The Handley Family
as told by granddaughter, Pauline
The name Paul Handley is well remembered by all old timers of Kimberley. He ran a livery stable on Deer Park Ave., for several years before changing it into a hall, where dances and picture shows were held. Many people recall walking down from the Top Mine to see a show or attend a dance, then walk all the way back up the long hill in the middle of the night.
Paul travelled west from Greenbriar, West Virginia, in 1896. He became a member of the Cavalry at Fort Benton for a time. Here he met and married Maggie Fallon.
These were the years when provisions were being transported over the Kalispell Trail to Fort Steele. Paul started hauling freight between these two points. On one of his trips, the wagon load overturned, pinning one leg under the wagon. After several hours of whittling with his jack knife, at the part of the wagon that held his leg, he managed to free himself. Although the limb was not broken the accident caused him to limp for the rest of his life.
He felt that this area held great potential, so he purchased property in the Bull River area. By this time a son and a daughter, Harvey and Nell, were born in Fort Benton and a son, Edgar, was born in Kalispell. Pauline remembers her grand- mother telling about the December her grand- father went down to Kalispell to buy Christmas gifts and supplies. A snow storm kept him from returning until five days after Christmas, and how disappointed the children were when Santa didn't arrive on Christmas Eve.
He moved his family to Marysville, and for awhile worked as a teamster hauling ore from the North Star Mine,
During this time, two more sons were born; Art in Kimberley in 1903, and Gilbert (Glldy) in Cranbrook in the St. Eugene Hospital in 1907. Gildy was the only one of Maggie's children born in a hospital.
It was while they lived in Marysville that young Edgar signed up at the Central Hotel for overseas in 1918. Luckily the war was almost over.
In those days, many dances and concerts were held in Bird's Hall, where Nell played the piano. This hotel boasted a two-story outhouse. Nell owned a little white dog named Frisky that accompanied her everywhere. One day it followed her to the outhouse and fell in. Rollie Bird of Marysville and Al:an Graham of Cranbrook rescued the dog which immediately jumped into Nell's arms, ruining a beautiful blue dress which she had to burn.
Nell also played the piano at Handley's Hall in Kimberley for the picture show and dances.
Paul once owned the property on Deer Park Avenue in Kimberley from the Masonic Hall to the corner of Howard Street. His livery stable was built about where the Funeral Parlor is now. This Livery Barn was the one that was later converted into a hall. His home was built just back of the hall on Wallinger Ave. He sold most of the lots over a period of time. Paul Handley died in April of 1922 and within six weeks, two of his sons, Harvey and Edgar, also passed away. Mrs. Handley lived until 1938.
Nell married Guy Mahaffey in December 1922 and they moved in to the Handley house on Wallinger Avenue. They had two daughters; Marnie, born in Cranbrook, now married and living in Kelowna with three children; Gary, Colin and Lorie. Gary is a teacher in Penticton, Colin is in Toronto at present and Lorie works for an auditor's firm in Kelowna. Pauline was born in Kimberley and still lives here. She worked at the Concentrator during the Second World War. Then worked for the Bank of Montreal, before joining the Staff of the local Union Office.
Pauline married Jim McFarlane in 1954. They have two daughters; Pat who is married to Clay Wasmuth and lives in Houston where he works at the plywood mill, and Gail who graduated from school in 1978.
Jim McFarlane was born in Cranbrook, where he lived until 1934. At one time he considered a career in organized labour administration. He worked underground for a spell, then took Sid Smith's place in the Company Office as building inspector, when Sid retired in 1950.
Pauline tells us there was once a small school about where the Elks Hall now stands. Her Uncle Ed Handley went to this school when he was just five years old, to make up the quota to bring a teacher in. Miss Jack was the teacher.
When Pauline was young, she recalls a little man, Joe Degroot, who played a huge horn in the Kimberley band. He lived directly across the street and on sunny evenings he would sit outside on the veranda and practice on this horn.
Jim and Pauline are both active community workers. Pauline has been on the Kimberley Medical board for a number of years, and a director for the Bavarian Society. Their hobbies are skiing and curling in the winter and golf in the summer.