Monday, 18 May 2015

Steven Carruthers (1873 - 1939)

Steven was the brother of my great grandmother Margaret Carruthers Kinnaird.  He was born in Winchester, Ontario on April 12, 1873, the son of Andrew William Carruthers and Jean Steven.  As the second youngest of a family of eight, he soon realized he would need to move west to get his own land.  At the age of 19, it seems it did just that.

The local history book called Prairie Neighbours written in 1981 says that Steven came west to Kinsmore, north of Lenore in 1892 but eventually decided to homestead in 1894 at Umatilla, north of Grandview, Manitoba.  The image below from Western Land Grants is for the Northwest Quarter of 28, township 26 in range 23 W1.  

On July 1, 1896 a marriage between 23 year old Steven and Grace McCrae who was 17,  was recorded at Strathclair, Manitoba. Online records say she had been born on November 28, 1878 in Grandview, Manitoba to James McRae and Jane Steven.  

Research on the town of Grandview has found that T.A. Barrows built the largest saw mill in Manitoba in Grandview in 1903 on the banks of the Valley River.  The incredible thing to me is that this operation employed up to 1000 men at one time between logging, planing and milling lumber to supply the pioneers to the south.  This enterprise continued for 5 years until a larger mill opened by Mr. Burrows at Bowsman.  This prosperity meant that Grandview has water sewer and electric systems second only to Winnipeg in Manitoba at that time.  

The 1901 Canadian Census showed Steven and Grace on their farm, north of Grandview, with 3 children.  Ten years later the family lists seven children and in 1916 there are nine.  
Thanks to Ancestry contributor "Bowdige60" for the above photo of Grace and Steven.
On the 1921 census the same nine children are listed and three of them are recorded as being "deaf and mute".  If that was true, what a challenge that must have been in so many ways.  One more daughter was born after this census.  Ten children would be another challenge but large families were the custom of many of the Carruthers families it seems.  

Steven and Grace's 4 sons and 6 daughters were named Stewart (also spelled Stuart), Ross, Mabel, William, Elsie, Jane(Jean), Les, Hazel, Edith and Grace.  Their community would have included the nearest school called Spruce Bluff and the United Church at Umatilla.  The Prairie Neighbours book says that as the boys came to working age, they came to the Hargrave-Victor area where they were employed as hired men for local farmers.  The eldest son Stewart married and had 4 sons in the Virden area and Elsie married Charlie Forester (who ran the Pool Room)  and had 2 sons and 2 daughters who lived in the same area.  
This wonderful photo was taken at a studio in Virden by W. Henfrey from the 20's of Elsie and Jean Carruthers.  It was among photos in my Grandma and Grandpa's trunk.  

Grace died on April 14, 1949, ten years after Steven who passed away on October 31, 1939.  Both are buried in Grandview Cemetery.  

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