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Re: SWEETLOVE Kent England
Posted by: Linda Rairdan DenBoer (ID *****3658) Date: May 16, 2003 at 11:32:05
In Reply to: Re: SWEETLOVE Kent England by Bonnie of 9

James Sweetlove Steenson was my ggg granfather on my fathers side. I am having trouble with information on both James Sweetlove Steenson and Elizabeth Wallace connections in Ireland. Below is the information that I have. Can you add to it or give me a direction to research?

The Steenson Story
Mr. and Mrs. James Sweetlove Steenson
Pioneers of Liberal, Alberta

James Sweetlove Steenson was born at Tullyhogue, Ireland January 12, 1835.

James married Sara McWhirter in Ireland and they had two sons, Joseph born 10/6/1858 and John born 3/3/1862. No additional information on what happened to Sara or the two boys.

Mr. Steenson came out to America as a young man when he was about 29 years of age. (1864) He worked at the mines in Cumberland, Maryland.

Elizabeth Wallace was born at Belfast, Ireland September 16, 1847.

In 1873, Elizabeth Wallace came to America to marry James Steenson whom she had known since childhood in her native Ireland.

They were married September 16, 1873.

In 1877 they heeded the call, “Go West Young Man.” They settled at Liberal, Barton County, Missouri, pioneering in that area. It was here that seven more children were born and grew up. They had seven children that survived. They are

Their first child, James Wallace was born 9/19/1874 in Cumberland, Maryland. James Wallace married 3 times-#1 Alice Pratt, #2-Bina Estes and #3 Nellie Cline. He died 1/9/1936 at Larned, Kansas.

Sarah Blanche, born 2/17/1876, married John Condiff and died 6/26/1959 at Mulberry, Kansas.

Mary Jane, born 7/7/1878, married Oscar Rouse (my gr grandparents) and died 12/14/1919 at Stettler, Alberta, Canada.

Eliza Alice, born 6/7/1880 and died in infancy.

Margaret, born 12/2/1881, married Elmer Horner and died in Larned, Kansas

John Maizes, born 11/5/1883, married Ruby Whyte and died at Stettler, Alberta, Canada/

Martha Ann, born 12/6/1885, married James Baird and died 11/22/1961 at Red Willow, Alberta, Canada.

William, born 2/24/1893 and died 4/3/1894.

The pioneer spirit was strong in them and with the settling of Missouri, in 1902 they once more left their comfortable home and went to Canada in search of more land. It was Mr. Steenson’s ambition to obtain a quarter section of land for each of his children. Their two youngest children accompanied them to Canada. (The four older ones had married and established themselves in Kansas and Missouri.) Mrs. Steenson, Martha and John arrived by train in Lacombe July 12, 1902. Mr. Steenson had come a few months earlier and obtained land at Liberal (50 miles east of Lacombe) and built a log house. The house set back from the trail with a beautiful grove of trees for a backdrop. Little wonder they came to love their new home.

The Liberal Church, school and district owe their existence to the work and leadership of Mr. Steenson. Liberal was named after his home town in Missouri.

They were faithful and devout members of the Presbyterian Church all their lives. Mr. Steenson had been an Orangeman (Lodge) in Ireland and brought with him to this country the sturdy faith and strict discipline of early Presbyterianism. Little wonder that his pioneer home in Canada had a room for a chapel where the early settlers met for worship, and in the absence of a student minister, services were conducted by Mr. Steenson who was an ordained elder in his church. It was in such an atmosphere of religious devotion that their lives were spent.

In the Liberal church hang two pictures – one of Mr. Steenson and one of Mr. Lyall. These two pioneers were so honored by the good people of Liberal for their untiring efforts in getting the church built.

The Liberal post office was in the Steenson home. Mail was brought out from Lacombe. Mail day was surely a busy day as settlers for miles around came to get their mail and stay to visit.

Martha and John were teenagers when they came to this new land. They too made their contribution to the social life of the district. John was an ardent ball player going on to play in the Pacific League at Victoria and Seattle. He was also a true student of nature. Martha was a lovely singer, an excellent rider and a good organizer. She attended post office until she married James Baird of Red Willow, thus uniting two pioneer families of this area. John married Ruby Whyte (Wight), daughter of a pioneer rancher at Buffalo Lake.

A couple of years after Mr. and Mrs. Steenson came to Canada, daughter Mary Jane, her husband Oscar Rouse and their family came to join them. The Rouse families are today prominent members of the Liberal district.

In 1912 Mr. and Mrs. Steenson retired to Victoria where the climate was milder and to be near their son John who was now a street car conductor and playing ball. They enjoyed five satisfying years. Mr. Steenson passed away January 25, 1917. He is buried at Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria, BC, Canada. Mrs. Steenson returned to Alberta to be with her daughter Martha.

In 1927 she went to Kansas to visit her children, James, Margaret, Sarah and their families. There on November 17, 1927 she passed away and was buried at Larned, Kansas.

These two hardy pioneers have passed away but they have left their mark deeply carved in Liberal history and their heirs, through the Rouse family continue to make their contribution to this district.

Rouse Descendants
Oscar and Mary Jane Steenson Rouse

Oscar Rouse born 5/5/1872 in Indianapolis, Indiana to George Washington Rouse and Martha Jane Yoke. He married Mary Jane Steenson 9/10/1895 in Liberal Missouri. He died 1/15/1948 in Oroville, Washington at the home of his daughter Nellie Reba Rouse Rairdan. Children of Oscar and Mary Jane:

Nellie Reba Rouse, born 4/13/1896, married Emmett James Rairdan

William John Rouse, born5/24/1897

Jacob Alexander Rouse, born 2/24/1903

Martha Elizabeth Rouse, born 2/14/1903

Leora Belle Rouse, born 8/17/1910

Rairdan Descendants
Emmett James and Nellie Reba Rouse Rairdan

Emmett James Rairdan born 2/3/1890 in Armour, South Dakota to James Rairdan and Margaret Riecke. He married Nellie Reba Rouse 9/16/1914 at Erskine, Alberta, Canada. He died 4/10/1968 in Oroville, Washington. Children of Emmett James and Nellie Reba:

Oscar James Rairdan, born 2/2/1916, married Doris Birch

Emmett Glenn Rairdan, born 4/13/1917, married Olive Richter

Everett John Rairdan, born 8/2/1922, married Muriel Beacon

Margaret Jean Rairdan, born 4/29/1925, married #1-Warren Brazle, #2-Darrell Bunton

Henry Arnold Rairdan, born 1/25/1930

Children of Everett John Rairdan and Muriel Beacon

Linda Louise Rairdan, born 7/28/1949-6 children
Sharon Ann Rairdan, born 10/10/1950-2 children
James Howard Rairdan, born 12/9/1951-4 children
John Carl Rairdan, born 10/31/1952-3 children
Raymond Brian Rairdan, born 2/5/1954-1 child

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