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Who is Wilfrid Jury? (Part 1)


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William Wilfrid Jury was born at home on the family farm in Lobo Township, located west of London, to Amos Jury (1861-1964) and Julia “Jewel” Adler (1862-1950). Wilf was raised in a well rounded family that had many talents and interests in art, and collecting Native artifacts and pioneer relics. These talents and interests would later influence Wilf to pursue his passion in history and archaeology.

As a young boy Wilfrid developed a need to experience more than what was offered in the textbooks. After completing grade seven, Wilf withdrew from school and spent the next few years helping his father on the farm, participating in extended hunting and fishing expeditions in the Port Franks area, and expanding the family’s archaeological collection. It was then that he learnt about the traditional First Nation way of life from Chief Alex Elijah and earned the nickname “Heap of Stones” by the Little Bear Clan for the artifact collection he amassed.  At the end of 1924, the family had only 75 catalogued artifacts, a number that multiplied exponentially in 1925 when Amos and Wilfrid started excavating local camp and village sites.

The Jury farmstead happened to be located in a rich archaeological area therefore most of the early excavations began a short walk away on neighbors’ farms such as the Edwards, Drumholm, and Alway sites. Later they expanded their radius to 60 miles of their home. The Jury collection grew so large it was featured in local newspapers.

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