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Adam Luther Hastings

Adam Luther Hastings

Male 1874 - 1921  (47 years)

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  • Name Adam Luther Hastings 
    Born 8 Apr 1874  Norland, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 14 Nov 1921  Regina, Saskatchewan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I05914  All
    Last Modified 10 Dec 2006 

    Father Adam Hastings,   b. 17 Nov 1827, near Belfast, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 May 1910, Rouleau, Saskatchewan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Mother Alice McDowell,   b. 12 Jan 1844, Upper Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1928, Regina, Saskatchewan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 10 Apr 1860  Dundalk, Grey County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Adam Hastings was raised on his father’s homestead in Whitchurch Township. His meagre education would have been in the village school at Lemonville, and would have comprised reading, writing and arithmetic. He followed his father as a yeoman or farmer and remained with the father until the latter’s death. While he had purchased the homestead (west half of Lot 12, Concession 6) in 1851 and 1854, his father bequeathed it to him in his will. In addition Adam purchased the west half of Lot 15, Concession 6 November 22, 1854 from John Stickley.

      It is said his marriage was “arranged” by his twin sister Mary Anne who married John McDowell of Dundalk. The bride to be was Jane McDowell, John’s sister; however, on meeting Adam, she declined the offer. Adam, not to be deterred and, in view of the long expensive trip from Lemonville to Dundalk, simply turned his affection to her younger sister Alice who consented. The marriage would last 50 years and be blessed with 15 offspring. The young bride was never accepted by his mother, which led to unhappy times since the home had to be shared. The mother regarded the bride as a “mere child”.

      He sold his land holdings in 1870 and became a merchant operating a general store in the village of Lemonville. He was postmaster of Lemonville from 1870 to 1873. The “Old Lemonville Store” still stands as a private residence on the 6th Concession, Whitchurch Township.

      He turned his efforts to lumbering in 1874 in Laxton Township, Victoria County at Elliott’s Falls on the Ghost River two miles north of Norland. By crown grant he acquired 21 acres on the west side of the Ghost River and 102 acres on the east side and established a sawmill and shingle mill, both power operated by the falls. The sawmill represented an investment of over $4,000, a considerable amount at this date. In November 1886, he retired to Norland and rented the mills to Jos. McLaughlin. The Victoria Recorder dutifully reported: “Mr. Hastings is to become a citizen of Norland. Happy to have Mr. Hastings and family amongst us”.

      While residing in Elliott’s Falls and Norland he played an active part in local and public affairs. In 1874 he was elected councillor, Laxton Township Council. The same year the swamps were corduroyed on the tenth line north of the Cameron Road with Adam Hastings in charge of the work. He assisted in establishing S.S. No. 2 Beech Lake School which his children attended. In 1880 he contested the government’s right to lengthen a timber slide on the west side of the river and forced construction on the east side. On October 10, 1876 we won first prize for “sawn shingles” in the manufacturer’s section, Laxton and Digby Fall Show. Town records indicate Adam Hastings supplied 100 4x12 13R. maple planks for deck on bridge at Norland for $36 or $7/m.

      He believed in total abstinence from alcohol. It is interesting to note that he, Charlie, James, Jennie and Samuel were all members of Crystal Fountain Lodge No. 215, British American Order of Good Templars, a fraternal order advocating temperance. It held regular meetings with regalia at which spelling matches, debates, religion and prayer were the order. A true Ulsterman, he was a member of the Loyal Orange Lodge, playing dues of .10 cents per month. A devout Methodist, Sunday evenings were occupied with the traditional family hymn-sing around the organ.

      A strict disciplinarian, he was at the same time a kind, considerate father and husband, but he did demand instant obedience and respect. He was always respectfully referred to as “father” by family members. From his wedding picture of 1860 one is immediately impressed by his most notable feature; his determined cold eyes – slightly crossed. Combined with his height, moustache which droops downward and goatee, he seems to portray a pragmatic man not easy to know nor easy to cross.

      In September 1888 a fire roared out of control north of Norland resulting in the complete destruction of the mill, leaving the family without income. It was quickly decided that the West offered the best prospect with available land “for the boys”. On October 1, 1888 he bid farewell to the family and departed for the great North West to seek the fortune that awaited all who would face the ordeal of homesteading on the prairies. He would send for the family when he was established.

      He would have taken the narrow-gauge Toronto & Nippissing Railway for the 87 mile – 10 hour trip to Toronto from Coboconk. In Toronto he transferred to the C.P.R.’s “Pacific Limited” for the three day journey to Troy. On the trip westward he joined other eager settlers making their way to the “promised land” all crowded into the famous colonial cars with their uncomfortable wooden seats and wooden berths. Designed specially by CPR president Van Horne, these cars would transport thousands to the North West along with their meagre belongings.

      The mill was never reconstructed. The land was abandoned and seized for non tax payment in 1899 by the county. A power plant was later constructed at the Falls but is now abandoned. Today, there is a provincial government campground on the 20 acre site which offers a place to rest beside the river and Falls for highway travellers.

      In 1888 the prairies of Western Canada were known as a great lone land. Alberta and Saskatchewan had not been established and settlers were slowly commencing to move westward from the newly organized province of Manitoba. The Canadian Pacific Railway had been completed in 1885. It triggered the greatest wheat rush ever known. Land, land without end, to be had for the asking – rich land that would grow forty bushels to the acre. The Adam Hastings family would be one of those families that flooded the prairies from Eastern Canada, the U.S.A. and Europe.

      Adam Hastings arrived in Troy (Qu’Appelle) in October 1888 to be met by his nephew George Senze Davidson who owned and operated the Queens Hotel. He would stay with him while searching for a homestead. He walked the Regina plains but was unimpressed by the area, flat as a table with its rich black earth, because he observed “it took one extra ox to pull a plow”. Fourteen years later he would realize his error and eagerly accept homesteads on the plain.

      He filed an application for homestead on NE 24-18-12-W2 on October 11, 1888 and immediately sent for his son Samuel Thomas to join him. During the winter of 1888-89 they constructed a house on the land. On May 9, 1889 he wrote: “My dear alice spring has finally arrived in the North West, the crocuses are in bloom the house is __ so please make haste Sam and i are fine love Adam” (sic). “Make haste” she did for on June 9, 1889 the family left Norland to join him.

      The homestead was located in the Rose Valley district about seven miles north east of Indian Head just above the Qu’Appelle Valley. A small coulee and creek cross the land so he maintained the objective of always seeking land with water.

      Rose Valley was described by the Winnipeg Free Press on October 25, 1901 as being “one of the best in the Territories for farming purposes” and listed Adam Hastings as “following that pursuit in the region”.

      Adam Hastings established Rose Valley Protestant Public School No. 191 on an acre of his land for the benefit of his children and in 1901 his son Hugh A. Hastings is recorded as being secretary.

      He and the family proved the homestead by construction of a 12’ x 18’ house with a 14’ x 18’ kitchen valued at $400, along with a pole straw stable and a log granary. He cleared over 50 acres. In 1892 he owned four cows and three horses. On February 27, 1892 Patent was issued. The land was sold and transferred to William John Orchard on March 21, 1902 in consideration of $2,000.

      Early in 1902 with some interesting help from his friend William J. Bulyea, Liberal member of the N.W.T. Legislative Council, Adam Hastings was successful in obtaining five homesteads on the Regina Plains for his five sons: Samuel Thomas, Adam Luther, Clarence Beverly, Hugh Alexander and Robert William Gordon.

      The family moved to the homesteads located north of the town of Rouleau in April, 1902 and established the family home on the NE 20-15-21-W2, being the homestead of Adam Luther who was otherwise occupied as a grain buyer at Balgonie.

      Politically, Adam Hastings was a Liberal; of this there is not the slightest doubt. As a young man he was nurtured in the Clear Grit Methodist tradition of Ontario. A reform movement advocating simple, responsible government and fervently opposed to political or religious privilege. In the North West he revered Sir Wilfrid Laurier with the chieftain’s picture occupying a place of honour in the living room.

      He and his sons were “Clifford Sifton Men” and later “Jimmy Gardiner Men” and were organizers for both. So strongly did he inculcate his political Liberal beliefs in his children that every son, many grandsons and grandchildren actively organized and supported the part in Western Canada.

      Clarence, his son, travelled by horse and buggy throughout South Saskatchewan in 1905 spreading the message. Clarence would summarily discharge a deputy returning officer who was doubtful about his wife’s vote with the comment “any man who cannot control his wife’s vote is unqualified to be a DRO”.

      In 1935 his daughter, Mary Ann, in congratulating her nephew, Gordon Hastings, on his marriage “hoped his bride was a Liberal and not Roman Catholic”. His son, Adam, would “deliver” a Liberal nomination to James G. Gardiner in Cupar, Saskatchewan in 1912 and his youngest son, Hugh, in his retiring years would faithfully and regularly canvass Regina city on behalf of the party.

      His granddaughter, Marjorie Pearl Hastings Guy was secretary of the Saskatchewan Liberal Association and served as executive assistant to the part leader and late premier, W. Ross Thatcher.

      Adam and Alice Hastings celebrated their golden wedding anniversary April 10, 1910. The family presented father with a gold-headed walking cane from Ireland on the occasion.

      He executed his last will and testament on April 23, 1910 in which he bequeathed his personal estate to his beloved wife of 50 years.

      Adam Hastings died at Rouleau, Saskatchewan May 9, 1910. His funeral was held in the family residence with five sons and son-in-law Thomas Matchett acting as pallbearers. Because of his build – 6’4”, 250 lbs. – an oversized coffin had to be used which would not go through the doorway. The bay windows had to be removed from the house to permit the coffin to be taken in and out. The undertaker attempted to collect interest on the price of the coffin. He had specially ordered it three years in advance of Adam’s death. The interest was not paid.

      On his demise, his wife Alice moved to Sintaluta to live with her daughter, Mary Ann, who was employed as an accountant by her older brother James McDowell Hastings. Mother and daughter later moved to Regina and resided at 2130 Broad Street, 2277 Hamilton Street and 19 Crescent Annex Apartments.

      Alice McDowell Hastings died December 25, 1928 at Regina and was buried December 27, 1928 beside her husband Adam and their son Robert Andrew Gordon in the Rouleau Cemetery.
    Family ID F1159  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Edna Baker,   b. 26 Sep 1889, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Feb 1966, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Married 17 Feb 1917  Balcarres, Saskatchewan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Adam Luther Hastings received his primary and grade school education at Norland and Rose Valley, S.D., 191. He was taught the grain trade by his oldest brother, James McDowell Hastings, and from 1895 to 1901 they bought and shipped grain at Indian Head. From 1901 to 1903 he bought grain at Balgonie for the Pioneer Grain Company.

      A homestead entry was granted Adam Luther Hastings, January 30, 1902 to NE20-15-21-W2 in the Rouleau district. A patent was granted May 20, 1905. As Adam was otherwise occupied at Balgonie and Loon Creek the homestead was proven by his brothers and it became the “home place” for the family. The quarter was sold to his brother Clarence Beverly, in consideration of $2,500 on May 29, 1907.

      In 1903 he formed a partnership with his nephew, John Adam McLaughlin and they opened a general store in the Loon Creek district (NW7-22-16-W2). Loon Creek was a settlement situated about 5 miles south of what would later be the town site of Cupar, Saskatchewan. At the time, it was believed the railroad would go through Loon Creek. The district was described by a mortgage company as being the “second best township in the territory”.

      However, in 1905, the Brandon-Bulyea branch of the Grand Trunk Railway was completed and the town site of Cupar established. The store was promptly moved to the town site and became the first general store and post office. Adam Hastings was the first postmaster from 1906 to 1908.

      The village of Cupar was incorporated in November 1906 and in the first election, Adam Hastings was elected overseer. In the words of his friend, John Donald, “it was quite an election”. On the day of the election there was an important Liberal meeting in Balcarres which Adam and many of his supporters were obliged to attend. As the train from Balcarres returned to Cupar after the close of the poll they would be unable to cast their ballots. They found, however, the poll closed at 6pm or 20 minutes after the last elector had voted. Accordingly, they organized the polling to make certain an elector would vote every 15 minutes after 6pm thus keeping the poll open until the train arrived from Balcarres at 9pm.

      “Be damned if we didn’t beat that Tory, Tom Baker”, John Donald would proudly proclaim. That same Tom Baker, a retired R.C.M.P. officer, would later, unhappily and reluctantly, become Adam’s father-in-law.

      The first grain elevator was built in Cupar in 1905 by James Richardson Co. Followed by the Pioneer Grain Co. with Adam Hastings as operator. Albert Scott would later write: “in 1905, I grew 1200 bushels of wheat – I was spared the task of hauling it to Balgonie for by now an elevator had been established (in Cupar). I sold my wheat to Mr. Adam Hastings, the price was 60 cents per bushel”.

      The Hastings and McLaughlin General Store was destroyed by fire in March 1911. The partnership dissolved and Adam Hastings continued to operate his general insurance and real estate business which he had established in 1908. McLaughlin was appointed sheriff of the judicial district of Melville where he served until his return to Ontario in 1918.

      Adam Hastings was a successful businessman and community leader. A Charter Member of Cupar Lodge No. 147, A.F. & A.M. he served as Master in 1918 and 1920. A supporter and promoter of all sports, including the turf club and the curling club; he invariably presided over the organization meetings of the baseball and hockey clubs. He was a keen hunter as evidenced by pictures of Cupar hunters in the era of the unlimited bag limit.

      He was an ardent, dedicated Liberal. James G. Gardiner recalled that he owed much to Adam Hastings who was a major factor in his winning the Liberal nomination and election in the constituency of North Qu’Appelle in 1912. “I had support in the eastern half of the constituency as I lived at Lemberg but little on the west side. Adam Hastings and Jack McLaughlin supported me on the west and they were certainly instrumental in my winning the nomination” he said. Adam Hastings chaired the nomination meeting held in Cupar which chose Gardiner as candidate by one vote. Gardiner, subsequently served 45 continuous years in public life as a provincial premier and federal cabinet minister.

      Adam Hastings was a generous, Happy, warm-hearted individual who enjoyed “la joie de vivre”.

      His friend, John Donald, described him as a rotund (he weighed over 300 lbs.) man who loved good times, good poker and good liquor. They enjoyed many happy hours together. As a curler he said “he was an awfully good curler but a much better bonspieler. He always played out at bonspiels.”

      His good friend, Fred Whiskin glowingly commented editorially in the Cupar Herald on his death:

      “He was a devoted husband and kind and indulgent son; to his sisters, a tender brother; to his brothers and friends, the soul of fellowship. In his heart of hearts he carried those he loved and his hand was never weary in caring for and ministering to those who were in any way dependent upon him.

      He was a man of generous impulses and never forgot the ways of the pioneer, being ever ready to lend a helping hand to the sick or needy. Though he is gone his record has been made and will remain with us as a lasting treasure.”

      In his last will and testament dated November 1, 1921, he bequeathed $5,000 (“promissory notes in my safe in my office at Cupar”) to his sister, Minnie (Mary Ann) to assist in the care of his widowed mother. The remainder of his estate he bequeathed to his wife.

      Mary Baker Hastings continued to reside in Cupar after his death. She served many years as a district nurse and nursing supervisor at the Southey Hospital until retirement in about 1950. On July 2, 1956 she married Percy Stewart Clarke.

      Adam Hastings is interred in the Cupar Cemetery. Mary Baker Clarke is interred in the Bladworth Cemetery, Bladworth, Saskatchewan.
    Last Modified 1 Mar 2008 
    Family ID F1448  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 8 Apr 1874 - Norland, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 14 Nov 1921 - Regina, Saskatchewan Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
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  • Photos
    Indian Head Homestead
    Indian Head Homestead
    Adam L. Hastings, Mary A. Hastings, R. A. Gordon Hastings, Sarah E. Hastings, Hugh A. Hastings, Clarence B. Hastings holding William Earl Hastings
    Adam Luther Hastings
    Adam Luther Hastings

    HASTINGS, Adam Luther
    HASTINGS, Adam Luther
    Located at Cupar, Saskatchewan

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