3253 †† OLIVER WENDELL,8(Oscar A.7, Oliver A.6, Darius5, Benjamin4, George3, John2, Johannes1), son of Oscar A. and Lillian (Wilson) Oatman, was born 29 February 1912 at the Oatman Farm on Goshen Road south of Tillsonburg, Oxford County, Ontario, died 9 August 1973 at Tillsonburg, and is buried in Tillsonburg Cemetery, Tillsonburg.


Oliver attended Goshen Public School S.S. No. 5 Middleton and Tillsonburg High School.He then worked on the family farm at Lot 5, Concession 3, Middleton Township.As a small family farm, there were milking cows, some pigs and chickens.Horses were used for farming in the early days and the Oatmanís ran their own blacksmith shop and were all accomplished farriers.


Oliver took flying lessons at Brantford and received his pilotís license in November, 1937.He operated heavy equipment on construction sites east of Toronto and in Nova Scotia until he joined the RCAF in 1942.After training at Windsor, Brantford and Comox, BC, Oliver went overseas in 1945 and flew with 437 Squadron in Dakota III, Dakota IV and Anson I aircraft.He remained after the war in May of 1945 with the Transport Command and returned to Canada to be released as a Pilot Officer in 1946.


Mervin Hicks and Oliver received a license to operate the Tillsonburg Airport, but in 1947 Oliver sold his shares to Mervin and returned to the home farm to continue a farming operation.


Oliver and Doris Eileen Birdsall were married on September 18, 1948 on the front lawn of her parents home on the Bostwick Road.


The Oatman farm initially had a herd of milking cows, but in the mid nineteen fifties they were sold and the farm supported a small herd of beef cattle.


Oliver had a penchant for heavy machinery and acquired a self propelled combine and performed custom work in the area.As his children grew and were able to operate the equipment, they would also do custom hay cutting and baling, even loading the customerís barn.Oliver always had a love of horses, and as they were replaced by machinery, he transitioned to riding horses.He and his children always had several horses around and the farm was a gathering place for like minded horse owners.


Sources: Family Records;

Doris Oatman, Tillsonburg, ON


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