Weatherill family of Lacombe County celebrates 120 years

Written by ECA Review

Wilfrid’s son Reg and wife Pat taken in the same field 90 years later as the 1930’s image. ECA Review/Submitted

 Reg Weatherill, his wife Pat and their families have been farming the northeast part of Lacombe County for 120 years.

It all started when Reg’s grandparents, Will and Minnie Weatherill started on a wagon ride to Alberta from The Sunshine State of South Dakota in 1901.

The family built a 18’ x 24’ house from poplar trees. 

They worked the land with a team of three oxen and one horse along with a breaking plow. The horse served as a workhorse and a saddle horse.

Will also did custom breaking for other homesteaders.

Will was also a blacksmith and ran a business in Tees, Alta.

Will Weatherill’s mom, known as Grammie, came up to Alberta in March 1909 and lived on a quarter of land nearby.  She was, for many years, the neighbourhood midwife, talented seamstress and milliner. The catalogue was her fashion guide.

The original house was built in 1915 and moved off in 1997. On Dec. 27, 1939, Wilfrid Weatherill was married to Mary de Zaeyer and they raised their six children on the homestead.

Wilfried Charles Weatherill enlisted in the army on April 5, 1942 and served with the HQ 1st Canadian Army Transport Section in England, Belgium, Holland, France and Germany receiving the defence medal, the Canadian volunteer service medal, and the World War 1939 – 1945 medal.

He returned to the farm at Tees on Sept. 13, 1945.

Wilfrid Weatherill at age 11 in 1930 out in a field where he tied a string to the camera and placed it on a stook to take his own photo. ECA Review/Submitted

Wilfrid was a member of the Clive Legion Branch 171 for 33 years before he died in a car crash on March 11, 1981.

This is when Reg continued the farm legacy planting acres of wheat, barley, canola with a cow/calf operation and working in the oilfield for Cactus drilling and later running Reg Weatherill Contracting Ltd.

The family’s community spirit can be seen today with their involvement in 4-H Beef clubs, the Legion branches, agriculture societies, sports clubs and cemetery cleanups.

Wilfrid and Mary had six children which grew to 13 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Each member is finding their own niche in life, however farming runs deep in all of them.

As Paul Harvey said, “And on the eighth day – God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker”, so God made a farmer.

What a fantastic weekend we spent celebrating our family’s 120 year farming anniversary.  We appreciate all of those who were able to make it out to celebrate and commemorate such a milestone.  

It is our community and the friendship shared through generations past that make these moments special.


by Reg & Pat Weatherill

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