On June 8, 1881 this family left their 50 acre farm in Ontario and headed to Manitoba with a cow, calf, wagon, a small amount of oats and a few small articles. Arriving in Portage la Prairie by rail, the family waited there for two days before making their way west. At that time they bought a Red River cart and a team of oxen.
Upon arrival to the designated spot to choose a homestead, all the decent farming land was spoken for. While having pancakes with another farmer, the man advised Mr. of land in another range. The next morning he set out and this land was his. Newly acquiring the property, the necessary arrangments needed to be finalized so he set out the next day to walk to Deloraine. The walked seemed to take forever with nothing or no one in sight. He finally came upon some aboriginals and spent the night with them, breaking bread. They next morning they finished the trek together. He then set back to Portage la Prairie for his wife and 3 children as well as their trunks, bedding, a churn for water and 7 fowl. Mrs. and the 3 kids slept in the covered wagon at night during the week long trek to their land. Upon their arrival they set up a tent at another farm while Mr. broke the land.
Mrs. was handy when it came to bread making and baked many a loaf for the bachelors. At the time flour was $1.00 for a 100 pound sack. She also tended to the ill and was a huge help to other pioneer women.
In 1882 the family sowed five acres to wheat and broke more to oats. The crop was cut by cradle and was made to bands out of wheat ties sheave and stacked. The following year, two men came along with a threshing machine they had just purchased in Brandon. They cut the families crop for $25.00 and the families oxen were used to haul the machine to its final destination. Mr. sold his wheat in Brandon, a trip that would take him 3 days to make.
In the winter of 1884 the wife and 3 of the children came down with diphteria. One of the children passed away as well as a female neighbor. The family traveled to Brandon for medical attention. That same winter, Mr. suffered from snow blindness but Mrs. poulticed his eyes with tea leaves until they were better.
The men traveled to 8 to 9 miles for wood. They always took the cattle with them to allow them a good drink in the nearby river.
The family built their first home in 1899 with logs from the Turtle Mountains. During their life they had 9 children, two of which died very young. Mrs. passed away in 1932 at the age of 80 years and Mr. passed in 1937 at the age of 96. Mr. was the son of Samuel, a descendent of Ireland to traveled to Canada by ship. James obituary stated he was practical farmer and a first class manager which resulted in him being a great success in his farming operation. He was a great friend and was made an honorary member of the Manitoba Grand Orange Lodge. At the time of his passing, he was the oldest Orangeman in the Province.
Their son Samuel who never married took on the family farm and upon his death gave it to his nephew Harvey.