Calgary Kid, Alfred Allen Ernewein

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

Biography and Genealogy Page of:
Alfred Allen Ernewein
aka: Allen A. Erwin
aka: The Calgary Kid

  • b- Nov 20, 1911 in “Bienfait” (Frobisher?) SK,
    Per newspaper article, which got me to originally find him.( or was it Frobisher? )
    His niece Diane Earle says Frobisher, is written in family records.
  • d- May 9, 1979 in Desert Regional Medical Center, Palm Springs, Riverside County, California, age 67
    (per death certificate shared thanks to his niece Diane Earle)
  • burial- Desert Memorial Park, Palm Dr., Cathedral City, Palm Springs, CA
  • his SSN #722-03-3553 was issued by Railroad Retired Employees
  • last known residence Palm Springs, Riverside County, CA, 92262
  • We do know he was a Railroad Brakeman at one time in his career.
  • I've seen his named spelled Allen Irwin, on some sheet music, which is an error.

His headstone says “Cowboy Philosopher”

His signature “Alfred Allen Ernewein”, ca 1944

per a couple border crossings, he claimed his birthplace was Frobisher SK, so the newspaper article of him born in Bienfait might be wrong.
Also in this article it claimed his early school name was “Mike”. I've read this name Mike, in 2 different places?
Nicknames were very popular in this area back then. One thing for sure, he was born in this general area, either Bienfait or Frobisher, maybe even on a farm?

Thanks to an email Mar 22, 2011, from Diane, we now know he died in 1979 in California

Here is a sample of his music, you can have playing in the background, while you surf his history
Just click on the link below, minimize the player, and you can read the rest of his story here.
A special treat for all fans of “The Calgary Kid”

This a .mp3 of a recording from an old Apex 78 Record, so it's a little scratchy, but that ads to the nostalgia of it I think.
A CD of his songs was sent to me by Mr. Fred Isenor from Lantz NS, (*Bio below) and I can't thank him enough.
It cost close to $13 just to mail this to me, which is crazy for a CD! Thanks Canada Post!
You can send a big box cheaper than a CD??
I converted it to mp3 for use here.
I added the Lyrics of the song below.

From Mr. Fred Isenor-
“That song was on the Apex Record Label, #26269 and from that number I'm guessing it was recorded in 1945” and “The Writer Credit on the song was Erwin”

Apex was a Canadian Record Label, owned by the Compo Co., Canada's First Independent Record Co., Decca bought Compo in 1951

If by some strange reason this song is still copyrighted, please let me know, and I will remove it ASAP.
So PLEASE, listen to the song, If you do download it, you do at your own risk!
and please Thank Fred Isenor for the music.
now we know what Allen sounded like. I think he had a great voice, just needed a more modern recording studio. But I am loving it!
“This is True Country and Western Music!

Genealogy / Family Tree

1916 Census of the Ernewein Family
Page 2, SK, District 16, Sub District 3, McElroy enumerator

Father- Joseph Henry Ernewein

  • b- Dec 1864 in ON
  • d- Jan 14, 1942
    • buried in Estevan City Cemetery
  • Catholic, Farmer
  • 1906 living in Frobisher
  • living on Township 2, Range 4, W2 in 1911
  • lived in Steelman district in 1939, when brother George died.
  • took out western land grant PT LS 4 ofSec 4, Tsp 36, Rge 25, W2 with a Henry Frank Lawrence
  • He was a Grain Elevator Agent in Frobisher at one time

Joseph married in Morden, MB, Aug 27, 1895

Mother- Wilhelmina “Minnie” Ernewein, nee Rosteck
(also seen it spelled Wilhemina Rostek)

  • b- Dec 1877 in Germany, per 1911 census, (b- 1872 per cemetery transcript)
  • d- Aug 20, 1947 , buried in Estevan City Cemetery
  • Immigrated to Canada in 1894, or 1893?
  • Lutheran
  • lived in Bienfait in 1946

Allen Erwin was the youngest of 7 children

Siblings I have found:

Per Diane Earle, all his siblings are deceased.

  1. John Philip Ernewein
    • b- Aug 7, 1897 in Winkler, RM of Stanley, MB
    • d- Jan 1, 1971 in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, MN, age 74
    • Nov 1916, age 23, and June 1924, age 26, he crossed into US at Portal ND
    • He was living in Minneapolis in 1946
    • J.P. and his family once traveled as a musical troupe.
  2. Henry Joseph Ernewein
    • b- Aug 20, 1899 in Winkler, RM of Stanley, MB
    • d- 1970
  3. George Wallace Ernewein
    • b- Mar 1902 in MB
    • d- Dec 17, 1988, in Kamloops BC, age 86
  4. Walter W. Ernewein
    • b- Sept 1904 in SK
    • d- ?
  5. Herbert Adolph Ernewein
    • b- Sept 18, 1906 in SK
    • d- July 16, 1962, in Surrey BC, age 56
    • married Ann McFall
    • Herbert Adolph took out a Canadian Patent 345120 Apr 12, 1933, re: wood screw that the slot head would be filled in with a nail like item, that locked the screw in place, as well as hide the slot. Living in Browning SK., Oct 9, 1934 when Patent approved
  6. Frederick “Fred” Felix Ernewein

    Muriel and Fred Ernewein
    photo courtesy Diane Earle with thanks

  • b- Nov 20, 1908 in Frobisher SK
  • d- ?
  • Married Muriel Joan Mularkey
    • b- Sept 17, 1905 in Bienfait SK
    • d- Dec 19, 1979, in Surrey, BC, age 74
    • daughter of William Henry Mularkey and Martha “Ruth” Mooney
    • both born in Ontario Canada, but were married in Wisconsin, USA.
  • note spelling on her birth record is Mullarky
  • marriage record Mullarkey, so various spellings here.
  • Muriel was a nurse, and now I believe, thanks to Diane, the first matron in the Bienfait hospital.
  • Frederick had at least 1 daughter:
    • Joan Elizabeth Ernewein
      • b- Feb 10, 1940 in Bienfait SK
      • d- July 23, 1970 in Richmond BC
      • Joan married Lester David Wiebe

Per Diane all the Ernewein boys were great story tellers
Her dad told her there were so many Ernewein's they had to have their own school!
My Aunt Klara Lee, nee Gesell taught in the Ernewein School a few years after the Ernewein boys were there.

brother to Joseph Henry Ernewein, Uncle to the Calgary Kid,
George Anthony Ernewein
b- ca 1876 in ON
d- Dec 30, 1939 in Regina Hospital, Regina SK, age 63
Buried Jan 2, in Regina Cemetery, Broad St. and 5th Ave., Regina SK
Farmer lived in Lampman, SK. District
Took out Western Land Grant- SW Sec 10, Tsp 5, Rge 4, W2

The Calgary Kid's Great Grandfather was
George Ernewein
b- Jan 14, 1842 in ON
d- Aug 31, 1914 in Culross Township, Bruce, ON, age 71
married Feb 14, 1865, Formosa, Bruce, ON
Great Grandmother was Helena Anstett
other spellings I have seen, (Anstell?)(Anstill?)(Anslett?)(Amslett?)
b- Apr 28, 1842, ON
d- Mar 15, 1906
(see 1881 census report below)
Helena's father- Francois “Francis” Antoine Anstett (1805-1877)
mother- Therese “Theresa” Raethel (Rothel?) (1836-1879)

and his Great Great Grandfather was Joseph Ernewein
and Great Great Grandfather was Catherine Ott
I think they came to Canada around 1841

There was an Adolphe Ernwein who took out a land grant NE Sec 34, Tsp 4, Rge 4, W2 who is probably related to this family as well.
probably brother to George and Joseph Ernewein
Adolph Joseph Ernewein
b- Sept 1, 1878, Formosa?, Culross, Bruce Co, ON
d- Dec 13, 1955, New Westminster, BC, age 77
son of George and Helena (Anstett) Ernewein
spouse Annie Gehl

1881 census shows George Ernevien, age 40, carpenter
Helena age 40
Henry, age 15, Lena age 13, Lizie age 11,
Amilie age 9, Falix (Felix?) age 7, George age 5, Adolf age 3
all born in ON, all Catholic, all in Culross, Bruce, ON

Magdalena Ernewein died July 24, 1922 in Culross, daughter of George and Helen Ernewein.
Amalia Ernewein, daughter of George and Helen, shown born in Bruce co, living in Bruce C, age 21,
married Henry Obrecht, age 25, Feb 5, 1894, Formosa, Bruce Co, ON son of Anton Ernewein and Victoria Mesmer.
his occupation shown as a mason
Helena's last name Anstell in the marriage transcript

Felix Ernewein, age 31, shown as a carpenter, born in Formosa, Bruce Co. ON, living in Toronto,
daughter of George Ernewein and Helen Amslett, in this transcript. (another spelling?)
married Mary Jane Lynett, age 20, born in Normanby ON,
Aug 16, 1905, at Ayton, Grey Co. ON
daughter of John Lynett, and Catherine Casey.
Fred Ernewein's middle name would have come from this fellow.

note- I am an amateur genealogist, so accuracy of this report is not guaranteed, please do your own research, using my info above as clues.

Allen Erwin's Bio

Received his schooling in Ernewien School.
It opened in 1910 and closed in 1939.
school located at SE Sec 17, Tsp 2, Rge 4, W2, in SE Sask.
The Ernewein School District was named after his father.
In those days he was known as Mike Ernewein.

Allen Erwin was a singing cowboy, who performed in 50+ cowboy movies in the 1940's.
1946 he had a character role in David O. Selznick's $5,000,000 Technicolor film “Duel in the Sun”

He portrayed a Corporal in the US Cavalry, in the conflict sequences. Must have been a small part as he isn't listed in the credits online.
He went to Hollywood in 1933.
Made his radio debut in Edmonton ca 1931 singing many songs he had written.
Known professionally as the “Calgary Kid”
He had several song books of cowboy songs printed, latest one in 1946 was “The Calgary Kid's Stampede of songs”
June 28, 1947 he was working for Monogram Pictures. He flew east to Philadelphia, and while there Jack Howard and James E. Meyers, of Cowboy Record Company.
He did a guest radio shot on Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang's program, on WFIL Radio. They recorded on the Cowboys Record label.
In addition he made an appearance at the actual Sleepy Hollow Ranch, in the Delaware Valley, near Quakertown PA., before returning to the west coast.
It had animals and live Country Music. It was an early “Theme Park” it operated from May 4, 1940 to Nov 3, 1963. Most of above was recorded in “Billboard Magazine”

Recorded on “Enterprise Record” label, Los Angeles, CA and the “Rancho Record” label, Studio City, CA.
Jan 4, 1947 he cut 4 sides for Rancho.

Supposed to have been responsible for the signing of a newcomer in 1951, named Johnny Lane to an MGM recording contract.
He heard him on KEYL a San Antonio station and had Hill and Range songs and MGM sign the singer.

He is reported to have befriended Hank Snow when Hank tried to make it in Hollywood but later this turned into a personal animosity for each other.
I've heard from others that had met Hank Snow, and it doesn't surprise me he didn't like him. Mr. Snow allegedly was the definition of arrogant.

In the front of the Stampede of Songs folio 2 there is a brief Bio of the man.
In there it describes he was at one time a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

He describes the first thing he seen in life was a cow and sheep ranch on the family homestead at Portal Saskatchewan. By the time he was 8 he had his own pony.

When he left the farm he headed to the Peace River District north of Edmonton Alberta. He worked for Pat Burns, the “Cattle King” of Alberta.

He earned his nickname “Calgary Kid” at the Calgary Stampede.

He worked for Colonel Jim Eskew, a rodeo producer, who organized a Wild West show at the time.
Gene Autry, Hoot Gibson and the Calgary Kid, were some of the stars he used to entertain rodeo crowds.
Gene Autry encouraged him to become a Professional Singing Cowboy.
He liked the way he played his guitar, and complimented him on his singing.

Allen worked as a cowboy in the State of Arizona, John Day Cattle Country in Grant County, Oregon, also in Colorado, California, and New Mexico,
besides early on in Western Canada. His favourite cowboy job was working for Tom Bell, a Texas cowboy,
who was trapping and running wild horses in the State of Nevada.

Sept 1948, meeting a Young Admirer

He lead a varied personal life and held various jobs:
Brakeman, Trapper, Cowhand, Singer, Actor, Bell Hop, Farmer, Miner, Prospector, Harvester, Rodeo Contestant, Trick Rider, and on the Screen always as a Cowboy.

2 of his song books:
The Calgary Kid's Stampede of Songs No 1
63 pages, 25 songs Published in Toronto by Canadian Music Sales Corp., ca 1942
found ads in Calgary Paper in 1943, selling this sheet music

The Calgary Kid's Stampede of Songs No 2

48 pages 17 songs.
published in New York by Famous Music Corp., ca 1945

Alberta Prairies
Back in my Blue Cotton Jeans
Can't You Be the Same in Dreams
Don't Leave Me
Dude Ranch Cowboy
Get Along Old Pinto
Going Back to Peaceful Valley (see link above)
Hill Billy Bill From St. Joe
I'll Never See My Darling Any More
Indiana Moon
Kentucky Moon
My Heart Keeps on Yearning
Out On The Western Range
Promise To Be Mine
Way out Yonder
Hills Of Old Wyomin'
Silver On The Sage

wrote words to Mary, The Prairie and I, with Francis Xavier

Move On Little Doggies, Move on (Decca 78)

Every cowboy singer had a horse, his was named Shawnee

May 1947 ad shows he performed with Rambling Red Foley, for Bernie Landis Entertainment Agency

Allen Erwin Sheet Music “Behind Those Swinging Doors” found in a Salvation Army Thrift Store, in Langley BC, submitted by Richard Coombe, Apr 2014

Turns out Allen A. Erwin was quite the author

1961 he had printed a 12 page manuscript “TUCSON TRAILS: some Historical Background”
printed by Frank M. Cushing (short bio below)
ASIN: B0007I60YU

Frank Myrle Cushing
b- Jan 10, 1893, Oakland, Alameda Co., CA
d- May 18, 1977 in Tustin, Orange Co., CA
he never married
Printer, Inventor, Businessman, Owned Garden View Press in Tustin, founded in 1929
Interesting part is Frank's mother was a Ringo, (see below)

In ca 1952/53 he started to be a biographer of John Slaughter.
In 1965 He had published what has been termed a Classic Book titled “THE SOUTHWEST OF JOHN HORTON SLAUGHTER”
Cattleman / Sherriff

1997 -2nd Edition Cover

Publisher: Arthur H. Clark Co; 2nd Printing edition (June 1997)
ISBN-10: 0870622781
ISBN-13: 978-0870622786
First Edition 1965 cover had this added to title: 1841-1922 Pioneer Cattleman and Trail-Driver of Texas, the Pecos, and Arizona and Sheriff of Tombstone.

He researched the book on Slaughter between making pictures.

Starting in ca 1958, and on into the early 70's he was researching a fellow by the name of John “Johnny” Peters Ringo,
(b- May 3, 1850 in Greens Fork (modern name), Indiana, d- July 13, 1882),
a reputed Cattle Thief, Cowboy Gang Leader etc, from the Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Tombstone Arizona era.
His sister married a Younger.
It appears he spent a small fortune tracking info down, and ran into trouble with living relatives, on what he could publish.
Appears even threatened with a lawsuit here and there.
I have also read a few folks were upset with him, for not returning some research articles,
but it seems he was worried someone else would get this info and publish a book before him.
I can only assume he returned the items eventually.
It appears he died before this book was published.
So now we know he was also an avid Cowboy historian.

An email Aug. 2012 from Mr. George Olinger, asked a question if the Calgary Kid lived at 29640 Archwood St. in Canoga Park, California in the early 1960's.
Mar 30, 1962 it is very probable he wrote a letter to the Editor of the Lincoln County News, in Carrizozo NM.
He was asking for a copy of a map they printed, and he discussed the Olingers, Charley Slaughter, etc.
The way he wrote the article, we are pretty sure this is our Allen Erwin, which is how he also signed the request.
Another clue to where Allen Erwin lived. Canoga Park is a district in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.
Can't find a 29000 block in google maps today, but did notice an Erwin St. just south of where Archwood St. is today. named after?

Now I have been told his real name, I was able to find a few more items
3 crossings from Canada to the USA

July 2, 1943 he crossed the US border at Buffalo NY shown born in Frobisher SK on this document.

Feb 3, 1944 he crossed again, same port
contact on US side, a Cousin, Harry Lemm,
and departure contact his Mom, Minnie Ernewein
shown born Nov 20, 1911 in Frobisher again.
race shown as French.

Then in Feb 27, 1944 he crossed one more time same info as 2nd trip above

There was a Mike Meyers TV show in 1977, using this name, as well as a pro wrestler, used the “Calgary Kid” name.
None of these had anything to do with this man.

some of the info above was received from a niece of Mr. Erwin, named Diane Earle, with Thanks!

Fred Isenor Brief Bio
Fred is a Major Collector of Bluegrass and Old Country Music.
A true Researcher and Historian in this genre.
He has the “Bluegrass and Country Jamboree” TV show which airs on Rush Communications Cable, channel 10.
Co-founder of the annual Nova Scotia Bluegrass Festival in Pictou Co, NS
His Band, “the Nova Scotia Ramblers”
Found lots of evidence on the net that he has an extensive collection of stringed musical instruments, and no doubt plays them all.
If you need to know anything about this genre of music, just call him.
He is also a writer, and has submitted many stories to magazines about this music, and he has now wrote a story about Allen Erwin.
Mr. Isenor was kind enough to send me the article he wrote, c/w newspaper, as well as other material.He has been a great help to me.

Lyrics of Going Back to Peaceful Valley

Words and Music by Allen Erwin (The Calgary Kid)

1. When I was a boy in the Mountains
Got the yearning to ramble around
I bid good-bye to the old folks
For adventure was calling aloud

Going back to the Peaceful Valley
I'm headin' for Home Sweet Home
Back to my cabin way up yonder
Where the white faced cattle roam.
Soon I'll say Hello to Mother
Howdy to dear old Dad
Going back to Peaceful Valley
For it's there that I'll never grow sad

2. Some folks love to roam and to travel
and they tell of the adventures untold
I'll not exchange Peaceful Valley
for the world and all its gold

3. I have a pal on the ranges
Old Faithful is always a friend
when the round-up is called 'way up yonder
we'll ride down to Journey's End


  • Last modified: 2021/05/01 15:26
  • by dlgent