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Kimberley Families

The Bob MacLeod Family


as told by Bob

Bob MacLeod's father was born in Nova Scotia and moved to Olympia, Washington, when he was eighteen years old. His mother was born in Baden Baden, Germany, and her family came out to Olympia when she was four years old. It was here they met each other, were married and raised their family of seven children. Mr. MacLeod Sr. owned a dairy farm about six miles outside the city and delivered milk to Olympia and sold cordwood to the Olympia Brewery.

After living in Olympia for twenty-five years, his two nephews convinced their uncle to sell his business and buy a hotel in Trail, B.C. The family arrived in Trail in January, 1904, and went into business by buying the Victoria Hotel. The hotel included a saloon which the parents decided was not a good influence for their seven children and sold it after two years of operation.

They then moved to Nelson, B.C. in 1908 where two of the boys worked for the Hall Mines smelter. His son-in-law, the late Jack Millross, and Bruce Ritchie were shift bosses at the smelter and S. G. Blaybock was the Superintendent.

Mr. MacLeod worked for the Nelson Dairy for a year and then went back to Nova Scotia with young Bob for two years before returning to Trail.

Bob worked at the Trail Smelter for six months and then went to work, delivering groceries for Camille Lauriente.

Lloyd Crowe and his brother Elliot had moved from Cranbrook to Trail in 1916 and opened up a grocery store there. Some of the people who knew Bob suggested to the Crowe brothers that they would do well to have Bob MacLeod in their store. The brothers were interested and Bob became a partner in the new store.

Bob married Violet Tallon in Rossland on November 14, 1917. Her parents had come out to Canada from Cornwall, England.

The Crowe Bros. & MacLeod Store was purchased by the Company and the three partners were offered jobs by the new owners, but declined as they had other plans. Bob joined the American Army, Elliot went to the Coast and Lloyd Crowe moved to Cranbrook, B.C.

After his discharge from the Army, Bob returned to Trail and worked for the City Grocery. In quick succession he worked for S. A. Speers in Creston, the Trail Mercantile, then back to Speers at Creston and then to Kellogg, Idaho, where he was the manager of a national chain grocery store.

In 1925, Bob and Lloyd Crowe were reunited when they met in Kimberley and started another business together. Crowe's Retail Service, Limited proved to be very successful and before long they had a staff of twelve and three delivery trucks.

They operated this business as a partnership until 1928, when Bob accepted a position as manager of the Mark Creek Store, the Company Store in Kimberley. Lloyd Crowe bought out Bob's share and operated the store until 1933, when he sold out to Safeways.

Bob was very prominent in civic affairs and worked with unwavering zeal towards the betterment of the community. He lists among other offices: the President of the Kimberley Board of Trade for ten years, and President of the Rotary Club, Chairman of the United Church Board of Stewards, and a member of the Old Gyro Club. He was very interested in sports and had a particular liking for baseball and curling. His friendly manner and infectious smile made him a popular member of the community.

Mr. and Mrs. MacLeod have four daughters and they are all married. Marjorie married Ed Benson, a son of a pioneer family of Chapman Camp. The Bensons live in Calgary. Mrs. Jeanette Anderson lives in Vancouver, Mrs. Marlene Dutton in Edmonton, and Mrs. Beverly Harris in Kamloops. They also have eight grandsons, one grand-daughter and three great-grandsons.

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