- Born: 9 Jan 1881, Stisted twp, Muskoka, Ontario 1443,2221,2229,2272,2273
- Marriage: Annie Marie Townsley in 1902 in Regina, Sask. 2216,2217,2233
- Died: 19 Jan 1963, Lacombe, Alberta aged 82 1443,2216
- Buried: 22 Jan 1963, Alto- Reste Memorial Gardens, Red Deer, Alberta 1443,2274
The Pioneer Years, 1895-1914, compiled by Barry Broadfoot, Doubleday Canada Ltd., 1976
ISBN 0-385-09983-5, page 336
The Winters Were Ideal For Curling
Curling was big in the West in those days. It was a natural, Everybody could play - why, the women could play right up there alongside the men and they did too. We had a lot of enthusiastic curlers and good ones too.
We sent two rinks to the Regina Bonspiel in 1903 and the next year too and they went after the Davin Cup, which was the top award in those days. In both years they brought home the mug. In 1903 Horace Pain's rink won it and the next year it was J.J. Griffith who was skip of the winner. The whole town was proud of them and it was quite a feat, you know, having two winners in two years. We also had our town bonspiel, naturally, and a good one.
The winters, of course, were ideal for curling because you could have ice in late fall and there was curling right through to April. In fact, in some years it was such a tough winter that there was too much ice, if you know what I mean. I heard that one year they were curling on good ice in Weyburn on May 1. They didnt get the crop in that year until about May 20, as it seems to me.
The way we had our curling set up might be unique, but it showed there was plenty of ingenuity among those early pioneers. You had to have a good rink and the set-up was the council gave permission to William Townsley and William Cripps to build and operated the curling rink. On a rental deal. They went to the town's two lumber yards and rented the lumber for the rink at two dollars a 1,000 board feet. The agreement was that in the spring when they tore the rink down they would pay for any damaged lumber at the regular retail rate. This suited the lumber yards okay, for there wasn't all that much business in winter for them and they were picking up a nice bit of change for renting lumber and getting their own lumber back in the spring. Then they'd sell it to the homesteaders and town people who were raring to start building. It was all good wood.
The second thing was where to put this building, which was two sheets of ice. Around the outside was an 18-foot rink where everybody could skate. Somebody came up with the bright idea that if it was going to be torn down every spring, why just not put it in the center of town. Fine, said everybody. So the boys built their rink in the middle of Main Street about 250 feet north of the intersection of Prairie Avenue and it worked well. Our streets were wide. There was still room for a team and wagon to pass on either side.
For four years this arrangement worked. Everbody had fine curling. The only trouble was that one year we had a terrible six-day blizzard and the weight of the snow caved in the building. Filled it with snow. Mr. Townsley just fixed it up and carried on.
(Both William Cripps and William Townsley had Western Land Grants near Milestone, Sask.
Jan 5, 2003, phoned a couple of residents of Milestone, Sask and they confirmed that there is a corner of Main Street and Prairie Ave in Milestone..
June 27, 2001, Hi Jim
Here are answers for a few of the noticeable items, I will spend some more time in the next few days going through your site and add what I can.
Anna Marie Townsley d. Feb 25/1975 at Red Deer, AB
William Cranston Cripps I have as being born in Lake Muskoka, Ont same date. His father John I have as been born in 1843 not 1856. His grandmother was Catharine Caroline b.1821 d. nov 27/1875 Orchardville, Ont.
Frank Roderick Cripps (my father) died Oct 24, 1998 married Marjorie Elaine Duffy
My name is William Gregory Cripps . 20/12/48 married Cheryl Mercy Gallagher on Oct 4/75 children Amy Aline Sheppard b.29/6/72, Abram Andrew Cripps b. 20/12/76, Beau Franklin Cripps b. 20/12/76
According to son Herbert Cripps of Kamloops, William C. Cripps had a homestead in Milestone, Saskatchewan, the same location as William George Townsley.
Western Land Grants, National Archives of Canada
Names: Wm Cranson Cripps
SE section 6 , township 12, range 18, Meridian W2 (Milestone, Sask)
Reference: Liber: 213 Folio: 91
File reel number: C-6101
Red Deer Advocate, Jan, 1963
Clive Man Dies at 82
Last rites were being held this afternoon from the Eventide Chapel at Lacombe for William Cripps, 82, of Clive who died Jan 19 at the Lacombe Municipal Hospital.
Rev. T. Sneddon of Red Deer was officiating.
Mr. Cripps was born in Prairie Sound, Ontario, (sp.. should read Parry Sound, Ontario) and came west to farm in Saskatchewan in 1899. He took up a homestead in the Clive district in 1919, farming there until his retirement in 1962. He was married in 1898.
He is survived by his wife, Annie of Clive, four sons, Jack of Pentiction, Ernest of Kelowna, Herb of Kamloops, and Frank of Clive; a daughter, Mrs Clara Lang (sp should be Laing) of Winfield B.C.; 19 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, one brother and one sister.
note: burial at Alto- Reste Memorial Gardens, Red Deer Alberta,
exact location of graves of William Cranston Cripps, wife Annie Marie Townsley and son Frank Cripps is: N 52 degrees 16.38 minutes, W 113 degrees 43.10 minutes, elevation approx 3075 feet ASL. james anderson. Sept 1, 2001
Noted events in his life were:
• Residence, 1881, Stisted twp, Muskoka, Ontario. 2229
• Residence, 1891, Parry Island, Muskoka, Ontario. 2236
• Residence, 1899, Sask. 2216
• Residence, Abt 1905, Milestone, Sask. 2217
• Residence, Abt 1910, Avonlea, Saskatchewan. 2217
• Residence, 1919, Clive, Alberta. 2216,2217 Pleasant Valley area, near Clive, Alberta
• Residence, 1963, Lacombe, Alberta. 2217
William married Annie Marie Townsley, daughter of George Nelson Townsley and Annie Maria Noble, in 1902 in Regina, Sask. 2216,2217.,2233 (Annie Marie Townsley was born on 7 Dec 1882 in Parry Sound, Ontario,1443,2217,2236,2274,2275 died on 25 Feb 1975 in Red Deer, Alberta 1443,2217,2221,2276 and was buried on 28 Feb 1975 in Alto- Reste Memorial Gardens, Red Deer, Alberta 1443,2217,2274.)
The Cripps and the Townsley families knew each other when they lived in Muskoka area of Ontario, prior to moving to Saskatchewan, 2277