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Kimberley Families

The Campbell Family

as told by daughter Lylith

Jack Campbell was born in Stanyer County, Ontario, and tried his hand at farming in northern Saskatchewan near Punnichy. He married Charlotte Wright from Madison, Wisconsin. After several years of not-too- successful farming he moved west with his wife and two daughters Lylith and Viola. He started work with the T. Connors Drilling Company in 1924. The family first lived at the Top Mine as a great deal of drilling was being done further up the mountain, but in 1925 they moved into town to a house on Leadenhall Street, just across the street from the new Anglican Church that was being built.

As a driller for the T. Connor's Company, his work took him to many different places such as Dallas, Oregon, Metaline Falls, Washington and Stewart, B.C. near the Alaska border. Lylith spent three years in Regina with relatives so she could attend school. While Charlotte and her youngest daughter, Viola, travelled around with Jack on his drilling jobs, she sometimes had to take over the cooking for the entire camp and did such a good job that it became steady for a while. When so much moving around made it impossible for the family to be together, and the two girls both being school age, Jack Campbell decided to come back to Kimberley and find permanent work. He had papers for a Stationary Engineer, so was employed by Central School as a boilerman and janitor. He later took the same position at the new McKim School. He was well known and well liked by all the school kids.

Lylith's first job when she left school was in Samuelson's Confectionery on the corner of Spokane and Wallinger where Woogman's now stands. It was here she met Archie Tait who often dropped in after work for a milkshake. She and Archie were married in 1941.

Jack's next venture was a parnership with A.C. Bowness of Cranbrook. They bought the Canadian Hotel when Mr. and Mrs. Dan McKinnon sold out and retired. Jack was the Manager. The McKinnons made one stipulation to the sale - that they were to keep the old Chinese cook, Sing, on their staff. Lylith says he was a lovable old soul, never grumbled, always ready to please and serve them. At that time, Archie and Lylith were living on Wallinger Avenue and had two daughters, Irene and Beverley.

When Beverley was still an infant, the family lived in the hotel for one winter while their new home in Marysville was being constructed. Lylith would put the baby out on the back veranda for her nap but always found her in the kitchen with Sing, being rocked in her carriage and hopelessly spoiled. He said it was too cold outside. The family finally moved to Marsville in 1948 just before the flood. It was here that their son Donald was born in 1953.

After two years in the Hotel business Jack and Mr. Bowness sold out and Sing went back to China.

Lylith recalls the many dances that were held in private homes when she was very young and living in French Town. One person, particularly, was the Fiddler, Elmer Rice. When he became very badly crippled in his latter years her mother would always take him his dinner every day and when she passed away in 1956 Mr. Rice had a premonition and knew she was gone before anyone told him.

Viola married Bob Wallace who was in the American Marine Corp and moved to Spokane where they still reside. They have three children, two boys and a girl; Scott whom they adopted and Robbie and Tammy. Voila has worked for many years at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane and is now in charge of Administrative Personnel.

Jack passed asay three years after his wife while visiting Viola in Spokane. He had spent his last years dividing his time between his two daughers, living six months in the winter in Spokane and the six months in summer was spent with Lylith in Marysville.

When her children reached school age, Lylith worked evenings at the snack bar when the Purcell Drive Inn Theatre opened. Later she worked steady for five years at the reception desk at the Kimbrook Hotel. For the past four years she has been employed as desk clerk for the Sandman Inn in Cranbrook.

Archi and Lylith have five granddaughters but no grandsons yet.

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