Stanley William Bird fonds. — 1918. — 12 pp. — 1 photographs.
Stanley William Bird was born in Dorset, England ca. 1899 and came to Canada with his parents in 1908. The family lived in Nakomis, Saskatchewan until 1914, when Mr. Bird took a homestead about 20 miles south-west of Watrous, Saskatchewan. There is little information about Stanley Bird’s youth, just that he worked for the Texas cattlemen who grazed their herds in southern Saskatchewan.
In 1918, Stanley filed on a homestead in the Northfield/LaGlace area of the Peace Country, on the SW of section 6, Township 75, Range 8, West of the 6th Meridian. This was “about 40 miles from Prairie City, 4 miles from a post office, and 3 miles from a store”. After spending the summer on his homestead, he returned to his father’s home in Saskatchewan for the winter. Somewhere along the way he contracted the Spanish Flu and died on Christmas Day, 1918.
The records were deposited at South Peace Regional Archives in 2014 by Murray Dovauo, the son of Peg Bird, Stanley Bird’s sister, to whom one of the letters is written.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of a photograph of Stanley William Bird, and three letters which he wrote to his sister and father in 1918. The first letter, dated June 10th, is addressed to Peg and contains the words to the song “Prairieland” as well as the poem, “How”. He mentions subjects in which Peg was probably interested (birds’ eggs, what the houses look like, and how all the men look like cowboys), and tells her that she can keep his pony Nell, “a little white mare with brown ears”. The second letter, dated June 27th, talks about the murders of seven men in June 1918, and is a good measurement of the rumours and assumptions made at the time about the money, the perpetrators, and the victims. This letter also describes the wildlife in the area (wild horses, beaver, moose, bear, silver and cross foxes, timber wolf), the remnants of the Klondike Trail which is also the pack trail from Prairie City to Pouce Coupe, and looks forward to the July 1 Sports Day when “all the Indians in the country will be there”. The third letter, dated July 11th, gives the “latest news” which is that the number of men murdered has increased to thirteen. He also mentions that he is making $70.00 per month working on a steam plowing outfit, and that he is going hunting with an Indian man named Wi-kit-sis.