Cecil William DENHAM (6) was born on the 3rd April 1907 in the Village of Birnie, Manitoba and he died on the 16th May 1990 in Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan. He was the youngest son of Mary McCutcheon (1865-1916) and Thomas Alfred Denham (1866-1948).
Cecil married Jonina Gudran BUASON (1912-2011) on the 21st September 1929, producing 17 healthy children.
Seventeen children. This family holds the record in the book for the largest number of children born to a single set of parents. All of their children, with the exception of Donaldene who died around the age of 6 months in a tragic accident, survived into adulthood. As this family was so large, the older children at a tender age were ousted to forge their own way in the world.
In turn, this produced an avant-garde story that needs honorable mention here – a “rags to riches” tale.
Denham Ford anyone? In the early 1950’s, two male members of this family (John and Hugh) opened Wetaskiwin Ford in the small town of Wetaskiwin, Alberta. The name derived from the Cree “witaskiwin-ispatinaw”. Wetaskiwin demographically sits 43 miles south of the provincial capital of Alberta, Edmonton. In 1951 the population of the town was 3,824 people. An historic oil strike had just been made (13th February 1947) 10 miles to the north at Leduc, Alberta. The area was booming. Roughnecks (oil rig workers) flocked from across Canada to work atop the oil derricks in rain, sleet, snow and hail, arriving on graveled and rut-infested roads. Soon with serious money in their wallets, they needed a mode of transportation.
Pick-up Country was born.
Ahhh…the Ford pick-up truck; ; the mainstay of early rural farm hands in western Canada. The Denham’s were on the front edge of this boom and soon two more brothers joined the Denham team, Leonard and Earl. Outside of the major centers, anyone buying a Ford in rural Alberta, parts of Saskatchewan and British Columbia, are buying a “Denham Ford.”
Another news-worthy story currently happening is the development of a shopping mall called “Denham landing”. In the Wetaskiwin City Council Economic Development Report, dated 30th March 2012, one of the items on the agenda was “Address Development of Denham Landing”, a new power center located at 56th Street and 36th Avenue. Wal-Mart is one of the tenants in this shopping mall. John Denham is the Vice-president of the Denham Landing Board.
Their complete story can be found in Chapter 7 – John McCutcheon’s son HUGH ……… I: HUGH ROBERT McCUTCHEON (1842-1917), ii; Mary McCutcheon.