Fonds 046 Sidney A. Connolly fonds


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1911-1940 c.. — .5 cm cm of textual records. — 6 photographs. — 2 postcards.

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Biographical Sketch

Sidney Asa Connolly was born February 10, 1885 (or 1886) at Brumpton Gore, P.Q.. He married Frances Reilly and a daughter, Helen, was born in 1911 while Sidney was still in college. Deciding to settle down, the free land in Alberta appealed to him so they travelled to Edson. Sidney and Mr. Murphy hiked in to file for a homestead claim on the N.E. quarter of Section 10 Township 73 Range 6 West of the 6th in the Sexsmith area on September 25, 1911. The family travelled the Edson Trail during the winter of 1911-12 and lived in a vacant script house until Sidney could build a 8×8 pole house. Sidney worked on the railway construction in the winter months and since Frances did not want to live alone, she went into Grande Prairie and worked for Mrs. Sexsmith at her stopping place. After completing improvements on his quarter section, Sidney was granted a patent on the land in 1915. In the same year his wife, Frances became ill and died. Sidney took Helen to New Hampshire. In 1921, for the price of $10.00, Mr. Connolly was issued a grant for placer mining from the Dominion Lands Office in Grande Prairie on Section 19-75-1-W6th, on the west bank of the Smoky River in the North Badheart District. For one year he was granted exclusive right of entry upon the claim “for the miner-like working thereof, and the construction of a residence thereon, and the exclusive right to all the proceeds realized thereon.” The grant did not give Sidney Connolly any ownership of the soil, i.e. homestead rights. In 1929 Sidney sold his homestead to Mr. Mercer. Both Sidney and Frances are buried in the Emerson Trail Cemetery.

Custodial History

The first accession numbers are documents that were part of a collection gathered by volunteers of the Grande Prairie Museum before an accessioning number system was in place. When accession numbers were first issued, they were given a miscellaneous number as there was no information on the donor. The 2006.29 donation came from Mr. Connolly’s daughter, Helen Connolly.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of two documents made out to Sidney Connolly from the Department of the Interior: an approval of a patent on NE 1/4 S10 T73 R6, dated June 9, 1915, and a grant for Placer Mining on S19-T75-R1 W6th, dated Nov. 23, 1921. The 2006 accrual consists of 3 photographs, a studio portrait of Pete Klassen, 2 postcard/photographs of Grande Prairie, 2 postcards of Alberta scenes, a letter from Pete Klassen, a copy of “Canada West” magazine and a Christmas postcard. Also included are Helen’s written memories.


Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Visitors at the Connolly Home, 1914 c.
1 photograph/postcard; b & w; 3 x 4
Group photo in front of a log home: L-R Mrs. Frances Connolly with daughter Helen in front of her, Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Sexsmith with Ruth and two other children in front, Mr. And Mrs. Murphy, Hugh McGuire. Pete Klassen, Alfred Ward.
Location: 046.01
The Connolly Homestead, 1912 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 3
Shows three log buildings, a house, a barn and a privy.
Location: 046.02
Reindeer in the Far North, 1915 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
“Reindeer in the extreme north of Canada copied from the Dept. of Mines and Resources Picture, Wishing You, Mr. Connolly & Helen a Happy New Year and many of them.” signed D.P. Roberts
Location: 046.03
Peter Alfred Klassen, ca. 1915
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 7
Peter Klassen homesteaded the quarter section next to the quarter Mr. Connolly homesteaded. He served in World War I and died of wounds received at Courcelette on November 4, 1916.
Location: 046.04
On the Trail to Grande Prairie Alta., 1913
1 photograph/postcard; b & w; 4 x 6
A man walks alongside oxen pulling two wagons. A horse is eating grass.
Location: 046.05
On the Trail to Grande Prairie Alta., 1913
1 photograph/postcard; b & w; 4 x 6
A group of men stop on the trail for something to eat Two wagons sit unhitched.
Location: 046.06
Canada West, 1916
This publication was printed with the intent of luring settlers to western Canada with promises of rich, free farmland, showing pictures of abundant crops of all kinds and prosperous looking farmsteads.
Location: 046.07

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