David Wing and Ponoka's Dakota District Pioneers


In 1877, David Wing and five other families discussed the possibility of moving from Brome County, Quebec, where farming was difficult at best, and near impossible at worst. Farming prairie land, where homesteads were being given away in America, looked promising from their vantage point in the North Country of Canada. The group thought that Kansas might be their answer, so David, his wife and their two toddlers, and a bachelor brother, loaded their covered wagons and set out for what they hoped would be their promised land. The Wild West, with its rowdy cowboys, was not what the group had in mind. In 1880, the Quebec families began arriving in Dakota Territory, where they made their home for the next twenty years until the drought, dry wells, and grasshoppers drove them out. Their next quest was the Northwest Territories, where they could start fresh with new homesteads and the hope of a permanent home. This narrative history follows David Wing, and those who traveled with him, from his original home in Quebec, to the Chisholm Trail in Kansas, to a homestead in South Dakota, and ultimately, to the settlement in Ponoka, Dakota District. This story is rich with details of their travels and their lives, including what life was like for a Canadian farmer in the mid-1800s, the overwhelming responsibilities of a homesteader's wife, wildfires, and much more. The book also delves into the life of Corliss Smith Wing, son of David, and takes a cursory look at some of David's ancestors.

Beverly Smith Vorpahl

2005, 5½x8½, paper, index, 180 pp.

ISBN: 9780788431982