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20.  Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Richardson November 15, 1899.


There are comparatively few countries in which the success or failure of a single industry determines to so great an extent the prosperity of the country as in the province of Manitoba and the adjoining territo¬ries and states. Not only is the great majority of the inhabitants of this country engaged in the one oc¬cupation of farming but they confine their attention in most districts almost extensively to wheat growing. When the season has been favourable good times prevail throughout the length and breadth of the land, but when the weather proved unsuitable or the price of wheat unsatisfactory the contrary result will as surely follow, and not only is the farming class af¬fected but depression is felt by both town and city to an equal extent. It is no wonder then, that merchant, mechanic and professional man join with the tillers of the soil in anxiously watching the condition of the weather from seed time until harvest. For what with late springs, weedy crops, drought, hail, excessive harvest rains, early frosts and snow fall, there is a considerable amount of uncertainty until the grain is safely housed in the granary or elevator.
This year has been exceptionally favourable and the elevators and the railroads have been taxed to their utmost capacity to convey the millions of bush¬els of No. 1 hard to the markets of the world. Every season has not been so favourable and many of the early settlers can tell of hardships endured in days gone by.

Among the very early pioneers of this district are Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Richardson. Mr. Richardson came to Manitoba in the spring of 1882 from Wakefield in the province of Quebec, about 22 miles from the City of Ottawa. For about 12 years previous to coming to Manitoba he had worked at the carriage making business. In the early days in this country, his knowledge and skill with tools proved of great value. During the summer of 1882 he worked at carpenter¬ing in Winnipeg and late in the fall came out to this district, and selected a homestead, two miles from the site of what is now Melita. He then returned to the east, but in the spring of 1883 came west again accompanied by Mrs. Richardson. Before leaving Winnipeg he purchased a yoke of oxen and outfit.  The trip from Brandon to Melita, a distance of about 75 miles, occupied eight days although the journey now by train can be accomplished in two or three hours.
During the summer of 1883 Mr. Richardson broke about ten acres of his land besides building a house and stable. Since that time he has broken about 70 acres more but did not attempt to farm extensively as he could make more money in other ways. During the early years he did a considerable amount of building for his neighbours. His first wheat crops had to be teamed 50 miles to Virden on the main line so that growing wheat in those days was not as profitable as it is now.

In 1891 when the town started Mr. Richardson built a carriage shop which he sold two years later and also a small temporary fruit and confectionary store on Front Street. In the fall of '91 he erected a larger store on Main where he now resides. Since removing to town he has either leased his farm or worked it himself. In March last he purchased a half section about two miles northwest of town, and this season farmed both places putting in about 135 acres of wheat. The average yield was about 17 bushels. During his experience in this country he has raised as high as 40 bushels to the acre and so low as three bushels to the acre. In the latter years it was impossi¬ble to sell either beef cattle or pork for cash. Mr. and Mrs. Richardson have seen the ups and downs of pioneer life in the west and endured the inequitable hardships connected with it, but they persevered and succeeded.