Additional History on the Simpson Family
The Simpson Barn is an outcrop of the real center of life in the Merna area – Simpsons’ Corner.
In 1882 Mr. and Mrs. George Simpson came to Winnipeg from England. They settled on NW 34-41-12 W4 in Alberta in 1914 after previously moving to Saskatchewan and Vancouver. Their five sons, Jim, Albert, Harry, Percy, and John, also came and made their homes nearby. Their single daughter remained in England. Jim, Harry, and John Simpson started business near their father’s home and formed what would later be called Simpsons’ Corner.
The picture above is of the Harry Simpson house in 1957. The house is still standing on the intersection of Hwy 608 and Hwy 869. Harry owned the shop and garage just south of the house – across Highway 608 from this house. Harry Simpson fixed machinery, built homes/barns, and worked as a blacksmith. No one has been able to find a picture of the shop but it was a grand meeting place.
Vernon Simpson remembers how farmers used to come and sit around Harry’s radio, since Harry was the only one that owned a radio in the area at the time. As well, no farm work could be done in the night during that time period and horses could only work so many hours of the day. Many farmers would come into Simpsons’ Corner after the day’s work was done to get groceries and to visit Harry Simpson’s shop to catch up on news. Guests would often listen to the only station Harry could get on the radio: KOA Denver. This delighted many farmers! They were highly amused that the only news they could get was from 1,800 km away.
Harry Simpson owned the garage from 1914-1944. In 1944, Harry and his family moved back to Vancouver, British Columbia.
The photo above is of Ivan Phouts store, which he opened in 1924 to serve farmers from all four directions. To the west of Phouts store was the home of Harry Simpson. Part of Harry Simpson’s yard can be seen in the bottom left hand corner of this photo. In the bottom right of this photo, you can see the shadow of Harry Simpson’s garage. The store was owned by the Klingers after the Phouts, then by Curly Rombough, and then by Marvin and Mary Rombough. The building was last used for business by Henry Keufler for a trucking company.
This property pictured above was where Mr. and Mrs. George Simpson lived. It was directly south of the Phouts store – across Highway 608. Jim Simpson worked on his father’s farm and lived in the house picture here with his parents. John Simpson lived on this property as well but in a different house off to the left in this frame. John was a jeweler and also ran the post office in his house. He was stuck with ill health in the 1920s and went to a famous surgeon in Vienna. Alas, he died in Austria in February of 1926.
The photo above is of Vernon and Marlene Simpson’s property in 1957. Vernon is the son of Percy and Carman Simpson. You can see the Simpson Barn in this photo.
This property pictured above was where Cliff Simpson lived. Clifford Simpson was the third son of Albert and Florence Simpson.
For additional information on the Simpson family please see
“The Simpson Families and Simpsons’ Corner”. Sedgewick Sentinel. 1st ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982. Print.