Blackwell Genealogy John Blackwell 10.2.4.8 and Sarah Howes
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John Blackwell and
George Blackwell 1834 - 1916 Children of George Blackwell & Descendants Ronald E. Blackwell
14th Generation Children of John Blackwell and Sarah Howes
LOIS BLACKWELL (10.2.4.8.1)
Died in Infancy
ALLAN BLACKWELL (10.2.4.8.2)
Family of Allan Blackwell
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Allan on the right
Visiting at the Ernie Blackwell home in Moose Jaw abt 1954
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IVAN BLACKWELL (10.2.4.8.3)
Ivan and Agnes Blackwell
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Ivan Howes Blackwell 10.2.4.8.3
b. 15 Apr 1908 Brandon, Manitoba
d. 15 Jan 1980 Melfort, Saskatchewan
Married: Melfort, Saskatchewan
b. 29 Aug 1926
Agnes presently resides in Melfort, Saskatchewan.
Ivan was an MP during the Second World War. He did not talk much about it but when I got a little older I started asking more questions every time we would see him on visits to Melfort, or when he and Agnes would come to Moose Jaw. One day, when I was in my early teens, he called me aside and told me a story about an incident. I will not tell all the details as the story is most graphic. It did help me to understand why he never wanted to discuss the topic and it woke me to something that I never knew before. In a way, after he told me the details, I had wished he had not told me at all. Now, I understand why he didn't speak of it. War is a terrible thing, and as one scholar said, only the dead will see war no more.
As an MP he would do all sorts of activities other then what you would see in the moves, although he would have to do that also. When the front lines would move forward in battle, the MPs would have to establish routes for the "logistics" to follow the front. Fuel, ammunition, food, etc. During one situation, the Canadians took over a Concentration Camp. The name of the Camp was Belsen. Ivan was one of the first men in prior to the Senior Officers arriving. What took place and what he saw will not be mentioned here. However, your imagination can not do justice to what he saw. To support his story, he took photographs of his own, and lots of them. He presented me with these photos to keep and I have them to this day. His story told me that our history books are correct but also that all sides in the war became full of hate. But that is what war always does to people I suppose.
Now, it may seem odd but I was born on the day the first world war ended and the year the second world war ended. That is, November 11, 1945. Every year I would get the day off from school when I was young and when I started working for a living and even to this day, I would get it off as it is a National Holliday. I still get to watch the TV Documentaries that are dedicated to the Veterans. It was November and usually to cold to go outside. TV was made to order. On one occasions in 2001 I was watching one of these shows and it was a film by the Official Camera Man of the Canadian Military. The story was on Belsen. One of the photos my uncle had was of a group of Nazi Prisoners about 6 across and two deep. In the front row, far right, was a prisoner who was short, bald and really terrible looking. During the show on TV, I saw the move camera version of exactly the same shot. Even the burned out building behind them was the same. The prisoner I mentioned spoke as he could speak a little English. I was ecstatic to see this footage. Suddenly, in the corner of the shot, I saw a soldier with an MP insignia. He was holding a still camera and was taking a photo of the German Prisoners. Could it be? I am really not certain, but the odds of it being Ivan were very good. It felt good.
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PHYLLIS BLACKWELL (10.2.4.8.4)
Phyllis Blackwell (10.2.4.8.4)
Phyllis (L) and friend Phyllis Carl McGraw
ERNEST HENRY BLACKWELL (10.2.4.8.5)
Shown here about 1950 in the uniform of the Melfort Juniors
that he organized, managed and coached all the way to the
Sask. Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ernie and Jessie Blackwell abt 1938 in Melfort, Saskatchewan.
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Ernest Henry Blackwell (10.2.4.8.5)
b. 31 Mar 1913 Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
d. 1985 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Married: 1941 Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
Jessie Lillian Byford View the Byford Family - Click Here
b. Jan 1917 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
d. 1971 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
She is the daughter of Arthur Byford Sr. (Seymour) and Nellie Leticia Cousins b. 21 Jan 1885 Norfolk, England.
Children of Ernie and Jessie
Ronald Ernest Blackwell (10.2.4.8.5.1)
Note: Ernie & Jessie, while in Melfort, Saskatchewan, where heavily involved with a baseball team that was, and still is as of today, the most winning team in Saskatchewan History. As such, they were inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in August of 2001. See Melfort Jr's
-nee Byford abt 1938
Taken in Melfort, SK.
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Blackwell Home in Melfort, Saskatchewan (about 1941)
This home was built by John Blackwell (10.2.4.8) of 1877 (Father of Ernie Blackwell)
The dog they are holding is named Jigs, a Maltese. He lived to be 21 years of age.
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The Tombstone of Ernie and Jessie Blackwell
Rosedale Cemetery, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
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The people of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
have built and named this Little League Ball Diamond
in honour of my father who gave so much to the community.
I thank the good people of Moose Jaw for their remembrance.
Sign denotes the dedication of the above ball diamond
The story of Ernie Blackwell is special to me as I am not only the webmaster of this site, but Ernie is my father. He was born in Brandon, Manitoba in 1913. He was the second youngest. His grandmother was Lois Twichell. His older brothers were Allan, and Ivan with an older sister, Phyllis. His younger brother was Gordon. He also told me that his parents lost their little girl Lois in infancy. Lois was their first born child and had she survived, she would have been the eldest and first of two daughters.
I think they had a middle class life style in Brandon in the early years but hardships followed after that.
I did hear some terrible stories of their life in Saskatchewan. Hardship was common place for a lot of people in those days. Food was scarce and I have heard stories of having potatoes and corn syrup for food as a staple. Not because it was tasty, but because that is all they had or could store for any length of time. Every home had a Root Celler'. This is a fancy word that meant a hole in the ground (often below the house) to keep their food stuffs. Do not confuse this with our nice basements we have today. It was really novel to go down into the Root Cellar and see the "Shelves" cut out of the dirt so the preserves could be put up on them. It was very cool but not freezing.
I remember my father telling me about his father (John 10.2.4.8) being a Plasterer and in Construction in Manitoba. He used to take the payroll to the job site in a case full of cash to pay his employees. One day, when things were so bad that he had to shut down, he took all his cash and any money he could raise from the sale of his property to pay his employees what he owed them. This left the family destitute and they then headed West to the Peace River region of Canada. However, they ran out of travel money in or near Melfort. That is how Melfort became their home. It is this kind of integrity that I saw in my father in later years. He had ample opportunity to take the route of most financial success but the options to do that meant betrayal of his ethics. I never understood this until later years, but I am very aware of it now. He was possibly the most credible human being I have ever met, not because he was my father, but because he was truly that kind of man, and was recognized by others for that as well.
In growing up, my father had done it all. He had traveled with the carnival called the Royal American Shows. During the day he built the wooden track for the little cars out of wood planks. He then would be a "barker" for one of the side shows in the evening. A barker is the fellow who stands up at the front of the tent and tried to talk you into buying a ticket. The barker had to be good in his excitement and his ability to persuade you to buy a ticket. He got to see a lot of country in his travels and meet a different cross section of people. Closer to home, he drove truck for the Carrot River Oil Company. I recall his telling me about the corduroy roads he had to travel. These are roads that are built with logs laid across areas of permafrost. It was the only way to take a vehicle into some of the areas he had to travel. In the summer, the frost in the ground would melt and the logs would take the stress of the vehicle without sinking out of sight (sometimes). In the winter, the permafrost would set in and it was a safer trip. In those days you got paid by the mile and it was not much. You had to drive non stop for days to end up with enough money to make a living. After many days on the road, my father came to the point of exhaustion. He went to the owner and said, "that's it, I am going to bed for a couple of days". "If you want to give my job away, that is up to you". He handed the owner the keys for the truck and left. A few days later he came back and the owner had the keys ready and waiting for him. His truck did not move the whole time. The owner, it is believed, saw the honesty in my father as he did not discolour the fuel or skim the count as other drivers seemed to do on a regular basis. and the owner knew this. (Explanation) When you deliver Gas their are two of three sections to your tanker truck. Each held different types of fuel. They were called, Red, White and Purple Gas. They all had a slightly different colour. Some drivers would 'dye' the gas and sell the cheaper gas as costlier gas and pocket the difference. Others would simply "short pour" the tanks of the end user and keep the excess. All transactions were usually done in cash by the smaller accounts.
My father met and married my mother who was living in Melfort and working at the Star Store on Main Street. (a five and dime store) I believe it was in 1941 that they were married. My mother told me a very funny story that only became humorous years later, but at the time, it was a serious situation. It seems that my father and mother owned a Furniture Store. Like any other business of the time, you did not keep regular hours and a lot of the time was spent on the road. On one particular trip my father had been away on a road trip delivering and selling furniture. He returned on a November night that, believe it or not, was raining and snowing all at the same time. At that time of year, it would of or should have been well below freezing. He did not go home but went immediately back to the closed store. (it was late) and picked up some samples to take on a call he had arranged. The call was to the Hospital Administrator who was in need of furniture for the waiting rooms. My father appeared with his samples in hand and as he approached the counter, he noticed the nurses were in a frenzy. He heard one of the nurses call to another, "Quick, call Doctor Levitt, Mrs. Blackwell is having her baby". That was the first indication my father had that his wife had been taken to hospital in his absence and was about to give birth. A note of information here. It was not until I started my genealogy (2001) and went through some old letters and cards of congratulations that I saw the real seriousness of this story. It was not funny at all for all parties. It seems that my mother had a bad time in her pregnancy and just about died in the process. My delivery was anything but normal. It was a difficult time for my parents and I now understand why I was cared for and raised in the manner I was. They kept this information from me all my life. It was only my genealogy research that allowed me to understand this. I was so relieved when I did. Thus, one of the values of Genealogy.
Just before they were married, my mother gave my father a ring. (late 1930s) It was a beautiful, large red Ruby set into a solid gold setting. I remember as I was growing up how much I admired the ring. It was beautiful. My father never took it off his hand. On the night of my fathers passing in the hospital room, I was led to a small room only moments after his passing. I sat there in a state of confusion, disbelief and fear. A nurse walked in and asked me if I would like anything from the room. I knew what she meant. So, I asked for my father's ring. A few moments later it was brought to me. I put it on. It was then that I realized the reality of the situation. To this day, as I sit here and type these words, it is on my hand. I wear it on my third finger of my left hand to remind me of all the people in my life who are, and have been so important to me. It is sort of a wedding ring, birth stone, friendship ring, and family ring. It works.
My father was an avid baseball player. He loved the game. One day in Melfort (abt 1947 / 48) he was approached by some local young people to support them in a desire they had to start a baseball team. My father did and in a big way. I will not go into detail here but you may want to have a look at a tribute page to a group of great ballplayers. MELFORT JUNIORS They were entered into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001. To learn more about Ernie Blackwell, you must read the information on this page. (Mini Website) As I indicate on the Melfort Juniors Page, my father was an individual who found great pride in his team. He thought of them like family and throughout the rest of his life, he would always refer to these days as the best in his life. There are lots of photos on this site.
Ernie Blackwell - Jessie Blackwell - Ron Blackwell
Photo taken about 1966
535 Athabasca Street West, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Photo by Linda Elsom
GORDON BLACKWELL (10.2.4.8.6)
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Gordon was a Veteran of the Second World War
Gordon Blackwell 10.2.4.8.6
Children of Gordon and Ina
John Blackwell 10.2.4.8.6.1
John, Ina and Gordon
Much more to be done on this page