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Morris.EdwardJohnMorrisr1.1 - 17 Aug 2009 - 20:17 - Main.guesttopic end

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Edward John Morris

Born Born 1899 in Medicine Hat, Alberta
Married Married 1932 to Lydia Hehter in Medicine Hat
Died Died 1975 in Medicine Hat

Parents of Edward:

Children:

  1. Earl Edward Morris

Edward’s Early Years

Edward grew up on the homestead located just north of Medicine Hat and attended schools in the 'Hat. As the only ways to cross the South Saskatchewan River until 1908 when the Finlay bridge was opened, was to use the ferry or walk across the railway bridge, I suspect that Edward and other family members used the railway bridge more often than not.

Edward's father passed away in December of 1906, leaving his mother with a large family manage. She was pregnant with Eva at the time of John's death.

In 1908 his mother married Tom Louden and this step father took on the leadership role in the family. In 1913 a new family home was built in Medicine Hat, just at the north end of the Finlay bridge, which made going to school a lot easier for Edward and his siblings.

Edward and his eldest brother Earl were good buddies from what I have learned. Having the river close gave all the children easy access for swimming and canoeing. Apparently Eddie, as he was called, and Earl liked to take a canoe into the river and dump it to see how quickly they could get back in. There is more about that in the military history I have written about Earl.

As Edward was nearing the completion of his high school at Alexandra Composite High School, his mother said that she would pay for his education in university. She would pay for him to be a doctor, teacher or other professional. Edward said that he wanted to be a doctor - a horse doctor that is. His mother said that that was unacceptable, that being a veterinarian was not a profession and she would not pay for that. As a consequence of that conversation, Edward quit school before completing Grade 12. He therefore did not follow in the paths of his sisters or brothers who took advantage of that offer.

This, of course, set the path that Edward was able to follow for the rest of his life without that secondary education. In about 1921 he joined the Canadian Pacific Railway and started out as a wiper in the roundhouse, wiping down steam locomotives and firing them up for the running crews. His employment in those early years on the CPR were not continuous, but he stuck with it and over the years became a fireman and then an engineer, taking freight and passenger trains to and from Swift Current, Saskatchewan. As an fireman, and then an engineer he was very fussy about making sure that every moving part of a locomotive was well oiled. As a result, he earned the nickname "Oil Can Eddy". There are still CPR pensioners alive who remember Edward and his nickname, so his reputation for his diligence his outlived him by many years!

In the years that Edward was not employed with CPR in the 1920s (presumably laid off for economic reasons), he did some traveling. He went to California, specifically to see his brother Earl, who had gone to Oakland shortly after returning from his release from the military and his WWI experiences. That is where Edward managed to pry some of Earl's wartime experiences from him, which Edward related to me in later years.

Edward and Lydia

Sometime around 1930 or so Edward met Lydia Hehter. It is believed that she was born on the family homestead south of Medicine Hat and received a basic primary school education in a rural school, believed to be the one at Norton, Alberta. So, Lydia would have been in her early twenties when they met, and when they married in 1932 she was about 24 years old and he was 33.

Somehow they managed to survive the "dirty thirties" together. Edward was an expert marksman and kept the two of them and a lot of others fed with the deer and antelope that he shot.

The Final Years for Edward

Footnotes

-- EarlMorris - 17 Aug 2009
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