This is my mother, Rosine (Malaterre) Beaudry. I have been told that she was born near the place that we called "Louie Pecora's Rapids'. This is on the Milk River, east of Glasgow, Montana, no more then a couple of miles.
These "rapids" were nothing more then the shallows or riffles caused by the river crossing the gravel deposits that were left by the melting glaciers of the ice ages. There are quite a few of these places along the Milk River, these were the places the buffalo used to cross the river and avoid mireing in the clay bottoms which was for them almost certain death, either from drowning or from being killed by the wolves that followed the herds waiting for just such incidents to befall the unwary adult or unknowing buffalo calf.
The masses of buffalo that had existed for thousands of years were all gone, none what so ever roamed the prairies at the time of my mothers arrival on earth, March 28, 1892.( If it had not been for the foresight of some Metis man who took a few of the buffalo to the Flathead Valley in western Montana, they would now be as extinct as the Dodo bird.)
I have been told that her grandfather, Antoine Rocheblanc had a log cabin near these shallows.
My mother was known to all as "Banjo" this nick name came about because, as a very young child, her father, Charles Malaterre, presented her with a young pinto colt.
She was unable to say the word pinto and said instead a word she did know, which was, banjo, and they called her this all of her life.
She was also able to ride horses as well as most men, I personally have seen her shoot with a twenty two rifle those carp that would swim near enough the top of the water to be seen.
When I saw this as a little boy as I stood with my mother on the banks overlooking the Milk River, I thought these fish to be a mile away.
I now realize that it could not have been over seventy five to a hundred yards, which is as good or better, than some modern day "hunters" can do with first class modern equipment.
I have also seen her tan hides, beaver and deer, and make beautiful gloves from the deer skin. The methods she used, along with the old elk horn scrappers have become lost tools and a lost knowledge.
I could well imagine that most of the women who were of my mothers generation and older, were also capable of doing the same tasks, along with many more that aided in a basic survival. She would tell me, she would tan hides while she was resting from more strenuous tasks.
You will notice that she was a little over three months old when she was baptized, and that she had been baptized in Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan, Canada, this was because it had been the first opportunity her parents had to see a priest.
In the years before this, the priests would accompany the the people that went out in large hunting parties each year, as the hunting parties got bigger they at times would make up the better part of the congregation of parish of which they came from at the "Red River Settlement" which is now, Winnepeg, Manitoba and its surrounding area.
Consequently the records do not mean that ones birth place was the same place where it was recorded into the church archives.
Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan is about 80 or 90 miles, more or less, north of Glasgow, Montana. The border meaning nothing to them at the time. You will notice also that my mother and a baby boy named William are the only two children of Charles and Isabelle listed.
The baby William, apparently died at two months of age in August of 1885.
I know my mother had a younger brother named William, known to me as uncle Willie, he died in the 1930's, maybe the younger William took the name of the baby that died or maybe it was his middle name. In any event the baby that was born in 1885 would have been seven years older then my mother.
I know she spoke of a brother who died real young, possibly from a snake bite while they had been swimming. His name was Paul, he is not mentioned here either.
The other brothers and sisters also not mentioned were,
Maria, Adeline, Joe(Antoine), Fred, Bat, William , who was better known as Willie Nancy ( Malaterre) DeBray, the youngest of the children.
Fred, Bat and Uncle Willie, died within a few months of one another in the mid 1930's.
I know that with having lost her father not so many years prior, the deaths of her three brothers had a devastating effect on my mother.
My mother had to be one of the strongest people that ever lived , her life contained absolutely no niceties, having to live in rude log houses for the good portion of her life and a lot of the time when she was young, no house at all plus the fact she was a beautiful petite girl when young, makes one wonder, how, it could all be possible.
I guess she gained strength in knowing as bad as it was for her, there were others that were treated worse and had less, such as all of the full blooded Indians and even some of mixed, European-- Indian blood (Metis) people, she considered our relatives. Plus it was to her, the way of life for them, and had been for generations, so what was the big deal?, this was their way of thinking.
I take comfort in knowing the fact, that it was not they that sinned, but rather the ones that were sinned upon.
How any one such as I, after reading what I have of the documented history of these folks, and after lived a small portion of it personally.
They, for generations back, both as a people collectively, and some of the sacrifices attributed to individuals, How could I, not, have a deep sense of pride, and hold the memory of the people I knew with awe and gratitude.
To do otherwise would be beyond my comprehension, it is my belief that it would be inherently impossible for me to possess such pomposity.
Life is fragile and perilous under the best of circumstances, and their way of life was not for the timorous. Anywhere in this genealogical line , a life could have ended, ended for a million and one different reasons , among those," mans inhumanity to man" of the fatal type.
Many thousands of the prior obstacles that were in the path of life have now been removed by modern technology, new politics, or they have been rendered impotent by laws, and to the adherence of the codes of ethics, decency and morality of a modern and a more enlightened society of which we now find ourselves a part of.
A lesser people no doubt would have perished instead of leaving a progeny that seems to flourish and is able finally to take its place in society without fear of prejudice or of unacceptence.
Of course, if one opts as his or her personal choice, the one that allows them to be swayed by listening to those types whose intellectual pursuits consist of reading check out stand tabloids or learns the history of the American frontier, from paperback "westerns" or watching far to many "Cowboy" movies, these ones, have decided and accepted a preconceived notion of how John Wayne won the west. I guess Festus and "Gabby" Hays played a role in tameing those varmits also.
The events of the past indeed make only a proud history of which our people played a role, a history upon which to build a better future.
I would say without any reservations what so ever, that the French "Voyageurs", a part of which our blood line consists, paddled their own share of the canoe and carried his share of the freight at the portages, just as every person should do in life.
The pride in the accomplishment of a job well done in the work you do, obeying the laws and being good even when no one is watching, in the knowing, if only a few in number, those people you can really depend on as friends, if these elements are added to plus side in the equation of your life, they will hold sway sway over money, greed and envy.
I do not envy any persons possession's or the their wherewithal, nor do I condemn a person for his lack of them, if either by choice or chance.
The modest, decent people I have known, did not flaunt their possessions, wealth or position in life, nor did they look down upon those less fortunate.
I do not say this only because I do not possess any vast amount. My position in life came as the result of my squandering of a portion of it, in the the failure to take advantage of proffered opportunities, and various other, etceteras', both real and imagined.
Perhaps it would be too dramatic, too simplistic of an explanation, or balm for a conscience, to use as a comparison, my life, to the lives of the men Robert Service writes about, in his poem "The Men Who Don't Fit In". Or perhaps, I did indeed inherit the genes, to instill a wanderlust nature.
Some of the very fine men that I have known in my life, fell into this catergory. I will type the last two verses of the poem.
And each forgets, as he strips and runs
with a brilliant, fitfull pace,
It's the steady, quite, plodding ones who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
forgets that his prime is past.
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead;
in the glare of the truth at last.
He had failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
he has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
and now is the time to laugh.
Ha!, ha! , he is one of the legion lost; he was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
he's a man who won't fit in.
I am also happy for the accomplishments of my sons, for their own happiness, and grateful for the type men , who through their own efforts, have now became, that type man any one should be proud to call a personal friend, husband or father.
They are prime examples that can be used as counter charges to the excuses that some use as a testimony of their failure to make any attempt at success. Among these so called arguments are, being poor , broken home, etc. the list could go on.
The younger generations should look back at their heritage with pride and only hope that some where in their own bodies lie the same combination of genes of their forefathers and then they should have no trouble in accomplishing as much as they are willing to work for.
Of course one wouldn't have to go back far in this history to find the epitomes of all the prior generations.
In my case it would be no further then my own father and mother.
A mother, who could have been killed when she was drug by a horse when her foot got hung in the stirrup or died from being shot with a shot gun accidentally.
She may well have been bitten by a snake when she, and her sisters worked alongside her father putting up hay, just one of the many jobs done as itinerant workers, the father would not allow them to wear mens trousers, to him it was was "un-lady like".
She could have died out on the prairie giving birth to most of the children as I was the first in this very long line of people to be born in a hospital.
Or my father, who as a young man, once worked as a cowboy for awhile on the "C-K" ranch located south of the Missouri River adjacent to Oswego, Montana. He had lost his way in a blizzard one winter, and had given up hopes of finding his own way back to the camp, he then let the horse have it's own head and the dear horse took him back home safely, this fine friend had a good portion of his ears frozen off , earning the name croppy for his life saving act.
My dad could have been killed by the same lightening that he saw skip across the horns of the cattle or roll down a barbed wire fence like a ball. or roll on the wagon wheel rims.
He could tell you all kinds of such stories, he for one, did not find the glamour that some seem to find in the modern portrayal of a cowboys life.
He could have perished when he fell into an abandoned well one winter while at his job on the railroad, this leaving him to suffer for years with arthritis.
In his later life I would go with him at times in the summer as he would still shear the small flocks of sheep some of his friends possessed, this is a back breaking job for a young man with a healthy back
He would shear these sheep with the blade shears. He told me that as a young man along with his brothers, Vic and Al and their father Noel Beaudry, they would shear hundreds of sheep, at times for as little as eleven cents per sheep.
He could have killed us all at various times in our lives by refusing to go out and do some type of work to feed us, no matter if at times it did not get above freezing for weeks at a time. We would have all starved to death, thus ending a lot of lives before they were ever thought of.
As I take an interest in my background, fortunate am I, that all of these records were kept in Canada .
The French priests kept very accurate accounts, thus keeping the French spelling of the names intact. On the other hand some of the other people, such as, the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada, and other people who kept such records in the United States had a tendency to write the name as it sounded to that particular individual, thus two different people recording the same name, in most cases, equaled two different spellings of the same name. A very good example of this is in the cemetery in Glasgow, Montana.
My grandfather and his three sons are buried within a stones throw of one another, each has a different spelling of the name, Malaterre. on their tombstones. (WHAT DO YOU WANT ON YOUR TOMBSTONE ? I WANT CHEESE AND PEPPERONI)
The spelling ranges from Militare, Malitary to Maltare to make up a name, a stranger wouldn't know they were related. much less a father and his sons.
The end result, I suppose, of mixing those that could read but couldn't spell ,with those that couldn't read at all.
The last time that I was in Glasgow, I went to the office where they keep the records for the cemetery and had all the names changed to the correct spelling. The name, Malaterre, incidentally means 'MAL(sick) TERRE(soil or ground) in the French language. My mother died never knowing her mothers' maiden surname, was spelled, "Rocheblanc" instead of "Beaucraft" , "Beaucraff" or "Roseblaff," or "whatever", in French, "Roche" = rock, "Blanc"= white.
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