FORGOTTEN PIONEERS

FORGOTTEN PIONEERS

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

Recent research into our local past undertaken by the Pincher Creek and District Historical Society has unearthed three individuals nearly obliterated by time: Arthur Jarrod of the North Fork District; Sayers of Beauvais Lake; and Edwin Nixon of the Lundbreck area. Each made interesting contributions to our Prairie Canadian heritage yet all three met with unfortunate early deaths. Today, little is actually known of these obscure pioneers.

ARTHUR JARROD: CONNECTED WITH BAILLIE RANCH
It is believed that Arthur Jarrod was born in England circa 1858. Folklore indicates that as an adult, he served in the British Navy and may have seen much of the world as the Navy protected the high seas in defense of the British Empire. This sea career earned Jarrod the nickname of “Sailor Jack”, a name that he carried with him into Canada.

By the early 1900s, “Sailor Jack” Jarrod had found work as a ranch hand on the Baillie Ranch, situated in the picturesque North Fork District on the southwestern corner of the Canadian Prairies. When precisely he arrived and the specific nature of his work is not known as his name does not appear in either the 1901 or 1906 Dominion Censuses. However, it is understood that he was adept in the use of horses, a stringent requirement for most work on any western ranch. His obituary in the Pincher Creek Echo stated that he was “a quiet, steady fellow” which would have been appreciated by the Baillie Ranch. Reliable hired hands were actively sought after by ranch employers who needed people dedicated to the hard, outdoor work. This appears to be the case with Jarrod who also seems to have been well-known within the local ranching industry. It was said that he had many area friends and acquaintances.

However, Jarrod’s often dangerous ranch work ended in his own demise. An unfortunate accident took place the evening of Friday, July 3rd, 1908, and was reported in the Pincher Creek Echo the following week. The story goes that Jarrod was riding a “spirited” horse which bolted and “ran into the corral fence”. The ranch hand was crushed against the fence, resulting in extensive internal injuries in addition to several broken ribs and a badly damaged shoulder. First aid, rudimentary as it was on the Western Canadian frontier, was summoned but it was realized overnight that the victim would have to be taken to the hospital for further treatment. The following morning, two of his friends, Charlie Martin and Wallace Owen, brought Jarrod to Cowley with the plan of boarding him on the C.P.R. for the train journey to Lethbridge where he would be treated at the Galt Hospital. However, the poor fellow passed away prior to their arrival at the Cowley station.

His funeral was held the following Monday and internment took place in the Livingstone Cemetery. Arrangements were handled by the Robinson Funeral Parlour which may have been located in Cowley. A sad ending had come to the early ranch hand.

HISTORICAL MYSTERIES: MESSRS. SAYERS AND NIXON
A second local pioneer from the same era also met with an early passing. Known only as Mr. Sayers (his given name has not survived the ravages of time), he resided on the Pincher Creek nearly three-quarters of a mile upstream from the Jughandle Ranch of Marie Rose and Charlie Smith. Nearby were both Beauvais Lake and the Christie Coal Mine. Like his neighbour Marie Rose Smith, Sayers came from a Metis heritage. In early July, 1906 Sayers fell ill with pneumonia. Dr. Turnbull was called who urged that the very ill patient be transported to the Memorial Hospital in Pincher Creek for medical care. Yet fate was not on Sayers’ side as he also passed away in transport to town. His death occurred on Sunday, July 8th.

A resident of Lundbreck for two years but a native of Scotland was that of Edwin Nixon. His family remained back overseas. It is believed that this young fellow may have worked in one of the coal mines at Lundbreck and was instantly killed in a cave-in which occurred the morning of Wednesday, February 28th, 1906. An inquest held the following day ruled the death accidental. His body was shipped by train to Pincher Creek where a funeral was held at 2 p.m. that Saturday afternoon.

These are the type of frontier individuals for whom we are seeking further historical information. Should any of our readers know of these pioneers and their chronologies, we would appreciate hearing from you. Please give Farley at the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village at call – the phone number is (403) 627-3684 and the email address is fswuth.kbpv@gmail.com.