Vern Dragland Family

By Vern Dragland

Plowing with Horses
Plowing with Horses

My grandparents Michael O. Dragland and Mary Gullikson were both born in Norway. After making their home in Grand Forks, North Dakota, they came to Canada in 1914. Grandpa had come out in 1910 and built the farm buildings. He was a carpenter by trade, also a butcher who owned two butcher shops in Grand Forks. Their family was Oscar, Christine, Alma, Rudy, Ted, Alice, Oren, Ken, and Marion. In 1934 he retired from the farm and moved to Medicine Hat.

My dad Oscar emigrated to Canada after his marriage to my mother Esther Bjorhuis, from Roseau, Minnesota in 1916. They travelled by train to Bow Island.

He homesteaded SE 12-8-10-4, and then purchased the Larson place SW 19-8-9-4. Their four children were Orville, Lois, Ethel, and Vern.

Orville made railroading his career, Lois teaching, Ethel nursing. I spent 61 years on the home farm. My dad gave me the home quarter in 1943.

My three sons are Glen, Neil, and Lyle, who took all of their schooling in Conquerville.

Glen spent time in Dakar, Senegal (2001) and Bankok, Thailand, as superintendent of oil rigs, and later returned to Medicine hat. Neil lives in Bow Island, and Lyle farms and does mechanic work near the city.

I too took my schooling at Conquerville. I was active in the community, the first president of the Conquerville Lions Club, the R.E.A. and the rural telephone too. In 1954 the power came to our region. During 1943 and 1944, I worked at the sugar factory for the campaign at Picture Butte. In 1947 I bought my first car,a Ford Super Deluxe Coupe and paid $1,847.00 for it.

Old Tractor

Old Tractor

An agricultural tour took me to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway for 3 weeks in 1982, I’ve taken enjoyable trips to Oklahoma City and Las Vegas to attend rodeo NFR and to Edmonton rodeo CFR.

I belonged to the Chinook Rodeo Association for 8 years doing calf roping, team roping, and bareback riding. Three trail rides have been most interesting. Across the British Block from Buffalo to Medicine Hat stampede grounds with 1400 riders. My horses Nugget and Sage did well on the six day trip. In 1998 I was on another trail ride from Etzikom to Fort Macleod, where 400 riders took part. Last year I rode across the British Block from Buffalo to Ralston in 4 days.

I’ve always had an interest in horses, from my first rocking horse at age one. Now I own four horses, and a quarter horse gelding—which is special.

I enjoy coffee with my friends, playing the guitar, singing, and dancing too. Also going to horse, cattle, and calf sales. Some days 6000 head have been sold. I have seen 100,000 go through the sales rings this fall (2001) in Medicine Hat.

Source: History of Bow Island from Sagebrush to Pivots
ISBN 1-55383-025-3 (2004)

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