This CHAPTER will focus exclusively on the Alfred and Laura Brooks family line while in Bluesky Alberta.
|Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks |
(b. October 4, 1862)
(d. January 23, 1928 )
(m. January 7, 1884) wife:
Marie (Grégoire Rousseau) Brooks
(b. November 03, 1867)
(d. September 3, 1944)
|(Joseph) Alfred Brooks
(b. Feb. 18, 1891)
(d. May 13, 1944)
|Joseph (Albert Antoine) Brooks
(b. Dec. 20, 1901)
(d. Jan. 8, 1982)
|Otto (Hubert) Brooks
(b. Nov 10, 1903)
(d. Oct 26, 1969)
|Aimé (Hubert) Brooks
(b. May 17, 1895)
(d. Jan 15, 1952)
|Marie (Theodora) Rousseau Brooks
(b. Sept. 25, 1887)
(d. Aug 8, 1970)
|Marie Eugénie Nelida Brooks
(b. Jan. 12, 1885)
(d. Oct 12, 1937)
(b. Dec. 25, 1884)
(d. ?? 1892 to 1910)
|Marie-Anne Séduile Juliette Brooks
(b. Jan. 5, 1893)
(d. Jan. 6, 1893)
|(Joseph) Alfred Brooks |
(b. February 18, 1891)
(m. December 13, 1919) wife:
Laura (Farant) Brooks
(b. January 11, 1888 )
Hubert and Maynard Brooks
(b. 29-August 1920 )
(d. 29-August 1920)
(b. 29-December 1921)
|Doris (Freda Alma) Brooks
(b. 24-August 1923)
Although Laura grew up in relative ‘cold climate’ of Ottawa, nothing could have prepared her for the
frigid winter temperatures of north western Alberta.
Alfred continued to pursue his fur trapping trade and was away from their log cabin located at the junction of the Peace and Little Burnt Rivers for extended periods of time.
To make matters worse their cabin at that time was located miles from the nearest neighbor (see 1917 Homestead Map in previous Chapter).
It was a hard life for Laura in this strange land, with food consisting mostly of wild game. To obtain water for home use one had to cut a hole in the ice. And of course there was the essential woodpile to keep replenished, for to run out of wood would be a disaster in the cold Peace River winters.
Even the town of Peace River Crossing (see image at right) was desolate in the winter months.
Tragedy struck Alfred and Laura Brooks 29–August 1920 with twins Hubert and Maynard Brooks died at child birth. Tragically Laura was alone in the log cabin at the time of the twins birth, with Alfred away. Laura didn’t know what to do when there were complications during the birth.
The twins were buried the next day at the closest Catholic cemetery, the Friedenstal Cemetery. The twins grave is (currently) unmarked. It is unclear if this was simply customary for those times, or if this was as a result of the twins not being baptised before death, or simply as the St. Thomas More Church suggests a great number of the first graves in the Friedenstal Cemetery, especially for children, had a wooden cross at the time of burial which over time due to the weather and little or no attention from the families that moved away, deteriorated to the point on non-existance.
CAPTION for Images Below:
Some 16 months after the tragic death of the twins, happiness entered Alfred and Laura's life with the birth of son Hubert (in Bluesky Alberta) on 29–December 1921 at half past eight on a Thursday morning.
Hubert was baptized in the St. Boniface Church in nearby Friedenstal by parish priest Rev. W. Ebert on 18 March 1922. Grandparents Hubert and ‘Mary’ (Marie) were Godfather and Godmother respectively.
Doris Freda Alma Brooks was born in Berwyn Alberta on 24–August 1923 at half past five on a Friday morning.
Some notes concerning the births of Doris and Hubert Brooks from Laura Brooks’ Baby Book (Baby Book given to her as a gift by sister Alma- the children’s Aunt Alma).
Some pictures of Doris Brooks with her mother Laura Brooks.
Some pictures of Hubert and Doris Brooks.
1925 was a tough year on the prairies. The wheat crops were not growing and there was a severe drought. There was nothing to feed the cattle so almost all of them died. Some contracted disease. Local farmers had little money so the general store was not doing so well. The dream came crumbling down.
Alfred Brooks had managed a HOTEL in Waterhole for 4 years. With the onset of the severe draught, he grew disillusioned – times were very tough. Alfred and Laura decided to move back east to Ottawa to wife Laura's home town where Alfred was sure he could prosper in a career in mineral prospecting (in nothern Ontario and Quebec).
Alfred's homestead in the East Burnt area was sold to Herb Lothrup and his longtime housekeeper Granny Whitford and her (extended) family which now included Chick Knott. This river quarter was eventually sold to Charlie Hamilton and later became the home of John and Chrissy Venning. Neil and Sharon Hart lived there for a few years after they bought the land.
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The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.