BRADLEY< HARLEY EDWARD (1892- ) -farmer, was born at Whitehouse, Ohio, United States on Sept. 25, 1892. He is the son of Henry Sherman and Jennie Parker Bradley of Whitehouse, Ohio. He plowed gardens, worked on a ship and in a tin shop before coming to Bowsman, Manitoba, Canada in 1913. He married Frances Iva Epier in 1919 and they had four children—three born in Canada and one in Whitehouse. He farmed until 1925 when he and his family returned to the States so that he could find work. He returned to Canada in 1929 to his farm in Bowsman. In 1947 he canvassed the neighbourhood for the favourableness of getting telephones. He was president of the Manitoba Farmers Association, organized the Manitoba's Farmer's Union local at Lenswood in 1952, and he was director of Manitoba's Pool Elevator and a delegate at conventions in Winnipeg. He retired in 1972 and is presently living on the same farm in Bowsman.
When Harley was a boy, he worked for fifty cents a day in the beet fields around Whitehouse, thinning beets ,but he had to pay five cents for a ride on a wagon to the fields so he had only forty-five cents a day. His parents bought him a pony and he started to cultivate gardens around the town of Whitehouse. As he grew older he got a team of horses and plowed gardens for people, -to get some spending money. At the time that he was attending school in grade eight, he got a job of telephone night operator. He worked as operator (Hello girl) for a year.. At the end of grade eight, Harley went to Toledo and wrote the Boxwell examinations which he had to pass before he could enter grade nine at the High School of his choice. He worked for Skinner Bending Co. making wheels but stopped that to return to school. After that he was the Janitor of the Whitehouse School that he was attending.
He graduated in 1911 and started a small business in partnership with Charles Bradley, buying and selling chickens, cream and fruits in Whitehouse. He and a friend Mark Weckerly, dug and ground horseradish, put it in little jars with vinegar and sold it in the Weckerly Store at five cents a jar. He kept the chicken business for about six months, sold it and-went to work for the Home Telephone- Company in Toledo, Ohio as a repairman.
In the early months of 1912, Harley and three friends decided to sail on the Great Lakes boats. When it came time to go the friends backed out and he was left to go alone. He went to Detroit and waited until the new boat, William P. Snyder Junior was finished. It was the largest boat on the lakes at that time. He signed on as a coal passer. The coal loaded there was taken north to Superior in Wisconsin, Port Arthur and Fort William on Lake Superior and unloaded. From there they went to Duluth to load iron ore which was sent to a Smelting Co, in Pennsylvania. Later Harley was a Forward Watchman and when the Porter took sick, he became the Porter. When the lakes became unsafe for travel, the boat was loaded with Canadian wheat to be stored for the winter. At this time, the season’s work was finished so Harley left the boat at Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio and on American Thanksgiving he headed for home. While working on the boat, his only sister, Minnie Maze Bradley Shonk, passed away. Some time after this, he met an old friend, Floyd Lehman, who asked Harley what he was doing. Harley told Floyd that he was looking for work and Floyd offered him a job, so Harley went to work as a tinner at a Tin Shop in the Wheeling Lake area with Floyd for his Foreman.
Three other friends and Harley had an idea that they would like to go to Kansas to homestead but found, when enquiring about it, that it was prairie land with no lumber and game was scarce so they decided not to go there. In 1913, they heard that a Canadian Land Agent was in the Ohio Building in Toledo, and they went to talk to him. These four gentlemen were Dave Finzel, Grover Lehman and his brother George and Harley Bradley. The Land Agent's name was Netherly, and he told them of land in Canada and how they could homestead it and become owners. All they had to pay was ten dollars and do duties—-live on their quarter section for at least six months out of each year for three years and break some land. It was just like betting them ten dollars against one hundred and sixty acres that they could not do that and fight mosquitoes, bulldogs, bed bugs, heel flies for cattle and nose flies for horses and no-see-ums. These no-see-ums are a small fly that would alight on one, sting and make one itch. A person had to look closely to see them so the native Indians called the flies no-see-ums.
The Agent told the men that he would make arrangement with Canadian National Railway to take them to Canada and all that it would cost them would be a cent a mile. In the latter part of August in 1913, the four men went to Detroit and from there to Windsor, Ontario where they could board a train that would take them to Dauphin, Manitoba. They bought their tickets to Dauphin which they thought would be about seventeen hundred miles and, therefore, cost them seventeen dollars a piece. Seventeen dollars, in those days, was considered to be very inexpensive travelling.
When the men arrived in Dauphin, they looked around for a day. They did not see anything that interested them there so decided to continue on north to Swan River to see what the country around there was like. When they left the train in Swan River, they took the trunk that Harley had made for their bedding and pillows and went across the road from the railway station to the Silver Grid Restaurant where they managed to rent a room. In the morning after breakfast, they met an elderly man with long whiskers, (Harley cannot recall his name) and the man said, "What are you fellas doing up in this God-forsaken country?" They said, "We're gonna farm." The bystanders were amused. It was plain to see by their clothing that they had come from the city. The old gentleman seemed to think it quite a joke because everywhere one looked was willow bushes, big trees and swamps. However, he told them that he knew of a place where they could get a section of land and, because there was four of them, they could each have a quarter of the section. He told them to go to Bowsman River and get the liveryman to take them out to Jim Snider’s place. They went and had
to pay their fare on the freight train and they rode in the caboose to Bowsman River.
Jim Snider was a bachelor in Bowsman River and he had a gentleman staying with him by the name of Frank (Miser) Meadows. The gentleman in Swan River told the men to tell Frank Meadows that they wanted to see Section twenty-one. When they got to Bowsman, they went to the liverymen who were the MacDonald twins and their partner, Mr. Richie. One of them hitched a team of ponies to a democrat and took them out to Jim Snider. Jim's home place was about eight miles from Bowsman R. by way of a trail and there they met Frank Meadows who was called "Miser" —they did not know why he was called that but later on they thought that they knew. The Ohio men told them that they would like to see section twenty-one.
Mr. Meadows did not want to show them the section until the next day so the dismissed the liveryman and asked him to return for them the following day. The men slept on the floor that night because there was not enough space in that little house for everyone to have a bed like they were
used to at home. The next morning they put on their hip waders so they would not get their feet wet and started walking to section twenty-one. Even in August, water was everywhere. Frank was a trapper and he wore moccasins for wading through the water because he was accustomed to the country and knew what to expect. It was supposed to be five miles to section twenty-one from where they had spent the night and they soon discovered their mistake by wearing hip boots. The boots were heavy I
Before they got to section twenty-one they met a man by the name of Teddie Trueman and they stopped to speak to him. He was breaking a piece of land with a team of oxen. The land had been burnt over years before and was fairly clean, sandy land. As they were visiting with him they noticed that his teeth were worn on one side because of the pipe that he always had in his mouth. While the men were talking to him, Mr. Trueman decided to smoke. He sat up on the plow handle and told them all about the country and as he was talking he was trying to light his pipe. He cleaned the duttle out, whittled some tobacco off a plug and put it in his pipe. He would light a match and while he was talking to the men, the match would burn down to the fingers; he would toss the burned match away and light another. He did this all of the time that he was talking, probably because the men were the only ones that he had talked to for a long time.
The men continued on their way to section 21 and when they got there. Meadows told them where the line was and they crossed over onto the section. They circled around and were nearly beat because their hip boots were beginning to be terribly heavy. Even though they were all young, Mr. Meadows would have to stop and let them rest. After a while the men would start on again with Mr. Meadows never looking where he was going, just walking through or over anything that came in their way making the journey even harder for the tenderfeet.
Harley was enjoying the trip because he was the last one and Grover Lehman was ahead of him. According to Grover, he was nearly all in and he kept saying that if he ever went out with Meadows again he would have balls and chains on him. After they had walked still farther and Grover had become more tired, he said, "I wouldn't take a whole section of this land if King George would say, Grover, you can have it." Even though Harley was tired, he could not help but laugh.
They soon came to a meadow and Meadows told them that the west line crossed there and pointed out some spruce trees and said that was where the quarter mound was. The quarter mound was about three hundred yards from where they stood and they each wanted to see it so they walked over to it. They returned to Jim Snider’s place, had a meal with him and then the liveryman arrived
and took them back to Bowsman River.
It was late when the men got back to Bowsman, and, since the train would be leaving at eleven o'clock, they decided to go straight to the depot instead of trying to get rooms at the hotel. When the train arrived they got on board and returned to Swan River only to find that they could not get in the Hotel because the front door was locked. It was early morning by this time and still dark but the men thought that there must be some way to get into the Hotel without awakening anyone so they proceeded to look around. They found the back door unlocked and once inside they discovered that they were in the kitchen. There was no light and they did not know where the kerosene lamp was kept so they stumbled along in the dark. By feeling their way along the hall, they got to the front and spotted their big trunk in the office. The office was very small and had a
counter in it, and, since no one got up to see what the commotion was all about and tell them where to sleep, they opened the trunk, took out blankets and pillows, divided them up and soon were asleep -- two in front of the counter and two behind the counter. When the breakfast bell rang, to quote Harley, "We were dead to the world". Not one of them awakened. The other customers ate their breakfast and in order to pay their bills they stepped over the late sleepers just as if nothing was amiss. When the boys awoke, breakfast was served to them-—the same menu that the ones
had eaten before because in those days there was no choice-—everyone got what had been prepared.
That morning the men had made up their minds that Canada was the place where they wanted to settle. They liked the country and Mr. Meadows had pointed out signs of bear, moose and deer that they could hunt for food. The men thought it a wonderful country.
It was a rugged land but the men did not mind that. The mosquitoes were so big and wicked that beds were covered with cheesecloth so that one could get some sleep at night. One had to move quickly to get under the cheesecloth without letting a few mosquitoes in and if some did get in, one stayed awake until they alit and got swatted. Smudges of grass were made in old pails and left outside the door to discourage mosquitoes. Large smudges were made in the pastures where cattle and horses spent the nights. Bed bugs came out of the log walls at night to add to their discomfort and settlers were always hunting for ways of getting rid of the pests. Fumigating by burning sulphur or formaldahyde on the stove seemed to be the best method known at that time. Wood ticks were hard on the animals and one winter the moose were covered with them. Moose were seen beside trails so thin and weak that they could hardly stand up and the dead and dying were many. When the ice went out in the spring the moose went into the rivers and lakes to rid themselves of the ticks.
The morning after returning to Swan River and sleeping on the floor, the men went to the Claims Office to register their claims. They had a map of the townships and had to tell the man in charge which quarter each one wanted. They had not seen much of the section but on the west quarter there was a chance of getting a road on two sides if they ever got a road because there was nobody living north and east of that section except Native Indians that passed through on their way to Swan Lake to the North and Fort Pelly in Saskatchewan. No one had homesteaded in that area yet but there were people living to the south and west." The Ohio men were the newest settlers to arrive. They had to decide which quarter each one wanted so they went out to the road and drew a line across the dirt. They each took a quarter from their pocket and tossed it at the line and the man that was the closest to the line got first choice of quarters. The people walking along the road all stopped to see what they were doing. After they had each thrown their coin, they checked the distances from the line. Harley's coin was the closest. Both the northeast and northwest quarters had prospects of two roads. Harley had not seen much of the section but he chose the northeast quarter.. Grover was next closest and he chose the northwest because a fire had gone through there and Dave Finzel took the southwest quarter. George Lehman had to take the southeast which was just a frog pond that someone else had tried to homestead but gave it up. Because of that George had to have it cancelled before he could take it over. At the Claims Office they each gave their ten dollars and got a permit to live on the land and do their duties. They also had to be naturalized sometime. They loaded their trunk on the next train and went to Bowsman River to start a new life.
There was a little cabin about half a mile from the quarter mound that Meadows had shown them and when they got to Bowsman, they asked the liveryman to take them to it. It belonged to a man by the name of McLaughlin but he was not there at the time. It was not large enough to hold a cook stove and four men so the stove was put outside. They put their belongings in the small house.
The first thing that had to be done was to build a road in the center of the section where they could build a house so that each one could be living on a corner of his property. The following day they started cutting a road, beginning at the west side and working east to the center of the section. They were all handy with axes and so they took a lunch and water and set out to cut a road. As they were cutting, they came to a tree that was broken off about twenty feet above the ground and it was bent down and hanging in their way so Grover volunteered to cut the tree down, and while the rest of them were cutting down other trees, Grover chopped away at it. It was a good thing that Grover had a "thick neck" because when he nearly had the tree cut off the part of the tree that was hanging down broke loose and hit him on top of his head. Grover fell down on the ground and his friends ran to him and threw their drinking water on him and managed to get him to his feet even though they had to hold him up. They took him back to the cabin where they had a bottle of whiskey to be used for medicinal purposes, that they hoped would be a remedy for everything. To get him back to the cabin, two of them held him up and almost carried him. Every few minutes he would say, "Well fellas, where are we?" Even though -it was nothing to laugh at, it was amusing because he kept asking it over and over again and each time they tried to explain what had happened. They were nearly back to the cabin and he still didn't realize where he was and said, "Well fellas, where are we?" and after they told him, he said, "Well all right, but what are we doing here?" As they were repeating to Grover what had happened, they were getting him ready for bed, gave him a drink of whiskey and in the morning he seemed to be feeling well enough to go back to work. The boys were thinking what a tragedy it would have been if Grover would have died with his wife, Agatha, and little Wentz in Whitehouse. The nearest doctor was in Swan River and the nearest neighbour was Andy Ashton who would have had to take them to Swan River in his big wagon-—twenty-five miles away.
The following morning the boys went back to finish the road and when they thought that they had gone half a mile, they stopped and Harley stepped out the distance which was 2640 feet and the road happened to end on a little knoll where there were plenty of poplar trees with which to build a house.
Andy Ashton and his family lived about three-quarters of a mile to the southwest of the boys and they went to ask him about notching logs for a house. Andy told them to cut the logs a little longer than the size they wanted their house to be and then he would go there with his team of horses, haul the logs to the building site and show them how to saddle notch them. After he had shown them how to notch their logs he went home and the boys continued with building the house and they were very particular how they did it.
Jack McKay was another neighbour living about two and one-quarter miles to the south. Jack owned a sawmill and he told them that they could get some lumber from him. Andy Ashton hauled enough lumber for a floor, roof, a table and some bunk beds. Several years later, Harley and Levi Duck (another Whitehouse man that settled northwest of Harley) built a house for Jack McKay. When the house was built, they needed rubberoid for the roof so when Andy Ashton went to town
he brought some home for them. They finished their house and were ready for their first Canadian winter.
Andy was in partnership with a man by the name of George Glashan. George lived about five miles southwest of Andy and they were extending the road between their homes. The weather was still nice and there was a shortage of money so George Lehman and Harley said that they would work for George Glashan and Andy Ashton---building road. They put up a tent close to where they
would be working. Every day the two men at home, Dave and Grover, took them meals from home and they were living quite comfortably until a team of oxen that were running free, smelled the hay that the boys had under their bedding, got into the tent, tore everything apart and made a real mess of things. After that George and Harley had no place to stay so George Glashan took George Lehman to his home and Harley went to Andy's.
George and Harley worked on the road for awhile and earned some money and then decided to lay up enough logs so that each could have a house of his own. There were plenty of spruce trees but Harley was faced with the problem of where to build his house. Most of his quarter was under water with a few little ridges of dry land with large trees where there was no water. He climbed to the top of a huge spruce tree and looked around the country. He found a spot that had been burned off at some time, and, thinking that it would be quite easy to clear, decided to build his house there. Harley was not sure of the location of this spot but he built a log house and other buildings and that is his building site to this day. The ground is a sandy loam that does not stick to the feet even when wet.
Still the section was mostly covered with trees, sloughs and willow bushes and it was easy for one to get turned around and lose the way to wherever one was going. The men depended on wild meat for food and partridges were numerous and not hard to find. George Lehman went out one day to get a brace. He dildn't go far from the house where there was no trail for fear of getting lost. He shot a couple of birds on the west of the house, took them to the house and thought that he should walk around to the east of the house and see if he could get a few more but when he was ready to return to the house, he could not find it. There was only one trail on the east and that was the Pelly Trail that followed the river about three-quarters of a mile away. It was used by the native Indians and the Hudson Bay Co. to travel back and forth from Fort Pelly and Swan Lake. It was in the early afternoon and as he walked he stumbled unto a trail and knew it was the Pelly but he did not know which direction to take to cut back and find the cabin. He knew that Jack McKay lived on the Pelly Trail so George thought that he would follow the trail until he got to Jack's place but did not know which way to walk. He arrived at a place where a grey pony was tethered at the front of the house and thinking that it was an Indian encampment, he turned around and went back the way he had gone from. It was soon dusk and he had not found another building. He turned around and walked all the way back to where he had seen the pony only to find that it was the McKay home. Jack pointed him in the direction of his home and gave him much advice and he finally reached home when it was very dark. Meanwhile his friends were out shooting in the air hoping that George would hear the shots and find his way home.
When Harley and his friends had their houses built, they went to Bowsman, got on the train and returned to Whitehouse for the remainder of the winter. They wanted to see their families and get work because there was nothing for them to do throughout the winter. It was in February of 1914,
as Harley remembers, and Harley got a job and soon his six months had gone by and time to return to Canada. While in Ohio, Harley worked in a Machine Shop and some of the men that worked with him thought that they would like to homestead. The friends were Tom Lewis, Lee Crawford and Frank Perch and they all came the same way that Harley and the others had come the first time-—on the Canadian Railway. They all stayed for six months and then went back to work in the machine shop but Tom Lewis kept returning from time to time.
Harley returned to Canada again in the fall of 1915-—after he had stayed that winter he decided
that he was going to make his home in Canada, so in 1916 he bought two head of cattle-—a cow
and a heifer calf. He built a barn and broke plenty of land for a garden and planted potatoes. Section 21 was covered with sloughs and beaver dams and Harley was digging ditches and opening beaver dams to drain off water. A neighbour, that lived two miles to the west, Alf Dyer, called on the boys one day and said, 'What are you boys going to do, raise frogs?" One night Alf went over to see the boys after a big rain storm that hit harder to the west than it did where the boys lived, and Alf found them sitting high and dry because of the ditches, and Alf's land was under water. The boys told Alf that perhaps he was the one that should be raising frogs because their water would have to drain away before his could get down that way. The same fall Grover came back and brought Aggie and Wentz as well as three more friends——Fred and Levi Duck and Charles
Meister. They each homesteaded but Charles did not stay whereas the Duck brothers never did return to the States even for a visit. Their brother Bill came and spent some time in Canada, then went back.
In 1914, the country was being settled to the north and east and new roads were being built. Elmer Epier got a homestead and that year in November brought his Mother, Katie Epier, and sister, Iva, to Canada and Katie homesteaded a quarter of land that the Pelly Trail and the Swan River ran through. Others that came from southern Manitoba to settle north and east of Harley were: William Ferguson, Nathan and Alice Martindale, Arthur and Catherine Utting, Sid and Florence Hiscock.
In the autumn of 1917, Harley and some of the settlers went to Stoughton, Sask. to work in the harvest fields to earn a little money. In Dauphin, on their way home they met Bill Ferguson who had also been out threshing and he said that he was on the way home. Harley told Bill that there was stilllots of harvesting to be done around Swan River and Bowsman River and asked him to stay with them to earn a little more money to help out during the long winter. Bill didn't want to but after he was told that the men would play Euchre every night (he liked a good game of Euchre) he consented to stay with them. Bill had a list of names of farmers that needed men to help them and one of the names was Wes Curfey. He was a farmer in Kenville, Man. and as soon as they arrived back in Swan River, Harley phoned him. Mr. Curfey said that he was finished but that Norman Garland needed help so if they could get to Kenville, he would pick them up and take them to Garland's which he did. They threshed for eleven days straight and they each made four dollars a day which was considered good money in those days. 10
Because they had been such good workers, Mr. Garland gave each of them twenty-five cents a day extra. When the threshing was finished there, they returned home to clear more land. It was done by chopping down the trees and setting fire to them on a calm day or they would grub around the roots with a grub hoe or pick and when a good wind came along the trees would blow over.
In the autumn of 1918, Harley's Father and Mother came to Canada to see Harley, shortly after he had returned home from threshing at Garland's again. They stayed with Harley until March of the next year and then went back to Whitehouse. Sometime later, Harley's Father and Mother returned to Canada and his Father, Henry S. Bradley, took up the quarter that George Lehman had never finished his duties on. His Father intended to raise cattle which could be done instead of breaking land but after moving a carload of belongings to Canada, Harley's Mother did not like Canada and went back to Whitehouse. She passed away in August 1920. Henry Bradley made sseveral trips to Whitehouse and back and on one of his trips to Canada, he brought a nephew, Ford Lewis, who had been asking to come. Ford homesteaded beside the Pelly Trail. One year Ford and a friend, Reub Fish, went to Easterville and Grand Rapids to the north to trap. Near Grand Rapids, Ford was accidently shot and died enroute to Mafeking where he was being taken by dog teams to meet Dr. Bruce who had gone there from Swan River on Dec. 29, 1923. It was a sad day for the Bradley's. Henry S. took the body to Whitehouse for burial.
The country was great I By now it was settled by good neighbours and lifelong friends. Moose and dear were plentiful and could be shot from the doorway. Beavers, muskrats, coyotes and weasels could be trapped and the pelts sold but game laws were being enforced. It was not unusual to meet bears on the trails. Grover Lehman had told Aggie •all about the advantages of living in Bowsman-
—lots of meat---bear, deer, moose and the river was full of fish. Aggie declared that she would never eat bear meat. One day, Harley invited Grover and Aggie to his home for dinner. He served a nice big roast. After Aggie had eaten a big slice of meat, she said, 'Pass the meat please, Harley; this is the best pork that I have ever eaten," Grover told her that it was bear meat. She ate the second helping anyway. In most things Harley was a good cook but says that he had two disasters. Once when he was hungry for rice, he set about to make a rice pudding in the oven. When he looked in to see how it was cooking, it was running over. He put half in another pan and added more liquid. The next time he looked in the oven, he had to get another pan and ended up with three pans of rice pudding. Another time he was hungry for layer cake. He never did figure out what caused it to rise to the top of the pans and run over into the oven, leaving a thin layer of crispy cake on the bottom and sides of the pans. Possibly not enough flourl
In 1917 the people saw a need for building a school. There were the Dyer children to the west, McKay boys to the south and others. On June 9, 1917 a meeting was held at the home of Harley Bradley and a district was organized which was four miles square. There was so much water covering the land that a committee had to find a hill to put the school on. One could dig any place and get good water twelve feet down. When a suitable site was found, they arranged to have gravel hauled for the foundation, lumber hauled for the building. The School was built by Gibson McLaughlin, the gentleman that owned the little log house that Harley and friends used for their first shelter. The school was finished late in 1918. The first School Board consisted of Andy Ashton, Alf Dyer and Frank Meadows. The first Secretary was William T. Ferguson who was paid twenty-five dollars per year (ten months). The school was named for an early settler, Colin McKay——
McKay School District, No. 1884. The first teacher, E. L. Kerr came in 1919 and stayed for two weeks—-he could not stand the mosquitoes. The second teacher was Bessie Robinson. First children were:
Edith and Bertha Dyer, Kenneth and Ross McKay, Wentz Lehman, Emily Kerr, Myrtle and Herbert Page. Later the school was moved to a site in the center of the district where it stands to this day. It
was used for more than a school---Political speeches, social evenings, dances, school meetings, parties, box and pie socials, Christmas concerts, Church services and Sunday School, showers for newly weds, whist drives, ball games, picnics and possibly other activies. What a thrill it was for the children when Edgar Russenholt brought a film to the school and drew cartoons of animals running around haystacks and kicking up their heels on the blackboard!
Miss Margaret Sims, who lived with her brothers, Dick and Will, saw a need for Sunday School in the district. The first Sunday School was held in her home and later Jack McKay told her that she was welcome to use the school for classes. She was teaching them hymns and when she would ask what hymn they would like to sing, Ross McKay always said, "Bringing in the Sheaves". One winter day his brother Ken said, "You crazy boy, how can anyone bring in sheaves when they are under six feet of snow?" She was teaching her class when the Rev. Pound called in and listened to her- teaching. He asked if the district would like him to hold Church there, so every other week. Rev. Pound went to McKay School to hold Church Services while "Aunt Margaret" taught the children. Rev. Pound was Baptist but would give a Service in any religion requested. He did not think that it mattered what religion one belonged to——just so one had a religion. He was such a
good man that it was a standing offer that wherever he was at nightfall, he could put his horse in the barn and spend the night there. In Bowsman River a church, the Pound Memorial, was erected in his honour. In 1931, he died a victim of cancer.
On the thirtieth of January, 1919, Harley married Iva Epier. It was a very cold day and when they arrived in Bowsman they were told that it was the coldest day of the winter to that time—-sixty
degrees F. below zero. They started out with a team of horses to go the thirteen miles to Bowsman and stopped part way at the home of Frank and Mary Snider. When Harley told Frank that they were going to Bowsman to be married, he put their team in the barn and hitched one of his horses to a cutter for them, so that travel would be faster. The family of Iva’s attendant had a very nice
wedding meal ready for Harley and Iva after the ceremony. When they got back to Snider’s, Mary
had a nice meal ready for them and when they arrived home, Katie Epier had a wedding supper ready for them. Times were hard and food was scarce but on their wedding day they were well fed.
In 1925, cattle were selling at anything from ten to thirty dollars a head and it was hard to support a family. By this time there were game laws and one could not live on wild meat. They had three children! Henry, Naomi and Irene. Parley's Father and Iva's Mother were living with them. Some time around then, Harley's Uncle, Albert J. Bradley and Aunt Caddie from Ohio visited them and thought Harley's would be better off in the States. Harley's Father thought so too. In the spring of 1925, they moved back to Whitehouse. Harley got a job in Toledo with the help of his friend, Tom Lewis, at the Willis Overland Company and Iva got a loom and wove rugs for sale. In 1929, conditions were getting just as bad in the States and Harley was having lung trouble. They travelled to other States to see if they could find a place where conditions would be better but found nothing that suited them as well as Canada. In August of 1929 they returned to Canada and lived on the original homestead that they still owned. In 1942-1943, Harley and family built another log house but this one was well finished on the inside and stuccoed on the outside. At this time Henry was serving in the army with the Winnipeg Rifles but Billy, who was born in Whitehouse in April 1929, and Naomi were still at home to help.
Over the years many improvements came to the district. The dear friends of homesteading days had better homes and again, during the "Dirty Thirties", every one helped each other. When bush fires threatened a home the neighbours would all turn out to fight them, when horses died with swamp fever and other ailments with no money to replace them, neighbours would come with their horses and sow the grain much needed for the coming winter. In 1947, Harley canvassed the neighbourhood to find how many would like telephones in their homes and in 1947 phones were added to the homes. Harley's was installed on Dec. 10, 1947—-the number was 330-r-2. Until this
time the nearest phone was in the home of John Putnam——five miles away. In 1955, Harley had
electricity installed in his home and the power was turned on in time for Christmas. By this time Henry was home from overseas and did the wiring. Henry also put running water in the house. Today if you were to go to the farm of the Harley Bradley’s with its fields of golden grain and
beautiful gardens, you would find it hard to believe that Harley had to climb a spruce tree to find a suitable spot to build a cabin in the woods.
Told to Rosalie I. Tennison by her Grandfather, Harley E. Bradley.