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Kimberley Families

The Heuscher Family

as told by daughter, Betty Richmond

Arnold Heuscher was born in Herisau, Switzerland, in 1883. His father was an engineer on the railroad at St. Gallen. As Arnold grew up he was strongly influenced by the commonwealth type of government in Switzerland.

He went to Paris at nineteen and worked there for four years as a flower gardener and specialized in rose culturing, working under the famous hybridizer, Charles Miellend. He also worked in the Crystal Gardens in London, England, for a short time.

About this time many people were going to the United States and Canada. In 1906 Arnold left England and went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to work for a commercial gardener. Later he moved west to Missoula, Montana, and then on to Hayden Lake, Idaho, to work for the timber baron, John Finch. He met his wife-to-be at Hayden Lake and they were married in Coeur d' Alene in 1911.

Mrs. Heuscher was born in Rushall, Norfolk, England, in 1878. She was an excellent cook and served as chief cook for the Duke of Norfolk at Norwich Castle. She came to Canada in 1907, with Lord and Lady Minto, and worked at the Government house in Ottawa for six months. She also worked for the Gault family in Winnipeg and the McDonalds in Edmonton. She went for a short trip to Los Angeles and on the way back stopped at Spokane and it was here she met Arnold Heuscher.

The Heuschers moved to Red Deer, Alberta, in 1911 and then to Czar, abou t thirty miles south east of Wainwright where he farmed for sixteen years. Arnold's love for a garden and flowers took him to Salmon Arm, B.C., to work in an orchard, pruning fruit trees. Mrs. Heuscher stayed at Czar looking after the children and serving meals in a restaurant.

In 1928 the family moved to Kimberley where Arnold felt right at home in the mountains. However the rest of the family didn't share his love for the mountains at that time.

Their first home was a small shack behind Tony Zak's store and Meat Market where Repp Agencies is now located. Two more moves took them to the far corner of Upper Blarchmont where they had a shack to sleep in and a tent to cook in. Their drinking water was supplied from an outside water tap at Jack O'Neill's house. The shack was soon enlarged to a house and Arnold built a rock wall around it and made a trail to the nearby forest where he cut his fire wood. They also had the twelve chickens and a rooster they had brought from Czar. Betty still remembers her brother teasing her about a bear hiding behind every tree and stump.

Arnold worked for the Kimberley Transfer with George Wanuk on various jobs around the town. He also worked as a carpenter on the construction of the Rexall Drug Store, where Tamblyn's is now located. In 1929 he started work with the Company in the Mine. After a mine accident, he was transferred to the Townsite maintenance shops to work for Cliff Swan and Jack Blezard.

When Gus Nelson, the head gardener for Cominco Gardens, retired Arnold with his gardening credentials was offered the job. Not wanting a supervisory position he declined, but recommended Abe Lilley who got the job. Arnold took his pension in 1949and moved to Marysville where he was again able to enjoy his fine vegetable and flower gardens.

Mrs. Heuscher passed away in 1954 and Mr. Heuscher in 1977. Mr. and Mrs. Heuscher had four children and they were all born in Czar. Their first son, Johannes, only lived for six months. Hans lived in Beaver Lodge, Alberta, and worked at farming and logging. He had a son and two daughters. Paul works for the Dillingham Construction Co., and travels to many parts of the country on dam construction projects. He has one son and four daughters. Betty attended the Central School in Kimberley and Ruth Soderholm was her first-grade teacher. Betty married John Richmond in 1942 and they have two sons.

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