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LeBlanc Family

A middle-aged man is seated in a wicker chair. He is balding and has a mustache. He is dressed in a formal suit with a tie. A woman is standing beside him. She is wearing a blouse with a lace overlay, buttoned at the front. Her skirt is long and very narrow at the waist. Her hand is resting on a round table.

Joseph Sr. and Elmire LeBlanc 1890

The LeBlanc Family played an important role in the settlement and development of Lumby.

On November 15, 1881, Joseph LeBlanc married Elmire Quesnel, daughter of Jean and Marceline Quesnel.

Around 1890, Joseph and Elmire left their home in Saint-Anicet, Quebec to settle in Lumby’s White Valley.

What made them want to travel so far to such a small community? Elmire’s siblings, most of whom were already calling Lumby their home, sent Joseph glowing reports of Lumby’s rich cattle country and land that was free for the taking.

Elmire’s siblings were:  Zulima (Jean Deschamps), Celina (Thomas Christien / Olivier Bonneville), Josephine (Candide Quesnel), Salmone (Louis Morand / Augustus Sideleau), Cleophas (Josephine Christien), Osias (Ernestine LeBlanc) and Alphonse (Angeline Richer).

A pioneer man dressed in course clothing and a hat stands behind two Percheron horses. The horses appear to be white and are harnessed.

Joseph LeBlanc Jr. with his team of Percheron horses circa 1930

Four of the LeBlanc children were born in Quebec: Joseph (Marie Gallon), Josephine (Napoleon Bessette), Cleophas (Rita Brandl) and Alphonse. Their son Anciet was born after their arrival – he is reported to be the first white child born in Lavington (a few kilometres west of Lumby).  Their daughters Bertha (Robert Essery) and Elda (Hugh Catt) were born on the family farm in Lumby.

The family homestead was located at the bottom of Blue Springs Hill near Rawlings Lake Road.

Two horses are hitched to a wagon full of loose hay. The horses are standing beside a barn. 2 men are using a conveyor belt and forks to unload the hay into the barn.

Joseph Sr. Blue Springs Ranch circa 1895

Imagine how difficult life was for this new family.   Joseph used a single-bitted axe and a crosscut saw to clear the land by hand.  It was claimed that he and his four sons were the best axe-men in the valley.

A man is standing on a large stack of loose hay. The hay is loaded on a wagon being pulled by an old tractor. Two men with long rakes stand in front of the wagon.

LeBlanc Blue Springs Ranch circa 1928

Elmire, like so many other pioneer women, worked hard to survive.  She was used to a genteel life, and without modern conveniences, Elmire’s life was so much harder in Lumby.   Elmire raised three sons and three daughters and had 23 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren when she passed away at the age of 95 on December 12, 1951.

A man is walking behind a team of horses plowing a field. He is dressed in course clothes and is wearing a hat. The field is very rough and surrounded by trees.

Joseph LeBlanc Jr. and team plowing land 1895

Joseph was born May 3, 1854 and spent most of his life farming.  He died at the age of 84 on August 10, 1938.