The Caldwell Family
as told by Son Alex and Wife Vi
In 1915, Joe joined the Army and was stationed in England and Vi again crossed the ocean to visit him before he was sent to France. He was killed in 1916 and she returned to Calgary where she worked in a bakery.
Vi married Tom Caldwell and they came to Kimberley in 1918. At first they lived at St. Marys Lake in pretty rugged conditions, but moved into Kimberley and Tom got work at the Mine for two years. Vi sold ladies clothing for a woman in Calgary. This proved successful so she opened her own shop in 1919. The store was situated where the Company parking lot is now.
III health forced Tom to quit the Company and, he went to work as a bartender for the Sullivan Hotel for ten years. He passed away in 1937 following a lengthy illness.
Two sons were born in Kimberley, Alex and Tommy and all three children received their schooling in Kimberley.
Vi had a new store built by Irving Bros. at 160 Howard Street on the site where Lafortune had a second hand store. An apartment was built on the back and she operated her store and raised her family there until the early 1950's when she sold the building to Max Tenenbien. It is now occupied by Adam Block Company.
Her daughter Peggy married Harold Styffe, a newspaper man. He later bought a share in the Cranbrook Courier where he worked for many years. they had two children, Tom and Sylvia. They moved to Vancouver and Peggy is now deceased.
Alex was an electrician for the Company and is now a boss at the Fertilizer Plant. He married Vi Smithers of Vernon. She came to Kimberley to visit her sister, Kay Laface and got a job working at the Home Inn Cafe for two years. She worked for Inez Shoupe who later married Lorne Summers who operated a grocery store. Alex and Vi have two children, Alex Jr., and Lynn. Alex works for the Ioka Plant, Esso Refineries in Port Moody that services sea going vessels. They live in North Vancouver and they have one son, Clayton. Lynn lives in Prince Rupert and she has one daughter, Erin.
Alex enjoys golf in summer and curling in winter while Vi also likes to golf but prefers to ski in winter.
Tommy Caldwell is a blacksmith at the Mine car shop and he married Zory Eskra who works at Fields Store. They have four children. A son Tommy is an electrician in Calgary. Margaret works as a sales girl in Victoria. Cathy still lives in Kimberley and operates the Lovely Lady Beauty Salon. Danny died in his teens in 1975. Tommy enjoys fishing and gardening.
When Vi Caldwell sold her dress shop, she retired to the Parnell Block for a couple of years and then moved to the Bowness Block above the B.C. Electric, for five years. She resided in Pioneer Lodge for a good number of years before she entered the Extended Care Unit in Cranbrook until her death in 1972, at eighty-one years of age. She enjoyed entertaining and she liked to cook.
Two other members of her family came to Kimberley and remained. Her brother, Bill Ray- nor, came to Kimberley in 1919 after the war. He first worked for the Otis Staples Lumber Company and then started working at the Mine in 1920. He transferred to the Concentrator garage in 1924. He had returned to Kilsyth and married Mary Goodwin in 1923. They have two daughters, Meg and Rona. Meg married Terry Bloomer, a foreman in the Mine and they have two children. Rona married Rod Clark who works at the Fertilizer office and Rona is a teacher at the Lindsay Park School and they have two children. Bill Raynor loves to travel and since his retirement, he has covered many parts of the globe.
The other member of Vi's family is her half brother, Alex Fergus. He came to Kimberley in 1922 when he was just twenty years old. His first job was a dishwasher for Tom Crosley at the Chapman Camp Cookhouse. He was promoted to baker until the Concentrator was completed and he went operating. He worked in Trail as a shift boss from i930 to 1938 and returned to Kimberley to work on the timber gang at the Mine.
Alex met Alice Miles on a trip to Hamilton, Ontario, in 1927 and they were married in 1929. They have three sons, Bill, Alex Jr., and Bert. Bill works at the Mine. He married Margaret Berran and they have five children. Alex Jr. is an operator at the Concentrator. He married Carol Langlands and they have three children. Bert is the principal of a school in Raymond and is married with no children. Alex Fergus retired in 1966. He has been interested in Union activities and was Vice-president for a time and spent many years on the executive.
Vi Caldwell spent over sixty years in Kimberley and over thirty of them in business. She is well remembered by her many friends and her family.