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CARL & MARTHA STRATE
NAME:Carlos Albert Strate
BORN: 6 Aug 1891
Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah
DIED:14 Jan 1974
PARENTS:Frederick Carl Strate
Lena Leota Jensen
MARRIED:11 Sept 1916
BORN:3 Jan 1894
DIED:17 May 1936
PARENTS:Thomas John Wilson
Mary Emmerine Leavitt
Beth W. Strate
b. May 12, 1918 Rinard, Alberta
d. June 17, 2006 Raymond, Alberta
s. George Foggin
Lila Strate (twin)
b. November 5, 1920 Leavitt, Alberta
d. 5 Dec 2009 Ft. Macleod, Alberta
s. Joseph Zehanoviz
Lyle Strate (twin)
b. November 5, 1920 Leavitt, Alberta
Fredrick Carl Strate
b. June 25, 1924 Leavitt, Alberta
d. 13 May 2002
s. Harriett Ririe
Carlos Albert Strate was born the 6th August 1891 to Fredrick Carl Strate and Lena Leota Jensen in Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah. He is the oldest child of a family of six. Martha Evelyn - 1st Sept. 1894, Leona Agatha - 27th Sept. 1897, Eva - 4th Sept. 1900, Morgan Rasmus - 23rd Aug. 1902, and Mabel Mary - 21st Dec. 1906.
Fredrick and brothers ran large bands of sheep in the mountains in the summer and while there, bandits stole so many they had to sell the rest of them and move.
Fredrick came to Canada in 1889 and worked in the mines in Moyia, British Columbia with another fellow from Utah, Tom Wright.
When the homesteads were opened in Leavitt (then called Buffalo Flats) Tom Wright went to Leavitt and Fred went back to Utah for his family. They loaded one team of horses, one wagon, furniture and their personal belongings on the train. Then with his wife and four children, he headed for Canada. They arrived in Lethbridge, Alberta on March 1st 1900.
Carl was nine years old, his sister Evelyn was seven, Leona was five and Eva was three. Two more children, Morgan and Mabel were born in Mountain View, Alberta.
The grass was green when they arrived and it was such a beautiful country. They made their first home with Tom Wright in Leavitt in a sod shack. In a few years they moved to Mountain View where Fred and Leota Strate lived until their death.
The sod house in Leavitt in which they lived, Carl remembered when it rained his mother had to put pans all around the house even on the beds and the stove so everything wouldn’t get soaking wet.
Carl went to school in Leavitt for awhile then received the rest of his schooling in Mountain View.
Carl stood approx. 6’ tall, had bright red hair and a lot of freckles. He sunburned so easily. One time his sister Leona cut his hair right off so he wore rhubarb leaves under his hat to keep his head cooler, and help so it wouldn’t get sunburned.
Carl was a cowboy, breaking many wild horses. He had one horse no one could ride but him. When he was 17 years old he was riding a bronc and it fell on him. He was unconscious for a long time. They took him to Utah to doctors. He had to take some expensive medicine, but he recovered to ride broncs again.
He loved to ride, fish, and hunt. When he was going to school in Mountain View he stopped at Fish Creek at nights to catch fish for supper.
When the homesteads were open in the lease county, Carlos and his cousin Ad Anderson, filed on land in the Richfield, later known as Rinard district. Carl homesteaded on the S.W. ½ of 21-1-22-W4 and Ad Anderson homesteaded on the N.W. ½ of 21-1-22-W4, this was in 1912.
They built a two room shack on Carl’s quarter, hauling the lumber from Cardston. They broke the land and built fences, they worked very hard to make it a home, but they always went back to Mountain View for the winters. They lived there until 1914 when Ad decided to go back to Utah.
Carl worked for Walter Ross, pitching hay, cowboying, or as the cook for $30.00 a month. He used to tell stories about hunting geese on the Ross Lake.
On September 11th, 1916 Carl married Martha Wilson of Leavitt, in Cardston, Alberta. She is the daughter of Thomas and Mary Emmerine Leavitt Wilson, who came from Wellsville, Utah by covered wagon. They came to settle southern Alberta and help build the irrigation canal.
Carlos Alberta Strate was baptized 6th August 1899 in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in a small stream or lake in Utah. His parents were not what you’d call active members of the church, but after Carl married Martha he would take her to church. After Martha passed away he stopped going.
Martha had a hard time adjusting to lease life, she was a nervous and shy person.
Their first baby was still born and Mrs. Florence Foggin was the midwife. Then on May 12th 1918 a daughter was born, Beth, with Mary Clifton attending this birth. On November 5th 1920, Lila and Lyle were born in Leavitt Alberta and a doctor from Cardston came to be at that birth. Martha also had her mother with her. How proud Carl was of the twins. Lyle had red hair, and Lila had blonde hair. On January 5th 1923, Lyle became very sick with quinsy, a doctor was sent for but he passed away before the Dr. arrived. Lyle was buried in Leavitt, Alberta.
One June 25th 1924, another son was born, Fredrick Carl Strate, he was born in Leavitt, Alberta and the last child born to Carl and Martha Strate.
Carl was always a lot of fun. He loved people, especially children. He loved to tease the kids. They didn’t seem to mind too much, they always came back for more. He was always the life of the party, he loved to dance, and he loved to tell stories.
The stories that the grandchildren still talk about are: “The Side Hill Wampus” and “Acorn and Corn Bloom.”
In those early days, Beth said they learned to dance at home. Her dad and Uncle Pete Rasmussen (no relation, just a good neighbor) would play the mouth organ and the kids would dance with each other. When the grownups would go to a dance or party they would always take the children with them.
He enjoyed fishing and picking berries. They always had plenty of jams and fruit from wild berries. In the early days the people in Rinard district, Rasmussen’s, Wiggill’s, Talbot’s, Clifton’s, and Strate’s would go to Ross Lake and fish for suckers which were canned or salted. This helped out with their diets.
Carl could stand a lot of cold. He went with out mitts and his collar open. They’d go to Ross Lake fishing, he would chop a hole in the ice and push the net through. He’d be wet to his shoulder and stand around with wet sleeves. He paid for it later in life as he had arthritis.
Carl always made horseradish. He grew it in his garden. He would grind it out side so he could have the wind blow the fumes away from him. Rod, his grandson, was about 4 years old when he was watching his Grandpa fix his horseradish. He’d put a little salt, sugar, and vinegar over it. He got a big teaspoon full and gave it to Rod to eat. It was so strong it took his breath away. When he was able to talk he said, “You dirty old son-of-a-bitch, I’m going to tell my dad on you.” Rod was never fooled again with horseradish, but I’ll bet Grandpa got a real big bang out of that one.
In the fall of 1918 there was a bad flu going around. Carl was nurse to his wife, baby, and some neighbors. He never got the flu. Martha was very sick with it. They took coal oil and sugar, which seemed to help.
On May 17, 1936 Martha passed away in the Cardston hospital from dropsy and a bad heart. This was a terrible blow for Carl. He had three children to raise, Beth 17, Lila 14, and Fred 11. Martha was buried next to her son Lyle in Leavitt, Alberta.
Beth tells of a time when her mother asked her dad if he would fix her some Epsom Salts for a laxative. It tasted so bad that she just gulped it down. After she said, “Carl, what on earth did you give me?” He looked at the box and he had given her 2 tsp. of Salt Peter instead of Epsom salt. He was so scared, he broke an egg and she swallowed it to make her vomit. She was sick for quite a few weeks. He went to his neighbor and told them what he had done, he said, “I damn near killed Martha.” He felt so bad about it.
Carl rented his place and raised pigs until his arthritis got so bad he couldn’t do it any longer. He bought a trailer house and moved it by his daughter Beth and husband George.
Carl only owned one car in his life time. He drove it once, he went to Del Bonita and ran into a gate post. Then he drove it into the yard, got out, threw the keys on the table and said that was the first and the last. It didn’t stop when he said “Whoa!”
One of Carl’s hobbies was to make hackamores. He enjoyed braiding, and I’ve often heard from his family that they wished they’d paid more attention to Grandpa Strate’s braiding so that they would have learned how to do this art.
I am also told that Grandpa Strate had leather on everything. He enjoyed working with leather. His daughter Beth still has a fly swatter that he had made out of leather.
Carl and Ernie Kersey were buddies. One time when they were going to Lake Newell fishing they had a car accident and Carl hurt his knees. He got arthritis and never walked well after that.
Another one of his buddies was Ralph Talbot, he and Carl made many trips to Milk River together.
Carl broke his back and was in the Fort Macleod hospital for a long time. His daughter Lila lived there. Then he broke his hip when he was staying with his son Fred, and was in the Magrath hospital for quite awhile. After that he was on crutches the rest of his life.
His heart gave him trouble and he was just worn out.
He was taken to the hospital on Friday and passed away at the age of eighty-three on Monday January 14th, 1974. He was buried in Leavitt beside his wife Martha and son Lyle.
Beth married George Foggin on October 19th, 1940. They have seven children. Lila married Joseph Zehanoviz on June 19th, 1950. Joseph passed away September 1953 in a car accident. They have two sons. Fred married Harriett Ririe December 5th, 1944. They have four children.
Written by – George & Beth Foggin, February 1998
I would say my Grandpa Strate was the biggest tease to ever live. He would grab our legs and squeeze them and say, ‘damn, those are good pants.’ He always seemed rough on the outside, but on the inside he was gentle as a little lamb. He was always concerned with others. I remember when I had pneumonia and was really quite sick. He went to town and bought me so much fruit and pop I probably couldn’t have eaten it all if I had been well. It really seemed to bother him if any of us were sick!
Some of the most fun times I remember as a child was when Mom would make our dinner and we would take it up to Grandpa’s because Dad would be farming up there and we would eat in Grandpa’s little shack.
One summer Grandpa had a lot of skunks under his house and he tried to get Kim and I to crawl under and catch them. Of course we would say no and run away from him. Then he would laugh and laugh.
He couldn’t stand us kids to go to town without money. So every time we went somewhere Grandpa would give us some money.
Grandpa had never learned to drive and I remember one day all of us went to Lethbridge except Grandpa, while we were gone, the sheep got out and into the grain. Since he was crippled up with arthritis he couldn’t walk after them so he jumped in the old pick-up to go around them. He got so excited he put it in forward instead of reverse and ran right into the fence. He got out and just left it there and worried about the sheep all the time we were gone. My Grandpa was a great guy!!