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NICHOLAS HENRY JOCK
Born 1857, Martell, Pierce Co., Wisconsin
Died 26 July 1928, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
In memory of our grandparents Grandpa and Grandma Jock
and their children, Arthur Henry, our mom Ada Grace and Lilian Florence Jock.
Tales of a pioneer . . . Jock of Jocks Flats
Some time ago, Mrs. George Seibel had a letter from an old friend, Mrs. Grace Berry (nee Jock) of Errington, British Columbia. In it she told of having an opportunity of reading a copy of Across The MacLeod, a history book the country north of the MacLeod, had been put together by the senior citizens of the Fulham district. Among the stories were remembrances of Nicholas Henry for whom Jocks Flats was named. . . Further correspondence with Mrs. Berry brought the following story.
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Dear Pioneers and friends:
I was recently loaned a book to read by Mrs. Elizabeth Fallbacher Borstell who had been visiting her sister Mrs. Louise Gardiner of Edson. The book was Across The McLeod. You can imagine my delight and surprise as I read the very first page and realized it was referring to my late father, Jock, as was called by all who knew him.He was born in the town of Martell, Wisconsin and his given name was Nicholas Henry Jacques. His father was a French Canadian who had moved to the American side from French Canada. Jock was married n 1881 and widowed in 1885. Shortly after that, he being adventurous and of a rather restless nature wandered westward looking for a spot that appealed to him where he would homestead. It wasnt until he reached the Edson area in the 1890s that he found what he was looking for, gorgeous country with rich fertile land inhabited, mostly by the Cree Indians and the odd white settler.He immediately became a friend of the local Indians and soon had learned their language and eventually could speak the tongue fluently. He had a friend in Edmonton, Dr. Harrison, who supplied dad with a case of medical instruments which he used to help all those in the area. I doubt if he ever did any abdominal surgery, but he did extract teeth, treat many illnesses and give first aid to the injured. He became a trapper and fur trader and also packed supplies out and into the area. At the turn of the century wild life abounded in the area, possibly some species that no longer exist around Edson, or if there is, they would be very few. Im thinking of the wolverines and the red fox for example.Jock also broke many trails throughout the area and part of the Yellowhead Pass as it is today was originally trails that he had blazed.I have a little black book of my fathers with entries made in 1902. I think he was freighting in supplies for some of the area people. He mentions Island Lake in it and I wondered if that would have been the present Lake Isle. One entry as follows: Left Prairie Creek with John, Albert and Tomar. John and Albert $1 per day each , Tomar $50 for round trip.Another dated April 20, 1902 --- Jimmie Cardinal paid on account, owed $15. Paid by one bear skin. This is all the furs Jimmie has. Another entry is: 247 skins (and itemizes many of them), sold for $1,647.88. Another, Dr. Harrison wants to come up in September with the outfit. He mentions Old Sato Maman, Old Man Mucksee, Fredrick Smith, Amel Dueplice, Bernard Mitchel, Soby Cardinal Patrick Goshey, Old Man Muesa, Paul Goshey, Joe Donald, Victor, and many more entries.In the book it called him the one-eyed Texan, which was incorrect. He had been born with one eye lid that drooped, but he did have sight in both eyes. I assume that Jocks Flats as it known today, was an area where he homesteaded, but Im not certain. Some of the older maps had Jocks Trails on them but I dont suppose they would be on the more recent maps. My mother came out from England in 1913. Two years late she met and married my father. She was extremely crippled with rheumatoid arthritis but a dearer soul never lived. Her feet were so mis-shapen that she was unable to find comfortable shoes so Dad had the local Indians make her moccasins. She continued to wear moccasins for many years until she found a shoemaker that could make her leather boots. As I look back I marvel at how such a little, rather frail woman of 82 pounds could come through such times with none of the modern conveniences that we have today. But such were the pioneer women of those days with a spirit and strength to be marveled at. My brother Arthur was her first born and he arrived with the help of a midwife, Mrs. Tom Cole at the homestead on Long Lake. I arrived 15 months later at the Onoway hospital, Mother had been sent there several weeks before as she hadnt been too well and they were afraid of complications at the time of birth. At this time I believe they were operating the store at Niton. Around 1920 we moved to Willow River, B.C., near Prince George. Here my sister Lilian was born in 1921. In 1923 we moved back to Edmonton. Shortly after moving to Edmonton when I was about six years old, I remember an Indian coming to the house to buy a saddle that Dad had. Dad spoke so well of him that when he left I remember thinking Why wasnt I born an Indian. He truly loved the Crees as brothers, and they loved and respected him.Jock was a stocky fellow who had kept himself in pretty good shape. I can remember him doing a hand stand on our front lawn shortly before he died in 1928. He was called upon periodically to be an interpreter in the courts for some of the Cree Indians that were on trial.He had a map he had made that showed just where there was a good deposit of gold on the Pembina River and before he died he gave the map to a young fellow who later went to war and was killed in action. My brother and I were eleven and ten at the time and I guess he thought it should be passed on to someone older than we were. The mans name was John White and his father also was from the Edson area. His aunt was Mrs. Leedy, who was also a pioneer of the area. I think she was a school teacher. Im not sure if I have the spelling of her name correct. When we were young and Dad was still alive our very favorite past time was sitting around him listening to his stories. This we never tired of and he seemed to have a never ending supply of the most fascinating tales.At the time of dads death in July 1928, Art was taken back to the Edson area by Baldy Robb for a visit. Shortly before Art died in 1976, he told me he remembered how home sick and lonesome he was having just lost his father and being separated from the rest of the family as well. Some of Dads friends included Baldy Robb, Peter Gunn Forbes and Malcolm Groates. My brother Art worked for C.P. Air in Edmonton and later in Richmond, B.C. for a total of 32 years. He became ill in 1973 and passed away in Richmond in 1976. He had no children. My sister Lilian Murray is still in Edmonton. She has three children, Pat, Ken and Morri, and five grandchildren. I lived in Edmonton until we moved to Parksville, B.C. in 1974. We have three children: Cliff, Joanne and Danny and six grandchildren. We were quite young when Dad died and there is much I dont remember but I have enjoyed sharing bits of the past with all of you. To all those pioneers of the district and their sons and daughters, I feel you are my sisters and brothers. May God bless you all and may He keep the area that is so dear to all of your hearts (and mine) rich and bountiful and bring to each one of you peace and contentment. Your friend and neighbor of the past, Sincerely, Mrs. Grace Berry, Box 205, Errington, B.C., V0R 1VO Source: Edson (Alberta Canada) Leader, Wednesday, October 11, 1978.(Submitted by Cliff Watt - thank you!) (See Biography under "J").
JOCK GOES HUNTING
Jock (first name not known) was a French Canadian living at Martell before that village was called Martell, and was famous as a hunter. He was short, thick and powerful honest and trustworthy, but entirely without book learning.The fight with a bear told about in this chapter occurred in the town of Gilman, on the old Bredahl farm. It is said that when Jock started to crawl home, desperately wounded, his clothing torn from his body, he met a man driving a team and asked the man to turn around and take him home in the wagon; the man refused. Jock raised his gun to shoot, but it was empty, and the man escaped. Jocks death later was from poison, but it was never investigated. (Source: From a Series that ran in the Spring Valley Sun in 1905-1906) Submitted by Cliff Watt.
Following is a personal estimate of Mr.JOHN PERLEY, written by Judge Allen P. Weld, for many years his friend and legal adviser: "To the world at large Mr. Perley was best known as a typical business man. To the work he had in hand he gave his best and most persistent efforts. He was preeminently a practical man. If he ever indulged in theories it was for self-entertainment and that of his friends rather than an attempt to carry untried theories into actual work. This trait of mind led him to give earnest attention to business in which he was engaged and gave a distinct color to his life, and by doing this he became more than usually successful in obtaining wealth. Yet one who would look upon this as only an evidence of self-seeking would be greatly mistaken. His efforts were not made simply to get rich, but rather to gratify an instinctive desire of success in any chosen undertaking. What he received he freely gave. His charities, though man, were unostentatious. While he delighted in good results from his labors, he was equally pleased to have his friends share in his success. He was perfectly fair in his dealings with those who gave him their confidence and acted fairly in their transactions, but to those who tried to deceive he was almost unrelentless. As the weakening effects of disease became more manifest and his ability to engage in the turmoil of business became less, he began to see that success or wealth in this life is not the all-essential thing and he willingly turned to a study of how to best bestow that which he had gained as well as to regard with deep interest matters of higher and eternal life. Of his thoughts in regard to such matters he was, however, reticent to strangers, but discussed them freely with his intimate friends. And while those who came most closely into an understanding of his mental life were comparatively few, his friends were many in number. Few who had been in his employ but mourned his death, few that were not ready to give a grateful tribute of respect and love to his memory.(see Biography under "P")
Hurley Writes About Hunting
I must give you a chapter on hunting. It was the fall of 1856, while I was cutting a road on Cave Creek; a rustle in the dry leaves on the hill side drew my attention, and soon I was surrounded by a herd of deer. All stopped at once, one not more than fifteen feet from me. I had only a shot gun, loaded with bird shot, but I blazed away at one, of course without effect.I resolved then to have a rifle, but I soon found there was none for sale until after the hunting season was over. Hunters were camped everywhere for two months each season.Two hunters from Indiana, camped on Cave Creek, killed ninety-six deer and three elk in the fall of 1856. I bought a rifle from them for $20.James and Hugh McCune, of Beldenville, and J. Fetterdom camped on my land four or five winters; they killed sleighloads of deer, bear, wolves, and wild cats. In the winter of 1857 Jock, the famous hunter ( My note: Mr. Hurley now writes in length of Jocks encounter with the bear, which was later written in the History of Pierce County).As for deer, a fine pond half a mile long south of El Paso village was much frequented by deer, and for many years they were shot there with a torchlight from a boat. I heard Mrs. Oliver McGee say that she had eaten a part of one hundred different deer in one summer. I have shot scores of deer by torch light. I shot five deer in three successive nights in October, when deer were fine (Source: From a Series that ran in the Spring Valley Sun in 1905-1906) Contributed by Cliff Watt.
EL PASO STORY
While the floods were playing havoc with the dams on Rush River, other settlers were
coming to hew out homes in our heavy timber.Among them were Mr. Buckley and family, Mr. Fitzgerald and family, Mr. Shay and family, and Mr.Manning and family. All these settled near what is now Waverly, and all succeeded well. Of course, they too, had their trials.Joel Coon and a Mr. Pickett settled in what is now Rock Elm (near Olivet) then a part of El Paso. Holver and L. H. Place, Brerjal Johnson, Louis Peterson, and Mr.Bjornson and their families settled near El Paso village. Zachariah Sigerson, two Parch brothers (coopers), Yankee Martin, Mr. Goodell (millwright), Holver Tollefson, two of the Thompsons, and Mr. Bredahl (for several years chairman of Gilman) also a Mr. Thompson, who served for many years as treasurer of Gilman and later on as a chairman of the town, settled in Gilman township. Later on two Brown brothers, Mr. OConner and Elias Condit (who started the first store) settled in Rock Elm.In 1858 El Paso was all in one school district. Our first school was taught in the house of Mr. G. Brill; it was small, as there was only a few children of school age in the town. Miss Lizzie Neylon, who came from Beloit, was the teacher.The next school was in El Paso village , called Dist. No. 1; this continued several years. Later on we divided the town into four school districts, and each district put up a school house and maintained school.During all this time our religious duties were not neglected. Our people were mostly Roman Catholics; Rev. Father Knauf, of Red Wing, attended to our spiritual welfare about once in three months or whenever he could spare time away from his home duties. He was a saintly man. Source: Written by Old Settler. From a series that ran in the Spring Valley Sun in 1905-1906. Contributed by Cliff Watt.
TRUITTMAN, Miss Annie resident of
Pierce County, Town of Diamond Bluff, perishes in Hinckley Fire
of 1894. John Best, Jr. was digging the pit with the friendly
assistance of two neighbors. Laid in a row, decently covered were
the bodies of John Best, Sr., Mrs. Best, Fred Best, age 23,
Bertha, age 17, Mrs. Annie Wigel, a married daughter and her 3
year old daughter, Minnie, Miss Annie Truittman of Diamond Bluff,
Wisconsin, a visitor, age 26 and Victor Best, age 8. Two other
sons George, 25 and William, 21 are missing and are certainly
dead. And of the whole family of the three generations, only the
sorrowing grave digger and his wife and child, who took refuge in
a dug-out are left. Source: "Coffee Made Her Insane",
Peg Meier, Mpls.
Annie Truittman, daughter of John Joseph Truittman and Barbara Denzer Truittman of Diamond Bluff perished in the great Hinckley, Minnesota fire. She was visiting the John Best (her uncle) family of Hinckley. It is reported that most of the Best family also perished. Annie was crippled since birth and was unable to make it to the Snake River, where townspeople fled to escape the great inferno. Annie's brother, John, Jr. traveled to Hinckley to claim her body and bring her home, finding only a gold pin that she wore on her dress to be the only means of identification. The gold pin remains in the family today. Subimtted by Kathryn C. Bryan, descendant of Barbara Denzer Truittman.