Andrishak, William


by S. Andrishak

My father, Willam Andrishak, emigrated from the Ukraine around the turn of the century. After working in eastern Canada for two years he decided to come west. About 1904 he took a homestead south of Warspite, Alberta where he farmed in the spring and summer and worked in the coal mines during the winter so he could earn enough money to help equip the farm with cattle and machinery.

In 1914 he met and married Mary Muzyka who had also emigrated from Austria and who had settled in the area nearby with her brother. They raised a family of seven children: Anne (Mrs. Steve Lazoruk); Olga, (Mrs. Max Fischer); Fred; Mike; Steve; Peter; and Jean (Mrs. Angelo Provenzano).

Prior to 1920 my father sold his homestead and opened a barbershop and pool hall in the hamlet of Warspite. With the railroad pushing eastward towards Elk Point my father decided Elk Point would be a good place to open a new business, so in 1925 he disposed of his business in Warspite and moved to Elk Point where he established a small general store in the old section of town. When the railroad arrived in 1927 he moved his store to the new section of town. The store was situated between the present Elk Point Hotel and the laundromat. Here he operated a highly successful general store for a number of years with all the family pitching in and helping with the operations. Things were extremely difficult during the depression years but somehow he managed to pull through as did many other people during these difficult times. During the middle thirties my father purchased some land north east of town and when Olga married, the store was turned over to her and we all moved out to the farm 2 1/2 miles north west of town. During this time my father obtained additional farm land and with hard work and good management built up a successful farming operation. He was successful in building a good herd of purebred cattle and took pride in exhibiting his stock at Exhibitions in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto where he won numerous red and blue ribbons for prize stock.

Due to failing health he turned the farms over to Fred and retired in Elk Point in 1946. Here he helped establish the Greek Orthodox church. He donated the land where the present church stands in the north section of town.

I shall always remember my father and mother as two honest, hardworking people who tried to give their family a better way of life than they had in their homelands. My father passed away in 1949 after a lengthy illness and my mother died in 1973 at the age of 77.


Four generations of Andrishaks: (Mrs.) Maryanne Ischiw and son, Mrs. Andrishak, Mrs. Fischer.


William. and Mary Andrishak, about 1947


William. Andrishak in front of his store,1937.