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Kimberley Families

The Colthorp Family
as told by daughter, Ethel, and son, Jack

Bert Colthorp was born in Ontario and crossed the border into North Dakota when he was still a young man. He became a naturalized American and was a U.S. Marshall for a few years at the turn of the century. He became a legendary character to North Dakotans and many stories have been told of his numerous episodes. He once had a desperado fire at him and he merely stood his ground, knocked the man down with his fist, and in the ensuing excitement the fellow got out the back door and rapidly departed beyond Bert's territory. Bert nursed a bullet-pierced ear-lobe.

He married Edna Pulford, also from Ontario, and they had three children; Louise, Josephine and Jack, before they moved back to Canada in 1909. They took up homesteading in Alberta near Winnifred. Here a son, Jay, was born and a daughter, Ethel was born in Medicine Hat.

After many hardships and crop failures, the Colthorps came to Kimberley in 1925. The eldest girls were married by this time and Jack was old enough to be on his own, and started with the Company as a mail boy. Jay and Ethel attended school in Kimberley. Bert went to work in the Mine. About a year later, a runaway ore car severed a leg just below the knee. The condition of the bones made further surgery necessary so he could be fitted with an artificial limb. During his long convalescence, his son Jack came to help with the finances by working with T. Connors Diamond Drilling Company.

Ethel attended Normal School in Victoria and returned to begin teaching the six grades in the one-room school at the Top Mine. This was in 1931. When the Top Mine school closed down and everyone was moved into town, Ethel taught three grades in the Chapman Camp school for two years. She moved up to the Central School where she taught grade two until 1938. Some of the other teachers at the time were Mr. Stafford, the principal, Marie and Sally Burns, Ruth Soderholm, Helen McClure, Kay McFarlane and Genevieve King.

Ethel married Harland Clark from Cran- brook in 1938. His father was Morris Clark, the Secretary of the Y.M.C.A. for many years. Harland worked in the Testing Department at the Concentrator during summer vacations while he was attending University. He also worked in the TD for a short time after graduation.

Mrs. Colthorp passed away in 1939. Following his accident, Bert was employed at the McDougall Hall as caretaker. Before his mishap he often bowled there and was able to continue in this sport despite his artificial leg. He died in 1955.

Jack tried farming and logging in Alberta from 1930 to 1937, but came back to Kimberley, working for the Company at the Lumberton Placer Mine on the Palmer Bar Property. He then came back to the Sullivan Mine and worked as a bin man in the Rockhouse before going un- derground as a miner and, finally, on transportation. He retired as transportation supervisor in 1967 after thirty years with the Company. He continued to work for eight years at Flin Flon, Manitoba and Fort St. James, B.C. before settling down on an acreage at Salmon Arm in 1976.

In 1931, Jack married Florence Luxton in Innisfree, Alberta, and they have two sons; Robert, and Ronald. Robert is working for the Company at Pine Point, N.W.T. Ronald is a school principal in the Surrey district in B.C.

Jay was employed by the Company and worked up to Operations Supervisor at the Mine. He went to Yellowknife, as Northern Operations Supervisor and later moved to Trail as head of Outside Operations there. He married Margaret Stewart of Medicine Hat and they had two children; Bill and Susan. Susan studied to be a pharmacist and is now married and living in Calgary. Bill attended a school of mining in On- tario and worked for Dupont for awhile. He returned to Kimberley as a representative of Canadian Industries in charge of explosives. He married a young widow, Elizabeth (Krown) Petrychko. Her former husband was a hockey player for the Dynamiters and was killed in an explosion in the Iron Plant. They had two children; Greg and Leah. Bill Colthorp adopted both children and they have a son, Jay.

Bill purchased the Blarchmont Hardware but sold it later to start an advertising paper called the T.V. Informer. He is now back working for the Company at Pine Point, N.W.T.

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