Wagon Ride to Canada

Cecil Aleen King was born in Scambler, Otter Tail County, Minnesota on 19 Dec 1898 to Fedelia Pearl Fielder and Frederick Vose King. In 1910 the family was residing at this home in Plaza, Montrail County, North Dakota.

Cecil married Claude Lorenzo Ballard on 8 Nov 1916 in Stanley, Mountrail County, North Dakota. Their first child, my grandfather, was born on 1 Feb 1918. The following summer, the young family left North Dakota for new beginnings in central Saskatchewan. They were joined on this track by Cecil's family.

King and Ballard 1918  



Photo on left:
Left to right:
Flossie King, Claud Ballard, Wilbur Ballard, Cecil (King) Ballard, Marian King. 1918


Photo on right:
Cecil A. (King) Ballard and son, Leon 1918 enroute to Saskatchewan


Cecil (King) Ballard with son, Leon

Cecil's younger sister, Marian King (1906 - 2006), submitted the following in 1980 during the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Spalding, Saskatchewan.

My first recollection of Saskatchewan is the year 1918, at the "Line", between North Dakota and Saskatchewan. That's where I had my first sight of beautiful green poplar trees.

Our wagon train had started from near Plaza, North Dakota, in May, and ended at my Uncle Frank and Aunt Nora Wright's home near Spalding, in September. Our "train" consisted of Mom and Dad King (Fred and Fidelia), seven offspring, Cecil, Flossie, Margaret, Marian (me), Hope, Helen and Eugene; a son-in-law Claud Ballard, a grandson Leon Ballard and a future daughter-in-law Annie Mealue. Those were the humans. There was also a cow and three or four colts, besides the horses it took to pull the various wagons; which were our bedrooms, living rooms and above all, Mom's kitchen. By the way, if you thought you heard a voice saying - "Oh for the good old days" - I don't think it was the ghost of my mother's voice.

Brother Clyde joined us at Stoughton, Sask. He and Annie were married there. Brother Glenn had also preceded us to Saskatchewan.

(Clyde King pictured right with mother, Fedelia, camping in Stoughton, Saskatchewan, enroute to Spalding, 1918.)

  Camping in Stoughton, Saskatchewan 1918

Our first winter was spent at what we used to call the "Bates" place, south east of Spalding. There I recall lying awake at night, in the 'loft' bedroom, listening to the howl of wolves and/or coyotes. I felt secure inside and I still love to hear the howl of the beast.

An unforgettable event for me there was one late fall day when I had visited Cecil and Claud who were at Bill Myers place. I was walking of course and coming home I got hopelessly lost. I passed a couple of homes but hadn't the sense to go in and find out where I was. Eventually I came out to a road and saw a man with a load of sheaves. He was Carl Broberg, a neighbor, tho' I didn't know him. I wouldn't ride with him but followed behind until I was in familiar territory. I didn't tell this to anyone until I was grown up.

That winter Mom helped nurse a lot of flu victims. One day, the next summer, we were terrified when smoke descended upon us and we thought a forest fire must be very near. Dad being away, the rest of us let loose the livestock and hied it to Lunsford's, our closest neighbor. The fire fortunately was as far away as in the Prince Albert area, atmospheric conditions being responsible for the illusion I presume.

[See also an account by Edna (Ballard) Hutchison, youngest sister of Claud Ballard. Link.]

Homestead of Fred Vose King in Plaza, North Dakota, 1910

Above: Homestead of Fred Vose King, Plaza, North Dakota, 1910.

Cecil King

Cecil King in foreground. Bill Myers, Claude Ballard and Clyde King in background. House in foreground is Cecil and Claude's. House in background is Bill Myers'. Baby Leon Ballard was inside sleeping at the time of this photo. Photo taken in Saskatchewan in the winter of 1919.