Frank Paige fonds. — 1917-1968. — 4.5 cm cm of textual records.
Frank Paige was born in Lachine, Quebec, in 1890. He was one of six children. He originally homesteaded the SE 17 -55-3-W5 in the eastern part of central Alberta near Heinsburg in 1911 or 1912. In 1922, Frank bought the quarter of land (SW 1-74-6-W6) north of Sexsmith from John MacDonald. He lived in a one room shack, heated with wood year round and farmed with horses. By the 1950s he needed help; his fields had a noxious weed problem, but he was distrustful and didn’t seem to have a close friend. He started writing many letters to the County of Grande Prairie and government departments trying to explain his situation but his writing was very indeciperable and likely came to be ignored.
By 1958, Frank Paige was an old age pensioner and had rented out his land but was unhappy with the farming practices of his renter and the County was pressuring him to solve a weed problem. His letter writing increased and included a letter to A.O. Fimrite, a local MLA who advised him to consider selling his quarter, retaining an acreage for himself. He evidently did not take the advice. In 1963, he was still writing to the County, requesting information on who was paying for cutting the couch grass and were there any debts against his land. It seems the County found him to be a nuisance and ignored him eventually.
On a cold day in February, 1965, a passerby noticed there was no smoke coming from his chimney and went in to investigate. Frank was found partially frozen and was taken to the Grande Prairie Hospital. He lost some of his fingers and had to have two artificial legs. He then lived in the Alberta Hotel in Edmonton for some time and then ended his days in the Auxiliary Hospital in Grande Prairie. He died c.1980.
Before he died, Frank entrusted these records to John Braseth. John and his wife Lynn then donated them to the South Peace Regional Archives in April, 2005.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of personal records from 1917-1950, including 32 photographs; financial and tax records from 1922-1964; crop records from 1923-1968; and correspondence from 1925-1963.
Table of Contents
|Series 261.01||Personal Records|
|Series 261.02||Financial and Tax Records|
|Series 261.03||Crop Records|
|Series 261.01||Personal Records. — 1917-1950. — 1.5 cm cm of textual records.The series consists of 32 photographs, a Canada Registration Board certificate, 1918, a time book, a diary, 2 booklets listing transactions, a small coiled booklet, a telegram announcing his mother’s death in 1952, and 2 letters from a friend, Vern Ophus.|
|Series 261.02||Financial and Tax Records. — 1922-1964. — 1 cm. cm of textual records.The series consists of tax notices and assessments,1930-1957; 3 bank books,1922-1935; handwritten records of payments made and records of cheques written,1929-1932; a receipt from Joe Tracie covering rent for 1923-1925; T4 slips,1942 and 1946; a list of purchases on account from the Peace River Meat Co.; a bill of sale from Alex Novlesky; and miscellaneous receipts and bills.|
|Series 261.03||Crop Records. — 1923-1968. — 1 cm. cm of textual records.The series consists of producer certificates, final payment receipts and correspondence from the Canadian Wheat Board, a booklet recording grain payments, a 1953-54 permit book, a purchase agreement from the Pocock Grain company, and miscellaneous handwritten notes.|
|Series 261.04||Correspondence. — 1925-1963. — 1 cm. cm of textual records.The series consists of letters regarding money Frank owed or copies of letters Frank wrote about money that was owed to him; many copies of letters directed to the County of Grande Prairie concerning weed control, tax arrears, and tenant issues.|