We present a letter dated April 6, 1932 signed by John J. Cook then Managing Director of the York Farmers Colonization Company Limited of Toronto, addressed to local merchant and area farmer, Levi Beck.
Dear Sir: re— West half of Section 5, Township 26 Range 3 West of the 2nd Meridian.
"On account of the bad seasons 1930-1 and the low price in grain, and other farm products, the Company are willing to cancel all the interest owing up to Oct. 1, 1931 amounting to 1,640.02 as an encouragement for you to go on and put in your crop for 1932, early and in first class order. The Company will look to pay your interest and payment on principal in the fall, and to keep all taxes paid up. Wishing you a good crop and price. Yours very truly, John J. Cook, Manager."
Levi Beck, who had been wealthy was hit hard as so many others were by the Depression and had turned to the Company for a loan. His farm had originally been land purchased from the Dominion Government by the York Farmers Colonization Company in 1882, and sold to Beck. We have had several testimonials that Yorkton's founding company had treated its settlers fairly during the colonization period of 1882-1888, and thereafter. We see in this letter, confirmation that the Company was still in operation 50 years later, and indeed its officials were acting in a benevolent manner like its predecessors had by canceling Beck's substantial debt of $1,640.02 and giving him a chance to put in a crop in 1932. Other records seem to indicate that Levi ended up selling this land. This is an example of what happened to so many farmers during the Depression years, and not all had understanding creditors. Because Levi Beck was a pioneer land owner, and business man he had been a major employer. He was considered an influential citizen of Yorkton. This half section is located in the Rural Municipality of Orkney.
From Norman Roebuck Collection
Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince, Heritage Researcher,
City of Yorkton, Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3 306-786-1722 histor...@yorkton.ca