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Bruce Nodwell PDF Print E-mail
The Family Nodwell
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 01:44

Bruce Nodwell an Inventor with Drive


Bruce Nodwell had an unusual birth certificate: Province of Saskatchewan, Section 22, Township 36, Range 9, West of the 3rd. Born the son of a homesteader on May 12, 1914, he died in Calgary on January 20, 2006. During the intervening 91 years, Nodwell became the world's foremost inventor of industrial tracked vehicles.

His signature offroad machine, the Nodwell 110, sold more than 1,500 units, primarily to the North American oilpatch. Half a century later, its direct successor remains in production, albeit much improved and flanked by a fleet of other models.

Foremost Industries, founded by Nodwell and his son Jack in Calgary, has a market capitalization above $250 million, and operates in Russia, the United States and elsewhere. Yet success definitely did not come easily. "I've worn out three or four companies along the way, and quite a few customers, too," the self-educated pioneer once remarked.

His father Howard, raised in North Dakota, homesteaded 25 miles west of Saskatoon (population 500 in 1903) near the village of Asquith at age 16. Then as now, farming was unpredictable. When hail destroyed a grain crop just before harvest, Bruce Nodwell said his parents used the ice to make ice cream and to his recollection made no complaint about seeing a year's work wiped out.

His father became a grain buyer, moving frequently from town to town. Formal education, under the circumstances, was erratic. "I never learned a thing in school," Bruce Nodwell stated flatly in a private family memoir. In 1923, the Nodwells migrated from Carmangay in southern Alberta back to Asquith, where Howard bought an interest in a hardware store. Their 1918 Dodge Touring car, towing a buggy converted into a trailer, travelled on prairie trails used earlier by Red River carts. Colored strips painted sporadically on telephone poles marked the route; the only accommodation was a tent.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 01:55
John Newton PDF Print E-mail
The Family Dickey
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Thursday, 26 August 2010 14:02

Newton Crest"Over two thousand years ago, Sir John Newton, of Barr's Court and of Corbin Hall, was the owner of vast landed estates in Yorkshire, extending from Hull to Carlton, and to Campbell's Forth. In the year 1660 John Newton, son of Thomas, and grandson of Sir John, of Barr's Court, sailed for the Colony of Virginia and settled in Westmoreland County. He fell heir to this property at Hull and at Carlton and at Campbell's Forth, but, he being absent in far-off Virginia, administrators were appointed * * * finally the property was leased for one hundred years. John Newton in Virginia had become a wealthy man. He died in 1697, and his will was dated August 19, 1695. He bequeathed to his eldest son, John, who had been educated in England, the whole English estate at Hull, Carlton and at Campbell's Forth, with much land in Westmoreland, King George, and Stafford Counties, Virginia. The English estate continued to be handed down from father to son for four generations. The Newton family is one of the oldest in England and John Newton has many distinguished ancestors, among whom were Sir Richard Newton, Chief Justice of England; Sir Thomas Newton, knighted by King Richard during the Crusades; Sir John Newton, Sword Bearer of King Richard II; Sir John Newton, Lord Mayor of York, etc." (An article in the London Times, of 1777.)

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 August 2010 14:54
Colonial Virginia Crowder Records PDF Print E-mail
The Family Crowder
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 07:32

I was at the Library of Congress, trying to find the parents of my John W. Crowder b. 1808 in Virginia. Though I was not able to locate the parents on that visit, I did get several good notes and references to early Virginia Crowders. Some day, I am sure I will tie at least one of these Crowders to my kin.

I present these records here in the hopes that 1) I don't lose them while I continue to dig for the Crowders in my tree, and 2) you may find them useful in your own Crowder research. ;)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 08:13
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