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Friday, 13 June 2014

Week 24 - William Sinclair

William Sinclair (1900 - 1974)

William (Bill) was the youngest son of James and Elizabeth Sinclair.  He took over the home farm along with his sister Ellen (Nellie) when his parents died in 1935.  He was a brother to my grandmother Mary as well as to Nellie, Jean, Lizzie and had one brother Alexander and a half brother James Henry. He raised Hereford cattle and grain farmed a section of beautiful farmland that included the Oak River winding through it.

Bill went to school at Bankburn School, across the road from the Northwest corner of their farm.  According to his sisters' old letters, he was also known as "Willie" to them.

He married Jessie Henry in July 1938.  She was the granddaughter of John Henry and Bill was the grandson of his brother William Henry.  Bill and Jessie had one son, Mitchell, who sadly died shortly after he was born.  

The couple went to Minot every year to stay with friends the Borgers there at their hotel.  Bill was involved locally with the Memorial Rink Board in Oak River in various roles.  My mom remembers him working at the food booth at the Oak River fair with his wife and sister every years.  He referred to them as "the girls"!

Sinclair house at 16-14-22 W1 in Blanshard, Manitoba

Sinclair barn - maybe Bill in the wagon? 
Uncle Bill and his sister Ellen were finalists in "The Farm of the Century" sponsored by Shell Oil in 1970.  The article below is taken from the Brandon Sun.  I have searched online for the booklet mentioned in the article but haven't found any mention of it anywhere.

Aunt Dodie had a funny story about her Uncle Bill in her memoirs.
During bad storms during the summer, we were always awoken to be taken downstairs. I was more than ready to come for I was down first. Many times, Bobby wouldn’t get up. I was first in Mum’s bed sleeping at the foot and felt safe. Years before in the old house (I don’t remember) they would take us to sit in an old cutter (sleigh) down behind the hen house. Uncle Bill Sinclair always said, they too got up to sit in the basement. He always said he still carried the marks of the potatoes on his “ass”. 

Bill on left with his brother in law Jack Morcom
Bill on the right, unknown on the left


The photo at the right is Bill with his sister Lizzie.  His wild hair make me laugh and sometimes I think I inherited it!  Uncle Bill lived across the road from me growing up and although I was 10 when he died, I remember him clearly at New Years gatherings at their home.  
Family friend and neighbour, Alvina, can remember being invited to see Bill's pride and joy, his decorated tree on Christmas Eve in the late 50's and early 60's. It was huge, in the parlour, and decorated with everything you can imagine!
I remember the cold day in 1974 when he died. Dad remembers that Bill had to quit smoking cigarettes due to his emphysema a few years earlier.  He is buried at White Bank Lea Cemetery in Blanshard, MB

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