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Kimberley Families

The Slawter Family
as told by Rose

Ira L. Slawter was born in Iowa. He met a girl from New York state and they were married in Oklahoma. He worked on threshing machines and learned about engines so that he could repair them if necessary.

They left Oklahoma in 1911 and came north to Prince Albert where he worked for a logging outfit. For a time they lived in Edson, Alberta, and Grande Prairie. They had six children: Earl, Rose, Mina and Jim, who were all born before they left Oklahoma, Dorothy was born in Prince Albert and Ike in Grande Prairie.

In 1923 they were on their way from Grande Prairie to Spokane in one of those old rattle-trap Ford sedans accompanied by Billy Maw. They met some friends in Cranbrook who lived in Kimberley and they persuaded them to remain for the winter.

Their first month was spent in a tent by the creek until they were able to rent the bottom half of the old Ontario Hotel. Mr. Slawter got work as a mechanic at Looney's Garage and Mrs. Slawter looked after the Stage Office for Mrs. Brown, located in the front part of the hotel.

Rose first got work with Pete Kopak that operated the Hotel in what is now the Parnell Block, and Mina went to work in the Glen Cafe.

A year later, in 1924, Mr. and Mrs. Slawter and the two youngest children, Dorothy and Ike, continued on to Spokane to live.

Rose worked at several places. She worked for Wallace's Bakery and then for Mr. Fisher in the Post Office, located where Weirs Flower Shop is now, and in the evenings she was in the ticket office of the Orpheum Theatre when Mr. Johnson ran it.

She did go to Spokane and spent some time with her parents but soon returned. She once did the cooking, washing and ironing for the O. C. Thompson family in the North Star Hotel, but after two weeks of working from five in the morning until late in night, she put in her resigna tion.

Rose married Ab Lilley in 1925 when he was working for the Company in the blacksmith shop at the Mine. They had two children: Ethel and Les. Ethel married Frank Tolar of Spokane and Les married Carol Cotnior.

Rose loved flowers and she and Ab had a small greenhouse in their yard, along with a beautiful garden. Following a lengthy illness, Ab was encouraged by Rose to work in the Company gardens. He spent the rest of his working years improving and enlarging those gardens until they became a world-renowned show place. Ab passed away in 1973.

Mina married Ed Blundell when only nineteen. They had four sons: Edward, Earle, Thomas and Edgar. They adopted two girls and were foster parents to three others.

Ike Slawter came back to Kimberley and worked for the City of Kimberley for about two years. He became a welder.

Rose and Mina still reside in Kimberley where they had only expected to remain for 8. winter.

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