Weyburn Pioneer Woman Sculpture

Maria Frankow Sidloski (1905-1939)
Submitted by: Tori Metheral 

Maria Frankow was born August 16th, 1905 in Nuszcz East Galacia which was a Polish protectorate. She was married to Gabriel Sidloski on February 5th, 1923.  They had two children, Alex born in 1924 and Jennie born in 1926. In 1929 she sailed on the steamship Mount Claire landing in Montreal, Canada one month later. She did not speak any English and did not know anyone. The immigration people put her and the two children age five and three on the train for the long trip to Weyburn, then on to the little hamlet of Hume, east of Weyburn.  She arrived there in July, 1929. 

With the help of a midwife three more children were born: John, Roy and Victoria (Tory). They lived here for seven years and then moved in April ,1936 to a bigger house south of Weyburn. Two more children were born, Andrew in December, 1936 and Vera in May, 1939.                                                           

Maria Sidloski with her children Alex and Jennie

Maria with daughter Jennie and son Alex

 The years 1931-1938 were the drought years also known as The Dirty 30's.  Like many pioneer women of the time, she did what was necessary to make do with so few resources. Flour sacks and sugar bags were bleached to make clothing, tea towels, and other things. There were little squares of a bleaching agent that were added to the rinse water to make the material white to be sewn into dresses.

 Even with a young family, she still helped on the farm by turning the windlass when a well was being dug, and also turning the forge handle while making horseshoes and plow shears. There was always a large garden with beautiful flowers and also chickens for meat and eggs.

 One can only imagine the hardships that were endured as they battled the sand storms (dust was everywhere), the drought and the grasshoppers. In 1938-39 Maria's health was failing as she suffered with arthritis and a bad heart. When her last baby Vera was born in May. 1939, she realized that she wouldn't be there to care for her. While in the hospital, she met a lady who wanted a girl so arrangements were made to have her adopted.

 Maria passed away July 13th, 1939.  She was thirty-four years old leaving behind seven children.

To date she is responsible for 295 descendants and could take pride in their musical talents and artistic abilities as well as their contributions to the farming and cattle industries.

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