Fonds 140 Frank Stoll fonds


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1921-1957. — 41 photographs.

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Biographical Sketch

Frank Stoll’s father, George Mitchell Stoll, arrived at Lake Saskatoon on June 20, 1910, along with his brother Charles.  They had traveled over the Long Trail, via Grouard by ox team, coming into the area when the grass was lush and the wild flowers and fruit trees were coming into bloom along the creek.  Having spent the previous few years as cowboys in the state of Montana, they decided their homesteads were ideal for the raising of livestock.  A shack, barn and corrals were built of logs, some land broken and wild hay stacked that first summer, so they were prepared for winter. In 1916, with the arrival of the railway at Grande Prairie, Frank’s mother, Theresa Smith came from Toronto to visit her sister,  Mrs. Percy Clubine.  While here, she met and married George Stoll, never to return to Toronto again. The young couple moved into a new house built on the farm and George purchased his first horses to replace the oxen that had, till then, been the beasts of labour on the farm.  The Stolls farmed in the Lake Saskatoon area for the next years.  Four children were born to them:  John in 1917, Frank in 1919, Majorie, 1921,  and Aleda, 1926.  Theresa passed away in 1937, and in 1939, Frank married Irene Bradley.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of 41 photographs showing Frank’s relationship to horses from his childhood to his own well-established farm, some photographs of an ice-cutting business he operated in the 1940s and some miscellaneous photographs of Pipestone Creek Store and a 1937 pack trip into the Rocky Mountains taken by students and teachers of Upper Canada College in Ontario.


Title based on the contents of the fonds.


Table of Contents

Series 140.01 Childhood and Youth
Series 140.02 Marriage and Family
Series 140.03 Ice-cutting Business
Series 140.04 Miscellaneous
Series 140.01 Childhood and Youth. — [1922-1940]. — 12 photographs.
Frank was born in 1919.  The first team of horses he remembers was Jess & Dolly, two of the first horses owned by George Stoll when he replaced his oxen with horses in 1916.  They were just “Cayuses” or Indian ponies which had been brought into the country either by the native people who caught and broke them from bands of wild horses or by entrepreneurs who brought in herds of horses and cattle to sell to farmers and ranchers.    Horses were used then for everything, not just for farming and transportation.  Life was planned around how much work a horse could do in one day.  Twenty miles a day of heavy pulling was the average workload.  That was why stopping places were 20 miles apart on the trails.  Horses worked a half-day, had a one to two hour rest, then were on again till six.  It took six or seven horses to pull a two-bottom plow.  After the plowing was done, the fields had to be harrowed, then cultivated or disced to prepare the seed bed, and finally seeded, all with the horses.  Although many settlers used oxen in the early years, they were soon replaced by horses.  Horses pulled cabooses through the pioneer trails; they freighted in unbelievable loads:  the printing press for the first newspaper, the safes for early banks, even a large boat.  They pulled the elevating grader which constructed the road and rail beds so that trains and vehicles could make their way into the country.  Horses traveled those roads, and lesser trails, pulling dray wagons of freight to the railway and other destinations.   On the farm Frank grew up on, there were up to thirty horses at one time.  There were usually three six-horse teams to do the field work, and always brood mares raising replacement foals.  Some of the neighbours brought in purebred stallions to improve the breed of their horses.  The Craig brothers had a Clydesdale brought in from Scotland, and Percy Clubine had a Percheron brought in from Ontario.  These horses were used for stud services throughout the district.  A route was planned in spring for farmers who wanted to purchase stud services, and in early summer, the owner would travel with the stallion from farm to farm. Frank soon learned how to take care of the horses.  They were fed three times a day, and in the winter four times.  Every time they were harnessed up, each one was groomed and fitted to the harness, including the nose muzzle (or basket) which protected the horses from the nose fly.  It took about an hour.   Frank had to be up at 5:30 to do the chores, prepare the horses, have breakfast and be ready to go by 8:00.  In the winter, the horses were kept in the barn and that meant the extra work of cleaning the barn. Then there was the vet work and blacksmithing shoes.  Hooves had to be trimmed every 6-8 weeks, and shoes could only be left on 4-5 months, usually over winter.  If the horses were used mostly for field work or traveling dirt roads they didn’t need shoes on all of their hooves—only the damaged ones.  Then, the blacksmith would form corrective shoes to the individual hoof so that the horse could walk without difficulty. Frank’s uncle, Percy Clubine, was a registered seed grower and a well-known farmer in the Dimsdale area.  The families worked and socialized together.  Towards the end of the Depression (1937) the Stoll family bought a tractor, but the next year they couldn’t afford to buy gas for the tractor when time for fall work came around.  Frank spent that fall batching on the “away from home” farm looking after the horses and doing the fall work.  He used a team of 12 to pull a tractor-operated cultivator.  The horses were turned out to pasture after the day’s work was done, and in the morning they were always at the far end of the pasture, not ready to start another grueling day.  Usually one was easier to catch then the others, so Frank would catch that one and used it to herd the rest of them.  Sometimes it took him almost all morning to get them all caught and harnessed.  All of the hard work represented a savings of maybe $30 to $50 worth of fuel.
The series consists of 12 photographs showing scenes from Frank’s childhood and youth, including farming activities.
George Stoll Family and horses, 1916 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Theresa & George Stoll with their two young boys, John and Frank, perched on horses.
Location: 0140.01.01
Grampa Stoll’s Horses, 1927 c.
1 scan; b & w;
George Stoll’s herd of work horses on his farm near Saskatoon Lake.
Location: 0140.01.02
George Stoll’s Basket Rack, 1930 c.
1 scan; b & w;
George Stoll’s big basket rack of feed.
Location: 0140.01.03
Grampa Stoll, 1936
1 scan; b & w;
George Stoll and a team of horses binding the 1936 bumper crop.
Location: 0140.01.04
Shoeing a Horse, 1930 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Bob McCullough and John Stoll re-shoeing a horse.
Location: 0140.01.05
Percy & Louise Clubine, 1930 c.
1 scan; b & w; Mr. &
Mrs. Percy Clubine in a buggy pulled by a two-horse team.
Location: 0140.01.06
Percy Clubine’s Field Team, 1930 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Percy Clubine and his six-abreast team, harnessed for field work.
Location: 0140.01.07
Hay Stacking at Dimsdale, 1922
1 scan; b & w;
Putting up hay with an over-stacker on Clubine’s farm at Dimsdale.  Toddlers Frank Stoll and Millicent Philp are in the foreground.
Location: 0140.01.08
Mrs. Clubine operating the Stacker, 1922
1 scan; b & w;
Mrs. Clubine handling the horses while putting up hay with an over-stacker.
Location: 0140.01.09
Harvesting Peas with a Binder, 1931
1 scan; b & w;
Percy Clubine harvesting peas with a binder pulled by a four-horse team.
Location: 0140.01.10
Binding Oats on Clubine’s Farm, 1930 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Binding oats with two binders and two four-horse teams on Clubine’s Farm near Dimsdale.
Location: 0140.01.11
Binding Oats, 1930 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Binding oats with a four-horse team and a John Deere binder.
Location: 0140.01.12
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Series 140.02 Marriage and Family. — [1939-1955]. — 21 cm of textual records.
On June 20, 1940, Frank married Irene Bradley and built a small home on his own quarter.  Now he had his own horses.  The Best Team was Maggie & Jessie, well-bred Clydesdales which looked and worked like the quality horses they were. Frank and Irene had two children:  Bud, born in 1944 and Joan born in 1942.  Even small children were safe with a good horse.  By the time they were going to school, children would be able to ride and control their own horse.  Bud and Joan had a school pony named Tiny Tim. The last real working team Frank had was Minnie & Maud, two Percheron Crosses, just after the war.  Even though some of the farm work was now done with tractors, Frank liked the horses for doing winter work and for chores around the farm yard:  hauling wood, cattle, feed for the cattle, manure from the barn.  For a couple of winters they hauled the mail from Wembley, where the train dropped it off twice a week, to Pipestone Creek.  In an emergency, when the roads were blown in or heavy with mud, the horses were able to go where the vehicles could not.  Minnie & Maud could get the family into town even when the roads were impassable. Frank had one last team from the early 70s into the 80s—Floss and Fly.  They belonged to the Campbells but stayed on the Stoll farm until they were old and stiff with age.  Frank kept them until they were probably about 30 years old, but they didn’t have a harness on them for the last ten or fifteen years.  Frank always liked to make his horses look good, with Scotch tops/collars and braided tails, and spreaders of red, white and blue rings on the harnesses.
The fonds consists of 21 photographs showing scenes after Frank’s marriage to Irene Bradley, including their farm and children.
Binding the Oat Crop, 1938
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with a four-horse team and binder in waist high oat crop.
Location: 0140.02.01
Hauling Hay in Winter, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with a two-horse team pulling a wagon of loose hay.
Location: 0140.02.02
Cutting the 1941 Crop, 1941
1 scan; b & w;
Two four-horse teams pulling binders through the crop.
Location: 0140.02.03
Threshing at the New Barn, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Threshing machine running in front of Stoll’s new barn.
Location: 0140.02.04
Minnie & Maud, 1945 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Two-horse team Minnie & Maud on the Stoll family farmstead.
Location: 0140.02.05
Jessie & Minnie, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with two-horse team of Jessie & Minnie harnessed for field work.
Location: 0140.02.06
Jessie & Maggie, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Two-horse team of Jessie & Maggie in front of Stoll’s barn.
Location: 0140.02.07
Dot & Minnie, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Two-horse team of Dot & Minnie with empty wagon in front of new barn.
Location: 0140.02.08
Bob & Minnie, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Harnessed two-horse team of Bob & Minnie in front of Stoll’s barn.
Location: 0140.02.09
Frank & Team, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with a two-horse team in front of his new barn.
Location: 0140.02.10
Frank’s Four Up, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with a four-horse team pulling a wagon box on runners.
Location: 0140.02.11
Frank’s Field Outfit, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with his six-horse field team: Maud, Highness, Bob, Owen, Bessy, and Jessie.
Location: 0140.02.12
Threshing with Horses, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Threshing scene of tractor, horses and wagons and threshing machine.
Location: 0140.02.13
Stokke Threshing Machine, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Horses with wagon loads of bundles lined up at Stokke’s Threshing Machine.
Location: 0140.02.14
Going for Wood, 1940 c.
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with a two-horse team and wood wagon.
Location: 0140.02.15
Winter Chores, 1957
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with a two-horse team doing winter chores.
Location: 0140.02.16
Kids on Doll, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Preschoolers Joan and Bud Stoll on children’s riding horse, Doll.
Location: 0140.02.17
Riding Quadruple, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Dennis Brooks, Joan Stoll, Stanley Brooks and Bud Stoll riding one horse.
Location: 0140.02.18
Bud on Tiny Tim, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Bud Stoll standing on the back of Tiny Tim in the Stoll family farmyard.
Location: 0140.02.19
Stoll Family Cousins, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Group of seven children with two horses and a bike.
Location: 0140.02.20
Teens on Horses, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Two teen-aged girls on horses in front of a low log building.
Location: 0140.02.21
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Series 140.03 Ice-cutting Business. — [1947]. — 5 photographs.
Before rural electrification came, people depended on the ice house to keep cream destined for the creamery sweet, food from spoiling and to provide good tasting water in the summer.  The average ice house could hold about 100 blocks of ice 16” square by about 20” deep—enough to last the average family from April to October.  It was either built with very thick walls or lined with sawdust to insulate the ice from the summer heat. Frank was about fourteen when he first started cutting ice with the long, heavy ice saw.  An ice saw was about 5 ½ feet long with a heavy 8” blade and a T handle at one end.   This handle was gripped by both hands and the blade rammed into the ice to start the cutting.  It was difficult and time-consuming work, and he had lots of time to think about how he could build a machine that would do the work.   In the early 1940s, Frank and his brother-in-law Bill Schmidt built an ice-cutting machine using a Mandrell Saw with belt and pulley, a Model A Motor, and a sawmill blade.  Sixteen inches out from the saw blade was a smaller wheel which fit into the last groove for uniformly sized blocks.  A loader was built from the feeder belt of a threshing machine and a small motor geared down so the belt didn’t go too fast, and run with chains so that it would not slip when wet.   For the next fifteen years they were in the business of cutting ice, mostly for the surrounding farmers.  Ice cutting started in January, when the ice was at least 16 inches thick.  Most people liked to use lake water for cooling and river water for drinking.  If it was really cold, hot water was put in the ice machine’s radiator to warm up the motor enough to get it started, or a fire was built under the motor to warm it up. The ice was scored to the depth the blade could cut—16 inches.  You couldn’t hit water while cutting with the machine because then the blade simply shipped water instead of cutting.  The job was then finished with the handsaw for the first row on each side, and after that the blocks were knocked loose.  The loader was set at the edge of the hole with the lower end in the water.  Blocks of ice were then guided to the loader with a homemade ice hook (made of a pitchfork handle and an iron rod bent at the end), picked up by the wooden slats on the loader and conveyed to the deck of the waiting farmer’s truck.    In about an hour, Frank’s team could cut 700-1000 blocks of ice, 16 inches square by the depth of the ice (usually around 20 inches).  The blocks usually weighed from 80-90 lbs each, but could weigh up to 200 lbs when the ice was three feet thick!  The blocks were sold for 10 cents apiece.  It took ten minutes to load a three-ton truck with 100 normal blocks, which would be the farmer’s summer supply of ice. In 1956, power arrived at the Stoll farm, and they didn’t cut any ice after that.
The fonds consists of 5 photographs showing Frank’s ice-cutting business, which he operated in the 1940s.
Ice Cutting Machine, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Frank Stoll with his two young children on the tractor pulling the ice-cutting machine.
Location: 0140.03.01
Scoring the Ice, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Ice-cutting saw carving out 16″ blocks.
Location: 0140.03.02
Getting Ready to Load, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Ice loader in place to begin hauling out blocks.
Location: 0140.03.03
The Ice Cutters, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Two men loosen blocks with hand saws while one man pulls blocks out with ice pick and two men load blocks in truck prior to delivery.
Location: 0140.03.04
Loading the Ice, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Side view of motorized ice loader conveying blocks into the truck.
Location: 0140.03.05
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Series 140.04 Miscellaneous. — 3 photographs.
Frank farmed in the Wembley area, near the community of Pipestone Creek.  Pipestone Creek Store was where they picked up their mail.  The Osborne Ranch was west of  Pipestone, and it was from there that a party of students and professors from Upper Canada College set out on a trail ride into the Rocky Mountains.
The fonds consists of 3 photographs showing the Pipestone Creek Store and a 1937 pack trip into the Rocky Mountains taken by students and teachers of Upper Canada College in Ontario.
Pack Trip to the Rockies, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Bert Osborne’s group of guides and pack horses preparing to leave for the Rocky Mountains.
Location: 0140.04.01
Pack Horses on the Wembley Ferry, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Bert Osborne’s group of guides and pack horses crossing the Wapiti River on the Pipestone Creek ferry.
Location: 0140.04.02
Pat Watt at Pipestone Creek Store, n.d.
1 scan; b & w;
Pat Watts at the front entrance to Pipestone Creek Store, with cream cans, salt blocks and other supplies.
Location: 0140.04.03
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