Fonds 277 Ella Patterson fonds

Ella Patterson fonds. — 1911. — 1 cm of textual records.

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Biographical Sketch

Ella Bentley was born Dec 5, 1888 and married John Orlando Patterson on March 4, 1909, in Smith Falls, Ontario. Ella moved west with John Orlando and his parents, Alphaeus and Eliza Patterson. They settled in Strathcona where J.O. was employed for a time in the C.P.R. freight department. Alphaeus was the first president of the Argonaut Co. in 1909 and was interested in setting up a store and post office in Grande Prairie with his son, so John O. and his wife, Ella, were the first of many family members to make the trip north, travelling by the long trail to Grande Prairie in the winter of 1911. Ella’s diary gives a daily account of the trip from February13-April 23, 1911. Ella and John had two sons, Alphaeus Bentley, and John, and one daughter, Mary. A daughter, Eva, had died in infancy before the trip north.

Custodial History

The diary was donated to the South Peace Regional Archives by Angie Patterson, wife of Alex Patterson. Ella Patterson was Alex’s grandmother. The original diary was hand copied by Mary (Patterson) Christian, daughter of Ella and John Patterson. This hand copied diary was computer copied by Angela Patterson, daughter-in-law of John O. Patterson.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of a photocopy of Ella Patterson’s handwrittem diary and another typed copy. There are daily entries from February 13 to April 23, 1911, describing their trip to Grande Prairie over the trail from Edmonton, to Athabaska Landing, across Lesser Slave Lake to Grouard, then down to Sturgeon Lake, across the Simonette River to Bezanson and finally to the Grande Prairie. She mentions the conditons of the trail, the many stopping places and other travellers they met. Also included is a photocopy of Eliza and Alphaeus Patterson’s family and a genealogy chart.


Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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