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Gust Mottus

Gust Mottus was a young man when he emigrated from Estonia to North America. He was 21 years old when he arrived in New York City. Gust Mottus was 21 when he arrived in New York City on an overcrowded, dilapidated boat. Originally from Somerpalu, Estonia, he passed the time during the two-week journey catching rats and throwing them overboard. He spent a few months working in the state of New York prior to landing in Canada and working on an Estonian farm west of Gilby. Missing the required train stop in Lacombe, the train pushed north to Edmonton. Gust had no choice but to scoff at his mishap and walk back south, a distance of approximately 75 miles (120 kilometres).

Gust Mottus married Linda Kingsep, oldest daughter of Hendrik Kingsep, in 1917. Gust worked for the City of Red Deer digging ditches. Accustomed to covering great distances by foot, he would often saunter into Eckville and visit with fellow Estonian immigrants. In 1917, he married Linda Kingsep, daughter of Hendrik Kingsep. Soon after, he purchased land from the Canadian Pacific Railway and built a tidy log house. Here, Linda and Gust raised three children.

Gust purchased horses and raised wheat. Linda milked the cows and sold the heavy cream to nearby customers. Gust was an inventive labourer. Often, he would build various farm tools, many of which were ingenious additions to any pioneer farm settlement.

In the 1950s Gust and Linda decided to leave the farm and settle in the town of Eckville where they would be closer to local amenities. Their son Rudy remained on the farm and managed the property. Gust and Linda also had twin daughters: Elsie (Brewer) and Emma (Huhtala). When Linda passed away in 1967, Gust moved to a senior citizens' residence in Rocky Mountain House and was later transferred to Red Deer. He passed away in 1977.

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