The "Aboriginal Pioneers of the Peace" is a feature written by Beth Wilkins, Curatorial Assistant and Researcher, in conjunction with the Museum's Treaty 8 Exhibit on display until the end of August. The articles have also been published on the Community Page of the Peace River Record-Gazette.
Nancy (Gray) Brick
The Brick Family (l-r) Standing - Emma and Allie; Seated: Nancy with, probably, Robert (PRMA - AR89.36.024)
Nancy Gray, a Métis woman, was the daughter of a Red River Hudson’s Bay employee. In 1895, she married Thomas Allen (Allie) Brick, first Peace River Member of Provincial Parliament (now Minister of the Legislative Assembly).
While Allie was establishing a commercially viable farm along the Shaftesbury Trail, and representing a constituency one third the size of the province of Alberta, a staunch supporter of his efforts became, herself, widely known in the Peace River district.
She acted as a hostess to many travellers who stopped at the Brick farm in their quest for land and trade.
Jean Cameron Kelley wrote in Peace River Remembers, about a wonderful New Year’s meal she and other guests enjoyed at the Brick’s home. “There was stuffed turkey with vegetables and cranberry sauce and a real English pudding” – a testament to Nancy’s culinary and hospitable flair.
The Bricks had nine children – three lived to adulthood – Earnest, Fred and Emma.
A heart attack during preparations for anesthetic prior to dental work was the cause of Nancy’s death in 1923, leaving Allie a widower.
Source: I Remember, Peace River and Adjacent Districts – 1914-1916 (Part 2); Electoral History of the Peace River Country of Alberta – 1905-1993