It has been a hot week, with temperatures hitting in the 30s but on the other hand the flowers and fields are sure looking great this year! But despite the heat, it’s turning out to be a nice summer with some thunderstorms to cool everything down.
The next pioneers that was mentioned were the Prudden’s, in the poem, so we are going to look into their lives this week. In the Spring of 1902, Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Prudden and their sons, Willis and Earl, arrived by train in Lacombe from Beaver Crossing, Nebraska USA . On Dec. 6,1902, Mr. Prudden and Willis opened the first store east of Lacombe, coming there by team and wagon. Their first bookkeeping machine eventually was donated in time to the Stettler Museum where it still is today if you would like to stop at the museum and look. It is not certain how long the Pruddens operated the store in Old Red Willow, but they did eventually sold out to Mr. Higgin’s, who had a store further to the east. Mr. Prudden and Willis both had homestead land a few miles east and north of Botha and for a few years donated their lives to farming.
In 1905, Willis married Iowa Cunningham and while on the farm had two children when the CPR pushed eastward from Stettler, Willis and Earl built and operated the Prudden Mercantile Company and Willis also operated a lumber mart there in Botha until Willis passed away in Feb. 1928. Iowa continued living in Botha until her passing in Oct. 1968. Before her passing though, she moved to Stettler and resided there until 1945.
The business continued on for the next three years, which was known as Prudden and Gibson, and another company took over the store after the three years. Earl and family then moved to Calgary, where he operated the Prudden’s Chinaware Store. Earl carried on his business in Calgary until his passing in March 1953, and his wife, Ruth continued living in Calgary until her passing in Nov. 1976.