Early Homesteaders and Settlers
Fannie (York) Saunders
Life in Saskatchewan
Immigrated in 1912 Died 13 October 1960 at Piapot, Sask. Buried at Piapot Cemetery
Born 18 April 1882 in Columbus, Mississippi
Fannie (York) Saunders dedicated her life to her God and her family, opening her home to friends and neighbours alike. Her home was always filled with music and laughter. She used to say that singing hymns was “her way of talking to her God.”
Fannie was a trained musician and teacher and had traveled widely. Loss clouded her life however, when her husband and only child died in Oklahoma. When her parents, Mr. & Mrs. York, decided to immigrate to Saskatchewan, taking a homestead in the Stony Knoll District, Fannie joined them along with her sister, Bessie. Here she worked hard, plowing the fields with a team of horses, and learned to love the prairies.
A teacher by nature and training, Fannie tutored her niece, Lucille, who eventually returned to the United States however, she sent her daughter, Betty Lou to Aunt Fannie and the homestead in Canada to learn the lessons she had learned as a child under Fannie’s care. Fannie cared for her parents until their death and then started to spend the winter months with her sister Bessie who had returned to Oklahoma after the death of her husband.
In her final days, very crippled with arthritis, a friend found her one day sitting by the window when she said, “It will be beautiful at the farm. Oh, how I would love to walk across the prairie once more, especially in the spring, when the first larks return and the crocuses are peeping out, and everything is turning green. Sometimes I say a prayer, Thank you, God, for this lovely earth you created, and this beautiful vegetation. And I would just walk and walk.”