Clarence Anthony McKenzie

Clarence Anthony McKenzie

Male 1878 - 1973  (94 years)

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  • Name Clarence Anthony McKenzie 
    Born 18 Nov 1878  Granville, Tippicanoe County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 13 Jan 1973  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 

    • [FROM THE MAIN library BOOK] RAMBLING...RIVERS, ROADS & PROSE
      The McKenzie Settlement - The Shining Bank Hill School, by Madge (Doran) Graham

      In the Spring of 1913 nine families left Oklahoma to make their home in Alberta. They were the families of the brothers Vince, Sam, Floyd and Clarence (Buck) McKenzie, and brothers Pat, Hugh, Ira and John McKenzie along with Charlie Hakes. Charlie Hakes, Vince and Floyd McKenzie were all married to sisters, whose family name was Peterman. These nine families had a total of 35 children when they reached Peers. There were a number of children born after their arrival and, with the addition of the Clegg, Arnold, Graham and Welch families, more than seventy children and young people made their home in the McKenzie Settlement at one time or another.

      Evidently the Government must have made additional land available as homesteads because these people all settled on homestead land within a short distance of one another. Many of the homesteaders were not proved up by the first settlers. Ira McKenzie owned the NW of 13 that Ray Graham later homesteaded. John McKenzie had the quarter that Henry Stainbrook later homesteaded.

      I'm sure the Shining Bank Hill School was built in 1914, although it could have been 1915 as Fred Chalmers hauled the lumber for the floor and roof before he went into the Army in 1915. Pat McKenzie had no teacher training but taught the children the three R's (read'n, 'rittin and 'ritmatic)during a few months - possibly two or three each year.

      Miss Madge Doran (Magdalene) was the first "outsider" teacher. She came in December 1919. In 1920 Miss Doran married Ray Graham. She taught a number of short terms. Other teachers were Miss Cornelia Prouse, Mr. Morley Moore, Mr. McKim and a lady I can't remember. The school house was of hewn logs, plastered in the cracks with mud, and was not sealed on the inside or out. There was no chimney and a huge iron stove placed in the middle of the room, furnished the heat. To say that it was cold in the classroom during the winter would be a real understatement.

      The first nine families of McKenzie's came by immigrant train to Edmonton. They left Oklahoma because of three years drought and crop failure, so they had little money. Misfortune hit with a vim; they arrived in the Immigration Hall in Edmonton where many of the children became ill with diphtheria. At least two children died there and all of the families were quarantined for over three months. For a long time the men were not allowed to go out to work because of the quarantine and, with Doctor's bills, medicine and food, the money they had soon vanished.

      Why did they go to Peers and then north to Shining Bank Hill? There were three possible reasons: 1/ They wanted to settle in one block and nearly all the homestead land near Edmonton had been teken up. 2/ The Immigration Officer in Edmonton was really "pushing" the Edson/Peers area. 3/ The land was only nine or ten miles from the railroad (which was very unrealistic as the roads ran through the bush increasing the distance considerable).

      They finally arrived in Peers in June of 1913 and hired a wagon to move them to their land. They lived in tents until they could get small log houses built. They (the houses) had been there long enough to "settle" and they continued to leak; one can hardly imagine what that first summer was like. Many of the men could not afford lumber for the floors or for the doors. Vince and Buck McKenzie bought one Ox each which they used as a team to break small plots for gardens. Sam McKenzie and Charles Hakes bought the first teams of horses. Wagons, plows, discs, etc. were bought in common. Some of the men went out to work that summer and fall and a few chickens, pigs and cows were brought into the settlement.

      Wild game, fish and berries were in abundance, and potatoes and root vegetable grew very well in the garden patches that were tilled. Fences were all rail made from small logs. As soon as the men could find the time they hewed log floors for their homes; these were called "puncheon" floors. (I don't know why!)

      One thing favored these families in their first years. Wages in 1914 and 1915 were good and the men would go out and work in the bush, logging, or would go to the harvest fields or mines until they got a grub stake and then come back home and do a little more work on their homastaed, until they went broke again.

      Buck and Grace McKenzie's baby girl, Esther, was born in a tent soon after they moved out from Peers, in July of 1913. That was a terribly wet year and the story is that the tent was floored with water all summer. Buck McKenzie had to go out to work that fall as soon as his family was settled in the little log house. He did not have money for a lumber door so a large canvus was used in its stead. They had bought two pigs and the bucket of pig feed was on the step just outside the canvas door. One night Grace was awakened by a great slurping and grunting - a bear was eating the pig's feed. Grace was a good shot, but knew the danger of only wounding a bear, so she sat the night through with the gun on her knee and in the morning she and her sister-in-law made a pole door to hang over the canvas. (There are dozens of such stories - all true - to illustrate the hardships of pioneer homesteading).

      Those who didn't have teams, or who could not borrow the horses, carried their groceries into the settlement on pack boards or pack sacks. The men all worked together to build the school, a building of about 24 by 36 feet. Dances, ball games, wrestling matches, etc. provided the local group entertainment and helped to pass the long winters; there was no gramophone and very little in the line of books or newspapers. The women used whatever newspapers they could get their hands on to paste on the log walls to keep the chinking from falling into the house.

      The first Christmas Concert and tree was the one that Miss Madge Doran, the first "outside" teacher, organized in 1919. The Christmas dinner consisted of boiled chicken, bread, tea, and cakes (no butter, milk or fruit). This will give you some idea of the poverty even in 1919.

      The Missionary priests, Father Beaudry and Father Louis, furnished all there was in the way of religion on their visits two or three times a year. Most of the settlement people were Roman Catholics. Services were held in the school and later the Hakes home. Father McGowan and Father Fabian were later priests.

      The Clegg family (Mr. and Mrs. and two boys)came about 1914 and left in 1919. Mr. Arnold, a widower, and his two boys moved into the settlement about 1916. Mr. Arnold had some money and was able to build a better house and had quite a few cattle. He sold out to Art Lister in 1924 or 1925. Art married Floy Graham and he, his mother,his two sisters and Floy left the farm and moved back to Cadomine in 1927.

      The Vince McKenzie's moved to Bon Accord in 1919 and the Bill Welch family moved onto the vacated homestead for about two years. They had eight girls and some of them are still in the Edson district. Bill was what we all imagine the real pioneer to be - resourceful, bewiskered, a great storyteller, hunter and fisherman.

      John and Ira McKenzie opened a small store near Bear Lake which they operated for a couple of years, maybe only one. However Floyd had gone back to Oklahoma and, in 1917, John and Ira followed him back home.

      Vince McKenzie sold the balance of the stock from his "front room".

      "Alex Graham" (J.E.) and his family (his wife and four girls and two boys) left Arkansas in the spring of 1916 with three covered wagons, drawn by mules, headed for Alberta. Buck McKenzie's wife Grace was Mr. Graham's daughter. The Grahams stayed in Montana the winter of 1916-17 and arrived at Peers as the river was freezing over, in 1917. There were no bridges over the McLeod, only ferries at Peers and Rosevear.

      Mr Graham homesteaded in 1917. Ray homesteaded the old Ira McKenzie place in 1917 and Clyde took up a homestead about three miles north of the school in 1922. Ray sold his homestead to Clyde in 1926 and moved first to Edmonton and then to Ponoka. Mr. and Mrs. Graham, Clyde and his wife, the former Edith Pettie, and baby moved to Oklahoma in 1930. Mrs. Graham came back to Alberta to live with her daughters and died at the age of 94 in 1962. Mr. Graham died in Oklahoma having lived more that 100 years.

      The Hakes family was the last to leave the McKenzie settlement. Henry is dead and his widow, Etta Welch, married again. Mrs. Hakes lived for some time with her son Charlie and I believe they moved away in the late 1940's.

      Pat and Hugh McKenzie moved to Bon Accord in 1920 and 1922, later to Grassland, AB. Buck McKenzie and his family moved to Bon Accord in 1923. To my knowledge, Buck is the only one of the old family heads alive today; he is in the St. Joseph's Hospital, Edmonton. He is just past 90 years.

      Many descendents of these pioneers live in Edmonton, near Fort Saskatchewan, or at Grasslands, while others are scattered all over Canada. The houses, with the exception of Mr. Graham's tumble-down first home, are gone. Even the roads are covered with tall trees. Truly Shining Bank Hill, where so many lived from 1913 to 1931, is a burial ground of dreams.

      ___________________________________________________________________________________________


      [From the book] RAMBLING?RIVERS, ROADS & PROSE page 779

      Shining Bank Hill School page 779 re Mckenzie Settlement

      Construction began in 1914 and school opened in 1915. Volunteers' built it with logs from Cache Creek. $800.00 was borrowed for building and equipping the schoolhouse. The school operated only about three months a year. It was located in the McKenzie Settlement
      SE 15-56-15-W5 that was NW of the main Shining Bank settlement. Books were sent out by the Dept. of Education and some of the students had books from the USA, resulting in some discrepancies in spelling and history. The first teacher was Mr. Pat McKenzie, followed by Madge Doran. At its peak, the number of pupils was approximately 35. When most of the settlers moved out, the school was closed.

      Per an email from Doris Nadon in August 2013 after she viewed the Migration Map for her family in the "Migrations" section of the book: McKenzies of Early Maryland: You beat me to it. I think the map is pretty accurate. They crossed into Alberta at the Coutts border crossing, came directly to Edmonton, and then staked homesteads near Edson (approx. 120 miles west at Shining Bank where my mother was born), where they stayed for about 20 years.not all stayed there that long, moving to small towns near Edmonton...Doris
    Person ID I02704  McKenzie Genealogy
    Last Modified 7 Jun 2017 

    Father James Alexander McKenzie,   b. 8 Jan 1844, Southhampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1906, Hitchcock, Blaine County, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Esther Sophia Breig,   b. 25 Oct 1849, Meyersdale, Somerset, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Apr 1911, Tulsa, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 19 Sep 1868  Meyersdale, Somerset, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F01449  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Grace Mae Graham,   b. 19 Jul 1888, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Sep 1930, Bon Accord, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Married 5 Mar 1907  Blaine, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Mabel E. McKenzie,   b. 30 Aug 1908, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Oct 1996, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)  [natural]
     2. Eva Lucina McKenzie,   b. 20 Feb 1911, Watonga, Blaine, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Sep 2005, Barrhead, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years)  [natural]
     3. Esther Anna McKenzie,   b. 19 Jul 1913, Shiningbank, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Oct 1972, Sydney, British Columbia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years)  [natural]
     4. Marguerite Grace McKenzie,   b. 21 Aug 1917, Shiningbank, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Nov 2003, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)  [natural]
     5. Harold James McKenzie,   b. 17 May 1920, Shiningbank, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 2000, Sardis, British Columbia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)  [natural]
     6. Roy Raymond McKenzie,   b. 27 Nov 1922, Shiningbank, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Aug 1951, Elk Island Park, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 28 years)  [natural]
     7. Thomas Arthur McKenzie,   b. 8 Apr 1925, Bon Accord, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Mar 1998, Abbotsford, British Columbia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 7 Jun 2017 
    Family ID F01463  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Photo of Oklahoma - Alberta, Canada McKenzies Circa 1900, 1910 and 1950
    Photo of Oklahoma - Alberta, Canada McKenzies Circa 1900, 1910 and 1950
    Clarence McKenzie Oklahoma Cabin Circa 1910
    Clarence McKenzie Oklahoma Cabin Circa 1910
    Obituary and Grave of Clarence Anthony McKenzie (b. 1878).
    Obituary and Grave of Clarence Anthony McKenzie (b. 1878).
    Clarence Anthony McKenzie was one of the McKenzies who migrated to Alberta, Canada from Oklahoma and homesteaded land there near the beginning of the 1900's.
    Photo of Clarence Anthony McKenzie (b. 1878) and Children.jpg
    Photo of Clarence Anthony McKenzie (b. 1878) and Children.jpg
    Circa 1923
    McKenzie Brothers
    McKenzie Brothers
    Photo of Clarence Anthony McKenzie
    Photo of Clarence Anthony McKenzie


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