|Date of Birth||June 28, 1872|
|Place of Birth||St. Gabriel, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Adele Villeveuve; daughter; Legal, Coleman?, Alberta|
|Trade / Calling||Lumberjack and plumber|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Coleman, Alberta|
|Date of Enlistment||February 17, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||43|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 24, 1936|
|Age at Death||64|
|Buried At||Pioneer Cemetery, Creston, Central Kootenay, British Columbia|
Augustin was born on June 28, 1872 in Bouchette Quebec to Maxime Villeneuve and Marie Cyr. He was one of many children in this family. In 1881, Augustin is shown age 9 in Bouchette with his parents and 8 brothers and sisters plus another sister, her husband and child. In the 1880s, several mills were being constructed in Keewatin Ontario and Mr. Mather recruited workers in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. It is probable that most of the family moved about 1889 to Keewatin Ontario along with some of their grown children and their families. The 1891 census, in Algoma District, Keewatin South, records Maxime, Mary, Severe, August (age 19), Armidas (Hormidas), Agalaie (Aglae) and Napoleon. Also in Keewatin is their oldest son Maxime, his wife Matilda Lacroix, and two children and their oldest daughter Lea with her husband Joseph Kinney and three children. By 1901, only the Kinneys remained in Keewatin. According to Augustin’s obituary, in 1898, he headed west to the Klondike to take part in the gold rush.
In March 1901, the Canadian census of Hutchiku, Yukon recorded Augustin as a single male age 27, born in Bouchette. He claimed to have been in the Yukon for 2.5 years and was cutting wood on his own account with an income of $500.
In 1903, Augustin settled at Coleman Alberta and probably in 1906 (after the census) he married Josephine Lafontaine (as Josephine is single on that census, Augustin does not appear on that census). Their daughter Adele Philomene Villeneuve was baptized in September 1907 at St. Michael’s RC Church, Pincher Creek AB. According to Augustin’s obituary, Josephine died in 1907. According to the Sisters of Providence, Augustin’s daughter Adele was admitted to The Lacombe House, Midnapore, Calgary Alberta on May 19, 1911. He paid $10 a month for Adele’s care. He then came back for Adele on September 1st, 1913. It is possible that Augustin was in the Royal North West Mounted Police at that time. He has not been found on the 1911 census.
On February 17, 1916, Gust Villeneuve signed up with the 192nd Battalion at Coleman A claiming he was a widower, a lumber jack and plumber and that he had served 16 months with the RNWMP. A few months later, on the 1916 census, Gustave Villeneuve, age 43, a lodger, married, resided on 2nd Street Coleman AB. He stated that he was part of the Sarcee Camp (military camp), a soldier in the army and Gus’s service file confirmed that his daughter Adele was living in Kenora Ontario with Gus’s sister Lea Villeneuve Kinney and her family. A document in the service file shows payments being made from May 1916 to September 1916 by the military to Mrs. Joseph Kenney (sic), Kenora Ontario as ‘children’s guardian’. Gus was admitted to the Sarcee Camp Hospital on July 11, 1916 and remained there until August 20, 1916. At that point he was diagnosed as having rheumatism and determined to be medically unfit. Proceedings for discharge were held at the Sarcee Camp on September 5, 1916. Gus gave his trade as a plumber with the intent to reside in Coleman AB. His conduct and character were rated as good and Gus or ‘Gust’ was able to sign his name on the discharge form.
An article printed on December 6, 1918 in the Coleman Bulletin entitled ‘An Old List вЂ¦.’, listed the names of those from Coleman who have enlisted for active service since the beginning of the war and Pte. Gus Villeneuve is listed as part of the 192nd Battalion.
On the 1921 census, Gus’s daughter, Adele Villeneuve was living in Keewatin Ontario with Gus’s sister Lea and her husband Joseph Kinney and their son Daniel. Gus, age 48, was living in Kootenay East, Subdistrict Fernie BC and was a bushman but according to his obituary, he stayed in Coleman until 1925 when he moved to Creston BC where he purchased part of a ranch property. Gus was known for growing prize winning marigolds shown at the fall fairs. In December 1934, Gus was in the hospital and the newspaper reported on his progress. He died in Creston on December 24, 1936 and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, Central Kootenay, BC. Gus’s daughter is listed in the obituary as Mrs. Bydens of Coleman AB.
By Rhonda Glofcheski
Augustin’s grave marker photograph by Ima BC Graver, findagrave.com.