armies of Spain controlled a good part of Europe, the Protestants were often sorely persecuted. Menno Simmons was forced to leave the Netherlands and settled in what is now West Germany, but then a collection of German Kingdoms. Here he attracted additional followers, but his group did not conform to the majority religion of the states in which they lived, and they were often persecuted.

In 1786 Catherine the Great of Russia invited them to settle in an area of south Russia that had recently been conquered. Large groups of Mennonites accepted the offer, and went to Russia where they were granted land privileges, freedom of religion and exemption from military service. The Mennonites were hard working and prospered, but by 1874 they had multiplied to such an extent that land was no longer available for expansion of the colonies. A large number of the landless seemed condemned to poverty, and overtures were made to the Canadian and American governments for permission to settle in those countries.

In Canada, the Mennonites were invited to settle in Manitoba. They came in numbers following 1874 and settled in two large colonies, one east of the Red River centering about Steinbach, and the other west of the Red River, centering about Gretna, Altona, Morden and Winkler. These colonies overflowed into Saskatchewan. After the Russian Revolution, the Mennonites suffered at the hands of the communities. During the transition period, because they were pacifists and landowners, both the "red" and "white" Russians persecuted them. Those who could escape fled to Canada and United States where they were assisted by their co-religionists. This second flow started in the mid 1920's and continued until the early 1930's.

In 1925 or 1926 we had a young girl of perhaps 16 years of age working for us whose family had fled from Russia. She learned English quickly. She was fun loving and intelligent. She told us hair-raising tales of the destruction of their home in Russia, the theft of all their livestock, and the terrible deaths suffered by some of the Mennonites living in her village. She saw her brother transfixed by the bayonets of two renegade soldiers who were on horseback. Her brother died as a result. I heard stories equally as horrible from other recent arrivals. Most of them did not like to recall their experiences. I remember this same young girl, for the pot shot she took at me, with my own BB gun.

One morning, as I was leaving the yard, on the way to school, I felt a sting blow on the back of my head. Marie had stuck the BB gun out the window, and with what must have been her first effort with any kind of guns, scored a direct hit. I was mad as hops, but Marie treated it as a joke until she realized that a shot in the eye could have had serious consequences.

The Mennonites spoke a dialect called "Low German." Their language was loosely related to German and there is possibly a Dutch influence. In some respects it resembles ancient Anglo-Saxon. Like other Protestants the Mennonites are split into denominations or churches, some ultra strict in their interpretation of the scriptures and some liberal. A group referred to as the 'old colony' Mennonites, were against sectarian education. There were a few of this denomination in the Herbert area, but the majority, almost immediately on arrival, set up schools for their children to attend. They were civic minded. Herbert was incorporated into a village in 1907 and a town in 1912. The first civic leaders, including the first mayor of the town, were Mennonites.

Because of their agricultural background, the Mennonites were knowledgeable farmers. They were hardworking and reliable. In the early years, many did not speak English. "Low German" was the language of the churches, and for a long time it was heard on the street and in the stores more often than English. English speaking peoples were a minority in Herbert. The few Jewish people in the community spoke English, and it seemed natural to me to associate them with us as a common minority. It was not until I attended university in Winnipeg, that I discovered that the Jewish people were a genuine minority and discriminated against.

In the First World War there were Mennonites who enlisted, but their conscientious scruples against military service did single them out for criticism. By the time the Second World War arrived, voluntary enlistment among the Mennonites compared favorably with those of any other group. The Mennonites of Herbert, as elsewhere, have contributed a good deal to our national heritage.

Shortly after dad's arrival in Herbert, he was appointed agent for the Dominion Lands Branch. His office had the records showing which lands were still available for entry as homesteads and preemption, and applications for entry could be filed with him. There was a steady stream of prospective settlers calling at his office looking for suitable lands.

Before railway branch lines were built to the north and south, Herbert was the center of a huge trading area. Farmers had to travel as far as 30 to 40 miles to sell their produce, and to buy lumber, coal and wood, farm implements, repairs and groceries. Travel by horse and wagon was painfully slow. Some farmers spent as much as two days on the road just coming to town, where they had to stay over-night and bed down their horses. Hotels and livery stables did a big business.

Dad did well during this period. Once the settlers had "proved up" their homesteads and obtained title to their lands, they were eligible to mortgage their lands to obtain money to purchase machinery and build farm buildings. Dad was agent for many loan companies and received a fee for mortgages placed through his office. Legal firms in Regina and Winnipeg did the really lucrative legal business, but dad did well from sheer volume.

When railway branch lines were built, new competing communities sprung up about them. Herbert's trading area shrank, and its volume of business steadily decreased. Fortunately, as the community became more sophisticated and the local farmers more prosperous, other legal services such as collections, conveyancing, wills and estates were required. There was also some criminal and civil litigation. Dad built an office of his own in 1913. At one time he found it necessary to employ two other lawyers and three stenographers.

As time went by his staff gradually reduced until just before the depression it consisted of himself and a male employee who had come west for his health, Charlie Phelps. Charlie had been a teacher in a business college. He acted as clerk, stenographer, bookkeeper and head of the fire and hail insurance department. Dad had a large fire insurance business, which along with hail insurance provided a good part of his income.

At its height Herbert's population reached about 1500. This was about 1928. After that it showed a steady decline until quite recently. Roads had been developed. The automobile had displaced the horse as a means of personal travel; mechanization was taking over in the farm industry. The day of the horse was just about over.

My (Robert Harold McClelland) memories of growing up in Herbert are pleasant. My home life was happy. As time went on our family grew. I was the eldest child born in 1913. Next was my sister Gladys born in 1915, Jack in 1917, Dick in 1919, Frances in 1922, and Jim in 1924. We were not wealthy, but in Herbert we were considered well off until the great drought and depression. Before the depression we had nothing in the nature of financial worries. As lawyer's children we had some standing in the community.

Harold's father, Robert James McClelland, graduating from Law School in Manitoba in 1910

After opening his law practice in Herbert, dad returned to Winnipeg to marry mother. Dad had been born in Manitoba, near the town of Letellier. His father had been a prosperous farmer, but dad did not like horses. Besides, he had five older brothers and there was not enough land to reach him, even if he did want to farm. So after taking his grade 8, he completed his high school education while teaching and taking summer classes and correspondence. /p>

He was gifted with an excellent memory. To complete his grade 12 he had to translate from Latin to English selections from Caesar's Gallic Wars and Virgil Aenid. To his dying day he could recite these selections. In writing his examinations, his only difficulty was to find a starting point for translating and where to end. He obtained his law degree in the same way. Law students could apprentice themselves to older practicing lawyers and while working for them, study law, and complete bar examinations. Robert James McClelland was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 1910.

Robert James McClelland and Ethel Beatrice Smith

Mother, Ethel Beatrice (Smith) McClelland, was born near Wakefield in Cambridge-shire, England, where she attended school until her family came to Canada in 1894. She was 11 years old. What further education she got was at Stony Mountain, Manitoba, where her father farmed. I am not sure what grade mother completed. Her oldest sister Edith, who had received a fair education in England, had a responsible job in Winnipeg. She encouraged mother to come to Winnipeg, take stenographic training and find work. It was while she was working in Winnipeg that she met dad.

When dad returned to Herbert with his bride (married October 31, 1911), they lived in rooms above what was known as Brownstone's Store. It was not, long before they bought a home of their own, a modest sized bungalow. It was without modern plumbing, but did have a basement cistern from which water could be pumped into the kitchen for household use, except for drinking and cooking. Water for the latter purpose had to be carried from the nearest well, which happened to be next door. The toilet was of the chemical contained type. No home in the country or in country towns was complete without an outdoors "privy." I (Harold McClelland) was born in this house.

My one recollection of this house was a Christmas party which mother gave for the children of her friends and myself. One is never sure when recalling events of early childhood whether it is the event itself you recall or a memory, which has been kept alive by, repeated retelling. It seems to me that I can still see Santa Claus coming to the front door of the house in a sleigh pulled by horses. He had a bag over his back from which he distributed gifts to the children. Santa explained that his reindeer had become ill suddenly, and that is why he had the sleigh and horses. Later I found out that Santa was dad, and that he had hired the sled and horses from the local livery barn.

1912 home built  by Mr. Shaw and contractor, Edward Evanson

I was just three when we moved from this house to a new home. A Mr. Shaw had built our new the home in 1912. The Contractor and Builder of the house was Edward Evanson. Mr. Shaw had developed the subdivision in which the house was located, and the street on which it faces was named after him.

Our new home was a two story, with a large living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway downstairs, and four bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. It had a large veranda, open to the elements when dad bought it but later it was glassed in. That is how I remember it best. During the summer the veranda was the nicest room in the house. Virginia creeper vines covered all its windows, and the foliage kept out the sun and the summer heat. As children we often slept in the veranda. In winter it was without heat and useful for only storage.

There were large hot water radiators in each room, two in the dining room and living room that heated the house. Compared to the hot water radiators used today, ours were very cumbersome. The furnace was in the basement. It had a large firebox, and seemed ever ready to gobble up the coal that was stored in two basement bins. When each of us boys grew old enough, the job of stoking the furnace, cleaning out the clinkers and ashes, was passed on to him. On cold winter nights great chunks of coal were placed in the furnace in the hope that they would last until the morning.

Although we had running water, a bath and a flush toilet, the water did not come supplied by the city until relatively recently. Our water was collected from rain off the roof and stored in a great cement cistern in the basement. An electric pump and pressure tank forced the water to its outlets. When rains failed, it was necessary to have water hauled in to fill the cistern. The tap was not potable, and our drinking water had to be fetched in pails from the next-door neighbor's well. Keeping the house supplied with drinking water was another household task handed down from older to younger brother. The drinking water was noticeably alkali, but it was not necessary to treat it with chlorine. We were accustomed to our drinking water, but those who had not used it before might suffer considerable discomfort if they drank too much of it. Wastewater and sewage were carried away to a cesspool, which had to be pumped out at regular intervals. Later we had a septic tank installed, which cut out the necessity of a cesspool. When the town installed a modern sewer and water system in the 1960's, the house was connected with it.

When mother and dad moved into the house, there were few other modern houses in town. As far back as I can remember we had a telephone and electric lights. The telephone consisted of a box in which batteries were stored with a receiver on one side and a crank to turn on the other. A mouthpiece projected from the center of the box. When you wanted to make a call, you turned the crank, then lifted the receiver off its hook, and waited for the operator, called central, to say "number please". You then gave central the number you wanted to reach; she rang the number and waited for the person called to answer. After that the operator was supposed to disconnect herself from the conversation that ensued, but telephone operators were the best informed people in town, and some of them contributed much to local gossip by passing it along.

A local "power plant" established in 1912 provided us with electric lights. The plant consisted of a single cylindered coal gas fired engine to which a huge flywheel was attached. The flywheel drove the electric generator by means of a long strong belt. The plant operated from sunset to 12: 00 p.m. everyday but Saturday when it continued for an hour longer. It also operated on Monday mornings so that those with electric washers could get their washing done. Fifteen minutes before the plant was to be shut off, the lights would be blinked three times so that if you were still around you could get out the candles or kerosene lamps. Electricity cost 25 cents a kilowatt. I am still an energy saver because of the constant admonitions to save electricity by turning off every light not required. In the 1920's another unit was added to the plant, and service was made continuous. It was not too long before the old plant was dismantled and the town connected with a larger provincial grid with much more reasonable rates.

From a child's standpoint the house was ideal for playing with a tricycle or playing "hide and go seek." This was because the house was built so that you could pass from the hallway into the living room, into the dining room, through a pantry into the kitchen and back again into the hall. All of us children, when we were old enough, rode our tricycles around and around for hours at a time. When mother thought we had worked off enough energy, she would tell us to take our things and go down to the basement to play.

The house was not really well built. Mother was constantly having carpenters over to try to stop cold drafts. We used a coal range in the kitchen for cooking and baking, and the coal range was a comfort in cold weather. When it was real cold, the whole family sat about the kitchen, some of us doing homework on the kitchen table, others reading and the smaller ones were playing games. It was the warmest room in the house. When we came in from skating with feet nearly frozen, it was cozy to take off your shoes and put your feet in the oven.

The kitchen was the workshop. In the early days there were not electric refrigerators. The city dwellers had iceboxes, but we could not as there was no one to supply ice. Perishable foods in the summertime could be kept for a short while in the cool basement. In the winter the basement was much cooler than the rest of the house, potatoes, carrots and turnips were always stored there along with a good supply of apples for winter use. Other fruit such as peaches, pears, apricots, plums, strawberries and raspberries were canned as soon as they arrived from British Columbia. Fruits of this nature were only available in season. Mother canned jars and jars of fruit, for there were eight of us, and preserves were our deserts almost every day. Mother also canned all of her own pickles and made relish. She baked bread at least twice a week.

I think all of us, when we came home from school and smelled fresh bread, dug in with all our might and sometimes ate up more than a loaf before it was cool. When I think back, the women of the house with a large family were very busy. Dad did the supper dishes, and when I got old enough, I had to help him. Then it was Jack and I, and so on. Saturdays I had to beat the rugs, take out the ashes from the basement and do the noon dishes. Eight in the family made lots of dishes. It was like doing the dishes after having company at every meal.

The outside lower part of the house was painted cream, the upper portion brown and the roof green. It stood in the center of a large yard, with plenty of room for a garden on either side. Mother loved trees and flowers, and in spite of all the housework she had to do always found time to be in the garden looking after her trees and flowers. There often was not water to spare for the garden so it was often a losing battle that she waged against the elements. We did have a caragana hedge, which grew behind a picket fence that went around practically the entire yard. The caragana hedge required periodic pruning, another job that we boys fell heir to.

We had a vegetable garden across the street, some 100 feet by 100 feet. We grew a part of our own potatoes, carrots and turnips there as well as supplying our summer daily need for lettuce, peas, parsnips and beans. All of us had to assist in keeping the garden free from weeds and the potatoes free from potato bugs. Our garden was on a side hill, and for that reason the rain ran off rather than into the soil.

We were fortunate in Herbert to have a good school. We had one room for each grade in public school and two rooms for the four high school grades. Dad was almost the permanent chairman of the school board. When I was very young, we boarded a schoolteacher. This was not because we needed the money. There were not too many other homes, which would provide accommodation for the teacher.

Sunday, Christmas and New Year's dinners stand out in my memory. Without company there were eight of us for routine dinners. Until late in her life, mother insisted on white tablecloths, bread and butter plates for each meal except breakfast. On Sundays and special occasions, we could invite friends and we often had four or five guests. I did not enjoy washing the dishes after these meals. After I was old enough, Dad and I did the supper dishes - he washed and I dried. Later, I washed and brother Jack dried. I was happy when brother Dick was old enough to take over.

Before TV, radio, good roads and cars, people in small towns provided their own entertainment. We had a piano and a record player. We played checkers, table tennis, card games and games of chance. The town had an enclosed skating rink and curling rink, more than most towns provided. We had tennis courts and a golf course. The latter was in a cow pasture with sand greens often covered by "cow pies". The gophers added to the number of holes on the course. It was not unusual to lose a ball down a gopher hole.

In the wintertime, we made our own curling rinks. We made "curling" rocks out of sections of tree trunks with bent spikes for handles.

The Chataques provided most of our live entertainment. Chataqua was a trade name for entertainment companies. The Chataquas were held in large tents once a year. Generally, there were afternoon and evening performances for three days. The performances consisted of plays, lectures, magical show, dances and musicals. The quality of entertainment was good but with the advent of radio and talking pictures, Chataqua died.

By 1928 almost everyone had radios. We listened to Amos and Andy, Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Fibber Magee and Molly, and a host of other programs. More important, we got instant news and heard sports broadcasts such as baseball and hockey when the events took place.

Dad's first car was a Model T Ford but I do not remember it. Then we got a Willys Overland, a four-cylinder "open" touring car. Cars then had canvas tops, which could be raised or lowered. Our western weather made it impractical to use the car with the top down. When it rained or was real windy, you could attach side curtains to the top and get a certain amount of protection from the weather.

The Overland could only do 35 miles an hour full out and to my embarrassment; Model T Fords known as Tin Lizzies often passed us. In 1925 we got a closed Chevrolet Sedan. That was real comfort.

We often went to the Swift Current Creek at a point about 25 miles northwest of Herbert for Sunday picnics. We also spent many summer vacations from 1930 to 1935 at the creek. We had a large tent and each summer mother would go out with the family and rough it for three or four weeks. We all learned to swim in the creek, which was only 15 feet in width. There were two or three spots deep enough to cover the head of a teenager. The bottom was sandy and the creek was located in a deep and wide valley with groves of trees that provided shelter from the wind. These vacations were about all we could then afford. Surprisingly enough, I think mother enjoyed these holidays.

Dad kept investing money in farmland and we frequently made trips in the car to inspect the crops. By the time Dad died, after a setback during the depression, when he lost some of his land, he had acquired over three sections (three square miles) of farmland widely scattered over the Herbert and Morse districts. Later as executor of Dad's estate, I had to look after these lands until mother's death. As the years went by, the lands greatly increased in value and contributed to our inheritance.

When I finished high school in 1930, the great depression had set in. I wanted an education but did not know for what purpose. I taught myself shorthand and typing and worked as Dad's stenographer from 1930 to mid 1933. During that time, I completed my second year Arts by correspondence from the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon. In 1933, my Aunt Edith (mother's oldest sister) and Uncle Jesse who lived in Winnipeg, told me I could stay with them and attend university. I completed my Arts Degree in 1935.

Unfortunately, when I completed my Arts course, jobs were non-existent. Even professional people were unemployed. An Arts Degree does not help qualifying for a job but does help one to appreciate and enjoy such things as great literature of the past as well as provide an insight into a great variety of topics.

Pat (McClelland) Spratin, Dick McClelland, his wife Joan, and Janet (McClelland) Guidon in frontof old homstead

During the time I was doing these things, my sister Gladys, had enrolled in the Regina General Hospital as a nurse. Jack went to Saskatoon University to study agriculture, Dick joined the bank and was posted to a branch in Prince Albert (later became a dentist). Frances was thinking of school teaching (later became a Public Health Nurse) and Jim was completing high school.

Dad died in April 21, 1955 at the age of 72 of cancer. Mother continued to live alone in the big house until the fall of 1972. By that time mother's hearing and sight were failing. Ethel (my wife) found an apartment for her in Regina where we were living. Mother was 89 years old then. She lived in the apartment until 1974 when she went into the Pioneer Village Senior Citizen's Lodge. By then she was unable to look after herself but she was well enough to come to our place for Sunday dinners and to go out in the car with us for evening rides. In the fall of 1975, she had a stroke. In December she had a second stroke and died on January 6, 1976. She was in her 93rd. year. Both dad and mother are buried in the City Cemetery at Swift Current. My wife and I were living there at the time and we believed we also would also be buried there.

Continued.... page 2
(more specifically of the life and career of Robert "Harold" McClelland).

[last updated - Dec/2/2021]
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Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan

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