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John and Salome (Trautwein) Lobe

These notes were compiled by the children of John and Salome for the "Lobe Family History" done for the 1996 Lobe Reunion held in Medicine Hat, AB, Canada

John and Salome Lobe were 22 years old when their first child was born at Harvey, North Dakota. They had family on both sides within short distances from one another. There were hardships due to crop failures, fire or illness. Many friends and relatives lost their lives at the time of the 1918 flu epidemic. Among the family members who did not survive were Grandmother Louise Lobe, her son Gottfried, and his wife Mary (Kohls) Lobe.

One winter night the hired man came home at midnight and had to alarm John that there was evidence of a fire in the attic. The children were taken out in night attire and wrapped in bedding and placed in a large sleigh box in the yard. All family members were brought out safely but the only material thing saved was a sewing machine which had been thrust out the back door! The children were upset over the loss of their pretty toys. There were many dolls, some which they were allowed to play with on a daily basis and special large ones that were kept in the spare quest room only to be visited occasionally and placed back on an adult sized rocking chair after listening to the "mama" sounds and straightening out their large bonnets. Albert had a merri-go-round of cowboys on horses which played western tunes when wound up. Uncle Gottleib Hirschkorn who was very handy in woodworking had built them a table and chair set complete with cabinet to hold the little girls' china tea sets. Among other precious belongings were the fine linens with edgings of crochet or lace tatting and other handicraft pieces that Salome had made. Also the family portraits, some of which could never be replaced. The family was welcomed to a smaller home in the neighborhood a half mile away. They were showered with furniture, clothing and other essentials from friends, relatives and neighbours.

A year later, in April 1923, after three successive years of drought, John set out to search for a better life and the much advertised land that the Canadian Pacific Railway was offering as homestead territory. He had searched for land on an earlier trip to southern Saskatchewan and it is believed to have been as early as 1909 or 1910. This time he took his family with him. They traveled by wagon which was covered in and drawn by horses and then by train to Mervin, SK, Canada. At that time there were 8 children. Emma, the eldest, was 15 years and 8 months old, and the youngest, Herbert, was a baby. Linda remembers Herb, a one and a half year old, singing "He loves me too" on the train, taught to him by another passenger. He couldn't pronounce it so sang 'He lud e too". When they landed at Mervin, Dad Lobe could not find land immediately, so the station master, Mr. Bob Gemmel, seeing his plight, said he could live in the upstairs of their house (which was the train station) if his wife okayed it and the children were quiet. They first lived at Bob Gemmel's farm for the a few weeks that summer, then moved to the Clover Lake district to Archie Gemmel's farm, near Mervin Saskatchewan.

Ella started school entering grade 7 but in June she had a nervous breakdown and then St. Vitus Dance. She was tied down on the couch to keep her still. Then, in 1924 Ella was stricken with poliomyelitis, but they didn't know wat it was at first. She was 13-14 years of age. Needless to say she suffered immensely. Ella never did go back to school. Lillian and Alfred had been in school also, but did not go back. Emma was married to Ted Leischner while they lived in Mervin, so did not move to Fairholme. A new member was added to the family when Gordon was born.

In April, 1926 the family moved to the homestead. This was eleven miles north of Fairholme, Saskatchewan (S.E. Section 7, Twp 53, Range 17, W3rd). They traveled in two wagons frim Mervin to Fairholme, with the cattle herded behind. When they got their, John claimed a homestead which cost $10.00, consisting of 160 acres. The family moved into an Indian log cabin with a sod roof which was four miles from the homestead. John put up a big tent in which the older kids all slept. The babies and parents slept in the cabin. John would go to the homestead every day with the family, cut logs and started building a house of logs with a board roof. It was one room downstairs with a curtain to partition a bedroom for the parents. Upstairs were two bedrooms, one for the girls and one for the boys. In the fall they chinked the cracks of the house with mud made from dirt and water, which the kids trampled with their geet to mix. The inside of the cabin was also covered, and then white-washed, about four feet up. It wasn't until 1930 that they got a wood floor in the house.

Ella taught the younger kids to read and write, as there was no school until 1930(?). Anne Born was the first teacher. The farm families got together to build the school. It was two miles from the Lobe farm and called the Speedwell School.

Freida and Herb once played funeral, killing a chicken to do it, Linda tattled, and needless to say, they got mad at her!

John Lobe had a lumber and mill operation while on the homestead. This gave work to farmers in the district whose crops were poor in the 1930's. His sons also worked with John, hauling logs, and Herbert was a sawyer. In 1944 John moved the family to Cold Lake, Alberta due to less government restrictions in that province. Herbert, Gordon and Ernie were still living at home. The timbers were cut in the bush from forest that John received in a lease to cut trees. Stumpage had to be certain specifications and government inspectors would come to the sites to make sure the rules were followed. The logs were often floated in - across the lake, and then sawed in Cold Lake.

Bumper Wheat Harvest of 1908 Brought Good Times to Harvey
excerpted from the Harvey ND, 75th Jubilee, Growing with Pride, 1906-1981 . . .; Published by the Odessa Digital Library - 20 May 1996;

As true in 1908 as it is today, when the farmer was fortunate enough to come through with a good crop, and he received a fair price for his products, the merchants and businessmen prospered also.

This was evidenced in 1908 when during the months of July and August over 150 new binders were sold by the Harvey machinery dealers in face of a bumper crop brought on by ideal weather conditions.

During the month of August, just prior to the preparation for harvest, the Soo Line side-tracked a 35 carload shipment of binder twine for local merchants, valued at $25,000, and which sold for 11 cents a pound.

H.H. Phillips of the Harvey Mercantile, broke all records that season when he sold nine Advance separators and six Advance engines, in addition to ordering two gasoline rigs which at that time were difficult to get shipment on.

An estimated 100,000 acres of grain stood in the fields of this territory ready to be harvested as farmers began contracting for harvest rigs and crews.

The first wheat harvested that season was on the John Lobe farm. It was of the Blue Steam variety and was hauled to Harvey on August 19, where it was graded No. 1 Northern, running 60 pounds to the bushels and sold for 98 cents per bushel.

The crop average throughout the area was 10 to 12 bushels per acre, and by October 15, 475 carloads of grain had been shipped from the elevators.

Nick Roller was credited with the best yield, having harvested 3,000 bushels from a 125 acre field.

Linked toJohann "John" LOBE; Salome TRAUTWEIN

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