Arnott Eric


by Gordon Arnott

Mr. Eric Arnott came from England to New York at the age of sixteen, working for an importing firm. In New York, Dad met Mother, Edith Jean Drew, and they were married in 1907. Gordon and Jean were born in New York. Office work for dad was getting tiresome, and upon reading about the homesteads available in western Canada, decided to immigrate to Canada. Mother's parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Drew came with us, and we arrived in Edmonton, Sept., 1910.

They met Mr. William Wolfe in a hotel in Edmonton and decided that Dad and Mr. Wolfe would go out to see the country north of Vermilion. They liked what they saw, and decided to homestead there. Dad filed on the S.W. 1/2 35-56-6W of 4th and Mr. Wolfe on SE 1/2 34-56-6-W of 4th. Dad and Mr. Wolfe returned to Vermilion to file on the land and to each buy a team of oxen, building supplies and food.

Returning to the homestead they lived in a tent for the winter, helping each other getting out logs and building their houses. Mother, her parents and Gordon and Jean, came out to look at the homestead in October, riding out from Vermilion with Mr. J.B. Caskey, who was hauling mail to Elk Point at that time. We had to spend the night on the south side of the river as it was frozen over and the ferry was out, and crossing unsafe in the dark. The next morning, we had to cross on foot, Jean a baby of ten months old was wheeled across in her carriage. Mother said she was scared to death. As the tent was not large enough for us all to live in, Mrs. Drew, Mother and children returned to live in Edmonton until the house was completed in the spring of 1911. Uncle George Drew stayed to help Dad. Helen was born in Edmonton.


Mrs. Arnott in front of the first log house on their homestead, 1912.


Mr. Eric Arnott on leave, 1917.

Dad and Mr. Drew carried on the farming until the fall of 1915 when Dad enlisted and left for war. Mother and children carried on with the farming until May, 1917, when Mother had a very serious accident while out disking the land. Mother was rushed to the Vermilion hospital and later transferred to the Mayo Clinic in the States. Mrs. Wolfe and Mrs. Plummer took care of her children while Mother was in hospital, and the neighbors helped with the farming. In August, 1917, Dad got a three-month compassionate leave from the army to visit Mother after the accident. Dad was on the firing line when the call reached photos The liner on which Dad returned to Canada was accompanied out of danger by five destroyers. After Mother was out of hospital, we spent the winter on the farm and then moved to Edmonton after the war. A year later, we moved back to the farm to stay.

George was born at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock, west of Elk Point in 1920. This completed our family.

In 1930, Dad built a hall in Elk Point and operated it as a picture theatre and dance hall until it was sold to Steve Andrishak. It is now known as the Arrow Theatre.

In the second World War, 1939-45, George served as an air force navigator. He is now living in Edmonton. Helen and Jean are both living in Victoria, B.C. Gordon, who operated the farm for many years, is now retired and living near Elk Point. Dad passed away in 1964 in the Camrose Hospital. Mother passed away in 1968 at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Edmonton and is buried in a cemetery near Sherwood Park