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History Book


The following information is from page 82 to 88 of Crandall History Book, 2000.

Family Histories:
Johns; Johnson; Johnston

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Johns, Olive
Wilbur & Helen Johns Continuing the history from the Crandall Chronicles book of 1971 of Wilbur and Helen (Nellie) Johns and their family, they took up residence in the Crandall district in 1911, where they farmed until Wilbur's death in 1944. Helen passed away very suddenly in 1949, soon after moving to Crandall.
Their eldest daughter, Mamie, was born in 1911 and died in 1922.
Their eldest son, Alvin, married Laura Colbeck of Hamiota, Manitoba. After serving the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders during World War II, they lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba where Alvin worked for the Grain Exchange. They later moved to Port Moody, British Columbia where he served as Post Master until his health failed. Alvin passed away in 1969 and Laura died in 1989. They had two sons, Larry (deceased) and Wayne, now living in British Columbia.
Wilbur and Helen's son Elmer married Helen Anderson, of Shoal Lake, Manitoba. They farmed at Lavinia, Manitoba until due to Elmer's ill health they moved to Hamiota in 1991. Elmer passed away in 1992. Helen still resides in Hamiota. They had five children Joyce, Darlene, Beverley, Murray and Dallas.
Daughter, Margaret, married Stan Lelond of Arrow River, Manitoba where they farmed before moving to Haywood, Manitoba and later retired to Treherne, Manitoba. Stan passed away in 1986 and Margaret in 1991. They had a family of four, Donnie (deceased in 1988), Sharon, Ross and Ralph.
Son Lyle married Olive Rockley of Lavinia. They farmed the "Johns" family farm at Crandall. They moved to Decker in 1975 and Lyle passed away in 1983. Olive moved to Rivers, Manitoba where she now resides. They have four children Heather, Elaine, Beth and Robbi.

Johnson, Morgan and Myrtle
Continuing the Johnson saga from 1971.
Myrtle moved from Park Residence in Hamiota, Manitoba to Heritage Lodge in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she lived until she passed away in December 1975.
Daughter, Shirley Sanford and husband, Fred still live in Chatham, Ontario and enjoy travelling. Their son, Douglas is a Musical Director of the Toronto East Symphony Orchestra as well as of the Okanagan Symphony out of Kelowna, British Columbia. He commutes between the two cities.
Son, Garth was killed in a plane crash in Scotland in 1944. His wife, June Marie died in Kanata, Ontario in 1997. His son Garth Laycock, retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force, and is working now for the R.C.M.P. in Nelson, British Columbia. He and his wife, Roni live in Castlegar, British Columbia. Their son Garth Craig lives in Edmonton, Alberta with his wife, Brenda, son Cody Garth and daughter Kacy June.
Son, Morgan and wife Eleanor, retired in Winnipeg and built a lovely home on the eighth hole of the golf course at Sandy Hook, Manitoba where they spend their summers. For many years they have spent their winters in Arizona. Their family consists of two boys and two girls. Brian and wife, Shyrl, live in California. Their sons Jeffery and Jason live in Santa Barbara, California and Princeton, New Jersey. Son, Greg and his wife Betty live in Cranbrook, British Columbia with their daughter Kelly Ann (16). Their son, Kurtis, (22) lives in Kamloops, British Columbia. Daughter Karen and Murray live in Barrie, Ontario with her daughter Lindy (15). Her other daughter, Dana (19) lives in Orangeville, Ontario. Daughter, Kim and husband Mark Woods live in Transcona, Manitoba with their children, Jesse (12) and twins Carly Morgan and Jamie (10).
Son Stuart and wife Donna lived and taught in Winnipeg. Since their retirement from the teaching profession, they have enjoyed many trips to Great Britain, continental Europe, Mexico, South America, New Zealand and Australia. Three winter months have been spent each year in Arizona, USA.

Johnston, Alice V. (nee Smith)
Alice is retired and enjoying family and friends in Brandon, Manitoba.

Johnston, Brian
I was born in 1943 at Deloraine, Manitoba. I was a curiosity, as I was born with a tooth.
In 1948, after living the first five years of my life at Dand, Manitoba, I moved with my parents, Herbert V. and Dorothy (Stewart) Johnston, my brother Neil and sister Mary Helen, to the A.B.C. Dickey farm (SW 12-14- 25) 1.6 km north of Crandall.
I started school in Crandall in 1949. My first day of school I got into a fight with Neil Amy and came out the second best. When I got home there was a "Radio Flyer" wagon waiting for me. It was my reward for going to school without too much protest. We are still using pieces of this wagon on the farm.
I took all my schooling in Crandall. My teachers were Miss Vera Johnston, Miss. Velma Sherritt, Miss. June Turner, Miss. Wilma Beattie, Miss. Evelyn Frost, Mr. Paul Kuch, Miss. Joan Teal, Mrs. Doris Rampling, Mrs. Audrey Lints, Mrs. Jean Kitz, Miss. Bergan, Mr. Joan Suszko and Mr. Bill Davison.
I finally graduated in 1962. Back when I went to school, girls wore skirts and they never smoked or swore. The boys had short haircuts. We were all afraid of the teachers, as they weren't afraid to use the strap. Miss Teal administered that punishment on me. Nowadays, the teachers are afraid of the students.
All the boys participated in sports, even the not so gifted ones like myself. Baseball, hockey, rugby and curling were the main sports. Neil Amy was by far the best athlete I went to school with. The girls played softball, dodgeball and volleyball.
In the fifties we were allowed to listen to the World Series on the radio and curl in the Crandall Bonspiel during class. When Mr. Bill Davison became the principal in the late fifties, he put an end to these perks.
In July of 1962, I began employment with the Royal Bank of Canada, serving in Hamiota, Pine Falls, Lac du Bonnet, Roland and Baldur, Manitoba. I resigned in 1965 to come home to farm the R.L. Dickey farm. This consisted of the E1/2 and SW 1/4 of 11-14-25.
After harvest. Herb Johnston, son of Garnet and Alice and I worked on the construction of the Shellmouth Dam. Al Hirst was the night foreman on the project. Later when freeze up came. Herb and I went to Alberta and worked with a seismic company at Zama Lake. The three following years I returned to Alberta in the winter and worked for Braidnor, an oil field construction company. I worked at Swan Hills, Rainbow Lake and then back at Zama Lake.
I served on the church board and was the last secretary for the Manitoba Pool Elevators Crandall board. The Crandall elevator closed in 1980. The last elevator manager, Karen Koloski of Oakburn, was the first female to hold that position in western Canada.
In 1985, I had a new shed built, purchased a new truck and took a trip to the Yukon. That same year, Melanie Ellis of Lenore came to live with me. She was 20 years my junior and had somewhat of a free spirit. Having a steady job and money seemed to come secondary to her. One day she made $50.00 and that night she blew it all on a case of beer and a pizza.
In 1993 Melanie fell off a horse and suffered a severe head injury. She was in the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg for 33 days. She spent some time at Brandon Mental Hospital and then came home. She was never quite the same. That winter she moved in with Wayne Van Buskirk and is still there.
In 1995, I eased out of farming and started a custom cutting and baling operation. I work for farmers within a thirty-mile radius.
In 1996 Aline de Montigny and her daughter, Rachelle Saindon, came to live with me. Rachelle stayed with us for one year and then she moved to Hamiota and went to school from there.
Aline grew up in the St. Boniface and St. Anne areas. She married, moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta and lived there for sixteen years when she divorced and moved back to Manitoba. Besides Rachelle, Aline has a son, Louis who lives in Hamiota.
I had been having anxiety attacks for several years. In 1997 I went to a psychiatrist, who happened to be Allison Gunson. Allison and I rode the same school bus. It was determined that thirty years of alcohol abuse caused my problem. Dr. Gunson put me on medication and I quit drinking and have not had an attack since.
In 1999 Aline and I married and continue to live on the farm at SW 12-14-25.

Johnston, Dennis Elwyn
November 28, 1940
Dennis has retired from his teaching career, which spanned 36 years. He taught elementary school in Miniota, Waskada, Brandon, and Shilo, Manitoba. He also taught mathematics for many years in the high school at Shilo. Dennis received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1973 from the Brandon University. He met his wife when she was in nurse's training at the Hamiota Hospital. Helen graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She worked at the Assiniboine Hospital and the Fairview Nursing Home until retirement. She was a stay at home mother while her three daughters were in school.
After Dennis' retirement in 1996 he worked as a fishing guide for Plummer's Lodges at Great Bear Lake in the North West Territories, and as a fishing camp manager for Scott Lake Lodge which is at the northern edge of Saskatchewan. He presently is a licensed guide for Manitoba, a certified guide for Saskatchewan, and is returning to Plummer's Lodge this summer.
Dennis and Helen are now living in Brandon. Their car is going to be travelling many miles/kilometres as they travel to visit their daughters. Tari (Faulkner) and her family are in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jodi (Thornton) and her family reside in Washburn, Wisconsin. Traci (McCutchin) and her husband have been posted to Thompson, Manitoba. Their histories appear elsewhere in this book.

Johnston, Garnet Elwyn
(May 17, 1917-June25, 1986)
Interred in the Family plot in the Crandall Cemetery.

Johnston: Jacob, Leonard, Delymer, Hirst, Elliot and Strain
By Mayme Hirst (Daughter)
Life and Crandall have changed greatly since the publication of the Chronicles of Crandall. We don't have much of a town left, but we are a great little community even if we are few.
Delymer Johnston The Jacob and Margaret Johnston (my great grandparents) branch of the Johnstons came to an end name wise with the death of my father Delymer Johnston, on December 24, 1993. Dad truly went home for Christmas.


Leonard Johnston & Dana Hirst Grandpa Leonard Johnston passed away July 14, 1971 at the age of 92. On August 10, 1974 our mother Mary Johnston, died suddenly of a heart attack. Dad continued to farm with his grandson, Bob for a few years until he retired to Park Residence in Hamiota following a hip replacement operation. Though he lived elsewhere, his heart was in Crandall and on the farm.
Allan's and my sons attended Crandall school. Bob and Murray went to Hamiota when they reached Grade 9 and Dana when he reached Grade 6 and Crandall school closed. They were all very active in sports, especially hockey, baseball, 4-H and hunter safety while they were still in Crandall. They also enjoy hunting and fishing.
Bob continued his studies at the Assiniboine Community College, taking Drafting and Surveying. Upon graduation he worked out of Lynn Lake, Manitoba, surveying, then came home and went farming with "Gramps".
In 1976, Bob attended a cousin's wedding in Selkirk, met Lorraine Helgason, formerly of Hecia Island, and married her on February 19, 1977. Lorraine was a Dental Assistant. Bob and Lorraine farmed with my dad until 1989 when they quit farming, moving to Brandon, Crandall and Hamiota, and finally in 1992, to Selkirk, where Bob is head custodian at the Mapleton School. Lorraine works with home care. They have three sons, Robert "Bradley"- April 27, 1978. Gordon "Trent" born June 22 1980, and "Gregory" Steven born June 18,1983. Bradley and Trent have both graduated. Gregory is in grade 11 at the Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive School.
Brad has been involved in the Canada World Youth movement. While Brad was president of L.S.R.D., he and Trent organized a wrestling club. Brad now referees all over Manitoba, but also coaches. Trent has taken some of his training at Hart Wrestling School in Calgary, Alberta but is now nursing a sore knee. He plans on returning when his knee is healed. Gregory is more into volleyball, basketball, and snow boarding.
Shortly after graduating Murray found employment with Manitoba Hydro. After a couple of knee surgeries, climbing poles was out, so he began operating a digger truck. In 1996 he received his twenty-year safe driving award, and in 1998 he was given his twenty- year safe working award.
In 1983, Murray was transferred to Virden having worked at Thompson, Shoal Lake and trouble shooting in various locations. Here he met Tracy Leech. They were married June 21, 1986. In November of 1990 Murray was again moved, this time to Swan River where he remains. Murray and Tracy have two sons. Brenden Lee was born in 1988 and Geoffery Wade born in 1990. They both attend the French Immersion school in Swan River. Both Brenden and Geoffery are active in sports, hockey and baseball. Hockey is a legacy from Great Grandpa Delymer and Grandpa Al and a favourite of their dad and their uncles.
Dana, upon graduation worked for the Canadian National Railroad for a few months, then in the oil fields around Ponoka, Alberta. On returning to Manitoba he was employed by Manitoba Hydro for a season. He married Wendy Lawrence of Newdale on September 20, 1980 and lived in Hamiota for a couple of years. Wendy worked in the Co-Op store. In early 1984 they moved to Virden where Dana worked for the town for the next fifteen years. After he left this job, he again worked on the oil rigs in Northern Alberta for a few months. Dana now works for the Department of Highways. Dana and Wendy have two daughters, Katherine "Charlene" born in 1983 and "Shannon" Loree born in 1984.
Dana and Wendy have passed onto their girls their love of music and sports, Wendy being an accomplished pianist and Dana at one time very much into hockey and baseball. The girls were avid and talented baseball players when they were younger. When reaching junior high and collegiate, volleyball, basketball and track and field became more interesting and popular. Charlene will be attending Dickinson University this August, having earned a generous volleyball scholarship. She has just received word that her essay on " What Freedom means to Me", has taken first prize provincially. Charlene has a grade 5 in piano and plays the flute in the band. She has many medals and awards to attest to volleyball expertise. In 1998, her team (Virden) won the provincials in the AAA competition, and in 1999 lost the final game in AAAA. Drama is a new interest for her final year of school. She has a keen interest in Norway and all things Norwegian and maintains an 85% average academically.
Shannon plays guitar, volleyball, basketball and track and field. She has three school awards as MVP of the year in both events. However, her true love is track and field, especially high jump. She has an awesome display of medals. The Virden Legion has sponsored her at camp in the Peace Gardens for three years. From this camp she has gone to their national camps in St. Johns Newfoundland, Prince George, British Columbia and Halifax Nova Scotia bringing home medals each time, and breaking records in high jump. She now jumps higher then she is tall.
As for the elder Hirsts we led a busy and interesting life raising our sons. Everytime we thought of "maybe" a trip to Hawaii, another son planned a wedding, of which I have many happy memories.
Al Hirst on Backhoe Allan had gone into the backhoe business in 1967, operating it successfully for 22 years. When Bob and Lorraine quit farming, Allan and I bought the original homestead 10-14-25 in 1987. However, we did not get to enjoy it for very long, as returning from work on September 28, 1989 Allan died in a truck accident.
For a couple of years Dad and I tried farming but it was just not feasible. Looking at the farm situation today, I am glad to be out of it. I am very happy to say that I sold the farm to my cousin Larry and Eileen Dnistranski. It is still in my family- sort of.
My sister Bernice and Don Elliot are still in Rivers, Manitoba. Don is retired from the Manitoba Telephone System and Bernice from the Rivers Personal Care Home. They have two daughters. Pat and Cindy.
Pat married Richie Peters of Cardale where they presently farm. Pat became a registered nurse, however she gave up on that and works for a Cresting company in Brandon. Pat and Richie have three sons, Chad born in 1986, Scott in, 198 , and Tyson in 1991. All three boys are really into hockey and baseball. Chad referees hockey as well as playing.
Cindy married Robert Lee of Winnipeg. Rob works in the Pharmaceutical industry in Winnipeg. Cindy and Rob have two children, a daughter Kiana, born in 1992 and a son Keegan born in 1994. Both children attend a French Immersion school in Edmonton, Alberta.
Gail and Ivan Strain moved to Boissevain, Manitoba with Debby and Darcy in May 1969. Tracy (Spud) Strain was born in October of that year.
Ivan worked for the Boissevain Credit Union, and then in 1973 switched professions and went to work for CJRB radio, 1220 Boissevain, where he is presently employed. Gail started to work for the Royal Bank of Canada on April 1, 1975 until April 3, 2000 when she took early retirement. Through the years Debby, Darcy and Spud completed their schooling in Boissevain and then went out into the work force.
Debby worked at the land titles office in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba where she met Jim Odium from Pilot Mound, Manitoba. Jim is an auto body repair technician. They were married June 6,1992 and moved to Brandon where Jim worked at Boyd Auto body. Debby worked for a film crew that was producing a movie in Brandon, and then when that was completed, went to work for MACC. In 1993, they had the opportunity to take a partnership in an auto body shop in Pilot Mound where they now own the Circle J Auto body. In 1996, their son Justin James Odium was born. Justin is the first grandchild for Ivan and Gail. In July 2000 they expect to present them with their fifth grandchild.
Darcy worked for Kimberley dark, drove a semi for NEWS Enterprises, Boissevain, then moved to the Waskada oil fields. In 1991, he started working for Chevron Canada Resources in Virden where he is presently employed. He met Sherri Eckel from Quinton, Saskatchewan and they were married on September 2, 1995. They purchased a farm northeast of Virden and reside there. Their son, Ethan Edward was born in 1997, the third grandchild for Ivan and Gail. Darcy and his brother Spud are in partnership on an Equine ranch and you can see Percheron horses if you go to see Darcy. Sherri wants to get her son started in the horse business on a smaller scale so she has miniature horses.
Tracy (Spud) worked for UGG, and in 1992, quit to come back to Boissevain to operate the Equine Ranch and raise horses. The ranch is 1 mile south of Boissevain on Number 10 highway. He met Sharon Hainsworth from Deloraine, and they were married on April 8, 1995. Their son Dillon Richard was born on in 1996, the second grandchild for Ivan and Gail. Their next child Cody Dawson born in 1999, fourth grandson for Ivan and Gail. Through the years the whole family has been involved in horses, and showing them on the fair circuit. You can see Percheron horses at any of the families places. The grandchildren are developing the same love of horses so we expect to see horses around the Strain, Odium residences for a long time to come.

Johnston, Neil Herbert
I was born in 1939 at Deloraine, Manitoba and moved with my parents, Herbert and Dorothy, my sister, Mary Helen and brother Brian to Crandall in 1948. Father passed away in December 1980 and Mother died in February 1989. Both are buried in the Crandall Cemetery. Mary Helen is married to Arnold Nicholls and lives in Hamiota. Brian is married to Aline de Montigny, and they live on the home farm 1.6- km north of Crandall. His history appears elsewhere in this book.
Classmates through my school years were Anita Schoch, Bev Rudd, Eileen Padfield, and Margaret Elliot. Close friends were Barry Lyng, Garry Van Buskirk, Ivan Schoch, and Wallace Lelond, to name but a few. Additional friends were Lyie Littlejohn and John Dickey who continue to be close to this day.
I finished school in 1957, and started working as a brakeman for the Canadian National Railway in Brandon, Manitoba that July. 1957-1958 saw long job lay off periods so I resigned from the CN and started work for the Royal Bank in Shoal Lake, Manitoba in July 1958. October 1958, I was transferred to Glenboro, in November 1959 to Keewatin, Ontario, September 1960 to Winnipeg and November 1961 to Souris, Manitoba. In all of those communities, I worked at clerical and administrative responsibilities, with leisure time spent playing golf and fastball in the summer and curling in the winter. While in Souris, I added another interest when I met Noreen Logan. I was transferred to Steinbach, Manitoba in July 1963, and Noreen and I were married that September. We lived in Steinbach until December 1968, and to say the least, a lot happened. Craig Herbert was born in 1965, followed quietly by Clare Neil in 1966. 1967 and 68 were troubling years as Noreen's sister died from cancer after a long illness. Also Noreen was expecting our third child. That December, in the following order, my third son Rick Stewart was born. I reported for work in Port Arthur, Ontario one week later, returning to Steinbach for Christmas and to pack our belongings.
Port Arthur became Thunder Bay while we lived there. We made many friends with whom we are still close. In 1972 we were transferred to Winnipeg, 1975 to London, Ontario, 1978 to Kitchener, Ontario (we lived in Waterloo), and in 1981 to Cambridge, Ontario. London and Kitchener were management positions in a loan risk approval role, while Cambridge was manager of the main branch. In December 1984, I became a Regional Manager in Toronto, Ontario and we moved to our home in Markham, Ontario where we still live. In 1987, because of a re-organization, I became an Area Manager in an affluent part of Toronto where I remained until my retirement in July 1993. Noreen worked part time for Hallmark Card and Gift, and in 1994 she retired as well. We now spend our leisure time with our family, playing golf and some community work as well as travelling.
Our oldest son, Craig married Patricia Polsky of Hamilton, Ontario in 1990. He operates his own hardwood flooring business in Cambridge. They have two children, Elizabeth (1998) and Ann (1999). Our second son Clare works for the Royal Bank as an investment advisor in downtown Toronto. He has not yet married and lives in Toronto's West End. Rick married Crystal Quast of Winnipeg in 1997. He is a commercial photographer and has his own studio. Crystal is an investment analysis writer for an Internet Investment firm. They have two children and live in Toronto.
With family still living in the Crandall community, we visit every couple of years, and we are able to keep up to date on Crandall news every week or two thanks to significantly reduced telephone rates.