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Gentiel and Anna Van Brabant

Gentiel and Anna Van Brabant

Born and raised in Belgium, Gentiel emigrated in Canada at the turn of the century. He made his way to St-Paul-des-Métis in February, 1906. He worked for the missionaries until the reserve closed in 1909. Desiring his own homestead, he journeyed to Edmonton arriving a few days before the opening of the land office on April the 10th.

But Gentiel had to work in lumber camps for a few years before he could devote himself full time to farming. He married Anna Fontaine in 1914, daughter of another pioneer who had come also in 1909, Antoine. Five children were born of this marriage. However, Gentiel was not destined to enjoy the fruits of his handwork. He became ill in 1922 and died four years later, only 45 years old. But Anna continued to farm the homestead for all that she was worth which turned out to be quite a lot.

She died on June 3, 1981, at the age of 90, fifty-five years a widow, but content that her labours were not in vain.

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