William Lennis Schoonover
Father: William Leonard Schoonover
Mother: Ida Lillian Dahlstrom
Family 1: William Lennis Schoonover
- Sex: M
- Born: 13 OCT 1901
- Died: ABT. 1953
- Buried: in Beaver Creek Cemetary
Len and Hilda (Robinson) Schoonover
From "Ridgedale; Everything Changes But the Memories", 1992
Submitted by Ina Schoonover
William Lennis was born Oct. 13, 1901 to Ida (Dahlstrom) and William L.
Schoonover - deceased Dec. 3, 1953. Hilda Miriam Robinson was born in
Huntsville, Ont., Apr. 27, 1895 - deceased February, 1972.
Len's grandparents, Andrew and Christina Dahlstrom, came to Canada to
homestead, being the first to file in the Ratner area in 1906.
When Ida was divorced, she moved to Saskatchewan with her daughter,
Olive, born 1904. Len stayed in Shell Lake, Wisc. with Mr. and Mrs. John
Mielke, so he could attend school for three or four years. Then he came
to Saskatchewan to stay with his grandparents, along with Olive, as Ida
was working in Prince Albert.
Len worked many years for his grandfather and also for Joe Schmidt as a
Hilda was born and raised at Huntsville, Ont., youngest of a large
family. She attended Normal School in North Bay in 1913; taught at
Widdifield, Ont. in 1913-1914; took summer course at U. of Toronto in
1915; and taught at several Ontario schools before coming west in 1918 to
be the first teacher at Henderson School. The fact that her sister and
brother-in-law, Margaret and Fred Cooper, had homesteaded in the Athol
area in 1917, probably influenced her decision to make the move. She went
to Normal School in Regina, taught in Leader in 1920, the Gull Lake in
1921, before returning to this area to teach at Sandhill School.
Len and Hilda were married Dec. 17, 1921. Vernon was born May 18, 1923.
Lyle arrived Dec. 7, 1924 at Tisdale. Hilda continued teaching, this time
at Hazel Del.
They bought NW 27-47-16-W2nd, moved in and lived there until Len passed
away Dec. 3, 1953.
In the winter of 1929-1930, Len drove a Lynn tractor on the freight haul
from Flin Flon to Island Falls for the dam to be built there. This was a
tractor-train of ten, ten ton sleigh loads.
Len was never fond of horses and as he was mechanically inclined, he had
no problems to keep his tractor and machinery running smoothly and
inventing things to make life easier.
Myrtle (see Neufeld) was born July 7, 1927 in Tisdale and Margaret (see
Putnam) arrived Dec. 4, 1928. Hilda sold eggs to the hatchery and also
gave piano lessons to many young people for "pin" money.
Times were hard, but life was enjoyed in many ways: picnics, sports days,
playing cards, visiting neighbours, Christmas concerts, Homemaker and
Ladies-Aid meetings, as well as Church on Sundays.
Len had the usual work of clearing, breaking, and farming the land, and
doing the daily chores such as putting up feed, cutting ice on the river,
getting wood out and having it sawed, split, and piled. He had a
threshing machine and crew, did custom work and feed crushing in the
area. It was the time of the "hired man" and the "hired girl" who became
part of the family.
When Len became ill, Lyle took over the chores and the farming. Hilda
went back to teaching again in 1947 at Crichton, in the southern part of
the province. She moved back home to teach at Athol, where she taught
until the end of the 1953-1954 season, as Len had passed away in
December, 1953. She had the house moved to Melfort in the fall of 1954.
The house sat at Gronlid for two weeks as the roads were too wet and soft
Hilda taught at Vaughan School, south of Melfort, until it closed and
then at Percieville near Pathlow, until it too was closed. She retired at
Hilda was a "born" teacher and she loved to teach in rural schools, which
had many grades, so that she got to know her pupils and watch their
progress year by year. Her health failed the last few years, and after a
hospital stay, she was moved to Parkland Hospital where she passed away
in February, 1972.
Both Len and Hilda are buried in Beaver Creek Cemetery.
Both Hilda (nee Robinson) and Len had interesting ancestries: (This
footnote submitted by Jason Schoonover).
Hilda's father had come from County Donegal in Ireland. On the maternal
side, she could trace her ancestry back through the United Empire
Loyalists. The Robinson family farm still stands near Huntsville, Ont.,
complete with wood stove and water pump.
Len's was possibly more interesting. He was born in the U.S.A. His father
took the stage name of William Leonard and ran a large tent show up and
down the American Mid-West, out of Missouri, from the teens until he was
financially crushed in the Crash of '29. At its height, he had a fleet of
trucks and even a private railway car. The shows featured plays, with
bands and animal acts. Leonard produced and acted in the plays.
Unfortunately, it seems that Len's mother, Ida, didn't care for show
business because she brought her children north to join her parents, the
Andrew Dahlstoms, who had homesteaded near Ratner, in 1906.
Len's ancestry traced back to one of the first two Schoonover brothers
(Guert) who came to New York from Holland sometime between 1640-1648, and
who owned much of the land where the present day reservoir in Albany, New
York stands. At that time the family name was Van (from) Schoonhoven
(which is a small goldsmithing town just east of Rotterdam). It was
Anglicized to "Schoonover" about 1700. The Schoonovers followed the
historic western expansion along the opening frontier, with this
particular branch coming up to Canada in 1908.
- Vernon Schoonover
- Lyle Schoonover
- Myrtle Schoonover
- Margaret Schoonover
Please send corrections, additions or comments to James William Elwood Howlett
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