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.