Marie's diary indicates that on January 8, 1930 Hubert Brooks entered the Fairview Hospital. The diary also indicates that on January 14, 1930 daughter Dora came to visit Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks.
This web page contains Marie Grégoire Brooks' Diary Extracts covering 3 distinct periods of time in 1930. These were kindly supplied by Hubert Brooks of Boucherville Québec. Hubert obtained the diary from his father, Joseph Brooks, Marie's son - who inherited the diary upon Marie's passing.
The diary book proper into which she wrote the daily details of life on the Prairies is actually a "Cash Book"
evidently brought by the Brooks family from North Dakota as its pre-printed pages relate to information about the USA and various farming and US law information.
(see St John section for sample pre-printed extracts of the Cash Book back pages).
The first forty pages of the book represent a monthly cash book presumably from Hubert's store in Old Bluesky. The first page carries forward a balance for business from June to December 31st in 1916. Then onwards to March 12th 1920. At the bottom of this last business page is a handritten (in ink) note by Bertha (Chailler) Brooks stating; "The store was sold to Alger about 1920 or 1921 -- as in the summer of 1921 there was still store books that were used, as store bills with Brooks and Sons name on it."
The first diary note follows the business cash book entry section and is dated March 1st, 1929 with daily entries up to and including 0ctober 31st, 1931.
The young Joe Brooks children had used the cash book as a drawing book - so throughout the cash book and diary sections there are random lines and scribbling.
All of Marie's diary was written in french - the language Marie most often continued to use with family and close friends and with which
she felt most comfortable.
The 3 extracts which appear on this web page contain Marie's handwritten entries for the period when Grandfather Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks died (January 23rd). Interestingly, there are no entries between the 15th and 25th. Notice the entry on June 23rd which is a reference to "5 mois que Papa est mort deja."
Almost every day Marie comments on the weather -- perhaps indicative of the importance of weather to the agriculture base that drove business through husband Hubert's stores. One can not help but feel her agony with the terrible weather in Bluesky when husband Hubert is deathly sick.
Interestingly, there is virtually no mention of her grand children in the diary.
(Hubert has gone to considerable effort to translate the entire available diary which covers the period from February 1st, 1929 with daily entries up to and including 0ctober 31st, 1931.
To view this translation, please CLICK on the following link: GO TO Marie Gregoie Brooks DIARY )
An English translation (courtesy of Diana Brooks of BC and Hubert Brooks of Boucherville Que) of the above January 4 to 11, 1930 extract is as follows:
|January 4th||Saturday itís awfully cold all day, strong wind from the East. Joseph and I are hurrying our work. Papa is very ill. I do not know what to do.|
|January 5th||Sunday itís a nice day, no wind. Always cold but better in the house. Mrs. Thompson comes to care for Papa. Papa still sick.|
|January 6th||Monday is terribly cold, ití scarry. Papa is ill. We have Mrs. Thomson with us since Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Beveridge drops by, Mrs. Salmond and Mrs. LaRoche are also here since Sunday the 5th|
|January 7th||Tuesday not cold, the weather is cloudy. We have the Doctor for Papa. We must do something.|
|January 8th||Wednesday its cold but the sun is nice in the afternoon. We drive Papa to the Fairview Hospital.|
|January 9th||Thursday not as cold as the 8th, also it snowed. No news about Papa today.|
|January 10th||Friday we have a pretty nice day. The boys went to see Papa but no change.|
|January 11th||Saturday itís cold. Itís the election of School Trustees.|
An English translation (courtesy of Diana Brooks of BC and Hubert Brooks of Boucherville Que) of the above January 12 to 31, 1930 extract is as follows:
|January 12th||I went to see Papa itís not very cold and I return in the evening. I send for Mrs. Salmond to spend the night with me and she stays for (Önot decipherable.... )|
|January 13th||Monday I went back to see Papa, he is not better, even worse. I call for the priest.|
|January 14th||Tuesday Dora arrives. Papa is not better, getting worse every day.|
|January 15th||It is still cold itís terrible.|
|BLANK - NO ENTRIES for this period - On Thursday, January 23, 1930 Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks died in Old Fairview Hospital.|
|January 25th||It snowed during the night. Our farm hand went to get Otto. We have snow this morning.|
|January 26th||Sunday lots of snow ( Ö. not decipherable Ö. ). Joseph and Otto go back (Ö. not decipherable Ö. ). The Foranís and the Lockís drop by for a visit in the afternoon.|
|January 27th||Monday itís not too cold, we visit the Salmond farm and stay for dinner.|
|January 28th||Tuesday it snows a bit in the morning. It is not very cold. Joseph leaves for Bluesky and Fairview.|
|January 29th||Wednesday I feel it is not as cold. We have dinner at the Foranís with Dora.|
|January 30th||Thursday it is stormy all day however, we still manage to visit the Beveridge farm.|
|January 31th||Saturday itís quite cold. Dora takes the train to go home.|
On Thursday January 23, 1930 Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks died in Old Fairview Hospital.
The Obituary of Hubert Brooks that appeared in the local newspaper is reproduced below.
(Hubert Brooks' death is also noted in Obituary Index, Peace River Record Gazette, click the WEB LINK to view the obituary index.
The night Marie returned home from husband Hubert's funeral, Mrs. Salmon, their immediate neighbor to the south, came over to stay for the night.
On Feb 4, 1930, shortly after Hubert Brooks died, Marie's younger brother (by 1 year) Hyppolite Grégoire, now known as Paul Grégoire, a bachelor, arrived in Bluesky to assist Marie. Paul was an excellent handyman around the farm and helped his sister Marie immensely.
Although only sons Joseph and Otto were living in the
Bluesky region, they were both busy running the General Store in Bluesky and
consequently did not have as much time as they would have liked to help out on the farm.
(Recall also that son Alfred was back east in Ottawa and son Aimé was in Meota Saskatchewan. Daughter Dora of course had remained in Saskatchewan with husband Dr. John Warren living in the town of Canora. Daughter Nellie also had also remained in Saskatchewan in the town of Scotsguard with husband Oscar Bolstad.
In addition to brother Paul, Marie also did have the assistance from time to time of kindly neighbors. Her husband Hubert had set them up with a very "complete" home; fruitful garden, excellent ice well, plentifull wood nearby.
Marie's diary for that time period indicates that on April 22, 1930, 15 year old Leonard (Chick) Knott started to work around the homestead as a farm hand helping out Marie immensely. Chick was one of the very fortunate Indian boys from the local reserve who had not succombed to flu virus that had killed so many of his tribe. Chick was a very straight forward, non-pretentious hard working boy -- who was also quite gullible and the butt of numermous Brooks brothers practical jokes -- as shall be reconted in the Joe Brooks section. Chick was looked after by Granny Whitford who will be discussed in a later section.
An English translation (courtesy of Diana Brooks of BC and Hubert Brooks of Boucherville Que) of the above June 18 to 24, 1930 extract is as follows:
|June 18th||It rains again part of the afternoon with a strong wind. In the morning, the Thomsonís drop by (Ö. not decipherable Ö.).|
|June 19th||Thursday election day. The boys went by car despite the bad roads. There are scattered showers all day. The boys sleep in Bluesky.|
|June 20th||Friday it rains entermittently but not heavy. The boys arrive from Bluesky with three letters. Albertsworth has come to do blacksmith work.|
|June 21st||Saturday there are sporadic heavy showers. Albertsworth comes back to do blacksmith work and finishes late after dinner. More useless showers.|
|June 22nd||Sunday. This is the nicest day in a long time. Otto came for lunch with the Chick and the elevator man. Poor car, has to carry all its (Ö. not decipherable Ö. ). The boys come home at two in the morning and leave the car at the Bright residence.|
|June 23rd||Five months already since Papa died. I received three letters. Itís hot, and it rains again in the evening. Albertsworth comes to finish his brushcutter.|
|June 24th||Tuesday itís very nice and warm. Paul is plowing while Chick and I are washing (probably means laundering).|
One of the major changes following the death of Hubert Brooks, was that Marie essentially divided her log cabin into two with son Otto and his wife Mary taking the rear section and Grandma Brooks (Marie) taking the front section. There were separate entrances and each section was self sufficient.
Although the living arrangements were distinctly separate, obviously there was still a close daily interaction that, at times, led to some angry arguments with the two very head strong ladies (Marie and Mary). Such was the intensity of some of these arguments, that the Joe Brooks children remember Grandma Brooks,supported by her cane, walking so briskly down the laneway, that she stumbled, got up and stumbled again as she continued down the 0.5mi path to the main road to Joe's house -obviously very upset after one such regular argument.
Spring to fall of 1932, daughter Nellie (Bolstad) and 9 year old son Eugene Bolstad came to visit Marie. The purpose of the visit was a combination of "coming home to see Mama", being there to help out Marie, and perhaps as a respite from the hardship the Bolstad's were then experiencing back home in (Shaunavon) Saskatchewan with Oscar loosing his homestead and having to travel far-and-wide to pick up work on various farms.
Following Nellie Bolstad's funeral in 1937, daughter Dora (Brooks) Warren came and brought Marie Grégoire Brooks back to Canora,
Saskatchewan where she lived out the rest of her life with daughter Dora (Warren).
(Dora had always been annoyed at her brothers for luring her parents off to the wilds and frigid winter temperature of north western Alberta and lost no time is rescuing her mother when Hubert Rousseau Brooks passed away.) It is thought that Marie's brother Paul Grégoire followed Marie back to Canora - although no conclusive proof to this speculation has been found.
(Wife) Marie (Grégoire) Brooks lived on until September 3, 1944. She died approximately 3.5 months after the death of her first son Alfred.
Her body was returned by train to Bluesky where
she was buried alongside her husband, in the Friedenstal (Alberta) Catholic Cemetery. This tiny locality has a beautiful Catholic Church.
(see church and cemetery photo at the bottom of the page)
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