Fifty-Six Years of Married Life: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hogue, of St. Charles, Had Anniversary Yesterday
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Monday, the 56th anniversary of his marriage, Joseph Hogue, Sr., took his customary daily exercise by splitting wood in the back yard of his home in Winnipeg. He wound up his labors by carrying in a few pails of water. No tremble was perceptible in his sturdy stride, for he is as robust now as he was 20 years ago, although he passed his 80th birthday on the last day of the year.
When he had finished with his chores he stepped to the kitchen shelf, took down his plug of Macdonald, sliced off a few shavings, ground them in his hands and loaded his stubby briar.
His wife, meanwhile, had finished with the breakfast dishes, for she, too, does her work, although she is 72 years old. She wiped out the dishpan, hung it up and draped the towel neatly over it so that it would dry. Then she stepped over to her husband, who was carefully lighting his pipe. "Joe," she said, as she laid her hand on his arm, "do you recollect what day this is?"
"Sure I do, Pelagie. It's out wedding day." he answered.
They smiled at each other. Like a pair of young lovers they put their arms around each other's waists and silently strolled into the sitting room. Quietly they drew chairs near together and occupied them. Their moods were identical. Both wished to reflect upon the past, so they sat in silent reminiscence.
Father Comes West
In his fancy Joseph drifted back to the winter evenings when, as a boy, he sat before the roaring logs in the old cabin on the farm, part of which is now known as Happyland, and listened to his father tell stories. His father's name was Aimable Hogue. He was born in Montreal in 1791. He came west with Governor Simpson about 1824, and for 20 years travelled with that gentleman inspecting trading posts belonging to the Hudson's Bay company. The travelling was done principally in the hand-propelled boats and Aimable Hogue did the rowing. He was injured in the boat one trip and was the retired on a pension. A grant of 200 acres of land, six chains wide, along the Assiniboine river, and extending for four miles north, was given him. This farm included what is now known as Happyland. He married Margaret Taylor and settled down to the life of a farmer. He raised a family of ten, five boys and five girls. Of his sons Aimabel, Jr., is dead, Joseph and Antoine reside in St. Charles, Thomas in LaSalle Man., and Louis in Belcourt, Man. Three of the girls, Margaret, Mary Ann and Christina are dead, Mary is now Mrs. Bremner, of St. Louis de Langevin, Sask., and Betsy is Mrs. C. Campagna of Bismark, N.D. A favorite topic with Aimable, Sr., had been his parents. His father was French-Canadian and his mother Scotch. He was proud of his ability to trace his ancestry back on his father's side to the very earliest days of Canada.
At the age of 24, Joseph decided to get married. He had long been in love with his playmate, Pelagie Turcotte, whose father was a wealthy trader. Pelagie's father wanted to get a large load of provisions hauled up from St. Paul, Minn., and was unable to go himself. Joseph grasped the opportunity to make himself "solid with the old man" before he "popped the question." He made the trip himself bringing back with himself, bringing back with him 15 carts loaded with provisions. He waited for what seemed a decent length of time after he had performed this favor and then asked for Margaret's hand. His request was granted and the couple were married in the first cathedral in St. Boniface–the old building which was burned down during Bishop Provencher's time. Eleven other couples were married the same morning, but death has separated every one of them except Joseph and Pelagie.
As this thought flashed through his mind, Joseph glanced at his wife. She had apparently reached the same stage in her recollections, for she was looking whistfully at him. Simultaneously their aged hands crept out and his enfolded hers. And still holding hands the old sweethearts floated back to sail again over their 56 years of married life.
Thirteen Children They had brought into being a family of 13 children, six boys and seven girls. One of the girls is Mrs. R. Grant, of Edmonton, who is herself the mother of 10 children: then William Hogue, of St. François Xavier, has a family of nine children, one of whom, L.P. Hogue, has also a little son, making Joseph and Pelagie great grandparents. Another daughter is Mrs. William Beachemin of Charleswood; another, Mrs. Emilien Daigneault of St. Francois Xavier, who has a family of twelve; Mrs. M. Pagee, of Vegreville, Alta., with a family of eleven; Mrs. N. Welsh, of Sibret, Sask, with a family of seven; Mrs. A. Bruce, of Ideal, Man., with eight children. There was also a baby daughter, Henrietta, who died at the age of two. The sons besides William, are Alex of Minnewakan, who has ten children; Joseph, Jr., of Colcleugh, Man., who has ten; Patrick of Stocton, Cal; Harry, of St. Charles, Man., who has five, and L.A. Hogue, of Ashern Man., with one child.
As he finished going over this list Joseph noticed that his pipe had gone out. Unconsciously he packed down the ashes with his thumb, struck a match and set them aglow. As he blew a curl of smoke upward he spoke half to himself. "I've got 65 grandchildren and one great grandchild living. I've certainly been responsible for my share of the population of Manitoba."