Seth Gibson

During the early 1930s, a man named Seth Gibson set tied in the Elk Point district. Shortly after his arrival, he built a home about one mile east of where Martin Aarbo lives. There was nothing fancy about his house - it was crudely built and had very little in the way of furniture.

Some of his neighbors learned that he came from eastern Canada where he worked in various logging  camps throughout  Ontario and Quebec. Little else was known of his past history, He was a bachelor and had no known relatives in western Canada. He lived a simple life and his only source of income came from his surrounding neighbors when he was paid to take out logs or help them with other farm chores.

Seth pretty well kept to himself and few people really got to know him well. He was regarded as a very unusual person, a man who had many ideas - some which were not accepted by our many residents. Seth never caused anyone any trouble nor did he ever do anything irrational that I know of - he just seemed to live in a world of his own.

During the years Seth lived in our community, many stories came to be told about him, some true, while others no doubt were fabricated by those who were acquainted with him. One story that made its rounds and which was often repeated took place about 1935. At that time, Seth had no means of transportation other than his own two legs. Whenever he needed groceries or other supplies he always walked to Elk Point - a round trip of about ten miles. He was a fast walker and could outdistance many people who were much younger than himself. One day while Dr. F. G. Miller was driving his Dodge touring car, he met Seth near the site of our east cemetery. He was carrying a 50 pound sack of flour on his shoulder and wasn't wasting any time. The doctor stopped his car and asked Seth if he wanted a ride. He promptly replied, "No thanks, Doctor, I'm in a hurry to get home today."

Seth used to print his own money with a toy printing press. He used lined paper taken from a school scribbler. His currency in no way resembled the bills in use at the time. When asked why he printed his own money, he re plied "The government prints it, why can't I?" One day he made a list of supplies he needed and sent an order to the T. Eaton Company in Winnipeg, enclosing enough of his home made money to pay for his order. Eatons apparently wouldn't honor his crude currency and for that reason never shipped his order.

Another story that concerned Seth Gibson was told to me by the late Raymond Keitges, who at the time was visiting with his parents on the farm a mile east of the Gibson residence. Apparently his father, Pete Keitges, hired Seth to take out some logs and Raymond went along to help out. One day while they were working a storm suddenly blew up. A streak of lightning lit up the sky and was followed by a loud clap of thunder. Seth suddenly looked up at the sky, shook his fist and said "I'm not afraid of You, God - You don't scare me one little bit." Soon after, the sound of thunder intensified and instead of one bolt lightning, about four lit up the sky followed by more by loud thunder. Seth again looked up at the sky and in very subdued tone uttered 'didn't mean it, God - I was only joking."

Augie Bartling, one of our old timers, used to tell other story about Seth Gibson. It concerned a cellar do which was located inside Seth's doorway. This cell door was always left open when Seth went to bed and remained that way until got up the next morning. When asked why he did this, he replied "I never had any use for the devil and should he ever pay me a visit during the night he would fall into my cellar and before I knew what happened, I would nail the cellar door shut. That would teach him never come to my house again."

During the years Seth lived in the Elk Point district was a much talked about man. He  practically  became legend. He was by no means a fool and many thought he acted that way just to get added attention.

In later years, the health authorities decided some Seth's actions were alarming and had him placed in an institution. He remained there for a few years and finally died there. Seth was a real character, one who always gave the people of Elk Point something to talk about while he lived our district.  Although different in many ways, it did, however, earn a place in Elk Point's past history.