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Digitized Primary Resources

Mary Wendelboe

Mary Wendelboe, nee Mary Sorena Lund, migrated to Alberta in 1910 at the age of 20 from Silkeborg Denmark. An adventurous young woman who worked as a licensed painter and paperhanger in Denmark, Mary was determined to make a good life for herself in her chosen country. Although she was expected to marry a local man in the community where she first found employment as a domestic, Mary had other ideas. She had met Mikail Wendelboe on the train from Winnipeg. He was also a Dane, who had migrated with his family of origin from South Dakota to homestead along Starline Road between Barons and Claresholm, Alberta. Letters passed between them for a number of months and Mike convinced Mary to move to his community with the idea of getting to know each other better. Mary and Mike married and farmed until 1925, raised seven children, and ran a blacksmith shop, which they continued after they sold their farm. Mike also worked for a while in the hardware store and post office established by his parents. Mary worked as a correspondent for the Claresholm Local Press and wrote short stories and a novel about pioneer life. She took creative writing courses in later life while visiting her family in Calgary. Kathryn Brecka is Mary and Mike’s granddaughter and she has donated a collection of Mary and Mike’s archival materials to the Glenbow Archives. We share some of Mary’s memoirs here, integrated into the short biography written by Cathryn Brecka.

Student & Academic Services for The Alberta Women's Memory Project - Last Updated October 20, 2016