The Kendall Family
Homer and Myrtle Kendall came to Sioux Lookout in 1909 from North Pines, where he had worked in the ore mill. He started working for the Railway and was the first engineer to pull a passenger train out of Sioux Lookout.
Myrtle was a talented musician. She taught music to Sioux Lookout children and was a violin player herself. At one time, she had her own orchestra and played at dances all along the line from Redditt in the west, to Armstrong in the east. She and Homer didn’t have children. Homer didn’t care to travel but Myrtle loved to. So nothing daunted her and she set out to travel around the world twice!
In 1937, she was asked to share some memories of Sioux Lookout. She noted the piano in the Assembly Hall and Pool Room and the dances that were held there while babies slept on piled up coats; snowshoes parties culminating in a moccasin dance to the music of a mouth organ, box socials that were a way of raising funds. She recalled Hortie Jewell’s box bringing in $40.00! Hockey was a favourite activity that produced good teams and lots of fights!
Myrtle served on Town Council along with her nephew Paul, who had moved from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania at the age of 17 to live with them. Homer died in 1963. Myrtle suffered from a stroke and had to be moved to a nursing home in Winnipeg, where she died in 1967. She was well thought of and the Minister came from the states as a friend to conduct the service.
Richard Paul Kendall, their nephew, was born in 1904 in Oelwein, Iowa, son of Charles and Eleanora Kendall. When he moved to Sioux Lookout in 1921, he then spent 47 years with the C.N. During that time, when the depression hit, he did odd jobs around town, and some in the mines at Anthony, Savant Lake and Argosy. He had a small life insurance business for Imperial Life of Wawanesa and sold fire insurance. As a guide for Mike Ament’s tourist camp, Paul was in a movie called “Tigers of the North” made by the South Bend Bait Co. (Anyone who may still have one of those fishing lures can find interesting history on them now.)
Paul married Alice May on Sept.23, 1928 in the St. Andrew’s United Church. They had five children – Paul Jr, born in 1929, Eleanor born in 1931, Marilyn in 1936, George born in 1939, and Gordon in 1948.Then they bought the Homer Kendall home in 1964 on Ethel Street.
Paul Sr. was very active in the community life of Sioux Lookout. He was a fine gardener and lover of flowers. He headed the Horticultural Society, took many prizes in shows and was an ardent birdwatcher. Along with service on Town Council, he worked for the Conservative Party, held many positions regionally with the Masons, the Shrine Club and the Orange Lodge. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, and ardent participant in sports; also a Golf and Curling club member.
Paul and Alice May’s son George was the one child to remain, marry here, raise a family and live permanently in Sioux Lookout. He maintained his father’s interest in the community and its history. He was responsible for the uncovering of Sioux Lookout’s first cemetery below Sioux Mountain. Some of the Kendall family’s collection of photos are seen throughout the Tracks Beside the Water and in the museum collection. We are grateful to the family for the preservation of these records. There is a wonderful picture of Myrtle in the long dress that women wore in the early years, catching fish off the boardwalk alongside the Chutes, and Homer along with the Royal Train crew in front of Locomotive # 6047. These are portrayed in the “Voices From the Past” book produced by the Sioux Lookout Genealogy Club.