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Coming to Amber Valley
I wasn't long before we went out to Amber Valley; old man Sounders moved us out. We were out there for Christmas; we stayed with my father-in-law in a little old shack he had. He and we two were the only settlers out there then. When we went out there it was nothing but woods, just woods. All we had to live off of was rabbits and one thing or another. We spent a hard winter; in the spring there was no place to make a dollar and I wondered how I was going to get by another winter. I went to work for a man named Bill Dones, at thirty-five dollars per month; I worked for him for two months. I told the man I would give him sixty-two dollars for some cattle - he had a cow and a calf - so he just deducted the money and I had eight dollars coming. Then I had two head of cattle and the third one coming - the cow had a heifer calf; then I had three head of cattle, but I had no hay for them. I told the man I would give him the eight dollars for him to let me cut some spots of hay down on the creek, so he let me cut the hay. A man came from Maidstone and he gave me twenty-five dollars to help him build a house. Oh that twenty-five dollars looked good. Now I as going to go to Edmonton with my father-in-law's two little ponies and his little old wagon - going to Edmonton to spend twenty-five dollars. It took me about three days.
Excerpted from Window of Our Memories.Reprinted with the kind permission of Velma Carter.
- Excerpts from The Window of our Memories:
- The Edmonton Capital: The Petition
- The Edmonton Bulletin: Party of 42 Negroes Coming From Oklahoma
- Articles reprinted from Legacy Magazine:
- Amber Valley