Fonds - DeHart family fonds

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DeHart family fonds

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  • 1879-1976 (Creation)
    DeHart (family)

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Physical description

2 cm of textual records;56 photographs: b&w

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Biographical history

Francis Richard Edwin DeHart was born at Whitby Ontario, on November 18th, 1874, son of Edwin and Diana DeHart. He was educated at and graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College. He farmed at Indian Head Saskatchewan from 1897 to 1901,and was instrumental in founding the town of Grand Coulee Saskatchewan, where he built the first store in 1902. Coming to the Okanagan Valley in 1903 F.R.E. DeHart was instrumental in the formation of the Okanagan Fruit & Land Company. Mr. DeHart from the onset took a keen interest in public affairs. He served as an alderman in the Kelowna City Council during 1907 and 1908 and in 1909 was elected as Mayor. Strongly interested in horticulture, Mr. DeHart became known as the most successful exhibitors of fruit in Canada. He scored a remarkable triumph at the first National Apple Show in Spokane, winning prizes to a total value of 4,370 in cash and kind with a total number of 43 boxes of apples. He also took the gold medal at the first Canadian National Apple Show at Vancouver in 1910 for winning the most prizes. Possessing great artistic taste in arrangement and display of exhibits, his talents were in frequent demand for such purposes. He was entrusted frequently with commissions to collect fruit for exhibitions by the Provincial and Dominion Governments in this country and in Europe, and in 1925 was placed in charge of the displays of British Columbia fruit at the great exhibition at Wembly London, England. After his return from Wembly, Mr. DeHart resumed his business in which he had been engaged of purchasing fruit for the export trade, both in the Okanagan and Wenatchee district of Washington. He was instrumental in making the first shipment of British Columbia apples, consisting of yellow Newtons , in 1926 to Egypt. Mr. DeHart was also a successful grower of hard wheat, capturing a number of prizes at various important exhibitions. His peonies were widely known, the blooms having been exported successfully under cold storage to China and Australia. Mr. DeHart was largely responsible for the formation of the Independent Growers Association of which he was Secretary and later President and took a prominent part as a leader in the growers crusade of 1933 for "a cent a pound or on the ground.";Mr. DeHart was married in 1898 to Petronella Guy, of Oshawa, Ontario. The DeHarts had four children, Guy, Marjorie Bey, Una, and Diana.;F.R.E. DeHart was the architect for the DeHart family home in Kelowna called the "Brookside. Construction of the house began in 1912 and was completed in 1914. In 1936 the house was sold to W.A.C. Bennett.;Francis DeHart died July 8th, 1935, Petronella DeHart died February 13, 1969.

Custodial history

The F.R.E. DeHart family records were passed on to Diana DeHart McGougan from her mother Petronella DeHart. The records were donated by F.R.E. DeHart's granddaughter, Diana McGougan.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of a letter to Diana DeHart from Date Leckie in 1976; and a letter and poem from poet Wilson MacDonald to Frank DeHart in 1931; a funeral notice for Diana DeHart, wife of Edwin DeHart 1879; 2 programs for the Kelowna Jubilee May 4th, 1955. The fonds also consists of copies of newspaper articles pertaining to F.R.E DeHarts family history, DeHarts involvement in the Fruit Industry and his interest in growing peonies. Also included are 56 photographs collected by the family.

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BCAUL control number: KEL-930

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