I was born Earl Douglas Cash on 15 July 1919 at Gladstone, Manitoba, Canada, the second son of Walter Gurnet (George) Cash and Sarah Cash (nee Dean). My elder brother, Cecil Everett, was born on 15 May 1916 at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My sister, Alice Blanche, on 28 October 1920 at Thornhill, in the municipality of Pembina (Sec-24-3-7- father’s address), Manitoba, Canada, and my younger brother, Roland (Roly) Murray, on 24 December 1923 at Liverpool, near Sydney, NSW, Australia.
My father was born on 18 April 1889 at Corydon, Wayne County, Iowa, USA, the son of James Allen Cash and Nevada Cash (nee Allison). Note State file No. 93-89-169 as detailed on birth certificate. Dad was one of seven brothers, the others being Earl, Everett, Ida McKinley, Ammon, Clarence, and Richard. Everett appears in two photos in our collection. Ammon was killed at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Ida McKinley was an officer on the USS Nebraska when he was killed at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 (NOTE: no records found of USS Nebraska, possibly meant the USS Nevada, also unable to verify service records for Ida Cash).
In 1898 the family moved from Iowa to Fort Frances on Rainy River in Ontario, Canada, where my grandfather took up a homestead. Fort Frances is 208 miles east of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is right on the border of Northern Ontario (North and West of Southern Ontario). It is on the northern bank of the Rainy River which serves as the international boundary with the State of Minnesota, USA. It is on the Canadian Northern Railway and the modern Highway 70 (from 1965 to 1007, now part of Highway 6). Fort Frances is the main town and the Rainy River District seat. The principal industry is lumber and there is some grain farming. One of our family contracts was for the supply of cedar tree poles to the Government’s Electricity Department. Grandad later on geared up a horse and buggy and set off for Douglas, North Dakota, to do some business there. It turned out to be a sad trip for the Cash family and for Grandad for he and the horse and the buggy were swept away while he was crossing a river ford. A local search revealed no sign of Grandad and his body was never found (Ancestry.com records indicate he died in 1900). The dead horse and the buggy were found four miles below the river crossing, and Grandad’s hat seven miles down on the river bank. Grandma remarried some time later (to James Henderson Lyle in 1914 and John William VanPelt in 1934). She visited Mum and Dad in Gladstone in 1918/1919 before going to live in California.
My mother was born on 24 August 1889 at home at No. 16 Browning Street, Hoddlesden, Darwen, Blackburn, England. She was the young daughter of John William Dean, sanitary pipemaker, and Jane Dean (nee Ellis). Sarah was confirmed by the Right Rev Bishop Thornton on 8 March 1903. She took her first communion in St Barnabas’ Church, Darwen on Easter Day 1903. Her brothers were Herbert and Ben, and her sisters Alice and Dora. Herbert was later a pipe and pottery maker at Dosthill near Tamworth in the Birmingham area of Staffordshire. One sister, probably Alice, migrated to Canada and Sarah and Doris followed in 1912 or 1913. Alice married Will Jackson. One relative, possibly through the marriage of Dora, was Herbert Richards, a leading tennis player. I know nothing more about him or the other relatives.
My father first worked outside the family when he started as a trainman with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Where and when he met my mother, Sarah Dean, in Canada is not known. They were married on 15 August 1915 at St. Paul’s Church, North Battleford, Saskatchewan. He was a Baptist and she was an Anglican. They were both 25. The Registration of Marriage Certificate shows that they were both resident in North Battleford, Saskatchewan as were the two signing witnesses, George E Pickel and Florence M Webb. The officiating Anglican clergyman was I James Jones.
When Cecil was born in Winnipeg in 1916 Dad was still working on the CP Railway. In 1917 Mum and Dad went into the hotel business. It was probably a non-licensed hotel for meals and accommodation, and possibly drinks only for weary travellers. That hotel was in Roland, 60 miles south of Winnipeg. In 1918/19 they moved into a grocery at Gladstone where I was born. My first name of Earl was also the name of an uncle but the second, Douglas, could have come from Douglas, North Dakota, or Douglas, Manitoba, which is 120 miles west of Winnipeg, and somewhere near Brandon.
During the pregnancy in which I was the main attraction, my mother was taken seriously ill in the devastating Spanish flu epidemic that was sweeping across the world. Her doctor was so concerned that he advised her that she was not well enough to have the baby but she would not agree. I arrived on 15 July 1919. Both well.
The family’s next move was to Deloraine, Manitoba. The town was 190 miles south-west of Winnipeg. I have a photo of our hotel there, the Hotel Deloraine, with the family car outside. It was a Ford T, square and black. My sister, Alice Blanche, was born in Thornhill, Manitoba on 28 October 1920. As a baby in the cot Alice was burnt on the legs when the nursemaid at the hotel, while curling her hair, dropped the curling irons into the cot and onto Alice’s leg. She was only nine months old at the time. The burns were serious and the scars still remain, more than sixty years after the accident.
Movement from one hotel to another seems to be related to the business of taking over a place that was run-down and building it up again. It is probable that they were all “dry” hotels which provided rooms and beds and meals. Dad told me that there were times when the hotel was full up yet people kept coming in. There were occasions when mattresses had to be put on the several billiard tables to meet the demand. My mother was a great cook and the dining rooms of our hotels were always well recommended by the travelling salesmen and other diners. From Deloraine we returned to Winnipeg briefly before travelling across Canada to Vancouver in 1922. There Mum and Dad took over the Trocadero Restaurant on Seymour Street, Vancouver, British Columbia (NOTE: no records found for the Trocadero Restaurant on Seymour Street but there was a Trocadero Grill around this time on nearby W Hastings Street). On our way to Vancouver we detoured to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and then a little further south called in at Lewiston, Idaho where we met Uncle Everett. Our albums have a photo of our family group with Uncle, and in the background you can see some Union Pacific Railway rolling stock. Later that year we left Vancouver for Australia on the mail steamer S.S. Niagara. Another liner on the Pacific run was the Union Steamships vessel the S.S. Aorangi, the name comes from the Maori word for Mt. Cook.