Lambright, Jesse

JESSE LAMBRIGHT 1reftext77_46.gif

by Lloyd Lambright

Jesse Lambright learned professional blacksmithing in Kansas. It grew too crowded there so he moved to Iowa. The Lambright family were really pioneers at heart, so Jesse's grandfather suggested he go some place and homestead. Jesse wanted a place where there was good timber. C.D.Smith had been in the Elk Point area and filed on a homestead. He told of the beautiful country. Also a Canadian government man travelled through Iowa and told of Canada.

The Lambright family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Jess Lambright, Frank, Margaret, Lloyd and Ruth. Jesse decided to homestead in the Elk Point area. He rented a forty foot railroad car on an immigrant train, in which he loaded household effects, machinery and livestock. The train became snowbound many times. They had to take the horses out, water them, and walk them around. It took twenty-eight days to reach Vegreville from Emerson, Iowa. They lived in Vegreville for a while.

In 1908 Jesse filed on a homestead in the Elk Point area, half a mile south of the present town. It took them two and a half days to travel the ninety miles from Vegreville to their homestead, crossing the ferry at Duvernay, and on to St. Paul. A stagecoach travelled from Vegreville to St. Paul carrying passengers, making the journey in one day with change of horses.

Besides other equipment, Jesse brought four horses an one cow. With his sons, Frank and Lloyd, he cut jackpir logs on the sandplains, about seven miles east of them, for log house. They learned afterwards that there were goo spruce logs to be had only a few miles to the north.

Lloyd tells of hunting moose and deer in the heavy timber on Section 13, just two miles north of the present town. He dressed all in white so as to blend in with the snow. In thos days, there was no game warden, no license needed and no season.

Jesse Lambright built the second Elk Point ferry after th first one was carried down river by the flood of 1916. Whei it was finished, Mrs. Lambright invited all the settlers to come and dance on the water. She brought her organ and supplied the music on the ferry. They were a musical family Lloyd played the violin and often played for Sunday School which was held at Charlie Hood's about a quarter mile due east of the present town. This was in 1913.

Jesse Lambright was the first blacksmith in Elk Point. This was a great help to the settlers. He was also road fore. man for many years. He built the first road south of Elk Point but the ground was too soft and would not hold. Hank Jacobson was the second foreman and corduroyed the road, which was a great deal of work, but it held.

Lloyd tells how Elk Point got its name. Mr. Higby, originally from Elk Point, South Dakota, was a bartender in Vegreville. He found he was becoming an alcoholic so, wishing to cure himself, loaded supplies on a raft at Bruderheim and floated down river to where the Elk Point bridge is now. Here he dug a cave in the bank, spending the winter hunting and trapping. In the spring, a reformed alcoholic, he returned to Vegreville. When asked where he spent the winter, he said at Elk Point. He told many prospective homesteaders of the beautiful country and advised them to file around Elk Point. Lloyd said his cave was still there in 1908. C.D. Smith wanted the new town called Courtland but Mr. Hood had the first post office and named it Elk Point.


Christmas at Lambrert's homestead home m 1911 (Built in 1909)


Frank Lambright and Nellie Martindale's wedding in 1914, Rev. Day officiated.

Excerpt from a local newspaper:

Pioneer Takes U.S. Vacation: 1947

Mr. Lloyd Lambright, after forty years in Alberta, plans a trip to the United States. Lloyd first came to Alberta in 1907, with his family, from Iowa. They journeyed to Vegre-ville by train and continued on to Elk Point with a team of horses.

The roads being snow-bound, the trip lasted twenty-eight days. On arriving in Elk Point, the Lambrights, Smiths and Caskeys found that they were the only settlers.

Roads were then cut but the closest store was at Hopkins Ferry. A store was then erected where Mr. N. Melnyk now lives, by Mr. Jim Babcock and Mr. Frank Pinder. A post office which had been built (now Peter Andrishak's field) was moved down by the store.

Meanwhile, Lloyd had been working on the new railway coming in and, in 1916, journeyed back to the U.S. where, in 1917, he went overseas with the American Army. In 1918 he returned to Elk Point, where he played baseball and hockey.

He worked out for six years and in 1925 started a combined fox and mixed farm. In 1928 he dropped raising fox and continued mixed farming until 1944. Two years later, Lloyd moved to town.

After forty-seven years away from the States, Mr. Lambright is leaving for Omaha, Nebraska After a day in Edmonton, he plans to drive to Calgary and fly from there to Vancouver for a few weeks. Then he will continue his journey.


J.C. Lambright 84 years,  granddaughter Patty Chillbeck