THE REDMOND BROTHERS

Brothers Alfred and John Redmond were homesteaders who resided in the Summerview District northeast of Pincher Creek. Not as well remembered as some of the other local pioneers, we thought it would be interesting to note some of their history.

by Farley Wuth, Curator,
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village
Copyright, Pincher Creek & District Historical Society

LOCAL LEGACY OF ALRED REDMOND

Alfred Walker Redmond was the elder of the two siblings. He was born April 1868 in Richell, Ireland. According to the Dominion Census records of 1911, he immigrated to Canada at the age of 35 years in 1903. His ancestry was listed as Irish but his new nationality as Canadian. In terms of religion, originally he was affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Alfred Redmond arrived in the Pincher Creek area early in 1903 and on June 8th of that year, filed on a homestead on the southwest quarter of Section 4, Township 8, Range 29, West of the Fourth Meridian. This land is located on the north side of the Oldman River with a gently sloping watershed facing to the south. His original application fee cost ten dollars. In less than six years, effective April 23rd, 1909, Redmond had made the required residency, building and crop/livestock improvements on the homestead to prove up on it, and he became its landowner. He noted in his homestead application that his only absences from the property resulted from his working at the mines in Moyie and Kimberley, both located in British Columbia. Such workings off the farm allowed him to earn extra income required to survive on the Canadian frontier.

Redmond’s dwelling was a twelve by eighteen lumber house valued at 150 dollars. Outback was a 16 by 20 barn and 12 by 12 granary supplemented by a poultry house and pig pen. Collectively the outbuildings were valued at 120 dollars. The property was all fenced with the fencing worth 200 dollars. On the quarter Redmond had a small herd of animals which included two horses and thirteen pigs by 1908. In 1905 he had ten acre ploughed and planted in crops. By 1908 the total acreage dedicated to crops was 25.

The quarter proved to be ideal for agriculture, being close to water and often having a steady source travelling down through its watershed. It had extensive natural grasslands and proved to be ideal for raising cattle. Local folklore indicates that its only drawback was a lack of shelter from the prevailing northerly and westerly winds. This particularly was noticeable during the winter months; although the winds blowing in from the west brought with them the welcomed Chinooks, the northern counterpart usually was indicative of an impending storm.

Redmond’s quarter was located near the centre of the old Summerview School District No. 1360. Although he did not have a family of his own, he was an enthusiastic ratepayer of this old rural educational centre that operated from early 1900s to after the Second World War.

Alfred Redmond passed away the morning of Saturday, February 23rd, 1929. He was just approaching his 61st birthday and his death came unexpectedly as he had been ill only for a week or so. His funeral was held the following Tuesday (February 26th) at the United Church in Pincher Creek. Reverend Neville Bunt of St. John’s Church of England conducted the service. Redmond’s passing was recorded in the Pincher Creek Echo and keenly regretted by his friends and neighbors. There was a large turnout of people from both town and the rural areas attending his funeral.

SIBLINGS JOHN AND WILLIAM REDMOND
Redmond’s brother John J. was four years younger, having been born in June 1872. He too was born and raised in Richell, Ireland. Also possessing an abiding interest in pursuing an agricultural career on the Western Canadian frontier, he immigrated to Canada in 1900, three years in advance of his brother. John was only 28 years of age at the time. The 1911 Census lists his ancestry as Irish, his nationality Canadian, and his occupation as a farmer as well. His property was located in Township 8, Range 29, West of the Fourth Meridian, and was only a short distance from Alfred’s quarter. According to the area’s folklore, John’s farming efforts were well rewarded as it thrived for many years. Cattle were a regular feature on his quarter. In 1923, John married Bridget Joinson with the ceremony taking place in Bellevue. It is understood that John may have pre-deceased his brother Alfred.

The two siblings were outlived by a third brother William who resided south of the line in Spokane, Washington. Press reports indicate that he came up to southwestern Alberta to take care of Alfred’s affairs.

Research sources used for this history article include back issues of the Pincher Creek Echo housed in the archives of the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village as well the homestead records held by the Provincial Archives of Alberta but accessible online via ancestry.com.

The Redmonds are one of those pioneer families for whom we are seeking additional information. Their histories are arranged in the publicly accessible archives and laminated scanned copies of any old photographs can be utilized for our exhibits as needed. If you have such heritage to offer on this old time family or any other area pioneer, please give Farley at call at (403) 627-3684 or e-mail me at fswuth@gmail.com. Your efforts to preserve our vibrant local history are well appreciated.

THE REDMOND BROTHERS