By Robert B. Townsend


Little enough is known of the hardships suffered by some of the early pioneer women in Canada. My own great grandmother was left a widow, to raise seven daughters on a small farm near Hespeler Ontario. As a young lad I was shown a piece of linen woven by her from flax she planted and harvested on land cleared by her and her daughters. I always think of her as a special pioneer lady. 

The story of Abigail Becker is a story about a very special pioneer lady who, while not typical, certainly exemplifies that pioneer spirit that should be an inspiration for generations to come.

Born at Frotenac County, in 1831, Abigail Jackson matured to be a fine handsome lady, over six feet tall, “who feared God greatly and the living or dead not at all”. As a young girl she moved with her parents to Parkhill Ontario, where, at the age of 17 she met and married trapper Jeremiah Becker, a widower with six children. She moved with him to an isolated trappers cabin on lonely Long Point, which was then an island jutting out into the lake Erie. By 1854, the time of the loss of the sailing vessel Conductor, the chronicle of which is the basis of this story, she had three children of her own. Eventually she was mother to seventeen children, the six step-children, nine of her own and two adopted children.


In this story you will learn about how Abigail Becker saved the life’s of sailors from ship wrecks, raised 17 children, most of the time on her own, and suffered incredible hardships of Pioneer life.


Click here to open up the Full PDF Version