One of the earliest settlers to the Hazlet area had a long and interesting history both before he arrived in the Hazlet area, and after. Born in Bode, Norway on April 3, 1878, he would enlist in the Norwegian Navy and sail down to South Africa where he served in the Ambulance Corps during the Boer War. After the war, he would inherit a store from his father Salomon, and he would meet his wife Helene and marry her in a church in Norway on April 17, 1906. On Sept. 6, their daughter Johanne was born, followed by Samuel in August of 1907, Aasa in February of 1909 and Olga in May of 1910. That same year, he left his family in Norway and came to Canada, arriving in Saskatchewan in 1910, spending the winter in Pense. On March 20, 1911, he filed his homestead and began his new life as a farmer.
Peter would break the land and farm it with horses. He would buy his groceries in Gull Lake, and then later in Cabri. As time went on, he would build three more rooms onto the small homestead shack as he prepared to bring his family over. On Jan. 19, 1914, he became a Canadian citizen and that fall, he returned to Norway to bring his family back to Canada. They would return, as a family, on May 19, 1915. Johanne stayed in Norway with her grandmother and Peter’s sister.
Oscar would be the first child born in Canada on December 15, 1915. At this same time, a two-room house with an upstairs was built. The family then returned to Norway to close Peter’s business and return to Canada within two years. That wasn’t quite what happened and the family did not return until April of 1923, with Johanne returning with them. Once they returned to the homestead, a new barn was built and sadly, Samuel would pass away from ‘the sleeping sickness’ in Weyburn. Soon after, Aasa fell and broke her leg, which did not set properly. As a result, she spent two years in a hospital in Minnesota.
Sylvie would be born on January 13, 1924.
When the railway came to Hazlet, the family would begin to ship in groceries directly from Swift Current.
In 1939, the house was added onto, with two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, living room, large porch and two bedrooms upstairs now making up the house.
Helene was heavily involved in the Hazlet community, knitting mittens and socks for the Red Cross. She was also involved with the Bethany Ladies Aid. Peter was an active farmer and was the foreman of the Bethany Church when it was built. He also helped to build Standing Rock School. He served on the Wheat Pool Board, on the school board and was the superintendent of Sunday School for many years. In addition, he also served as the auctioneer for the elevators in Hazlet and he would grind grain for his neighbours. Each fall, he would haul a load of wheat to Tompkins to their flour mill, and then wait for it to be ground and come back with the winter supply of wheat, usually consisting of 15 bags.
Peter passed away in 1962, followed by his wife two years later.
Aasa never married and her leg never set properly, causing her to be nine inches shorter on one side and also twisting her spine. She would have the leg amputated in Gull Lake and have an artificial limb for the rest of her life. She worked would work in aircraft repair in Edmonton before passing away in 1973 on a trip to Norway.
Olga married Olaf Roer in 1930 and resided in Penticton. Sylvie would go on to train at the Edmonton Royal Alexandria Hospital and eventually work at the Gull Lake Hospital.
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