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Kimberley Families

The Shannon Family

as told by sons Bob and Jim

Edwin (Ed) Rueben Shannon came from Bigneck, Illinois where he was born in 1871. His father had been born in Ireland, but came to the states and served in the Civil War. Edwin left Illinois when he was twenty years old and travelled to Palouse, Washington, where his uncle Alex lived. He got a job driving cattle into the Rossland area. For a short time he drove stage coach from Kettle Falls to Republic, and a freight wagon from Camp McKinley to Marcus. He then got work at the Smelter in Grand Forks.

In 1906 he married Ella Clark. She was born in Petoria, Ontario, in 1886. Her folks were homesteaders near Grand Forks and her father did some prospecting. Over the next twenty years Mr. and Mrs. Shannon had nine children; seven sons and two daughters: Charles, James (Jim), Robert (Bob), Frank, Harry, Melvin and George (who died in infancy), May and Mary.

In 1919, Mr. Shannon moved his family to a homestead in the North Fork area, about fifteen miles from town, but there was a school a mile away. Their second daughter, Mary, was born here. She died at the age of sixteen. Ed worked for the Rock Candy Mine until January 1926 when he came to Kimberley to work. He stayed in one of the bunkhouses for a time before bring- ing his family to a house in Morrison Subdivision in August, 1926. His youngest son Melvin was born in Kimberley.

In the depression of 1934, Ed was laid off from the Company and he went to work as the first city street cleaner. He retired to Creston in 1941 and later moved to Wynndel in 1946.

Their eldest son, Charlie, became a diamond driller, starting work for the Company in 1933. He married Dorothy Johnston from Ta Ta Creek and they had three children; Lorna Jean, Larry and Linda. Lorna Jean married Fred Jackson and they had two children; Bruce and Judy. Larry married Marlene McKay and they have four children; three girls and a boy; Dodie, Tracy, Lori and Roddy. Linda is employed by the C.P.R. in Cranbrook. Charlie died suddenly in 1977. He had been retired from the Company for a number of years. Dorothy still resides in their home in Marysville.

Jim started his working years as a beaker boy for the Company at the Concentrator. He then went to Northern Construction and has worked in so many places in the world that it is impossible to record them all. He has crossed Canada eleven times by car, three times by train and twenty times by plane. He had worked in every province and several foreign countries on such projects as the St. Lawrence Seaway, the D.E.W. Line at Cambridge Bay. As the holder of an Industrial First Aid Certificate he has assisted a doctor in Liberia, Africa for over a year. He has worked on the construction of dams, bridges, railroads, and airports. Once, while working on the building of an airport in Sierra DePasco, Peru at a 14,000 foot altitude, his hair turned white in less than three months. Because of the altitude and lack of oxygen, the one plane that did land there could not take off and had to be dismantled and taken out. The airport was abandoned. He has made three trips to Africa, three to South America and spent one year in Vietnam. Jim married Nora Ross, a widow with one daughter, Beryl. Beryl trained as a nurse in Spokane. She is now married with an adopted son, Roger, and a daughter, Jodie. Jim and Nora live in Creston.

Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Shannon.

Bob started working for Charlie Barnard, delivering coal. In October 1926 he went to work for Otto Phillips when he ran the Company Dairy at Marysville. In May of 1928 he worked in he Rockhouse at the Mine. Some of the men he worked with at the Rockhouse were; Henry and Andy Chambers, Harry Paterson, Jimmy Gold, Archie Archibald, Tommy Thompson and Hamish Scott. Later he went underground for the rest of his working years where he became a barman. In 1934, Bob married Vi Ackrel, whose step- father was Cliff Vickers. Bob retired after forty- three years of service with the Company. They have a home at Wasa Lake, where they now live.

Frank began working in the Mark Creek Store in the candy department before he went to work in the Mine with the Engineering Department. He transferred to Riondel where he worked for twenty years as a geologist. He married Jean Watkins, daughter of A. A. Watkins, and they had three children; Eddie, Donny and Ellie. Eddie, is Superintendent at the Granby Mine at Grand Forks. Donny died of leukemia at age twenty-six and Ellie married Gordon Holstrom from Riondel. They now live in Saskatchewan. Frank was interested in Wildlife and in 1965 won the Sportsman Award from the Creston Wildlife Sanctuary. He retired after forty-one years with the Company and now lives in Summerland.

Harry became a diamond driller for the Company. He married Mae Parson from Fernie and they have one son, Melvin, a chartered accountant in Port Coquitlam. He is married with three girls. Harry moved to the Okanagan and went into the motel business for awhile, he was also district manager for Sun Life Insurance. He purchased over four hundred acres of land and he now grows grapes for wineries. They spend their winters in Arizona.

May married Don Calling who works at the Skookumchuck Pulp Mill and they reside at Wasa. Mary died in 1937 before she was fifteen years old.

Melvin married Hilda Kraus from Oliver. They were in Riondel where he worked for the Company at the Bluebell Mine. They moved to Oliver where he is employed at the Liquor vendors there. They have four children; Wayne, Gary, Wendy and Dennis.

In their younger days, some of the boys were involved in playing ball for the Chapman Camp "Arrows". Les Lane was the Manager. Bailey Yuill was pitcher, Laddie Soukup was catcher. Don McKenzie, Murry McKenzie, Harry Yolland, Billy Young and Frank and Jim Shannon were some of the other players.

Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Shannon celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1956. Mrs. Shannon passed away two years later. Mr. Shannon lived to within one month of his ninety-eighth birthday. He had spent his last few years in the Dr. Green Home in Cranbrook and passed away in January of 1969.

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