|Della in the 1940's|
Brothers and sisters arrived frequently: Everett in 1899, Marion in 1900, Ora in 1902, Grace in 1904 and Merton ("Chuck") in 1908.
|Edwards Children: Idella on the left, Marion and Everett|
|Oh, Grandma A, now some of us can see where we get "the hair"!|
|Della Edwards 1918 in doorway of Wayne Valley School where she taught|
By the Fall of 1916, Della had joined her family in the Lancer area of Saskatchewan and was teaching school in the area as a substitute until a trained teacher would arrive. When the school inspectors caught wind of this, she was sent a letter acknowledging the situation and granting her an interim teaching certificate until Christmas time, but advising her to then obtain proper credentials. She did just that by taking a three month teacher training course in Swift Current Saskatchewan in the winter of 1917. Until the end of the school term, she taught at Oroyo School near Beverly, Saskatchewan and then received an appointment to become the teacher at Wayne Valley School for the following school year.
|Della right rear beside her mother Mayme;|
front are probably sisters Ora and Grace Edwards
All the family, that is, except for Della. By then she had met a local young homesteading farmer named Ingwald Anderson, and, much to her parents' disapproval, had fallen in love with him and married him on 29 December 1919. Della continued to teach until June of 1920 but remembered driving by horse and buggy the four miles to her school, leaning over the side with morning sickness. She was pregnant with their first child, Robert, who was born in December of 1920.
Notwithstanding her disappointment and disapproval of the marriage, Della's mother Mayme made a beautiful wool log cabin quilt for her eldest daughter and her new husband as a wedding gift. Although now somewhat tattered after almost 100 years, it remains a poignant tangible reminder of a mother's love for her daughter and that daughter's love for her new husband.
Other children followed over the next years: one more son and four daughters including my mother. My mother recently gave me some beautiful dainty handkerchiefs that had been Della's. Apparently Della had done a few days of substitute teaching years after her marriage and had bought these as a special treat to herself. The family was not well off and beautiful personal treats were not normally within the family budget.
Della and Ingwald and their family survived the Great Depression and the "Dirty Thirties" on the farm. Although their children made the best of it and have a lot of fond memories of their lives growing up, it must have been very difficult for the parents. Della was an excellent cook and seamstress and made do with what was available to provide food and clothing as best she could for her family. She was a stickler for good nutrition.
|Della with her 3 oldest children, mid 1920's|
|Della Edwards Anderson in her boarding house kitchen 1950's|
|Anderson Family 1948: Ingwald and Della in rear|
Grandma A was an opera fanatic. She had an excellent collection of records and was a faithful follower of "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera" on radio. We all knew that you did not phone her or drop in for a visit during her opera time on Saturday afternoons.
In the summer of 1958, my parents went on holidays and left us to stay with our grandparents at their farm. They were studying to learn how to manage a motel and I remember Grandma A learning to type because, she admitted, her writing was almost illegible. While we were there, Grandpa A took my sister along on a trip to the grain elevator with a load of grain and when he had driven the truck into the elevator, he had a heart attack and died. It was a terrible shock; he was only 65.
Grandma A carried on with the motel plan, buying a place in Watsonville, California and moving there to run that for several years. She then moved to be near her sisters in Moses Lake, Washington where she worked in a flower shop. When she finally moved back to Saskatchewan, I was in high school and delighted to have her back.
|Idella serving tea to her sister Grace (left) and friends in Moses Lake Washington 1960's|
|Della knitting, about 1970 (no, she never smoked - the ashtray would be for guests)|
Della was never one to wear black or beige. In the late 1960's she asked me to select fabrics and sew her a couple of dresses with the stipulation that it not be any of that dark, boring "old lady" stuff!
Della died 5 January 1976 at the age of 78. I was taking down the Christmas tree at the time I received the sad news and have never once taken down a Christmas tree since without remembering and missing this lovely woman who was my much-loved and much-loving Grandma A.
- Province of Saskatchewan Death Certificate for Idella Marguerite Anderson, registration no. 76-07-001179
- Robert W Anderson family history composed c. 1970
- Delayed Certificate of Birth for Idella Edwards issued by the Montana State Board of Health File No. 5809
- Marion Edwards Miller personal memoirs "My Memories"