In an effort to ensure that all the headstones in the Glen Leslie Cemetery that simply stated “baby” and the last name had an acknowledgement about the parents, the results of the research came down to one headstone that the family was not easily identifiable.

However the mystery of who the parents were of the “Taylor Baby” has been solved. The parents of the baby girl have been identified as William D. and Mabel J. (Dawson) Taylor. Alberta death records revealed that the baby girl was born on December 16 and passed away on December 18, 1920 in Bezanson of pneumonia. The attending physician was Dr. J.R. Labadie who lived in the Bezanson area.

A search of the Peace Country Land Settlement Database revealed that a William D. Taylor had filed homestead applications on NW and NE 4-72-2-W6 (land located on the east side of the Smoky River) on June 4, 1920. He abandoned the NE quarter on June 23, 1921 stating the land had too much brush. At the same time, he cancelled the application on the NW quarter. An attached note stated that the Taylor’s currently resided in Glen Leslie but later lived in the Bezanson area. It would appear, that they were living in Bezanson when the baby girl passed away; therefore they would have abandoned and cancelled the homestead applications after that time.

The Taylor’s were listed on the 1921 Census as owning and living on 8-72-3-W6 in the Glen Leslie area however which . of land was not identified. It was narrowed down to either the NE or SE quarter. The NE . was the homestead of Johnny Kiebalo who received the patent on the land in 1916. The SE . was the homestead of John McKenzie who received the patent on the land in September 1919. The “Smoky to Grande Prairie” history book stated that Mr. McKenzie sold his land to Johnny Kiebalo after the war. As such, it would be safe to assume that Mr. Taylor would have bought the original McKenzie homestead from Mr. Kiebalo as there would have been some sort of residence on that property.

Census forms include a great deal of interesting information; at the time of the census, William was 33 and his wife Mabel J. was 23. It further stated that they both were from England – the Land Database provided a bit more information insofar as to where William originated from which was Lancashire County, Liverpool, England. At the time of the Census being June 1921, they were only a family of two. William had immigrated in 1908 and Mabel in 1920. As the baby passed away in 1920, Mabel may have been expecting their first child when she immigrated.

How long the Taylor’s stayed in Glen Leslie is unknown however they would have sold their land and purchased the NW 6-72-2-W6 (RR31 and is the . of land that the Ski Chalet is located on) in the Bezanson area from the Soldiers’ Settlement Board. The land had been the original homestead of Fred Thompson who sold it to the Soldier’s Settlement Board once he received the patent on the property in 1918. 2

The next occurrence of the Taylor name was found in the Grande Prairie Herald on March 20, 1923 under the heading “Bezanson News” which read:

“Born to Mr. and Mrs. W. Taylor on Monday March 5, a fine baby girl.”

A subsequent newspaper dated April 17, 1923 stated:

“The dairy farmers of the district are going to watch with interest this coming season, an experiment which Mr. W. Taylor is going to carry out. He is going to seed a few acres to Sunflowers, build a ground silo and try and solve the problem of feeding dairy cows for profit during the winter. Success be with you Will – and others will follow your footsteps.”

There still is a bit of a discrepancy in the dates as the 1921 Census gives a legal land description in Glen Leslie however the birth and death certificate state “Bezanson” for residence in 1920 and the information in the newspaper articles under the heading “Bezanson News” were in 1923. Only land titles would clarify that point however we do know that they resided in Glen Leslie and Bezanson for short periods of time. The “Smoky to Grande Prairie” history book stated that the Taylor’s did not stay long in the Bezanson area and it is unknown as to where they relocated to.

Hopefully the Taylor’s had a wonderful and prosperous life wherever they eventually settled.

By Wanda Zenner – June 2018

Invitation to the Knelsen Centre Grand Opening

Bezanson Ag Society

January 2013 was the beginning of the discussions of what we were to do with the aging infrastructure of the Bezanson Memorial Hall and what the future looked like for the Bezanson Ag Society. From there, we hired Paul Conrad & Associates to help us determine the communities needs and desires. It was this information that we presented to the public in April 2014 that began the whirl wind of activity, excitement, fear, anticipation, and so forth and the decision was made – we were embarking on a journey that would last 5 years!! And during this time, you were part of this process!!

It is with great anticipation and excitement that the Bezanson Agricultural Society is announcing the Grand Opening to their recently completed project – the new Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre which is officially known as the Knelsen Centre!

The Grand Opening takes place October 13, 2018 at the new Knelsen Centre in the Buffalo Rock Gymnasium.

Supper begins at 5:30 pm followed by the Grand Opening Ceremony at 7pm and then dance the night away with the local band, Night Ryders. (6 & under are free); Cash bar on site.

Tickets are $25 for the Dine & Dance and are now available by contacting the office (780) 538-3544 or the Bezanson General Store. Our office hours are Monday – Thursday 9 am until 3 pm.

Thank you for being a part of this team!! It would be an honor to have you join us for this celebration.

Audrey Hewings
Executive Director
On behalf of the Bezanson Ag Society

Mini Bareback Riders Qualifications

After all of the hard work and dedication, two young Bezanson brothers, Tyson Fells and Rylan Fells, have qualified for the Canadian Finals. Rylan finished the series second out of 20 while Tyson finished third out of 34 kids. This will be taking place from September 14 – 15 in Stettler, Alberta. If these two place in the Canadian Finals, they will be off to Vegas in December for Nationals.

What is Mini Bareback Riding?

Mini Bareback Riding is when the child gets on a miniature pony and has to ride it for 6 seconds after the gate opens. It is almost exactly like bareback riding, but instead, it is on miniature ponies. Each ride is scored on how well they ride, and in the end, all of the scores get tallied up and the top scorers will qualify to go to the Canadian Finals. In this case, both of these young boys have qualified!

Meet the Boys

Tyson Fells

 Tyson has been riding for one year and he says that he, “worked hard, practiced, went to clinics and took advice from other riders and mentors,” in order to get to where he’s gotten to today. Tyson finished third out of the 34 kids in his age category and he is, “pretty excited and nervous but proud of myself. AS for Vegas, if we make it I would feel very, very nervous.” He says, “I would like to thank Denver, Scott and Lisa from Big D Mini Buckers and everyone who helps them out. Also, would like to thank Dusty LaValley for teaching us, Mom and Dad for everything they have done for us, grandparents, family members, our sponsors and all of my rodeo friends!”

“Tyson is a young, motivated 10-year-old boy who is riding in the junior division. He got on his first pony last year and has been in love with the sport ever since. He has placed many seconds and thirds, but just recently earned a first-place spot; he has also won a hat band, spur straps a plaque and cash prizes. You will always find Tyson helping the younger children by giving them riding advice or helping them put on their rigging. He has attended a couple Mini Bareback Schools learning from some of the best riders in the rodeo sport. Currently, Tyson is in 3rd place out of 24 children; and has participated in about 17 rodeos. He is following the Big D Mini Buckers Series circuit.”

-Shyla Fells


Rylan Fells

Rylan started his Mini Bareback Riding career this year and has started off with lots of success! He finished the series second out of 20 kids and is, “Really excited for Canada Finals,” and “for Vegas, if we make it, very nervous. I’ve never rode those kinds of ponies before, so like really, really nervous. And if we make it to Vegas, I finally get to ride on a plane!” He says, “I would like to thank the same people as Tyson but would like to add the bull fighters, announcers, judges and a bunch of other people!”

“Rylan is an active 7-year-old boy and he is riding in the Peewee division. Following in his big brothers’ footsteps Rylan began bareback riding as well in 2018 and also has a passion for the sport. Rylan has also been successful in the sport and placed both first and second places a couple of times. Rylan also attended Mini Bareback School and is following the Big D Mini Buckers Series Circuit. Currently, Rylan is 4th out of 16 children in his division and has participated in 9 rodeos. When Rylan is not thinking of ponies he is thinking of fishing.”

-Shyla Fells

We wish these boys the best of luck in their Mini Bareback Riding careers, in the Canada Finals, and in Nationals! Stay tuned for the progress from these two stars!

Written by Ally Pilgrim

10 Questions with Maren Laverick

This year a community local, Maren Laverick, was given an opportunity to do a selective camp. This was a camp that was offered to girls in Canada going into grade 10. They received over 200 applications and only picked 30 girls. It was a camp put on by Nav Canada to encourage girls to work in aviation.

“When we went and took tours to meet pilots and traffic control towers, women were very limited in working in these areas. My mom told me about this camp and it was to good of an opportunity to turn up. To apply I had to a write an essay of why I should go and I had to get letter of recommendation from a teacher or leader in the community.” -Maren Laverick

Photo Credit: Maren Laverick


1.How was your trip?

My trip was amazing, it was such a life changing experience. Even just feeling so independent really changed me as a person.

2. What was the best part of the trip?

I don’t even know if I could pick a favourite part of my trip, I really enjoyed when they took us up flying in little airplanes.

3. How did you feel on the trip?

It made everything feel so real and changed the perspective of feeling like your on top of the world.

4. What was the significance of this trip to you?

This trip really taught me how big the world really is and it inspired me push myself to become the best version of who I want to be.

5. What kind of things did you experience on your trip?

It opened up a whole new world that I had never been considered.

Photo Credit: Maren Laverick

6. What kind of things did you experience on your trip?

On my trip we learned about every branch of aviation, including- traffic control tower, engineers, pilots, flight service specialist, and flight attendants. We also had some classroom time and learned about drones, hacking, and what nav Canada has planned for the future of flying.  

7. What was it like to be a small town girl who got the opportunity to do this?

Being a small town girl and getting to be a part of such an amazing opportunity made me grateful for what I have at home but also so excited for the future.

8. How many people got to participate in this camp?

There was 30 girls from all of Canada and at least one girl from every province and territory.

9. What was your reaction when you got told you get to do this?

When me and my mom first found out we both burst into tears we were so happy.

10. Would you recommend other writers to sign up for this?

I would suggest this to any young girls, they offered a lot of options to start training even just in high school.


Photo Credit: Maren Laverick





Assembled by Netisha Zacharias


Written By Wanda Zenner


Although the Memorial Hall was and still is, well-known for being the perfect venue for special occasions, one celebration in particular was certainly “newsworthy”.

Eight Couples Mark Anniversary

“It was the celebration of a lifetime in Bezanson on Saturday, November 18, 1972 when eight couples celebrated their 25th wedding anniversaries.

To pay tribute to the occasion, the couples were guests of honor as local residents hosted a combined anniversary dance in the Bezanson Hall.

Anniversaries for each couple varied however the Johnston’s were the closest to the combined event – they marked their 25th year of wedded life on November 20th.

Festivities began at 9 p.m. with music supplied by the Country Pride. A midnight supper followed the dance.”

25th Anniversary Celebration 1972

**No part of this document may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any means without written permission from the author.

Young Titans have work to do

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Gordon Anderson 
Peace Wapiti Academy Titans quarterback Colby Gilette releases a pass while under duress from his defence during fall camp at the Wapiti Academy practice field. Titans head coach Trace Griko thinks the team is in for a good year. GORDON ANDERSON / DAILY HERALD-TRIBUNE

Ahh, the late summer musings of a positive head football coach.

“I think we’re looking for a pretty good year,” Peace Wapiti Academy boss man Trace Griko said, following practice on a smoky and sweltering day at the team’s practice facility next to Legion Field. “We’re a lot younger at certain position, but that’s what happens with a high school roster when guys graduate.”

Last season, the Titans finished up 6-2 in the regular season before losing 36-0 to the St. Joseph Catholic High School Celtics in the Peace Bowl.