Ray Stewart fonds. — [1900-1996]. — 7 pp. — 25 photographs.
James ‘Ray’ Stewart was born in Eden Valley, Minnesota to parents David Stewart and Bridget McMahon, shortly after his birth the family moved to a farm in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Ray and his siblings Joseph, David, Sarah, Della, Mary Florence and younger sister Violet all grew up in the Yorkton area. In 1927 Ray left his family hoping to settle on a homestead in the Peace region. He arrived in Beaverlodge, having his equipment and horses shipped from Yorkton and using his horse trading knowledge got to know the people in the area.
Wilma Harrop, his future bride was from Balcarres, Saskatchewan and was living at her Uncle Edward Harrop’s home in Halcourt. Wilma kept busy in the area as a horse jockey in local races like the Rio Grande Rodeo. It is probable that their mutual love of horses is what sparked their interest in each other, in 1937 they were married in Grande Prairie.
The Stewart’s first settled North of Beaverlodge but later made their home in the Albright area. In November 1955 the Stewart’s home caught fire, and everything was lost. According to the newspaper a shower was held by the Catholic Women’s League in Beaverlodge and later a dance to raise funds for the family. There were seven Stewart children Joe, Dorothy, Mary, Margaret, Joan and Cecilia who all grew up in the Albright area and attended Gimle School, a daughter Katherine died in 1947 as an infant and is buried in the Rio Grande Cemetery.
Ray was a horse trader, but later worked in the oil field to support the family farm. Ray and Wilma moved off the farm in the 1970’s, settling in Amisk Court in Beaverlodge. Ray and Wilma are both buried in the Albright Cemetery, next door to where they had farmed for many years.
Records were deposited at South Peace Regional Archives by Mary Dever, the daughter of Ray Stewart, in 2013.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of a birth certificate of James ‘Ray’ Stewart from Manannah, Minnesota 1900, 3 copies of newspaper articles detailing the house fire of the Stewart family 1955, Fourth Class Engineer’s Certificate 1956, a news article interview of James ‘Ray’ Stewart 1995, and an obituary for Ray. 15 photographs of their children and their home in the Albright area as well as 10 photographs of his siblings in Saskatchewan.