Sheridan Lawrence-Pioneer

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Sheridan Lawrence-Pioneer - Sheridan Lawrence-Pioneer How little Canadians...
Sheridan Lawrence-Pioneer How little Canadians know about their own country and its vast-ncss was brought to mind the other day when word flashed from Port Vermilion that Sheridan Lawrence had passed away. Where is Port Vermilion and who was Sheridan Lawrence? No need to ask anyone from the hinterland of Alberta who Sheridan Lawrence was. He was an institution there for more than 70 years. Port Vermilion Is a trading post on the Peace River, almost 700 miles north of the Montana boundary, 807 miles northeast of Finlay Forks, B.C., where the mighty Peace rises Just west of the Rockies, and west of the Peace River Canyon which pierces the backbone of the continent. Sheridan Lawrence was a farmer all his life. In 1879 he came west from Montreal to take charge of the farming being done at the Anglican Church mission which had been established at the Port Vermilion trading post. But even before he camej in 1876 wheat from Vermilion mission farms captured first prize at the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. It may have been that news which stirred the blood of young Lawrence and sent him into the far north country. In any event, after carrying on farming at the mission for a few years, the young man married the Anglican missionary's daugnter, They raised a family of 15 boys and girls, and they established beyond mbt that agriculture could be car ried on successfully 50 miles from Alberta's northern boundary. Lawrence Point, a few miles up the river valley from Fort Vermilion, the Lawrences established a fairly large farm. In 1900 or thereabouts they established a flour mill, grind ing the wheat with stones. This was replaced 20 years later by a modern 50-barrcl roller mill, and flour from the Lawrence mill weni by river steamboats all over h north country to Indians and trappers, to prospectors and the fron tiersmen who paved the way for the remarkable development in oil and minerals which has taken place in the past quarter-century, with uranium the greatest prize of all. There at Fort Vermilion through out the years the Lawrences lived and traded with the Indians. A real pioneer, Sheridan Lawrence built a school for the family and hired a teacher, built roads and told the story of a great northland, all without a cent of help from any gov ernment. Mrs. Lawrence shipped in an organ more than 50 ycars ago to assist in church services and en tertainments, and this was followed by a grand piano 10 years later. It is little wonder that the nortn- land mourns the passing of Sheridan Lawrence. To the Lawrence family goes the credit of pointing out to Canadians that there, on the northern edge of the Last Great West, where prize wheat was grown more than 75 ycars ago, there Is an agricultural empire, estimated by the late Dr. Dawson, famed geologist and economist, covering some 15,000,000 acres which will one nay help to feed a hungry world. For this the name of Sheridan Lawrence will live long In the memory of Albertans,

Clipped from
  1. The Lethbridge Herald,
  2. 19 Feb 1952, Tue,
  3. Page 6

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  • Sheridan Lawrence-Pioneer

    wiebelc – 06 Dec 2014

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