by A. J. Bartling
Seth Gibson, as Martin Aarbo said, was a queer sort of man. He was also very suspicious. There were only a few he would trust - Bill Wolfe, C. J. Markstad, Art Boos, Clarence Boos and A. Bartling. Seth thought the best way to get things he needed was to make his own money, so he contacted Art Boos to go into partnership. He told Art of his plan, and Art said, "Well, Seth, that won't work, because we will just get started and the police will pick us up, and we will be fined a hundred or a thousand each."
"Well" Seth said, "that's all right. We will just make a thousand dollar bill and pay them off". Art told him he did not have the time but Seth did go ahead and bought real good paper and some rubber stamps such as twenty, ten and five dollar stamps. Also he had a stamp - S. W. Wicks - I don't know who Wick's was, but I expect he was the president.
Seth wanted to fence his homestead so he sent an order to Eatons at Winnipeg for enough barbed wire. Bill Wolfe made the order up for Seth, and told Seth how much the wire would be, so Seth sent in some of his S. W. Wicks money for the wire. I was in the Markstad store talking to Mr. Wolfe and Seth came in. He had been to the post office, and handed Bill a letter from Eatons. Seth could not read or write himself. Mr. Wolfe read the letter. Eatons said they had the wire to ship but wanted Canadian currency.
Seth said, "That's funny. The money I sent is better than Canadian. I have a lot of silver on my homestead to back the paper money."
The silver Seth thought he had was nothing but pockets of mica he found while digging some shallow wells. Seth said to Mr. Wolfe, "I am going to go to Utah and dig some Cobalt to mix with my silver." That was the last time I saw Seth. Three days later the R.C.M.P. at Yorkton, Saskatchewan picked Seth up wandering around town talking to himself. They asked him where he was from, and he said Elk Point, but the only person he could remember was C. J. Markstad, so the R.C.M.P. contacted Mr. Markstad about relations of Seth and was told no known relations, so he was taken to Ponoka. About 1957 a nurse from Elk Point by the name of Mary Antonic after leaving Elk Point took nursing work at Ponoka. She married a doctor at Ponoka in the late SO's. She and her Doctor husband came to Elk Point to visit some of Mary's friends. They came to our home as our daughter and Mary were big pals. They had lunch and coffee at our home and I questioned the Doctor of Seth Gibson. At first he could not seem to remember Seth. I said Seth is a small white-haired man, moves around very quick. The Doctor thought for a while and said, "Oh sure, I remember that little fellow. He operated the power bread slicer. He got it into his head that the slices of bread were too small so he sliced the loaves lengthwise. Well, he was checked up on it, but the next morning he did the same thing so he was put in the cooler. He only stayed there one day and begged to be let out. He said he would slice the bread any way they wanted because now the people would starve without an operator."
Seth was a good river driver. He worked out in B.C. for several years. His job was to break up log jams in the river. He always came home in late fall and spent the winter on the homestead... One fall he came home and someone had broken in, and taken most of the things in the house. After that, Seth boarded up the windows. There was very little light inside. I was at Seth's place one day, and said, "Seth, why don't you take those boards off the windows and let some light in?" He had a large trap door on the floor to go down in a dug out cellar just near the ouside door entrance. Seth said, "I won't take
the boards off until I catch the person who stole my stuff, I'll catch photos When I go to bed, I open the cellar door wide. That fellow will come back and see the boards on the windows, and say Gibson is still away. He will open the door and come in, and fall down in the cellar. I will jump out of bed and close the trap door and keep him down there until the police come and take him". Seth had a blue bird made out of tissue paper by Nettie Reom, another early day arrival, who lived in the Phill Deller home. The blue bird had a store cord about six foot. The cord was fastened to the bird's back and well balanced and fastened to the ceiling in front of a south window. That was before Seth boarded it up. The heat from the sun seem to make the bird move, it being so light. It would go in circles and the cord would twist until too much tension made it turn the other way. Seth said "Did you notice the bird?" "Yes" I said. Seth said, "That bird has been flying for three years now and never stops to eat. I can't see how it gets the power to do it." I expect some will wonder where I got these sayings. Well, Seth and I stacked straw for Jack Compton. The thresher was small, hand fed and no straw blower. It had a chain conveyor, same system as the later feeder chain and drag slats on later threshers. Our job was to keep the straw clear, and stack it so it would not rain in. Sometimes we would have a large stack of straw, depending on how big a stack of bundles there was.
Seth would hire me about two times a year, to haul things such as a few bags of potatoes, flour and things he could not carry. I took some things over the spring he left for Utah.
He had quite a pile of fire-killed poplar wood in the yard. I said, "Seth, why don't you get a saw rig to cut the pile up. It would not cost much" "No, no," he said "You know what would happen if I did that. Peter Keitges would come the first night and carry it all away. He won't bother if it's in long poles, but you cut it short and it will all go."