Larsen, Helmer Julius

Regimental Number: 57343

Helmer Larson was born on November 9, 1890 in Minnesota, USA and raised on the family farm. His sister, Sophia, had married Gustaf Boe also of Minnesota. When the Boe’s decided to move to Northern Alberta in 1930 after hearing about the possibility of land ownership by means of homestead applications, Helmer decided to join them on the trip. Gustaf, Sophia along with their nine children were also accompanied by the Lenes’, Welander’s, A. Lind and Art Lindberg. There were five cars on the trip; two Whilly’s Whippets, a 1928 Chev and two Model T Fords. It was a very wet year and the trip was often hindered by ferries that could not operate due to high waters. They had to stay in Athabasca for nearly a week as the road from High Prairie to McLennan was impassable. At that point, they decided to ship the cars by rail to Peace River and finally on to Grande Prairie. The adventurous party finally arrived in DeBolt three weeks later and lived in a tent until a log home could be built. Helmer filed a homestead application on NE-35-72-1-W6 on October 9, 1930 and was established on the land in May 1931. He received the patent in May of 1937. The first winter in Alberta, Helmer and Elmer Boe worked for a company that cut the right-of-way from Valleyview to High Prairie.

On September 2, 1942, Helmer enlisted with the 30th Coy Veterans Guard of Canada at Grande Prairie. He was sent to Edmonton for training followed by transfers for guard duties to Winnipeg, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Sea Island (BC), Lethbridge and New Westminster, BC. Helmer was discharged on demobilization at Calgary on July 25, 1945. Private Helmer Larson served in Canada and received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the 1939-45 War Medal. Helmer had served in WWI in the US.

Helmer returned to his farm in DeBolt. He eventually sold his homestead quarter of land and purchased a ¼ section of land west of McKinley’s who lived north of Highway 43 on the golf course road. He was an excellent horseman and spent several winters driving a four-up team for Elbert DeBolt hauling logs to the Bickle-DeBolt Sawmill. Helmer resided on his farm until he passed away in 1960 and was buried at the DeBolt Cemetery.

Contributed by Wanda Zenner

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