Saturday, 27 September 2014

Week 39 - Jessie Ann Henry Sinclair

Jessie Ann Henry Sinclair (1904 - 1987)

Jessie was the eldest child and only daughter of Samuel Henry Sr. and Amelia Ollett, born on January 19, 1904 on 22-13-21. They lived and farmed there aside for a few years when they owned and ran a livery barn in the nearby town of Rivers. Her 3 brothers were Bill, Sam (from Week 33 of this blog) and Jim.  Jessie herself wrote this passage in the Medina School history book written in the 1980's.
My school days started in the spring of 1909 in Rivers Where I lived with my father, mother and two brothers, Bill and Sam.  I had gone to school in the morning so happy and came home proudly carrying a paper with all I had learned that morning.  I also carried a letter home to mother from the teacher informing her not to send me back in the afternoon as the classroom was overcrowded, so my school days were short-lived.
School was important to the Henry family so the move was made back to the farm at 22-13-21 where the family attended Medina School #402.
So the years went by, very rewarding years, as I always loved school work and enjoyed the evenings in the winter time, studying and working at grammar, spelling and arithmetic.
She wrote her entrance exams in Rapid City, after having taken Grade 6 and 7 in one year.  She likely could have continued her schooling in Rapid City but the decision was made that at 13 years old, she stay at home and help with the daily chores.  Her contribution to the little history book gives a remarkable glimpse of life in the teens in rural Manitoba.
Spring was an exciting time for school children. With the breakup and run-off, the ravine between our home and the school always flooded, going over the road and taking the culvert out. The men came to our rescue, wearing their hip waders and carried us across. When the water subsided and before the municipality got around to repairing the damage, we wore high rubber boots and crossed the ravine by holding onto the page wire fence and inching our way along, mesh by mesh. If it sounds easy, try it sometime.

Jessie and Bill Sinclair - 1940's.  My dad remembers that the car they are standing in front of was the Simms' Model A Ford, the one he drove to the Municipal Office to tell them he was now 16 so they could issue him his driver's license!  It was also the School Van for many years when at least 10 kids would pile into it for the trip into Oak River.  The car in the background to the right is the Sinclair's 1934 Chevy Coupe.  

  Jessie married my great uncle, Bill Sinclair in 1938 and lived the rest of her life on Bankburn Farm with her sister-in-law Nellie.  Bill and Jessie had one child, Mitchell in 1939 who only lived a short time and sadly, they had no more children.  She did love children however and we were always welcome and treated royally in her house. She and I seem to be kindred spirits as she had a keen interest in family history as well.  Accounts of the children, spouses and grandchildren of John and Jennet Henry complied by her were in the chest of papers I inherited from Aunt Dodie.  Henry connection Mary Bole told me about Jessie travelling to Lethbridge to visit her in 1978 with a suitcase of Henry photos and family trees.  Aunt Jessie is well remembered for her positive attitude and a cheery smile for everyone despite living with arthritis for many years.  She died at aged 83 in Hamiota Hospital in 1987. 

This photo is so typical of Jessie and Nellie,side by side.  This is taken in the kitchen with the wood stove and basement stairs door behind them.  By their attire, I wonder if it was 1967, for a centennial celebration.

1930's ? - Jack Wareham (maybe), Lizzie Sinclair, Bill and Jessie Sinclair.

1930's ? - Jessie, Lizzie and Nellie Sinclair

Aunts in 1940 - back Olive Biccum Henry, Nellie Sinclair, Mary Simms
front - Lizzie Sinclair, Jean Fortune, Jessie Sinclair

Aunts in the 80's - Margaret Simms, Nellie Sinclair, Lizzie Morcom and Jessie Sinclair
Sinclair connections at the Century Farm Sign presentation in 1981.  Jessie in the front row in the blue dress

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