Tag Archives: Vanderburgh

Wilma Linnetta Smith

Wilma Linnetta Smith
b. 9 April 1907, Lincolnville, Wabash County, Indiana, to John H. and Lillie (Jones) Smith
d. 18 September 1992, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

m. 6 July 1934, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Henry Irving Vanderburgh
b. 11 December 1903, Wardner, Shoshone County, Idaho
d. 7 April 1952, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Children with Henry Irving Vanderburgh:

  • Wilma Ellen (b. 1935) married Mads Sorensen
  • Sheila Mae (b. 1937) married Raymond Nelson

Wilma’s parents left Indiana in 1909 to homestead in Canada. After only two months, mother and child returned to Indiana. Wilma was sent back to Alberta when her mother died in 1915. She grew up on her father’s homestead, riding horses and attending one-room country schools. Later she was sent to Calgary for high school and teacher training.

After teaching for a few years in rural Alberta, she married a Calgary school teacher, Henry Irving Vanderburgh. Unfortunately, Irving died after only 17 years leaving his 45-year-old widow to care for their two daughters and her widowed father.

Wilma spent that summer at Butler University in Indianapolis upgrading her teaching credentials. She taught school in Calgary until she was 67 years old. She then worked in customer relations for ten more years.

She became the matriarch and anchor of her family. At the time of her death from lung and stomach cancer in 1992, she had seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her entire family gathers annually at her favorite resort in the Canadian Rockies to celebrate her birthday.

Submitted by:
Wilma Sorensen
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

John Henry Smith

John Henry Smith
b. 16 June 1864, Marion, Grant County, Indiana, to Waddy Thompson and Louiza Jane (Marks) Smith
d. 29 November 1955, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

m/1. 3 September 1905, St. Joseph, Berrien County, Michigan
Lillie May Jones
b. September 1873, Bunker Hill, Miami County, Indiana, to William H. “Seneke” and Ella E. (Fike) Jones
d. 1915, Bunker Hill, Miami County, Indiana

Lucy Ellen Harrington
b. 6 May 1862, Dorchester, Alamakee County, Iowa, to Philander James & Ellen B. (Payne) Harrington
d. 15 January 1941, Sundre, Alberta, Canada

Children with Lillie May Jones:

  • Wilma Linetta (1907-1992) married Henry Irving Vanderburgh

When John was only nine years old, his father was crushed to death in a grist mill. John ran away to travel with a circus but later returned to the family farm. In 1905, he married Lillie May (Jones) Hurley, the widow of Clarence Hurley.

John, Lillie, and their daughter, Wilma, left Indiana in 1909, farmed in North Dakota for a year, and then continued on to Canada to homestead in the badlands of the Red Deer River. Lillie left, taking with Wilma with her, after only two months. Within five years, John had proved up his quarter-section homestead and bought a second quarter. He raised horses, cattle, and grain and was respected by all.

When Lillie died of cancer in 1915, John got his daughter back. He married another widow, Lucy Ellen (Harrington) Loveland. The Smiths struggled through drought and hardship in Alberta’s “dry belt,” leasing large tracts of land to pasture their cattle. In 1935, they sold the ranch and bought a 320-acre farm in Sundre, Alberta. John moved to Calgary to live with his daughter and her family after Lucy died in 1941.

John was a strong, healthy man who lived to be 91 with very few grey hairs and all his own teeth. He finally died in his sleep in November 1955.

Submitted by:
Wilma Sorensen
Calgary, Alberta, Canada