The following information is from page 82 to 88 of Crandall History Book, 2000.
Johns; Johnson; Johnston
(Click on Photo for Larger View)
Continuing the history from the Crandall
Chronicles book of 1971 of Wilbur and Helen
(Nellie) Johns and their family, they took up
residence in the Crandall district in 1911, where
they farmed until Wilbur's death in 1944. Helen
passed away very suddenly in 1949, soon after
moving to Crandall.
Their eldest daughter, Mamie, was born in
1911 and died in 1922.
Their eldest son, Alvin, married Laura
Colbeck of Hamiota, Manitoba. After serving
the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders during
World War II, they lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba
where Alvin worked for the Grain Exchange.
They later moved to Port Moody, British
Columbia where he served as Post Master until
his health failed. Alvin passed away in 1969 and
Laura died in 1989. They had two sons, Larry
(deceased) and Wayne, now living in British
Wilbur and Helen's son Elmer married
Helen Anderson, of Shoal Lake, Manitoba.
They farmed at Lavinia, Manitoba until due to
Elmer's ill health they moved to Hamiota in
1991. Elmer passed away in 1992. Helen still
resides in Hamiota. They had five children
Joyce, Darlene, Beverley, Murray and Dallas.
Daughter, Margaret, married Stan Lelond of
Arrow River, Manitoba where they farmed
before moving to Haywood, Manitoba and later
retired to Treherne, Manitoba. Stan passed away
in 1986 and Margaret in 1991. They had a
family of four, Donnie (deceased in 1988),
Sharon, Ross and Ralph.
Son Lyle married Olive Rockley of Lavinia.
They farmed the "Johns" family farm at
Crandall. They moved to Decker in 1975 and
Lyle passed away in 1983. Olive moved to
Rivers, Manitoba where she now resides. They
have four children Heather, Elaine, Beth and
Johnson, Morgan and Myrtle
Continuing the Johnson saga from 1971.
Myrtle moved from Park Residence in Hamiota,
Manitoba to Heritage Lodge in Winnipeg,
Manitoba, where she lived until she passed
away in December 1975.
Daughter, Shirley Sanford and husband,
Fred still live in Chatham, Ontario and enjoy
travelling. Their son, Douglas is a Musical
Director of the Toronto East Symphony
Orchestra as well as of the Okanagan Symphony
out of Kelowna, British Columbia. He
commutes between the two cities.
Son, Garth was killed in a plane crash in
Scotland in 1944. His wife, June Marie died in
Kanata, Ontario in 1997. His son Garth
Laycock, retired from the Royal Canadian Air
Force, and is working now for the R.C.M.P. in
Nelson, British Columbia. He and his wife, Roni
live in Castlegar, British Columbia. Their son
Garth Craig lives in Edmonton, Alberta with his
wife, Brenda, son Cody Garth and daughter
Son, Morgan and wife Eleanor, retired in
Winnipeg and built a lovely home on the eighth
hole of the golf course at Sandy Hook,
Manitoba where they spend their summers. For
many years they have spent their winters in
Arizona. Their family consists of two boys and
two girls. Brian and wife, Shyrl, live in
California. Their sons Jeffery and Jason live in
Santa Barbara, California and Princeton, New
Jersey. Son, Greg and his wife Betty live in
Cranbrook, British Columbia with their
daughter Kelly Ann (16). Their son, Kurtis, (22)
lives in Kamloops, British Columbia. Daughter
Karen and Murray live in Barrie, Ontario with
her daughter Lindy (15). Her other daughter,
Dana (19) lives in Orangeville, Ontario.
Daughter, Kim and husband Mark Woods live
in Transcona, Manitoba with their children,
Jesse (12) and twins Carly Morgan and Jamie
Son Stuart and wife Donna lived and taught
in Winnipeg. Since their retirement from the
teaching profession, they have enjoyed many
trips to Great Britain, continental Europe,
Mexico, South America, New Zealand and
Australia. Three winter months have been spent
each year in Arizona, USA.
Johnston, Alice V. (nee Smith)
Alice is retired and enjoying family and
friends in Brandon, Manitoba.
I was born in 1943 at Deloraine,
Manitoba. I was a curiosity, as I was born with a
In 1948, after living the first five years of
my life at Dand, Manitoba, I moved with my
parents, Herbert V. and Dorothy (Stewart)
Johnston, my brother Neil and sister Mary
Helen, to the A.B.C. Dickey farm (SW 12-14-
25) 1.6 km north of Crandall.
I started school in Crandall in 1949. My first
day of school I got into a fight with Neil Amy
and came out the second best. When I got home
there was a "Radio Flyer" wagon waiting for
me. It was my reward for going to school
without too much protest. We are still using
pieces of this wagon on the farm.
I took all my schooling in Crandall. My
teachers were Miss Vera Johnston, Miss. Velma
Sherritt, Miss. June Turner, Miss. Wilma
Beattie, Miss. Evelyn Frost, Mr. Paul Kuch,
Miss. Joan Teal, Mrs. Doris Rampling, Mrs.
Audrey Lints, Mrs. Jean Kitz, Miss. Bergan, Mr.
Joan Suszko and Mr. Bill Davison.
I finally graduated in 1962. Back when I
went to school, girls wore skirts and they never
smoked or swore. The boys had short haircuts.
We were all afraid of the teachers, as they
weren't afraid to use the strap. Miss Teal
administered that punishment on me.
Nowadays, the teachers are afraid of the
All the boys participated in sports, even the
not so gifted ones like myself. Baseball, hockey,
rugby and curling were the main sports. Neil
Amy was by far the best athlete I went to school
with. The girls played softball, dodgeball and
In the fifties we were allowed to listen to the
World Series on the radio and curl in the
Crandall Bonspiel during class. When Mr. Bill
Davison became the principal in the late fifties,
he put an end to these perks.
In July of 1962, I began employment with
the Royal Bank of Canada, serving in Hamiota,
Pine Falls, Lac du Bonnet, Roland and Baldur,
Manitoba. I resigned in 1965 to come home to
farm the R.L. Dickey farm. This consisted of the
E1/2 and SW 1/4 of 11-14-25.
After harvest. Herb Johnston, son of Garnet
and Alice and I worked on the construction of
the Shellmouth Dam. Al Hirst was the night
foreman on the project. Later when freeze up
came. Herb and I went to Alberta and worked
with a seismic company at Zama Lake. The
three following years I returned to Alberta in the
winter and worked for Braidnor, an oil field
construction company. I worked at Swan Hills,
Rainbow Lake and then back at Zama Lake.
I served on the church board and was the
last secretary for the Manitoba Pool Elevators
Crandall board. The Crandall elevator closed in
1980. The last elevator manager, Karen Koloski
of Oakburn, was the first female to hold that
position in western Canada.
In 1985, I had a new shed built, purchased a
new truck and took a trip to the Yukon. That
same year, Melanie Ellis of Lenore came to live
with me. She was 20 years my junior and had
somewhat of a free spirit. Having a steady job
and money seemed to come secondary to her.
One day she made $50.00 and that night she
blew it all on a case of beer and a pizza.
In 1993 Melanie fell off a horse and suffered
a severe head injury. She was in the Health
Sciences Centre in Winnipeg for 33 days. She
spent some time at Brandon Mental Hospital
and then came home. She was never quite the
same. That winter she moved in with Wayne
Van Buskirk and is still there.
In 1995, I eased out of farming and started a
custom cutting and baling operation. I work for
farmers within a thirty-mile radius.
In 1996 Aline de Montigny and her
daughter, Rachelle Saindon, came to live with
me. Rachelle stayed with us for one year and
then she moved to Hamiota and went to school
Aline grew up in the St. Boniface and St.
Anne areas. She married, moved to Fort
McMurray, Alberta and lived there for sixteen
years when she divorced and moved back to
Manitoba. Besides Rachelle, Aline has a son,
Louis who lives in Hamiota.
I had been having anxiety attacks for several
years. In 1997 I went to a psychiatrist, who
happened to be Allison Gunson. Allison and I
rode the same school bus. It was determined that
thirty years of alcohol abuse caused my
problem. Dr. Gunson put me on medication and
I quit drinking and have not had an attack since.
In 1999 Aline and I married and continue to
live on the farm at SW 12-14-25.
Johnston, Dennis Elwyn
November 28, 1940
Dennis has retired from his teaching career,
which spanned 36 years. He taught elementary
school in Miniota, Waskada, Brandon, and
Shilo, Manitoba. He also taught mathematics for
many years in the high school at Shilo. Dennis
received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1973
from the Brandon University. He met his wife
when she was in nurse's training at the Hamiota
Hospital. Helen graduated as a Licensed
Practical Nurse. She worked at the Assiniboine
Hospital and the Fairview Nursing Home until
retirement. She was a stay at home mother while
her three daughters were in school.
After Dennis' retirement in 1996 he worked
as a fishing guide for Plummer's Lodges at
Great Bear Lake in the North West Territories,
and as a fishing camp manager for Scott Lake
Lodge which is at the northern edge of
Saskatchewan. He presently is a licensed guide
for Manitoba, a certified guide for
Saskatchewan, and is returning to Plummer's
Lodge this summer.
Dennis and Helen are now living in
Brandon. Their car is going to be travelling
many miles/kilometres as they travel to visit
their daughters. Tari (Faulkner) and her family
are in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Jodi
(Thornton) and her family reside in Washburn,
Wisconsin. Traci (McCutchin) and her husband
have been posted to Thompson, Manitoba. Their
histories appear elsewhere in this book.
Johnston, Garnet Elwyn
(May 17, 1917-June25, 1986)
Interred in the Family plot in the Crandall
Johnston: Jacob, Leonard, Delymer,
Hirst, Elliot and Strain
By Mayme Hirst (Daughter)
Life and Crandall have changed greatly
since the publication of the Chronicles of
Crandall. We don't have much of a town left,
but we are a great little community even if we
The Jacob and Margaret Johnston (my great
grandparents) branch of the Johnstons came to
an end name wise with the death of my father
Delymer Johnston, on December 24, 1993. Dad
truly went home for Christmas.
Grandpa Leonard Johnston passed away
July 14, 1971 at the age of 92. On August 10,
1974 our mother Mary Johnston, died suddenly
of a heart attack. Dad continued to farm with his
grandson, Bob for a few years until he retired to
Park Residence in Hamiota following a hip
replacement operation. Though he lived
elsewhere, his heart was in Crandall and on the
Allan's and my sons attended Crandall
school. Bob and Murray went to Hamiota when
they reached Grade 9 and Dana when he
reached Grade 6 and Crandall school closed.
They were all very active in sports, especially
hockey, baseball, 4-H and hunter safety while
they were still in Crandall. They also enjoy
hunting and fishing.
Bob continued his studies at the Assiniboine
Community College, taking Drafting and
Surveying. Upon graduation he worked out of
Lynn Lake, Manitoba, surveying, then came
home and went farming with "Gramps".
In 1976, Bob attended a cousin's wedding in
Selkirk, met Lorraine Helgason, formerly of
Hecia Island, and married her on February 19,
1977. Lorraine was a Dental Assistant. Bob and
Lorraine farmed with my dad until 1989 when
they quit farming, moving to Brandon, Crandall
and Hamiota, and finally in 1992, to Selkirk,
where Bob is head custodian at the Mapleton
School. Lorraine works with home care. They
have three sons, Robert "Bradley"- April 27,
1978. Gordon "Trent" born June 22 1980, and
"Gregory" Steven born June 18,1983. Bradley
and Trent have both graduated. Gregory is in
grade 11 at the Lord Selkirk Regional
Brad has been involved in the Canada World
Youth movement. While Brad was president of
L.S.R.D., he and Trent organized a wrestling
club. Brad now referees all over Manitoba, but
also coaches. Trent has taken some of his
training at Hart Wrestling School in Calgary,
Alberta but is now nursing a sore knee. He plans
on returning when his knee is healed. Gregory is
more into volleyball, basketball, and snow
Shortly after graduating Murray found
employment with Manitoba Hydro. After a
couple of knee surgeries, climbing poles was
out, so he began operating a digger truck. In
1996 he received his twenty-year safe driving
award, and in 1998 he was given his twenty-
year safe working award.
In 1983, Murray was transferred to Virden
having worked at Thompson, Shoal Lake and
trouble shooting in various locations. Here he
met Tracy Leech. They were married June 21,
1986. In November of 1990 Murray was again
moved, this time to Swan River where he
remains. Murray and Tracy have two sons.
Brenden Lee was born in 1988 and
Geoffery Wade born in 1990. They both
attend the French Immersion school in Swan
River. Both Brenden and Geoffery are active in
sports, hockey and baseball. Hockey is a legacy
from Great Grandpa Delymer and Grandpa Al
and a favourite of their dad and their uncles.
Dana, upon graduation worked for the
Canadian National Railroad for a few months,
then in the oil fields around Ponoka, Alberta. On
returning to Manitoba he was employed by
Manitoba Hydro for a season. He married
Wendy Lawrence of Newdale on September 20,
1980 and lived in Hamiota for a couple of years.
Wendy worked in the Co-Op store. In early
1984 they moved to Virden where Dana worked
for the town for the next fifteen years. After he
left this job, he again worked on the oil rigs in
Northern Alberta for a few months. Dana now
works for the Department of Highways. Dana
and Wendy have two daughters, Katherine
"Charlene" born in 1983 and
"Shannon" Loree born in 1984.
Dana and Wendy have passed onto their
girls their love of music and sports, Wendy
being an accomplished pianist and Dana at one
time very much into hockey and baseball. The
girls were avid and talented baseball players
when they were younger. When reaching junior
high and collegiate, volleyball, basketball and
track and field became more interesting and
popular. Charlene will be attending Dickinson
University this August, having earned a
generous volleyball scholarship. She has just
received word that her essay on " What
Freedom means to Me", has taken first prize
provincially. Charlene has a grade 5 in piano
and plays the flute in the band. She has many
medals and awards to attest to volleyball
expertise. In 1998, her team (Virden) won the
provincials in the AAA competition, and in
1999 lost the final game in AAAA. Drama is a
new interest for her final year of school. She has
a keen interest in Norway and all things
Norwegian and maintains an 85% average
Shannon plays guitar, volleyball, basketball
and track and field. She has three school awards
as MVP of the year in both events. However,
her true love is track and field, especially high
jump. She has an awesome display of medals.
The Virden Legion has sponsored her at camp in
the Peace Gardens for three years. From this
camp she has gone to their national camps in St.
Johns Newfoundland, Prince George, British
Columbia and Halifax Nova Scotia bringing
home medals each time, and breaking records in
high jump. She now jumps higher then she is
As for the elder Hirsts we led a busy and
interesting life raising our sons. Everytime we
thought of "maybe" a trip to Hawaii, another
son planned a wedding, of which I have many
Allan had gone into the backhoe business in
1967, operating it successfully for 22 years.
When Bob and Lorraine quit farming, Allan and
I bought the original homestead 10-14-25 in
1987. However, we did not get to enjoy it for
very long, as returning from work on September
28, 1989 Allan died in a truck accident.
For a couple of years Dad and I tried
farming but it was just not feasible. Looking at
the farm situation today, I am glad to be out of
it. I am very happy to say that I sold the farm to
my cousin Larry and Eileen Dnistranski. It is
still in my family- sort of.
My sister Bernice and Don Elliot are still in
Rivers, Manitoba. Don is retired from the
Manitoba Telephone System and Bernice from
the Rivers Personal Care Home. They have two
daughters. Pat and Cindy.
Pat married Richie Peters of Cardale where
they presently farm. Pat became a registered
nurse, however she gave up on that and works
for a Cresting company in Brandon. Pat and
Richie have three sons, Chad born in
1986, Scott in, 198 , and
Tyson in 1991. All three boys are
really into hockey and baseball. Chad referees
hockey as well as playing.
Cindy married Robert Lee of Winnipeg. Rob
works in the Pharmaceutical industry in
Winnipeg. Cindy and Rob have two children, a
daughter Kiana, born in 1992 and a son
Keegan born in 1994. Both children
attend a French Immersion school in Edmonton,
Gail and Ivan Strain moved to Boissevain,
Manitoba with Debby and Darcy in May 1969.
Tracy (Spud) Strain was born in October of that
Ivan worked for the Boissevain Credit
Union, and then in 1973 switched professions
and went to work for CJRB radio, 1220
Boissevain, where he is presently employed.
Gail started to work for the Royal Bank of
Canada on April 1, 1975 until April 3, 2000
when she took early retirement. Through the
years Debby, Darcy and Spud completed their
schooling in Boissevain and then went out into
the work force.
Debby worked at the land titles office in
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba where she met Jim
Odium from Pilot Mound, Manitoba. Jim is an
auto body repair technician. They were married
June 6,1992 and moved to Brandon where Jim
worked at Boyd Auto body. Debby worked for a
film crew that was producing a movie in
Brandon, and then when that was completed,
went to work for MACC. In 1993, they had the
opportunity to take a partnership in an auto body
shop in Pilot Mound where they now own the
Circle J Auto body. In 1996, their
son Justin James Odium was born. Justin is the
first grandchild for Ivan and Gail. In July 2000
they expect to present them with their fifth
Darcy worked for Kimberley dark, drove a
semi for NEWS Enterprises, Boissevain, then
moved to the Waskada oil fields. In 1991, he
started working for Chevron Canada Resources
in Virden where he is presently employed. He
met Sherri Eckel from Quinton, Saskatchewan
and they were married on September 2, 1995.
They purchased a farm northeast of Virden and
reside there. Their son, Ethan Edward was born
in 1997, the third grandchild for Ivan
and Gail. Darcy and his brother Spud are in
partnership on an Equine ranch and you can see
Percheron horses if you go to see Darcy. Sherri
wants to get her son started in the horse business
on a smaller scale so she has miniature horses.
Tracy (Spud) worked for UGG, and in 1992,
quit to come back to Boissevain to operate the
Equine Ranch and raise horses. The ranch is 1
mile south of Boissevain on Number 10
highway. He met Sharon Hainsworth from
Deloraine, and they were married on April 8,
1995. Their son Dillon Richard was born on
in 1996, the second grandchild for Ivan
and Gail. Their next child Cody Dawson born
in 1999, fourth grandson for Ivan and Gail.
Through the years the whole family has been
involved in horses, and showing them on the
fair circuit. You can see Percheron horses at any
of the families places. The grandchildren are
developing the same love of horses so we expect
to see horses around the Strain, Odium
residences for a long time to come.
Johnston, Neil Herbert
I was born in 1939 at Deloraine, Manitoba
and moved with my parents, Herbert and
Dorothy, my sister, Mary Helen and brother
Brian to Crandall in 1948. Father passed away
in December 1980 and Mother died in February
1989. Both are buried in the Crandall Cemetery.
Mary Helen is married to Arnold Nicholls and
lives in Hamiota. Brian is married to Aline de
Montigny, and they live on the home farm 1.6-
km north of Crandall. His history appears
elsewhere in this book.
Classmates through my school years were
Anita Schoch, Bev Rudd, Eileen Padfield, and
Margaret Elliot. Close friends were Barry Lyng,
Garry Van Buskirk, Ivan Schoch, and Wallace
Lelond, to name but a few. Additional friends
were Lyie Littlejohn and John Dickey who
continue to be close to this day.
I finished school in 1957, and started
working as a brakeman for the Canadian
National Railway in Brandon, Manitoba that
July. 1957-1958 saw long job lay off periods so
I resigned from the CN and started work for the
Royal Bank in Shoal Lake, Manitoba in July
1958. October 1958, I was transferred to
Glenboro, in November 1959 to Keewatin,
Ontario, September 1960 to Winnipeg and
November 1961 to Souris, Manitoba. In all of
those communities, I worked at clerical and
administrative responsibilities, with leisure time
spent playing golf and fastball in the summer
and curling in the winter. While in Souris, I
added another interest when I met Noreen
Logan. I was transferred to Steinbach, Manitoba
in July 1963, and Noreen and I were married
that September. We lived in Steinbach until
December 1968, and to say the least, a lot
happened. Craig Herbert was born in 1965,
followed quietly by Clare Neil in 1966.
1967 and 68 were troubling years as Noreen's
sister died from cancer after a long illness. Also
Noreen was expecting our third child. That
December, in the following order, my third son
Rick Stewart was born. I reported for
work in Port Arthur, Ontario one week later,
returning to Steinbach for Christmas and to pack
Port Arthur became Thunder Bay while we
lived there. We made many friends with whom
we are still close. In 1972 we were transferred to
Winnipeg, 1975 to London, Ontario, 1978 to
Kitchener, Ontario (we lived in Waterloo), and
in 1981 to Cambridge, Ontario. London and
Kitchener were management positions in a loan
risk approval role, while Cambridge was
manager of the main branch. In December 1984,
I became a Regional Manager in Toronto,
Ontario and we moved to our home in
Markham, Ontario where we still live. In 1987,
because of a re-organization, I became an Area
Manager in an affluent part of Toronto where I
remained until my retirement in July 1993.
Noreen worked part time for Hallmark Card and
Gift, and in 1994 she retired as well. We now
spend our leisure time with our family, playing
golf and some community work as well as
Our oldest son, Craig married Patricia
Polsky of Hamilton, Ontario in 1990. He
operates his own hardwood flooring business in
Cambridge. They have two children, Elizabeth
(1998) and Ann (1999). Our second son Clare
works for the Royal Bank as an investment
advisor in downtown Toronto. He has not yet
married and lives in Toronto's West End. Rick
married Crystal Quast of Winnipeg in 1997. He
is a commercial photographer and has his own
studio. Crystal is an investment analysis writer
for an Internet Investment firm. They have two
children and live in Toronto.
With family still living in the Crandall
community, we visit every couple of years, and
we are able to keep up to date on Crandall news
every week or two thanks to significantly
reduced telephone rates.