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LEVEL OF DESCRIPTION: Fonds
No.: PR0082
TITLE: Ruth and Leo Hamson fonds
CREATOR: Ruth and Leo Hamson
DATE RANGE: 1940-2008
EXTENT: 0.33 m of textual records. - 47 negatives. - 2192 photographs. - 20 reels of 8mm film (ca. 5 hrs.). - 68 videocassettes (ca. 137 hrs.). - 10 audiocassettes (ca. 17 hrs.).
ADMINISTRATIVE
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:

Ruth Cornell was born March 20, 1920 in Edmonton, Alberta to George and Sara (Moore) Cornell. In 1939 she took a job at the head office of the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Toronto, Ontario where she met her husband Leo.

Leo Hamson was born in Toronto on October 13, 1920. After graduating in 1939, he took a job at the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Leo served during the Second World War as a sergeant-instructor in a field artillery battery and was later granted a commission as a lieutenant. He sent for Ruth while posted to East Coast Harbour Defenses and they were married November 6, 1942 in St. John, New Brunswick. Leo was later sent to Europe and returned in August of 1945. Following the war he served in Calgary, Alberta, Wetaskiwin, Alberta and at a Prisoner of War (P.O.W.) camp. While discharging veterans, he met a group planning Little Smoky Farm Industries and was invited to join.

Ruth and Leo arrived in the Guy district in March 1946 as part of Little Smoky Farm Industries. Little Smoky Farm Industries encountered many setbacks and many members backed out of the operation. Ruth and Leo left in 1951 to find work in High Prairie.

Leo worked for C.A. Nantais, the Imperial Oil agent for two years before taking over management of High Prairie Medical Clinic where he stayed for 21 years. He later worked for nine years as purchaser and warehouse manager for High Prairie School Division before retiring in 1984.

Ruth worked for 23 years at the central office of the School Division as Executive Secretary to Superintendents. Ruth and Leo Hamson moved to the Laurier Heights area of Edmonton in 1986 and traveled extensively from the 1960s to the 1990s. Many of their travels were undertaken with the University of Alberta's Faculty of Extension and Grant MacEwan's Minerva Senior Studies Institute.

Leo was also involved in the making of a 2003 NFB documentary entitled The Enemy Within which focused on German POW camps in Alberta during and immediately after World War II. Leo was interviewed in the film about his experiences at the POW camps.

Leo died on August 12, 2007.

Together, Ruth and Leo had three children: Karl, Marilyn Leslie, and Laura.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The fonds consists of material related to Ruth Hamson's book, Staying Alive: Tracing the Adventures of George Cornell and W. Scott Pitzer, images of Little Smoky Farm Industries, material related to Leo's Second World War service (including records related to the German POW camp at Wetaskawin), and audiovisual/photographic material related to travel, hobbies, and family life.
RELATED RECORDS: For additional information about Little Smoky, see the Leslie Hamson fonds and the Patricia Wright fonds. For more information about the Little Smoky Farm Industries, see Guy histoire/Guy history: Guy-Ballater-Whitemud Creek, which can be found in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library, 971.231 G989 PAA.
GENERAL NOTE: Information for the biographical sketch is taken from Guy histoire/Guy history: Guy-Ballater-Whitemud Creek, which can be found in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library, 971.231 G989 PAA and from the records. The images can be located in the A file of the Provincial Archives of Alberta reference prints under the numbers A.14,286 through A.14,306, A.15,837 through A.15,848, A.15,897 through A.15,930, A.16,229 and A.20,029 through A.20,032. The original diaries can be found in the George Erwin Cornell fonds (PR1966). Included in accessions PR1977.0220 and PR2000.0739 are records belonging to the George Erwin Cornell fonds (PR1966). Ruth and Leo Hamson also donated the records in the Donald Roderick Cameron fonds (PR1965)
RELATED FONDS: PR0082 (Ruth and Leo Hamson fonds)
RELATED FILES: Display FileList
RELATED ITEMS: A14286 (Hay (alfalfa) on wagon, Little Smoky)
A14287 (Making sheaves for harvest, Little Smoky)
A14288 (Little Smoky school)
A14289 (Brush cutter / piler, Little Smoky)
A14290 (Brush cutter / piler, Little Smoky)
A14291 (Brush cutter / piler, Little Smoky)
A14292 (Brush cutter / piler, Little Smoky)
A14293 (Brush cutter / piler, Little Smoky)
A14294 (Men of Little Smoky)
A14295 (First houses built in Little Smoky)
A14296 (Wright house, Little Smoky)
A14297 (Building one of the first houses in Little Smoky)
A14298 (Tractors in mud, clearing land at Little Smoky)
A14299 (Tractors in mud, clearing land at Little Smoky)
A14300 (Leo Hamson home, Little Smoky)
A14301 (First families to live in Little Smoky)
A14302 (Some of the first women to live at Little Smoky)
A14303 (Fred Bullen and Leo Hamson at power saw, Little Smoky)
A14304 (Inez Bullen on Cockshutt tractor, Little Smoky)
A14305 (St. Alban Sunday School Mission bus, Anglican Church, Athabasca Diocese, Little Smoky area)
A14306 (Tractor, Little Smoky)
A15837 (Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15838 (Cutting ice, Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15839 (The wives, Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15840 (Residents, Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15841 (Two residents of Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15842 ("Hooking up GMC motor (bought from Bishop's in G. Prairie) to power welder", Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15843 (Ron, Carol, Bob (and Tippy), Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15844 (General view, Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15845 (One of the founders of Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15846 (Leo Hamson, one of the founders of Little Smoky Farm Industries settlement)
A15847 (Campaign card for Fred C. Bullen, Social Credit candidate for Grouard constituency)
A15848 (Campaign card for Fred C. Bullen, Social Credit candidate for Grouard constituency)
A15897 (Hauling hay, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15898 (Sleigh ride, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15899 (Brush-cutter and equipment, Little Smoky River Farm industries settlement)
A15900 (Cockshutt tractor and bulldozer, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15901 (Operating swing saw, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15902 (Cutting ice on dug-out with circular saw, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15903 (Fred Bullen and son (after break up of Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement))
A15904 (Fred Bullen with horses, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15905 (Tractor and hay wagon, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15906 (Bulldozer towing granary, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15907 (Portable sawmill and logs on river bank, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15908 (Inez Bullen hanging out laundry, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15909 (Ready to attend school, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15910 (Children in Halloween costumes, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15911 (Children in Halloween costumes, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15912 (Sunday School Mission truck (Anglican church, Athabasca Diocese), Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15913 (School house, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15914 (Installing canopy on bulldozer, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15915 (Installing canopy on bulldozer, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15916 (Tractor and combine, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15917 (Automobile, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15918 (Young boy chopping wood, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15919 (Leo Hamson and two sons with bulldozer, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15920 (Using hammer mill at barn, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15921 (Using hammer mill at barn, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15922 (Loading firewood to haul to town for sale, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15923 (School kids with snow fort, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15924 (Hauling water by tractor, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15925 (Group of children, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15926 (School children with Leo Hamson, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15927 (Group of children hauling firewood to back door of house, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15928 (Using swing-saw to make firewood, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15929 (Using swing-saw to make firewood, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A15930 (Bullen boy with horse, Little Smoky River Farm Industries settlement)
A16229 (Leo Hamson)


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