Early Kenora Settlers

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Early Kenora Settlers

The City of Kenora came into existence on January 1 2000. It is as old as the century. It includes area which once formed the townships of Rat Portage, Keewatin, Jeffray Mellick and Norman. What follows is a Dictionary of some of its earliest inhabitants and latter significant residence:

George Henry Alcock 1862-1932
Ernest Frederick Angood 1889-1970
Frank Joseph Ap`John 1853-1905
Ernest Appleton 1869-1944
William LeBaron Baker 1848-1888
George Barnes 1854-1935
William John Beatty 1868 -1930
Rocque Francis Beaudro 1884-1960
Arthur Cyril Boyce 1867 - 1942
Captain James Westropp Brereton 1830-1911
John Thomas Brett 1886-1941
George Nelson Brunsel 1872-1938
John Kerr Brydon 1847-1930
Archibald Campbell 1863-
Sir Douglas Colin Cameron 1854-1921
Maxwell Yorston Cameron 1904-1981
William George Cameron 1863 - 1940
Frederick Wallace Canniff 1864- 1943
Angus Carmichael 1856-1938
George Raymond Carmichael 1893- 1981
Herbert C. Carpenter 1872 -
Thomas William Chapple 1853-1926
Ellen / Helene /Helena / Hélène (Collin) Charbonneau(u)
James Clarkson 1857 1910
Henry Porter Cooke 1884-1936
Herbert Thomas Cossey 1871-1947
Janet Clarissa Crooks 1865-1951 <
George Derry 1849 - 1924
Joseph Derry 1876 - 1958
George Herbert Draper 1873-1922
Charles C. Delbridge 1867 - 1934
George Drewry 1861- 1945
Augustus Frederick Dulmage 1846-
Dr. Albert Henry Edmison 1860-1934
David Thomson Ferguson 1861 - 1911
William A Ferguson 1867 - 1920
Ashton Thomas Fife 1871 - 1957
Jack "J.R." Fraser
Thaddeus Anthony "T.A." Gadbois 1858-1915
Frank Gardner 1848-1937
William Robert Housten Gerrie 1855- 1927
John Robert Gunne 1870-1935
William James Gunne 1859 - 1950
Dr Thomas Hanson 1846-1913
Maxwell Kirkpatrict Heap 1870-1941
Louis Hilliard 1851-
Howard Fenwick Holmes 1878-1917
Henry Edward Hook 1865 - 1947?
Captain Frederick Thomas Hooper 1851-1924
Charles Thomas Hooper (Tom) 1883 - 1960
James Jackson Horn 1873-1954
Algeron Sydney "A.S." Horswill 1862-1927
Jacob Hose 1853 - 1907
John Wesley Humble 1851- 1939
William Jackson 1872 - 1924
Fredrick Dufferin Jackson 1874- 1944
Charles Wilbur Jackson1979-1936
William Glenfield Kendall 1853-1931
Emma (Kems) Sharpe 1853-1940
James Arthur Kinney 1877 1947
Gustavus Adolphus Kobold 1862-
Henry Langford 1867 - 1901
Robert Laurenson 1845 - 1906
Jack Lepine
James A. Link 1877
William Durie Lyon 1825 - 1893
J.F MacGillivray 1870 -
Colonel Harold Arthur Clement Machin 1875 - 1931
Ida Florence (Knight) Machin 1878 - 1950
David Low Mather 1854- 1947
John Mather 1827 - 1907
William McCarthy 1848 - 1911
James Nelson McCracken 1861
Samuel Charles McGimsie1847 - 1936
William "Billie" George McGimsie 1880
Robert Sutherland McKenzie 1843 - 1933
William McKinnon 1851-1911
Donald "Dan" McLeod 1868 - 1947
Charles Edward McMurdie 1854-
Alexander McQuarrie 1852-
John McQuarrie 1850-
Malcolm Doherty McQuarrie 1847
George McPherson, Senior 1814-1891
Robertson Pierce Murphy 1858-1940
John Nash 1848-1914
Murdoch K. Nicholson1856-1945
Joseph Cyril Antoine Ouellette 1896 - 1978
John A. Patterson 1882 - 1932
Thomas Neil Phillips 1883-1923
James Edward Rice 1862-1950
Harding Rideout 1847-1932
George M. Rioch 1869 - 1944
James Robinson 1848 - 1910
C. Nelson Schnarr 1868 - 1952
Dr. Simons Southmayd Stuart Scovil 1854-1927
Melvin E. Seegmiller 1868-1948
Ernest Agustus Sharpe 1843 - 1912
Alexander Shragge 1865 - 1933
C. Nelson Schnarr 1868-1952
William Baldwin Thibadeau 1844-1923
George Archer Toole 1874-1957
Gerald Whitaker 1903
John Samuel Whiting 1859-1935
Arthur Woods 1851-1915
William Young 1848-1920

The earliest settlers to the Kenora area were beleived to be the Ojibwa.


Pow-was- sang was chief of North West Angle for 14 years from 1911 to 1925. He died 12 March 1927.

George Henry Alcock 1862 - 1932

George Henry Alcock, son of Joseph Alcock and Sarah Jane Belch was born in Belleville, Ontario March 6 1862.

He married Emma Frances Barker Jan 1 1883 and they had several children, two of whom died in World War :

He came to Kenora and soon after moved to Jaffray and Mellick where he carried on a business of farming and dairy.

George served on the council and was a Reeve of the municipality of Jaffray and Melick.

He was a member of the Pequonga Masonic Lodge, Orange Order and United Church.

He died in Kenora on October 27 1930.

Ernest Frederick Angood 1889-1970

Earnest Frederick Angood, son of Frederick Angood and Harriet Boyden was born on 15th Oct. 1889. He shared early life with many sibling:

Frederick Angood b. abt. 1867
Emma Angood b. abt 1869
George Angood b. abt. Dec 1870
Eliza Angood b. abt. 1869
Caroline Angood b. abt.1878
Louisa Angood b. abt. 1878
Kate Angood b. abt. 1881
Nellie Angood b. abt. 1884
Mabel Angood b. abt. 1886
Fredi A. Angood b. abt. 1887
Elsie Maud Angood b. abt. 1889
Hebert Angood b. abt 1890
Harold Angood b. 27 Mar 1892

All including Ernest were born in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire near Peterborough, England. Some emigrated to Australia and some to Canada.

Stan Clark, son of Charlie Clark in "The Peterborough Boys in Kenora 1910-1918 recount relate the immigration of Ernie and Charles Clark to Canada in the summer of 1910. They traveled by Great Northern train to Liverpool and then boarded the Empress of Britain for a 10 day journey to Quebec City. The Governor General of Canada, Earl Grey was a 1st class passenger Montreal. Angood and Clark were 3rd class passengers who shared quarters with 32 separated from the next 32 by only a big canvass sheet.

The two boarded a train for Winnipeg where on their arrival their accommodation was a mattress on the floor of Immigration Hall. In Kenora they stayed at the YMCA. For a time he stoked and fired up the boilers on the S.S. Keenora. He commenced employment with the CPR in Kenora as a wiper in 1910. In 1920 he was promoted to engineer at which he was employed until his retirement on November 1 1954.

In World War 1 he joined the 52 Battalion of the Lake Superior Regiment and spent four years in the trenches, receiving a military medal for his duties in the war.

He returned with his war bride Florence Waites. They had three children,

Margaret Angood m. W.H. Clipperton

Joyce Angood m. George Weeks

Brian Angood

He was instrumental in the founding of the Great War veterans' Association (Canadian Legion). He was an active member of the Locomotive Engineers and the Peguonga Lodge. He was a member of Knox United Church and he and his wife were responsible for the development of the Church's Christian Education Centre.

Frank Joseph Ap`John 1853 - 1905

Frank Joseph Ap'John was born in Montreal Quebec in September 26th, 1853. He received his early education in Quebec. He moved to Winnipeg for a period where he was employed by the Gazette as the Editor. He married Agnes Stackhouse, daughter of James O. Stackhouse and in 1880 moved to Rat Portage. They had 4 children

Fanny Ap' John 07 Jul. 1885 Rat Portage

Frank James Ap' John 05 Nov. 1887 Rat Portage

Mary Ap' John 17 Nov. 1890 Rat Portage

Olive S. Ap' John 17 Jul. 1898 Rat Portage

They lived on Second Street North for a number of years before moving to Tunnel Island in 1900.

Frank Ap' John practiced as a conveyor and Notary Public until 1885. Shortly after the settlement of the boundary dispute, the office of Registrar of Rainy River was created and filled by Frank Ap'John. Subsequently he was also appointed the local Master of Titles, Registrar of the High Court and Clerk of the District Court

Frank served as secretary of the Board of Trade in 1894. HE was a member of the Hospital Building Committee in 1895. He was a prominent member in the Masonic Lodge. He and his family were members of the Anglican Church.

Frank Junior, their only son in 1910 passed his Bar exams at Osgoode Hall and was admitted to the bar. He was the first native of Kenora to complete his legal studies and take up practice in his home town. He practiced in Partnership with HAC Machin. He was killed during World War 1 in France (See http://www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=4271 )

Ernest Appleton 1869-1944

Mr. Ernest Appleton, son of George and Sarah Appleton was born in 1869 in London England. He came to Canada in 1886 sat age of 17.

He came to Rat Portage around 1890 from Winnipeg to open a branch of the A. McDonald Wholesale Grocery. Later, with partner Mr. John Partington, he organized and managed the King Cash Grocery business. When this business was sold out he went into the Real Estate and Insurance.

He became active in YMCA work in Kenora. He was Honourary president of Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1909 was president of the Children's Aid Society.

He married Edith Edith Lindell and had one child Phyllis in 1901. Edith died in 1924 and Phyllis in 1951.

He went to Osaquam to operate a tie mill for D.L. Mather from 1915 to 1931.

He returned to Kenora in 1931. In November of that year he marred Isabelle Brydon of Kenora.

He held Government positions, Local Registrar of the Supreme Court of Ontario, Clerk of the Division Court and Clerk of the Subjugate Court of Ontario.

He was the first secretary of the Stone Boat Company. He was secretary of the Bar Association of Kenora District. He was a member of the Board of Trade serving as President in 1939, a treasurer of the Red Cross Society, secretary of the Lake of the Woods Club and member of the Anglers Club. He owned his own boat named "Ernie".

In 1936 he played a prominent part in preparing the booklet "The Centennial Review".

He was president of the Rotary Club for the Rotary year 1937-38.
He died on May 21 1944 at the age of 71.


Horan, Gertrude (1952) From History of Rat Portage, Page 138 Early Settlers of Rat Portage. Vol. 1 Page 46

William LeBaron Baker 1848-1888

William LeBaron Baker was born in London, England in 1848 and emigrated to Canada, first to Nova Scotia, then on to Rat Portage in 1879. He married Isabella Jane McCulloch (b. 1848, Halifax NS) in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 11, 1872 and had at least one son and daughter before moving to Rat Portage in 1879,

James McCulloch Baker b. 13 Aug. 1874, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, died presumably before 1881
Helen Jean Baker b. 10 Dec 1875, Halifax County, Nova Scotia Married Allan McLennan died before 1911

Four more daughters were born in Rat Portage

Minnie S. Baker b. 3 Jun. 1879,Rat Portage, married Peter Goldthorpe
Alice Maude Baker born 19 Nov 1881, Rat Portage
Isabella C. Baker b. 19 Nov. 1881, Rat Portage (First twin births recorded in Rat Portage)
Winnifred Oliver Baker b. 29 Feb. 1881Rat Portage, married John William Walker and died in Fort Frances 26 Jan 1954.
Harry Payson Baker b. 8 Aug. 1886, d. 21 July 1888

Two more sons Robert and Allan were born and died presumably between 1881 and 1891.

The family moved to Rat Portage in 1879 where he established the Baker & Co. General store and managed the store known as "One Price Cash Store" selling everything from pins to stoves.

William Baker came to work shortly after each morning and was always last to leave at night. He did his own booking, helped wait on people when needed. He wrote his own advertisements putting them in envelopes and sending them to customers with their parcels.

He arranged for delivery of his goods to his customers. He had Louis Hilliard send a team of pintoes that he kept at the hotel twice a week Mr. Hilliard's father in law Mr McGinnis drove the team and Agar Fitzgerald delivered the parcels. He had three clerks working for him:

Fred Canniff in charge of dry goods, John Dalziel in charge groceries and Mr Pugsley. In time Canniff left to work for Jacob Hose in Keewatin and was replaced by a Mr Kyle Baker paid for Kyle family to move from down east to Rat Portage. When William Baker died in 1888 Kyle was made manager of the store which was sold to Smith Brothers and subsequently became a cafe, pool room, tin shop and taxi office and later being torn down and the lot made into part of a park.

Before the Canadian Pacific Railway got their trains running Mr Baker was agent for the Express Company. He was also agent for the powder Company

Mr baker and Frank Gardner were responsible for the early schools established in Rat Portage. They made personal appeals for funds to carry on their work.

Mr Baker was the first Reeve of the Township of Rat Portage in 1883.

Mr Baker died 20 Dec 1888. His wife 18 Oct 1902.

Corrections welcomed. Please send to jretson@shaw.ca

George Barnes 1854-1935

George Barnes was born in Wellington, Prince Edward County on the Bay of Quinte in September 1854. He first came to Rat Portage in 1871 via the Dawson trail when Rat Portage was only a Hudson Bay Post.

He spent a couple of years running the Maline Portage Stopping House, North of the Rainy River before moving back to Belleville where he settled for a time. He then moved to Toronto where he remained until 1876. In 1876 he moved to Parry Sound to work with the Parry Sound Lumber Company.

In Parry Sound he married Miss Fanny McMurray and when she died her sister, Sarah McMurray, by whom he had four children

Fanny Hazelton "Hazel" Barnes b. 11 May 1886 in Rat Portage

Winnifred Barnes 09 Apr. 1892 in Rat Portage

Fanny Barnes b. 09 Apr. 1892 Rat Portage

George McMurray Barnes 04 Aug. 1898 Rat Portage

In 1880 he moved to Rapid City Manitoba where he owned land and framed until 1882 when he moved to Rat Portage.

In Rat Portage he resided in a house on the west side of Matheson Street and worked as the tie and wood inspector for the CPR. When the CPR office was closed he had a one story building build on Hennipen Lane and operated a grocery store.

In 1886 he closed the grocery store and used the building as a home. He and his brother Howard opened the K Furniture store on Second Street. His business extended to all areas of Rainy River and Lake of the Woods District. The Town's first undertaking parlour was ran in the back of the store. In 1897 he sold to Horn and Taylor.

He served on the Town Council in 1886 and was elected mayor in 1895. He was unseated as a result of accusations on "corrupt Practices and D.H. Currie served for the remainder of the year until a new election was called.

He was re-elected in this election in 1896. During his reign several parks were created including, Kenora Park on Town Island, Central Park and the Park South of the Lake of the Woods Cemetery afterwards occupied by the Paper Mill

In 1897 he was appointed collector of customs at the Port of Kenora, a flourishing port engaged in logging, fishing and the flour industry.

He also served as fire chief.

Sources: A.D. Battiston Builders of a Town; Hlynski et al. Early Settlers of Kenora, Page 132

Angus Carmichael 1852 - 1938

Angus Carmichael was born 15 Jan 1852 in Cannington, Ontario, Canada.

Angus came to Rat Portage in 1882 and rented Frank Gardner's store on the North West corner of Main and Second Sts. and started a dry goods business.

He returned east in 1886 and in Toronto married Minnie Helena Simpson, daughter of George Simpson and Sarah Jane Helliwelll, April 28 1886 in Toronto. They had three children:

Hugh Melville Simpson Carmichael born April 12 1887 in Rat Portage, killed in Wor1
Ross McNevin Carmichael born March 08 1890 in Rat Portage, married Dora Johnson.
George Raymond Carmichael born March 12 1893 in Rat Portage (See below).

He returned to Rat Portage in May 1886 and resided above the store he had built on Main St. He operated a dry goods store untill 1900. He went into the Insurance and Real Estate business which he operated from the Carmichael Block on Main St.

He was one of the oldest masters of the Pequonga Lodge, a charter member of the Lake of the Woods Lodge and a charter member of the Gold Hill Lodge I.O.O. F.

He was president of the Curling Club 1890-91. He was a member of the Bicycle Club in 1894 and a member of the Anglers' Club.

He was a member of the Board of Trade in 1904. He was an alderman in 1904,1905 and served as mayor in 1906. In this position he promoted the Maple Leaf along with Sir Douglas Cameron. He was the Mill's first president.

With Jacob Hose and other business men he was one of the supporters of the Citizen's Light, Power and Telephone Company.

He was the first Rat Portage militia officer an held the commission as major of the Algoma Rifles and Commander at Rat Portage. The headquarters were in Sault Ste Marie. He was one of the first officers in the old 90th Regiment and in active service untill 1902.

He and his wife were active members of Knox United Church. He was appointed clerk of the Session in 1884 and retired after 50 years. He was active in getting the First Presbyterian Church built.

Angus Carmichael died in Kenora on 30 Jul 1938

George Raymond Carmichael 1893 - 1981

George Raymond Carmichael, son of Angus Carmichael and Minnie Helena Simpson was born March 12 1893 in Rat Portage, Kenora, Ontario.

In 1908 at the age of 15 years he enlisted in the Lake Superior Regiment. He attended the of Infantry at Fort Osborne Barracks and qualified as Lieutenant in the Canadian Army. He went overseas with the 94th Battalion embarking from Halifax on the Olympic. In England he was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion on July 18th and subsequent on August 31st to the Royal Flying Corp. He trained in Scotland and flew reconnaissance missions over France and Belgium. In September 1917, his airplane was attacked by enemy aircraft, his observer wounded and the airplane damaged but George was able to land the plane in France. After the incident he was granted three months leave in Canada and thereafter spent the remaining years of the war with the Royal Flying Corp in Toronto.

After his return to Kenora George stayed active in military affairs. In 1922 when the Kenora Light Infantry was reorganized under Colonel Schnarr, he was one of the first officers called back. In 1930 he worked hard to get a new armoury. He commanded the Kenora Light Infantry and in 1936 when the militia was changed from infantry to artillery he reorganized the 40th Medium Regiment including 16,17 and 18 Batteries at Kenora, Fort Frances and Port Arthur. During World War Two he served as a member and Vice Chairman of the Department of National Services Board involved with the administration of the National Resources Mobilization Act for Division D, Port Arthur. He helped promote the Lake of the Woods Military Institute and served as its president. He was an honourary life member of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Following World War one he returned to Kenora and joined his father's insurance business.

He married Lillian May Nelson on August 8 1923 in Peterborough Ontario and they had three children:

Nancy Carmichael born August 9 1927 Married Bruce McEown, Died Nov 8 1979
Angus Milville Dixon Carmichael born July 25 1934, Wife Marion, Died January 1 2011
George Terrance Carmichael born August 9th 1935, Married Lorraine Keefe, Died May 26 2012

George was a member of the Committee who organized Old Home Week in 1936, and a member who organized the Kenora Jubilee in 1952. In 1952 he was president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was President of the Kenora Kinsmen Club. He was a past master of the Lake of the Woods Masonic Lodge No 445. He was a trustee of the Knox United Church.

He was Mayor of Kenora from June 1948 to the end of 1951.

Mrs Carmichael died September 3 Sep 1959. George Raymond Carmichael moved to Winnipeg in November 1976 and died there March 3 1981.

William John Beatty 1868 -1930

Doctor W.J. Beatty, son of Francis Joseph Beatty and Sarah Ann Honeyford was born about Avening, Ontario in 1865. He married Annie Grieves on 20 Oct 1888 in Hamilton, Ontario.

Elizabeth Beatrice Beatty b. 12 Jan 1889 at Collingwood, Simcoe, Ontario d. 05 Apr. 1979 at Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mary N Beatty b. Abt. 1891 d. 09 Jun. 1909 Toronto, Ontario

Frank William Beatty b. 28 Apr. 1892 at Silverbrook, Ontario d. 05 Mar 1977 at Victoria, British Columbia

William John Beatty, was one of the earliest Doctors located in Keewatin. Associated with him were Dr. Leclair, Dr. Evin or Erwin D. Baker, D. Kemp, Dr. Fisher, Dr D.M. Baker and Dr Glen Davidson. (See, Ed Sweet, Keewatin Reflections; History of Keewatin 1873-1973)

Dr. Beatty graduated from Medical School in 1896. He open his practice in Keewatin in 1897 Before long he opened a hospital. Behind the hospital was a windmill that pumped water from the lake into a tank in the top story .

He was involved in the creation of the park that bears his name Beatty Park

Doctor Beatty died on 23 Aug. 1930 in Kenora, Ontario.

The History of Keewatin 1973- 1973

Rocque Francis Beaudro 1884-1960

Rocque Francis Beaudro, son of Joseph Beaudro and Sarah Leger, was born on February 29, 1884 in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota. In 1887 at the age of three, his family moved first to Fort William, Ontario and then Rat Portage. As a child, "Roxy " took a passionate interest in hockey and other sports such as rowing and rowed and baseball.

The local hockey team "The Thistles" had developed a winning team and won the 1902-03 Manitoba and Northeastern Hockey Association title and issued a challenge for the famed trophy of senior hockey, the Stanley Cup. Roxy, who had just turned 19 years of age, played right wing in the March 1903 challenge series against the Ottawa Silver Seven. In 1906 Roxy and the Kenora players went pro. In 1907 the Thistles challenged the Montreal Wanderers. In 1907 he scored the Stanley Cup game winning goal. He retired at the end of the hockey season. In 1982 the the 1907 Kenora Thistles team was named to the Northwest Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Roxy married Mabel Louise Goodman in 27 August of 1907 in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he moved but subsequently moving on to Cochrane, Ontario where his son Earl Laurier Beaudro was born in 09 Jan 1909.

Roxy took on a job as an accountant for the government. In 1915 he enlisted in the Canadian Army and played with the 28th Battalion's Royal Fusiliers In early February of 1917, the order came to be shipped overseas and Roxy saw extended combat duty during the war. Following the war he raised a family living at various times in Winnipeg, Cochrane, and Thunder Bay, and then Toronto.

Roxy Beaudro died on February 10, 1960 in Barrie, Ontario after a short battle with cancer. He was 75.

Source Note Kenora Thistles: Our Hockey heritage, Bowes Publishing Limited

Genealogy Note: Roxy's father's name and family name appears at various times on census and other records indexed as Beaudre or Biadio

Charles Wiggins Belyea 1857-1919

Charles Wiggins Belyea was born in New Brunswick November 19 1857. He arrived in Rat Portage in 1884.

He married Phebe Jane Brundage. They had four children:

Edith H. Belyea born Jan 7 1886
Gertrude L Belyea born Aug 31 1887
Helen M. Belyea born Jun 16 1893
Clifford C. Belyea born Jun 2 1895

He came to Rat Portage as inspector for CPR telegraphs with responsibility to maintain telegraph wires. He subsequently worked as a linesman on the CPR.

In 1906 he was appointed mining recorder at Kenora.

In 1914 he was appointed Marine and Fisheries Agent for the District

He served as Councillor in 1892,93,94,96,98,99,1901,1904,1905, and as Mayor in 1907.

He was a member of the first Rat Portage band formed in 1886. He was a member of the curling Club.

He belonged to the St. Alban Cathedral

He served on the Board of Directors of the Western Algoma Brick company.

He was chair of the Board of Education. He belonged to the Board of Trade.

He was a member of the Pequonga Masonic Lodge and a county master of the Orange Lodge.

He was a long serving Board member of the Jubilee Hospital since its inception in 1897 until his death on September 26 1919 at the AGE OF 62

Arthur Cyril Boyce 1867-1942

Arthur Cyril Boyce, son of Reverent John Cox Boyce and Mary Anne Blick was born 12 Sep. 1867 in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England.

He received his early education in private schools in Wakefield, York and Carlisle England.

He came to Canada in 1884 and worked in a law office in Port Arthur. He was called to he Bar in 1890. He carried on a practice at Port Arthur for two years.

He met Victoria Machin, sister of Harold Machin and the two were married 14 October 1891. They had 4 children:

Cyril Delamere Boyce b. 21 May 1894 Rat Portage
Victoria Muriel Boyce b. 30 Nov 1898 Rat Portage, m. Frederic James Hanna, 05 Sep 1925, Carleton, Ontario
Sybil Folford Boyce b. 06 Mar 1900 Rat Portage, m. Ernest Gladstone Britton, m. 15 Sep 1924, Carleton, Ontario, Canada
Daphne Borden Boyce b. 06 Aug. 1906 Rat Portage, m. Norman Macdonald Anderson

The Boyces moved to Rat Portage in 1893. He practiced law in Rat Portage for 11 years. Later George Draper joined to form the partnership of Boyce and Draper. In 1895-96 he served as honourary vice-president of Rat Portage's first hockey team.

In 1903 Mr Boyce and his family moved to Sault Ste Marie. There he entered a firm know as Kehoe, Boyce and McPhail.

Boyce ran as a conservative in 1896 and 1900 and eventually got elected as a Liberal-Conservative in 1904 was elected to the House of Commons as representative of Algoma West. He was reelected in 1908 and 1911.

In 1906 he was appointed a King Councillor In 1910 he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Algoma. In 1913 an honourary Doctor of Civil Law was conferred on him by Bishop's College in Lennoxville, Quebec. In 1914 he was elected to the Fellow Royal Colonial Institute . From 1917 to 1927 he was a member of the Board of Railway Commissioners. He was a member of the Board of Governors at Trinity College in Toronto. He held the Rank of Honourary Lieutenant-Colonel with 51st Sault Ste. Marie Rifles.

He practiced law in Ottawa.

A.C. Boyce dies in Toronto 4 August 1942.

Reference: Hlynski, Sharon et Al, Early Settlers of Rat Portage, Summer Project, 1981-1982, Kenora Library Call Letters 971.311 HLY

James Westropp Brereton 1830-1911

Captain James Westropp Brereton was born in 1830 in Bantry Bay, Ireland. He emigrated to Montreal in 1876 with his wife Ursula Caroline Elizabeth Harnett and their children David Leslie Dean Brereton 1865 -1920, Richard Ralph Brereton 1866- James William Henry 1868 and Robina (Ina) Elizabeth Margaretta Brereton (Glass) 1874-1956. The family moved to Toronto in 1877 an then on to Winnipeg. He divorced his first wife in 1888 and married Hannah Francis Lucas from whom he was separated from in 1897

From 1878 to 1884 he was Dominion Commissioner of Police from Winnipeg Eagle River and then Winnipeg to Rat Portage.

He acquired a piece of land on Coney Island

John Thomas Brett 1886- 1941

John Thomas Brett, was first born son of George Thomas Brett and Margaret Cullen. There was a George Thomas Brett who died in Vancouver on 22 Feb. 1951

John Thomas "J.T." was born 9 Sep 1886 in Simcoe County, Ontario. On Nov 27 1895, he married Catherine Ellen Ronan born January 1 1872 also in Simcoe County. They had 4 children

Agnes Brett b. 1911 in Simcoe County
Harry Joseph Brett b. 22 Mar 1907 in Rat Portage
James Albert Brett b. 23 Dec 1909 in Rat Portage
John Thomas Brett b. 1917

In 1887 he moved to Rat Portage where he became engaged in grocery and feed business store located on Second street between Matheson and Chipman St. The Business became largest dealer in flour, feed and provisions - latter he established business known as Brett Elevator Company. He served on Town Council 1908-1911, Mayor of Kenora 1912-14. He was a strong supporter of Laurier and the liberal party.

He was a Charter member of Rotary Club,and held attendance record for many years. He was President of trade and served on Board of Education.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the pulp and paper business. Construction of mill began in 1921 and began operating in 1924.

He spent his summers at summer cottage at Point Alymer. He is beleived to have passed away Aug. 1941.

John Kerr Brydon 1847-1930

John Kerr Brydon was born 28 Jun. 1847 in Dunfirmline, Scotland. He settled first in Toronto. He moved to Rat Portage in May 1882.

He opened an office in the Masonic Hall block and established himself as a solicitor, conveyancer and notary Public.

In 1883 he had a house built on the North side of First Street South.

He married Mary Charlotte Compton in York, Ontario in 10 Aug. 1886. She was born 30 Jun. 1850 in York, Ontario. They had three children.

John Brydon Kerr Compton in 15 May 1887

Robert George Howie Brydon in 25 Dec 1891

Mary Isabel Gladdens Brydon in 17 Aug. 1888

Brydon's promoted the town's name change. The Following note appears in August 10 1901 edition of the Rat Portage Miner:

It has been suggested that when the flour milling town and the gold mining center are united the names of the two places should be amalgamated also. 'Keewortage' sounds too much like the name of a hard dermatoological excrescence and 'Ratwatin' is simply ludicrous. There seems no way out of the difficulty except to call the new city 'Brydonstown' or ville or better still, Brydon'. But perhaps Mr. Brydon wouldn't like it.

George Nelson Brunsel 1872-1938

George Brunsel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Angus Brunsel was born in St Clement (Selkirk? )Manitoba on Feb 17 1872 (17 Feb 1873?). He came to Rat Portage in 1879. He operated the first boat building company in Rat Portage with his brother Neill located on the lakefront between Main and Matherson street. Between 1899 and 1904 the company build many boats including the Daystar, the Wanderer and the Helen S. The business ended with a fire in October 1904. In 1906 it was purchased by Robert J. Parrott. Subsequently the business was operated by Gus Anderson 1929, who in turn sold to J.W Stone in 1934.

George went to work for Parrott Boat Building Company until he joined the 141st Battalion in 1916. He served overseas with the 48th Bull Moose Battalion returning to Kenora in 1919. Following the war he was employed by J.W. Stone Boat Company until his retirement in 1939. In the early years he took part in all the boat races. He also spent time at his camp in Clearwater Bay which is now Pye's Landing. They lived at 801 Fourth St. North

On 07 Aug. 1897 he married Agnes H Neill in Rainy River Ontario. They had 8 children:

Margaret Elizabeth Agnes Brunsel b.09 Nov 1899
George Neil Brunsel b. 02 Mar 1902
Helen Louise Brunsel b. 29 Mar 1903
Alice May Brunsel b. 21 Mar 1905
Ethel M Brunsel b. Jan 1909
Heywood B Brunsel ?
Raymond Brunsel
Marguerite Belle Brunsel b. 19 May 1911

George passed away 13 Sep 1947 in Keewatin, Ontario

John Robert Bunn 1855-1932

John Robert Bunn, son of Thomas Bunn and Isabella Clouston was born at the Red River Settlement on August 26 1855.

He was educated at St. John's College

He married Vashti Elizabeth Gunne on October 28 1885. The had the following children:

Charles R.R. Bunn b. October 11 1886
Victor William Bunn b. May 24 1890
Thomas Drake Bunn b. February 24 1892
Marguerite Isabel Bunn b. June 27 1893
John "Jack" Reginald Bunn b. June 15 1895

He went to work for the Hudson Bay Company until 1884 when he went into general mercantile business.

He resumed work with Hudson Bay Company in 1890 and remained until 1901 when he again went into business for himself.

In April 1912 he was appointed inspector of Indian agencies for the lake Winnipeg Inspectorate.

He managed the Hudson bay Store in Rat Portage after C Chipman 

Sir Douglas Colin Cameron 1854-1921

Sir Douglas Colin Cameron KCMG. Colin Cameron who was born June 8 1854 in Hawkesbury, Prescott County, Ontario on 5 June 1854, son of Colin Cameron and Annie McClaren (or McLauren). He was educated at Vankleet Hill High School. He farmed in Ontario from 1871 to sometime between 1878 and 1880 when he moved to Manitoba in 1878, and worked as a contractor at Brandon. on February 11 1880, he married Margaret Cameron Ferguson (1857-?), daughter of William Ferguson of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. They had three children: Evelyn (Nan) Cameron (b 26 Jun. 1885), Douglas Lorne Cameron (b. 6 Jun. 1888), and James Leslie Fergus Cameron (b. 7 Jul 1896).

Subsequently he moved to Rat Portage. In the Fall of 1883 he formed the lumber business of Cameron & Company, later known as Cameron & Kennedy Lumber Company in Norman. In 1892, it was incorporated as the Ontario & Western Lumber Company, being renamed as the Rat Portage Lumber Company. He served as its General Manager from 1892 and president from 1894. He was also heavily involved in the forest industry in British Columbia.

In 1901 he was elected as a councillor in Rat Portage. He would later serve as the city's mayor. In 1902, he was elected a MLA of Ontario as a Liberal for Fort Williams and Lake of the Woods defeating Conservative Thomas Smellie, 1483 votes to 1121. He lost the 1905 election to Smellie, 1536 votes to 1228. Shortly thereafter, he moved Winnipeg to better oversee his business ventures. He was defeated as a candidate for Winnipeg in the 1908 federal election losing to Conservative Alexander Haggart by 8747 votes to 6729.

Other business interests included the Presidency of the Maple Leaf Flour Mills, and directorships of the Northern Crown Bank, Manitoba Bridge & Iron Company, and the Gas Traction Company. In 1910 he was listed by the Winnipeg Telegram as one of Winnipeg's 19th millionaires

He was a member of the Manitoba Club, St Charles Country Club and Lakewood Country Club. He served as President of the The St. Andrew Society of Winnipeg from 1906 to 1908. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel with the 79th Highlanders. He was a keen horseman, his stables winning many honours at horse shows. In 1911, he lived at 65 Roslyn Road, Winnipeg. His letter-book for the years 1911 and 1912 is at the Archives of Manitoba.

He was 8th Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba on August 1, 1911. In 1915 Cameron used his constitutional authority to call a Royal Commission of Enquiry into an ongoing scandal involving the construction costs of the province's new legislative buildings. The Commission upheld charges against Rodmond P. Robin's government by the opposition Liberals and Roblin was forced to resign. Cameron was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St. George in the 1914 New Year's Honour List. His term in office ended in 1916. He died in November 27, 1921 and is buried in St John's Cemetery.


Bryce, George (1906) A History of Manitoba, Its Resources and People, The Canadian History Company

Bumsted, J.M (1999) Dictionary of Manitoba Bibliography, Winnipeg:: University of Manitoba

Schofield, F.H. (1913) The Story of Manitoba, S.J.Clarke Publishing Company

The Manitoba Historical Society, Memorable Manitobans, Online

Jessie Alexandrina (Mcleod) Cameron

Jessie Alexandrina (Mcleod) Cameron, daughter of Donald "Dan" McLeod and Alexandrina Sutherland was born January 29 1901 in Rat Portage.

She married Maxwell Yorston Cameron in Kenora, Ontario.

They had at least two children, William and Don Cameron

In the 1930 Jessie Cameron started a choral group called the G Clef Choir. During a Week in 1936 this group performed on the stage of the Thistle Rink. The group was subsequently directed by Gladys Whitehead and then Tattie McLeod.

She died January 15 1999 in Kenora, Ontario.

Maxwell Yorston Cameron 1904-1981

Maxwell Yorston Cameron, son of William George Cameron and Henrietta Louise Henesy was born in Kenora November 05 1904.

He married Jessie Alexandrina Mcleod in Kenora. They had at least two children William and Don Cameron

He was president of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1951 - 1952.

He died in Kenora May 17 1981.

William George Cameron 1863 - 1940

William George Cameron was born near Truro Nova Scotia on February 8 1863. He received his education in Truro before moving to Pictou NS where he learned the grocery business. He lived in Portland Oregon for a few years before moving to Winnipeg. In Winnipeg he was employed as a brakeman by CPR and a conductor working Emerson and Winnipeg.

He arrived in Rat Portage in 1883 according to David Hogoboam 1923 news story.

On December 12th 1888, he married Hattie Henesy (born October 7 1871). They had six children:

William Cameron b. 28 June 1891
John Cameron b. 29 Mar 1894
Helen Cameron b. 10 Feb 1896
Sadie Cameron b. 10 Aug. 1899
Max Cameron b. 5 Nov 1904
Douglas Cameron b.4 July 1911

He continued to work with the CPR until 1894. He became proprietor of the Queen's hotel in 1888 and continued until 1898. In 1898 he started a wholesale grocery in Rat Portage with Max Heap which became known as Cameron and Heap located on north side of 2nd St. S. Branches were subsequently established at Regina , Prince Albert, Dauphin, Fort William, and Nipigon. They sold the business in August 1929 to Western Grocers.

Shortly after arriving in Rat Portage he was first involved with a mine of Cameron Island in Shoal Lake which he sold to the Buffalo Syndicate. He then got involved with the Wendigo Mine.

He was president of the Curling Club in 1895.

W.G. Cameron was a member of the Town Council 1900 to 1903. He was president of the Board of Trade in 1902. He served on the Hospital Board and the cemetery board. He was a member of the Pequnga lodge, AF & AM, Gold Hill Lodge, IOOF member of the Lake of the Wood Lodge and a chairman of the Kenora District Victory Loan Committee.

He was a charter member and first Rotary Club President in 1920.

He died in Kenora in 21 Jun. 1940.

Archibald Campbell 1863-

Archibald Campbell, son of Farquhar and May Campbell,l was born on 8 Jul 1863. He married Annie H Halstead 21 Oct 1888 in Kenora, Ontario.

They had 3 children

Stewart Woodbury Campbell b. 15 Sep 1889
Daniel H Campbell b. 4 Mar 1891
Isabella A Campbell b. 05 Dec 1893

Archibald Campbell came to Rat Portage in 1886. In 1890 he was the owner of Rat Portage's first stationary and book store which was located in the lower part of the Hilliard House. There was a post office in the rear of the store.

In 1891 he was elected councillor along with Harding Rideout, John Nash and J. Clarkson. In 1892 he became the first mayor following Incorporation of the Town with counsellors C.W. Belyea, D.C. Cameron. J.B. Davies, John Nash, Walter Oliver and J.M Savage.

In 1899 he went into the Insurance Business for a short time.

He was treasurer of the rowing club in 1892, a member of the first band formed in 1886 and a member of the first fire brigade formed in 1888 In 1894 he became Crown Land Agent.

They moved from Rat Portage to Kansas City in 1900. Mrs Campbell died there in October 1944 at the age of 76 Early Settlers of Rat Portage

Frederick Wallace Canniff 1864- 1943

Frederick Wallace Canniff, son of James Partridge Canniff and Eliza Elizabeth Wallace was born in Cannington, near Belleville, Ontario 7 August 1864.On New Years Day 1 Jan 1902, he married Emily Howard. They had one child Frederick Howard Canniff born in Kenora on 6 Oct 1904.

Fredrick came to Rat Portage with the CPR . He was the first night operator with the railway.

In 1886 he was hired by William LeBaron Baker in the One Price Cash Store. He left to manage a store for Jacob Hose and Coates in Keewatin. In 1889 he left to operate a book and Stationary business in Rat Portage. Subsequently he was joined by Joseph Johnson and drugs were sold in the store as well under the name Canniff and Johnson. He subsequently sold his interest to Johnson who was joined by his brother Lowry Johnson and the business was renamed Johnson's Pharmacy.

In about 1899 he left for Phoenix, B.C. where he had a hardware business but with the Boer war he left to go to Fort Frances with Herbert Williams.

In 1904 he returned to Rat Portage entered into a Partnership of Hose and Canniff, with Jacob Hose. He managed the store after Hose died in 1907.

In 1920 he sold out and retired but was back in business a year later with J.P. Williams in a a partnership known as Canniff and Williams. He sold out his interest and retired for good in 1927.

Frederick Canniff was a member of the Keewatin Masonic Lodge and Gold Hill Lodge I.O.OF. He was a member of the Anglican Church.

He owned a small camp on an Island in Golf Course Bay.

He died in March 1943.

Angus Carmichael 1856-1938

Angus Carmichael, possibly son of Hugh Carmichael and Isabella McNiven was born in Cannington, Ontario on January 15 1852. He arrived in Rat Portage around 1882-83. He rented Frank Gardner's store on the North West corner of Main Street and Second Street South (2012 site of Corner Stone Restaurant) and started a dry goods business. He carried on the dry goods business until 1900 when he sold the store. He then went into the insurance business and real estate.

In 1889 he joined Jacob Hose and other leading business leaders in forming the Citizen's Electric Light and Telephone Company. The company installed light and telephone systems until it was purchased by the town.

He promoted the Maple Leaf Milling Company with Sir Douglas Cameron, which was incorporated in 1905 and capitalized for one million dollars. He became the Mill's first president.

He returned East and married Minnie Helena Simpson, daughter of George Simpson on April 28l 1886 in Toronto. They returned to Rat Portage and lived above the store on Main Street. He build a home at 228 First Street North in 1889, one of the first houses north of the railway tracks.

They had three sons:

Hugh Melville S. Carmichael b. 12 Apr. 1887 d. 6 June 1916 buried in Menin Gate memorial cemetery (Ypres) (http://www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=43136, http://wwii.ca/memorial/world-war-i/55428/private-hugh-melville-carmichael/) at the age of 29 years

Ross McNevin Carmichael b. 08 Mar 1890, m. Norah "Dora" Anne Johnson 14 Sep 1921 in Kenora

George Raymond Carmichael b. 12 Mar 1893 m. Lillian May Nelson 08 Aug. 1923 in Peterborough, Ontario d. 03 Mar 1981 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Angus Carmichael was an active sportsman being a member of the Bicycle Club in 1894, a member of the Anglers' Club and President of the Curling Club in 1890-91.

He was the first Rat Portage Militia Officer to hold the commission as Major of the Algoma Rifles and was Commander in Rat Portage. He was one of the the first officers in the 90th Regiment. He dropped from active service in 1902.

Angus Carmichael was one of the oldest masters of the Pequonga Lodge, a charter member of the Lake of the woods Lodge and a charter member of the Gold Hill Lodge I.O.O.F. He was president of the Board of Trade in 1904.

Angus Carmichael served as town counsellor in 1904-05 and mayor in 1906.

Alexander Fraser, A History of Ontario, Volume 11, The Canadian History Company, Montreal, 1907 818

George Raymond Carmichael 1893- 1981

George Raymond Carmichael, the son of Angus and Minnie Simpson, was born March 12 1893.

In 1908 at the age of 15 years he enlisted in the Lake Superior Regiment. He attended the Royal School of Infantry at Fort Osborne Barracks and qualified as a Lieutenant in December 1915. He went over with the 94th Battalion embarking from Halifax on June 16 on the Olympic. In England he was transferred to the 32 Reserve Battalion on July 18 and then subsequent on August 31, to the Royal Flying Corps. He trained in Scotland and flew reconnaissance missions in France and Belgium.

In September 1917 his airplane was attacked by enemy aircraft, his observer wounded and the airplane damaged but he was able to land the plane in France. Following the incident, he was granted a 3 month leave in Canada and the remaining service were based in Toronto with the Royal Flying Corp.

Back in Kenora he remained active in the military affairs. In 1922 when the Kenora Light Infantry was organized under Colonel Schnarr, George Carmichael was one of the first called back to serve. He commanded the Kenora Light Infantry and in 1936 when the militia was changed from infantry to artillery he reorganized the 40th Medium Regiment including the 16th, 17th and 18th Batteries at Kenora, Fort Francis and Port Arthur.

During World War Two he was a member and Vice Chairman of the Department of National Board involved with the administration of the National Resources Mobilization Act, Division D, Port Arthur. He was also Chairman of the Industrial Survey Board Division D.

He promoted the lake of the Woods Military Institute and served as its president. He was an honourary life member of the Royal Canadian Legion and of the Woods United Services Institute.

He married Lillian May Nelson on Aug. 8, 1923 in Peterborough, Ontario.

He died March 3rd, 1981 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Like his father he was elected mayor of Kenora

Herbert C. Carpenter 1872 -

Herbert Carpenter, son of Sherrif Carpenter and Annie Carpenter was born October 16 1872

Herbert Carpenter served St. Albans for 41 years as Organist and choir director. Hundreds local of Kenora children were taught by him during his lengthy teaching career.

Ellen / Helene /Helena / Hélène (Collin) (Charbonneu)Charbonneau

When you read the early papers of Rat Portage you seldom see a married women referred by their given name but rather by their husbands name. Such is the case with Mrs Joseph Charbonneau. The additional problem with this name is the variation of spelling of her name. It is highly unlikely that her French spelling of Hélène attached to her before she left Ireland with her parents to St. Jerome Quebec. She married Joseph Felix Charbonneau possibly in Winnipeg on 18 Nov 1880. The name "Charbonneu" appears in both the 1901 and 1911 Census in Rat Portage - Kenora but it is beleived that the original and more common spelling of the name as "Charbonneau" both preceded him and followed the children. It no longer appears in the Kenora of 2012. Children:

Benson (Census) Vincent (WW1 Attestation papers) Charbonneau b. 20 Aug. 1880

Ernest Charbonneau b. 20 Dec 1881

John William Charbonneau b. 17 Mar 1883 married Marie Eva Giguere

Margaret Charbonneau b. 20 Feb 1884, married George Moshier

Helene Charbonneau b. 09 Nov 1886, married David Dickson Cossor

Amelia Charbonneau b. 15 Apr. 1889, married John Dunne

Mary Louise Charbonneau b. 1890, Solomon Guy.

In addition to having and raising her won, Helene served as a midwife in early Rat Portage. The infant death rate was very high in Rat Portage as elsewhere at the time, where no hospitals existed and little available help for women in trouble. She served well for about a dollar a day, with compassion and care and no doubt was a great comfort to pioneering women in Rat Portage. She passed away in 1918.

Thomas William Chapple 1853 - 1926

Honourable Thomas William Chapple, son of Captain William and Eutychia Randall (McNaughton) Chapple, natives of Devonshire, England, and St. Andrews, Scotland, respectively, was born February 10 1853 in Kilkenny, Ireland.

His father, a regimental surgeon-major in the Second Dragoon Guards, Queen's Boys died in May, 1858, at Lucknow, India in a military siege. The family who had been living in London England departed the same year for Canada and established their home at Newcastle, Durham County, Ontario.

He commenced his study of law in 1876, with J. E. Farewell, K.C., of Whitby, and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1882.

In 1882 he married Lucy Ann French, daughter of Milton French of Oshawa. They had one son,

William Edwin Chapple b. January 28 1884, Studied medicine in University of Manitoba, M. Sarah Myra Louise Ross, d. Mar 19 1962.

In 1884 Judge Chapple moved to Uxbridge, Ontario where practice as a barrister until 1898. For many years he served as secretary of North Ontario and West Ontario Reform Associations. In 1892 he received the nomination of the Liberal party for North Ontario for the Legislative Assembly and was elected in his riding in the general election of 1894.

In 1898 he moved to Kenora where he presided as a judge of the Rainy River District Court for 28 years.

Judge Chapple was interested in promoting education. In Uxbridge he served as a Chairman of the Board of Education. He served as the first chairman of the Kenora High School Board.

Judge Chapple was a member of the Gold Hill Lodge, IOOF, district deputy grandmaster of the Masonic Order, and member of the Lake of the Woods Lodge A.F. & A.M. , district deputy of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and a high councillor of the Independent Order of Foresters.

He was a strong Presbyterian and subsequent an Elder in the United Church. He died 13 Nov 1926.


Fraser, Alexander,A history of Ontario : its resources and development (1907) 1860-1936 Volume: 2, Toronto : Canada History Co. Call number: AMY-0015 Robarts - University of Toronto Pages 806-808

Hylnski, Sharon et al. (1982) Early Settlers of Rat Portage, Kenora Public Library Call Number 971.311 HLY

James Clarkson

James Clarkson was born in 1857. He married Lucinda Martha Seymour (born 10 Sep 1856 in Penetanguishene, Simcoe, Ontario) in August 4 1880. They had 4 children:

Margaret Anne Clarkson b. 29 Jul 1883 in St. Boniface, Manitoba
Stanley Seymour Clarkson b. 23 Mar 1885 in St. Boniface, St. Manitoba
Ida May Clarkson b. 9 Jan 1889 Rat Portage
John Gordon Clarkson b. 31 Mar 1891 in Rat Portage

He was a town Counsellor in 1884, 1885, 1890, and 1891

He died in 16 Aug. 1910 in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada

Henry Porter Cooke 1884-1936

Henry Porter Cooke, son of Henry Hamilton Cooke and Catherine Elizabeth Bennis Bolster was born 4 January 1884 in Uxbridge, Durham County, Ontario, Canada Ontario .

He received his education in Uxbridge public schools and then proceeded to University of Toronto where he graduated with a BA and an LLB. He was called to the bar in 1908. He practiced law with the law firm of Sharpe and Cooke until World War 1.

On 19 August 1911 he married Hazel Margaret Jane Vicars. They subsequent had two children

Marian Ellen Cooke b. 08 Dec 1913 d. 09 Nov 2003

Norah Muriel Cooke b. 15 Aug. 1918

The British army established a military post where the museum at Exhibition Place, Lakeshore Boulevard East Toronto, ON is presently located, in 1840-41 to replace aging Fort York. Known as the New Fort, it consisted of seven limestone buildings around a parade square, and a number of lesser structures. In 1893 the fort was renamed Stanley Barracks in honour of Governor Lord Stanley. Canadian forces assumed responsibility for the post in 1870 and garrisoned it until 1947. Cooke trained at the Barracks and served with the 34th regiment. He further trained at Petawawa in 1911 and enlisted on went overseas in 1916 with the 116th Battalion. He returned home on sick leave and was placed in charge of the Military Service Act in Kingston. After coming to Kenora he was promoted to Lieutenant- Colonel and took over the command of the Kenora Light Infantry which he retired from in 1932.

In April 1919 he moved to Kenora and opened his practice of Law. Ion December 19 1921 he received his King Councillor. In 1922 he was appointed Crown Attorney and Town solicitor.

In 1931 he assumed command of the Kenora Light Infantry as Lieutenant -Colonel and retired from position in 1932.

In Kenora he was a member of the Kenora Rotary Club and served as president in 1935-1936.

He was a Master of the Masonic Order.

He was an active member of the Board of Trade, a Director of the Kenora Golf and Country Club, the Kenora Legion and an honourary solicitor of the Children's Aid Society.

Henry Porter Cooke died 22 April 1936 in Kenora.

Herbert Thomas Cossey 1871 - 1947

Herbert Thomas Cossey, son of Thomas Robert Cossey and Mary Elizabeth Harrison, was born in Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk, England. He had been engaged in with his father in yacht and boat building in England before coming to Canadas. His father arrived from Toledo Ohio where he had been engaged with W. Lake in the construction of motorboats . Father Thomas Robert Cossey arrived in Kenora in 1905.

In Canada Herbert Thomas Cossey first went to Prince Albert where he build the 120 foot sternwheeler "Alberta " for the Hudson Bay Company. Later it was brought down the Saskatchewan River through Lake Winnipeg and the Red River where it wound up its career making excursions to River Park. In Kenora he built many boats for cruising Lake of the woods including, the Erin, Calypso, Hostalingia, Raven, Ramona, Nahmeaka, Condon and the Ariel.

He left Kenora in 1926 to Gravenhurst District where he carried on his trade until his retirement in 1945.

He married Rose Annie Lake in 13 Apr. 1893 in Yarmouth, Norfork, England and emigrated to Canada with 4 children , two others having died in infancy. He had a total of 10 children:

Hylton Herbert Cossey b. 01 Mar 1894 Norfork, England, d. May 1967, Saint Clair Shores, Macomb, Michigan, US

Ruby Rose Cossey b. Aug. 1895 Norfork, England d. 1968 Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

Claude Albert Cossey b. Feb 1897 Norfork, England d. 01 Oct 1973 Haney, BC

Olga Lilian Cossey b. Abt. 1899 Norfork England, d. July 1899, Norfork, England

Basil Wilfred Cossey b. July 1900 Norfork, England d. July 1900 All the above were born in Norfork England

Donald Wilfred Cossey b. Apr. 1902, Greater Yarmouth, Norfork, England

Lillian Helen May Cossey 31 Mar 1906 Kenora, Ontario d. 1985

Stanley Thomas Cossey b. 04 Jan 1909 Kenora, Ontario d. 06 Oct 1971 North Vancouver, BC

Douglas Jack Cossey b. 28 Jul 1911 Kenora, Ontario d. 27 Oct 1969 Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Gordon Nelson Cossey b.1918 Kenora d. 2003 in Ladner, BC, Canada

Herbert Thomas Cossey died on March 24 1947 at the age of 75 at his home in Gravenhurst.

(More Research required on Children and business in Kenora)

Janet Clarissa Crooks 1865-1951

Janet Crookes

Picture curtesy of and used with permission of Dale Nutley, descendent of Miss Crooks

Janet Clarissa Crooks, daughter of Allan McAuley Crooks and Jane Johnson born November 10 1865 in Dover, Ontario, the 7th of 10 children:

Mary Jane Crooks 1852-1893
Johnson Alexander Crooks 1853-1932
Agnes Elizabeth Crooks 1855-1934
Margarets Amelia Crooks 1857-1952
Helen Augusta Crooks 1857-1952
Frances Isabella Crooks 1863
Janet Clarissa Crooks 1865-1951
Edith Maria Crooks 1868-
Catherine Louise Crooks 1872-

Her father who died the day after her marriage and two sisters were also teachers.

She applied to 22 school districts and got 8 job offers. She arrived in Rat Portage by 1883 at the age of 18 years. She was the first public school teacher in Rat Portage.

The funds for the first school were raised by standing on busy street corners and collecting donations. The funds collected were used to build a one room 50 foot log school house facing on Hennepen Lane at the rear of the present day (2013) Salvation Army. The children used land presently occupied by Ristorante Italian in 2013. She taught single handed until 1886 when she was joined by 18 year old M. Seegmillar. In the spring of 1886 they had 70 students in eight classes .

She met her husband Pierce "Pirrie" Thompson who was working for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. They married at Rat Portage on April 5th 1886. Her first child was born in Rat Portage. She moved to St Cloud Minnesota in 1887 or 1888. They had 6 children:

Nell Constance Thompson born January 13 1887 in Rat Portage, She died 1970 in Palo Alto, San Mateo, California, USA

William Francis Thompson born April 3 1888 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He died November 7 1965 in Seattle Washington.

Gertrude Mary Thompson born August 25 1890 in St Cloud, Minnesota. She died August 3 1963 in San Pedro, California.

Leonard Ramsay Thompson was born in St. Cloud Minnesota on October 18 1892. He died August 25 1970 in San Pedro California.

Ethel Marion Thompson was born on October 12 1894 in St Cloud, Minnesota. She died March 7 1996 in Tucson, Arizona

Irene Lillian Thompson was born 28 Aug 1902 Melrose, Minnesota.. She died 18 Jan 2002 in Tucson, Arizona

She moved first to St Cloud Minnesota and in the early 1900's she and her family followed Pirrie's work top Everett, Washington. In the fall of 1926 Pirrie and Janet went to San Pedro near their son Leonard. Janet worked in Leonard's Medica Office from 1926 untill 1944. Sister Irene worked in the office 10 years. Janet and Irene moved back to the family house in Everett in November 1944.

She died in Everett, Washington on September 24 1951

Donald Hector Currie

Donald Hector Currie, son of James John Currie and Mary McLean was born on May 29 1860 in Lochaber Quebec.

He came to Keewatin from Minneapolis in April 1886. In 1887 he moved to Rat Portage as a shipper for the Lumber Company.

He married Annie Jane Campbell of Ottawa March 2 1889 at Ferris, Nipissing District, Ontario.

James Campbell Currie born April 18 1890 at Rat Portage, Died April 9 1917 at Vimy, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Minnie Constance Currie born December 24 1891 at Rat Portage died 1965
John Erroll Currie born August 23 1893 at Rat Portage, Lived in Kenora, Managed the mill in 1916, Served as town clerk, resigning August 1920 and moved to Portage La Prairie in 1922, died 1992
Norma Currie born May 20 1895 at Rat Portage
Hector Donald Currie born April 27 1897 at Rat Portage died in 1925 lost at sea
Methuen Wendell Currie born December 1 1899, died July 28 1985 at Hamilton, Ohio, United States

He became a school trustee in 1893-94. He was a member of the town Council in 1895 and 1897. Upon the resignation of George Barnes he served the balance of 1895 as acting mayor.

In 1896-97 he was secretary-treasurer of the Western Algoma Brick Company. In 1899 he was accepted in the local agency for the Birbeck Loan and Trust Company. He was appointed assessor and collector in 1898-99. In 1906 he took over the position of Crown Timber agent.

Charles C. Delbridge 1867 - 1934

Charles C. Delbridge, was born May 28 1867 in Oxford County Ontario and moved to Rat Portage around 1890. He married Sarah Luttrell October 25 1899. They had three children,

Pearl Victoria Delbridge born Jan 10 1901
Bernice Emma Delbridge May 25 1903
Clayton Boston Delbridge May 1907

He established a livery business around 1895 which became well known through out the town and district by providing coaches, buggies and all kinds of conveyances, day or night. Sleighs replaced the buggies in the winter time.

He served on the Town Council in 1905 and 1909. As chairman of the works Committee he laid the first cement sidewalks in 1906 on portions of Main St. Second Street and First Street. The next year he became a contractor for laying cement sidewalks. He was largely responsible for organizing the syndicate to build the Tourist Hotel in 1907.

He sold his livery business to Link and Henderson. In June 1909 he moved to Vancouver where he took a position on the Vancouver Police Commission. He died on April 28 1934.

George Derry 1849-1924

George Derry, son of George Déry and Sophie Tessier (dit laPlante) was born on August 24 1849 in Quebec. His father George Déry from Lorette Quebec enetered all his children as Déry but when George moved to the United States the name was anglized to Derry. His siblings included,

Annie Déry born 1850 in Lorette, Quebec
Joseph Déry born 1853 in Lorette, Quebec
Malvina Déry born Oct 28 1855 in Saint Raymond, Portneuf, Quebec
Caroline Déry born 1858 in Quebec

It has not been acertained when they met or where they married but George married Delia Blanchard, born in Quebec and they first appear in a census living in North Adams, Massachussetts where they are living with her family. George worked on the Hoosac Tunnel completed in 1875.

They had a total of 6 children,

George Derry (first of two Georges) born 1870 in North Adams and died very young
Rose Derry born 1871
Arthur Derry
Joseph Derry born October 3 1876 in North Adams, Massachusetts (See Below)
George Derry Jr died at the age of 16 years in April 1900
Williard John Derry born August 15 1890 Died June 7 1957 (See his story at http://www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=141590)

George Derry and family arrived in Rat Portage in 1877 from North Adams, Massachusetts. He was engaged with the CPR handling the new explosive nitroglycerin on the construction of the railway. He worked 1877-78 in Rat Portage and then moved on to Vermillion Bay ultimately returning to Rat Portage where Delia died on Feb 19 1900.

He had been friends with Frank Gardner and was living with him by the 1901 census.

He then married Catherine Janet MacDonell born 1871. They had two daughters, Donnell born in Kenora in 1906 and a second daughter.

George Derry was a close friend of Frank Gardner. They became involved in mining buying a property on Scotty’s Island on which the mine was located. In July 1899, they sold it to the Ottawa Gold Mining and Milling Company. George Derry did some bush work for Mr. Gardner. He ran some camps during the winter months, putting out cordwood for the steamboats and for the Sultana mine. When he got older Mr. Derry was employed by the town, working at the pump house in Lakeside.

When Mr Gardner's wife died George Derry's wife Catherine looked after his children, particularly the two youngest.

He died in July 1924 at 74. In his reporting his death, the Kenora Miner and News indicated,

The late George Derry was a man whom it was a pleasure to know. Of exceptional sterling character he was always kind, generous and thoughtful and of him it may be said his word was a good is his bond. Thought of a reserved and quiet temperament, it was a real pleasure to talk to him of the early days here, for to him its hardship always had a humorous.

Joseph Derry 1876 - 1958

Joseph Derry was born October 3 1876 in North Adams, Massachusetts.

One story has him arriving at Rat Portage on the boat "The Lady of the Lake" that sailed from North West Angle to Rat Portage around 1880. D. Hogoboam has him arriving in Rat Portage in 1877.

He married Frances McKeown. They had two children

Frances Irene Derry, born August 27 1898 in Rat Portage, married Joseph Cyril Antoine Ouellette Kenora Rotary 1942-43

Stanley Joseph Derry born November 30 1902 in Rat Portage. He died February 1 1942.

Joseph was once the owner of the only theater in Town.

George Herbert Draper 1873-1922

George Herbert Draper, son of George Draper and Elizabeth Booth was born in Listowel, Perth County, Ontario, July 3, 1873. He attended school in Listowel and the collegiate institute of Owen Sound.

He commence the study of law in the office and under the" direction of W. A. Dowler, K.C., of Tilsonburg. Later his preceptor was A. C. Macdonell, the Dominion member from South Toronto. He was called to the Bar in 1898 and began practice in Listowel. He came to Rat Portage in 1898 and entered into partnership with Arthur C. Boyce, in the firm known as Boyce and Draper. This partnership continued until January, 1902 or 1903 when Boyce moved to Sault Ste Marie. Mr. Draper continued alone until he sold his practice to J.A. Kinney and moved to New York. He has a distinctively representative clientage, connecting him with much important litigation, and represented a number of American companies operating in this district. Aside from his law practice he is connected with different commercial and mining institutions and is also a partner in a big ranching company.

In 19 February, 1902, Mr. Draper married Lillian M. Sinclair, a daughter of Laughlin C. Sinclair and Lillian Tilson of Tilsonburg, Ontario. They had two daughters:

Lilliam Amelia Draper b. 30 Nov 1902 Rat Portage, m. Alexander Stanley Fergusson

Margaret Sinclair Draper b. 05 Mar 1907 Kenora; m. Louis Frank Jansen

Mr. Draper is an adherent of the Presbyterian Church and in politics a Conservative.

Around 1916 ne made his headquarters in Washington.

He died in 15 April 1922 in Tilsonburg, Ontario

Fraser, Alexander,A history of Ontario : its resources and development (1907) 1860-1936 Volume: 2, Toronto : Canada History Co. Call number: AMY-0015 Robarts - University of Toronto Pages 821-822 ; Early Settlers of Rat Portage, 1981-82 Summer Project, Kenora Library Call number 971.311HLY page 418

George Drewry 1861- 1945

George Drewry, son of Edward A. Drewry and Elizabeth Starkey was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 12 1861. In 1878, he went to Winnipeg to join his brother who was engaged in the brewing and malting business.

In 1883, he came to Rat Portage where he began his own wholesale liquor business. He also had a branch in Keewatin and Rainey River, as well as numerous outlets through out the district. Drewry had owned the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company in 1903 and was a successful local businessman. There is a replica of George Drewry’s office at the Lake of the Woods Museum which includes his classic roll top desk.

Mr Drewery was President of the J.W. Stone Building Co.

He was also president of the Kenora Board of Trade.

He left his name on "Drewry Drive".

Augustus Frederick Dulmage 1846-

Augustus Frederick Dulmage was born in Camden East Twp., Lennox & Addington Co., ON, Canada, in around 1846 His wife Elizabeth Ann Oliver came from Napaneses was born April 14 1851.

He is beleived to have come to Rat Portage in 1884

According to an article in the Kenora Daily Miner in 1929 on the occasion of Mrs Dulmage death, the family moved from Orillia, West to Winnipeg in 1860 and settled in Winnipeg. After a short stay there Mr Dulmage got employment with the Rat Portage Lumber Company and was stationed at Fort Frances. In the fall of 1883 he moved to Rat Portage . Shortly thereafter he secured the appointment of Crown Tiber Agent.

Their children born sometimes in the 1870s or 1880s are

Rhoda Jane Dulmage
James Stillman Dulmage b. March 3 1872
Flora Maude Dulmage
George Augustus Dulmage
Glen Oliver Dulmage b. August 29 1877
Claude Archibald Dulmage
Alexander Dulmage
Louise Emma Dulmage

Frederick Goode Dulmage b. August 3 1881 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Goalie for 1894-95 Kenora Thistles, Original member of the 1896 Rat Portage junior Thistles which beat the Senior Thistle Team, 1903-04 Thistle First Club to challenge for the Stanley Cub, subsequently played goalie for Fort Williams in the New Ontario Hockey League from 1908 to 1911. He died March 1974 in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Claude Dulmage b. July 29 1884

5 of the Children survived Mrs Dulmage (Elizabeth Ann Oliver) in 1929: Mrs Philbin with whom she resided, James employed at Minaki, Alex resident in Winnipeg, Glen Resident in Grand Forks ND. and Fred in Medicine Hat.

The Article in 1929 indicates that Mrs Dulmage was a descendent of the Anaka Jann family who came from Holland and were among the early settlers of New Amsterdam (New York).

Dr. Albert Henry Edmison 1860-1934

Dr. Albert Henry Edmison, son of William Alexander Edmison and Abigail Morgan was born in Roseneath, Ontario 20 Sep 1860 and came to Rat Portage in the 1880s. In 1901 he is listed in the census as resident at Rat Portage and his partner Dr Laidlaw live at the same residence.

He married Eva Elizabeth Richards on 12 Nov 1890 in Rat Portage. They had 4 children:

Nora Edmison b. 03 Mar 1897

Ruth Edmison b. 11 Oct 1898

Alexander Edmison b. Jan 1904

Marie Edmison b. Feb 1905

He died in Kenora on 11 Feb 1934

David Thomson Ferguson 1861 - 1911

David Thomson Ferguson, son of John Ferguson and Elizabeth Binning was born in Collingwood, Ontario, June 1 1861. He arrived in Rat Portage before 1891.

He married Jean Anderson Nisbet Mackenzie 10 Feb 1886 in Rat Portage.

John Binning Ferguson b. 10 Jan 1887, Rat Portage
Malcolm Mackenzie Ferguson b. 26 Jul 1888, Rat Portage
Dorothy Madeline Ferguson b. 1890, Rat Portage
Jessie Nisbet Ferguson b. 29 Jul 1892, Rat Portage
Marvin Seaforth Ferguson b. 13 Jan 1895, Rat Portage
Kenneth Gordon Ferguson b.04 Aug 1901, Rat Portage
David Athol Ferguson b. 14 May 1904, Rat Portage

He built a block on the West side of Main St. S. in 1896 where he operated his watch and jewelry Store. The second armory was in his basement. He later went into partnership with an Atkinson and later Atkinson bought him out.

He died 02 Sep 1911 in Victoria B.C. but was buried in Kenora.

William A. Ferguson 1867 - 1920

William A. Ferguson, son of John Ferguson and Elizabeth Binning was born in Collingwood, Ontario, June 4, 1867. His parents of Scotch descent, became early residents of Collingwood, where the father engaged in the milling business until his death.

He was first employed in a Jewelry store by C. W. Colman of Toronto, with whom he remained for two years. He worked at the business in different places before 1891, when he came to Rat Portage and worked for his brother David. T. Ferguson for seven years. At the end of that time he established business on his own account and now carries a fine line of jewelry of all grades in order to meet the general trade. His patronage has constantly grown, as he has put forth earnest effort to please his patrons, who have recognized also his unfaltering adherence to a high standard of commercial ethics.

On 09 Sep 1898 Mr. Ferguson was married to Miss May Arnold of Rat Portage. They had three children :

William Clarence Ferguson b. 20 Jan 1903 Rat Portage
Francis Stuart Ferguson b. 28 Feb 1906 Kenora
Robert Arnold Ferguson b. 18 Aug. 1910 Kenora

Mr. Ferguson belonged to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and to the Presbyterian Church.

William Ferguson died in 1920 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Fraser, Alexander,A history of Ontario : its resources and development (1907) 1860-1936 Volume: 2, Toronto : Canada History Co. Call number: AMY-0015 Robarts - University of Toronto Pages 813

Colonel Ashton Thomas Fife 1871 - 1957

Ashton Thomas Fife, son of Dr. Joseph Alexander Fife and Elizabeth Jemima Fletcher was born in Hastings, Otonabee Township, Peterborough County, Ontario, January, 6 January 1871.

In addition his parents the family included,

William Fletcher Fife born August 31 1869, died August 2 1942 in Roland Manitoba.

Joseph Harold Fife born March 24 1872, died September 14 1904 in Vancouver, B.C.

Mary Hannah August Fife born May 12 1874 died May 1966 in Boston, U.S. Married Louville Eugene Emerson, July 3 1907 in Kenora.Died in Boston, Massachusettes, May 1966.

Alice Louisa Olivia Fife born September 1877 died January 1 1954 in Kenora.

He received his education in Peterborough, Ontario and was employed ware business with the J. H. Ashtown company before coming to Kenora in 1892. His sister Alice arrived in Rat Portage in 1893. His father Joseph died in 1902 and his mother Elizabeth came to Kenora in 1905.

Ashton commenced his hardware merchant career in Peterborough with he Ashdown Hardware Company and came to Rat Portage to work for that company. In 1906, he opened his own store, at 106 Main St. S. as A.T. Fife Company, selling heavy hardware and building supplies. As the lumbering and mining industry grew he expanded. He opened stores in what is now Thunder Bay, Keewatin and Nipigon.

During World War 1 the company served the elevators at Thunder Bay and imported cables and chains from Britain, selling them to the ships on the Great Lakes. Over the years the store sold merchandise ranging from saddles, mining equipment, typical hardware supplies and small appliances. The store continued to operate for over a hundred years by members of the Fife family. Ashton's grand nephew, Bill Fife, began working in 1957 taking over as manger in 1969. The store was sold in 2003.

Ashton began a connection with military in Peterborough with the 57th Regiment Rangers in 1887. By 1889 he had been promoted to Sergeant. In Kenora he became a member of the 98th Light Infantry. He signed his Officer's Declaration paper with the 141st battalion in Kenora on April 24 1916. He served most of the war in the Canadian Forestry Corps as a Lieutenant. For more details with respect to his military career see http://askgen.ning.com/group/kenora-great-war-project/page/fife-ashton-thomas .

Joseph A Fife, a cousin to Ashton Thomas Fife of Kenora had lived and worked in Kenora for a period and moved to Fort Williams in 1909. At least by October 1919 Dr. Crawford McCulloch, then governor of the 19th District of the International Associaion of Rotary Clubs, delegated Joseph Fife to make a survey of Kenora area to ascertain the possibilies of establishing a local Rotary Club. On October 13th 1919 on a second visit to Kenora when he met with a number of Kenora citizens who showed an interest in forming a club. A report was sent to the International Association of Rotary Clubs at Chicago by Joseph Fife and in February 10, 1920 the first Rotary Meeting was held in Kenora. The Club was chartered on March 20, 1920 and the first part of the meeting was chaired by Joseph Fife. In the absence of the first elected local President John Goldie being absent, Joseph turned the gavel over to Vice President Ashton Fife. Later the same year Fife became Presdent when Goldie moved East.

Upon his return from the war Ashton was chosen as candidate as Liberal Candidate losing to Heenan and served as the president of the Liberal Riding Association.

He served as mayor of Kenora in 1926-27.

He was chairman of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army.

He was a member of Knox United Church, a member of the Pequoonga Lodge no 414 A.F. and A.M. Golden Chapter no 90, a Shriner and a noble of Khartum Temple.

He died at Mount Park Hospital , St. Petersburgh on March 26 1957. His funeral was held at Knox United Church in Kenora and he is buried in lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

Thomas Stoddard Agar FitzGerald 1873 - 1966

Thomas Stoddard Agar FitzGerald, or simply Agar FitzGerald as he was known in Rat Portage was born 4 Mar 1873.

On 7 Feb 1912 he married Sylvia Lucille Wiggle in Essex County, Ontario. They had at three two children

Gerald Fitzgerald b. 24 Apr. 1917 Kenora
Alice Agar Fitzgerald
Living FitzGerald Kenora, Ontario

He delivered parcels for William Baker.

He died 7 May 1966.

Charles Flett

Charles Flett b. Oct 1850 married his wife Mary b. abt 1857 and had the following children

Charles Flett b. abt 1873
Jane Flett b. abt 1875
Andrew Flett b. abt 1876
Mary Ann Flett b. abt 1878.
Alexander Flett b. abt
Hector Flett b. Sep 1887
Charles Flett b. abt 1890
Milander Flett b. Jun. 1901

He is listed as a fisherman in Rat Portage in 1901.

Jack "J.R." Fraser

Jack "J.R." Fraser is beleived to be James but I have had difficulty figuring out which James. Fraser played five games for Thistles during the 1903-04 season, four as a rover and one replacing Billy McGimsie at center, scoring one goal. Fraser later played for the Thistles' interleague rival Brandon Wheat Kings, potting 10 goals in the 1906-07 season and squaring off against his former club in a two game Stanley Cup playoff. The following year Fraser played for another rival, the Portage La Prairie Plains, scoring 8 goals in 9 games before moving back east to play for various clubs, including the Nipissing Mines, Waterloo Colts, and the legendary dream team, the Renfrew Millionaires. Fraser may have died in 1942.

I would appreciate any additional information any one can provide me with this individual.

Thaddeus Anthony "T.A." Gadbois 1858-1915

Thaddeus Anthony "T.A." Gadbois was born in November 1858, New York and baptized in Williamstown, Ontario Dec 6 1858. He was the First Postmaster in Rat Portage in 1882 and held the position until 1886. He served as a town counsellor in 1884-85. In 1886 he was Reeve of the Township of Rat Portage. His family is listed in a 1900 census as having arrived in the United States in 1885.

He married Marguerite Andrews Fishleigh in 16 Nov 1880. They had at least six children

Thad J. Gadbois Jan 1883 in Canada
Marie Gadbois Jun 1884 in Canada
Gustavus Clarence Gadbois13 Aug 1886 in Illinois
Minota Gadbois Nov 1887 in Illinois
Harold Bowie Gadbois May 1890 in Illinois

He died in 1915 in Hennepin, Minnesota, United States.

Frank Gardner 1848-1937

Frank Gardner, son of William Gardner, Glasgow, Scotland and Mary McKerrow, Edinburgh, Scotland, was born 31 Mar 1848 in Perth County, Ontario. He moved to Winnipeg in 1875 after spending five years at a lumber camp in Black Rivers, Quebec. He next moved to Fort Frances where a canal was being build to overcome the falls of Rainy River.

On Oct 17 1876 Frank moved as a merchant trapper and trader of furs to Keewatin arriving before the CPR. In a quote originally taken from "Keewatin Reflections" Frank indicated:

My First appearance on the Lake of the Woods was in September 1875. At that time there were no settlers on any part of the lake. The Upper portion of Rainy River on the Canadian side, from the Big Forks to Fort Frances was sparsely settled. the first men to settle there coming in about 1873 or 1874. In October 1876, I settled at Keewatin , on the North shore of the Lake of the Woods. At that time I was the only inhabitant. I did a little trading in furs. Work on the Canadian Pacific Railway in that neighbourhood started the following spring, and the village of Keewatin had its beginning that same summer, Rat Portage now Kenora, began about 1879 or 1880

In Keewatin he built his first house known as the Matchet Point Log House. This was the first business where he established a trade with the Indians. He also boarded the first crew working on the Mill in the Winter. The members of the firm were John, Frank and William Gardner. The business was started in Keewatin in 1876 and subsequent moved to Rat Portage in 1879. He stated that only one other person Dr. Hanson started in Kenora with a cabin on the site now occupied by the Kenrica Hotel.

The business called John Gardner & Co and included Wholesale and Retail Dry Goods, Clothing, Boots and Shoes, and Groceries,on Main Street subsequently known as the Doner Building. Four years latter, in 1883 he sold out to Angus Carmichael and went into freighting and touring logs from Rainy River to Kenora.

Mr. Frank Gardner was the builder of the large passenger and towing steamboat, the "Algoma", which is now owned by Mr. John Gardner, the senior member of the above firm. ( "Prominent Business Houses of Rat Portage" in The New West, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1888). In 1889 he bought the business back from Carmichael and amalgamated into the firm Gardner, Rice, McLeod.

Frank Gardner served on the town council in 1883 and 1906 with William Baker as Reeve. He also served on the Board of Trade. He started the first education in Kenora and worked hard collecting fees to help the school.

In 1890 and 1895 he was president of the Citizen Electric Light and Telephone Company. He put in the water work system.

He was active in the Curling Club 1889, Rowing Club 1890 and in 1894 he commencing 1894 he became issuer of liquor licenses.

Frank Gardner married his wife Sadie McDonell b. 1876 and had 4 daughters and two sons

Mary Gardner b. May 1903
Margaret Gardner b.15 Nov 1904 d. 1930
John Gardner b. 05 Sep 1906 died in infancy
Frank Gardner b. 05 Nov 1909 d. May 1913
Catherine Gardner b. 05 Nov 1909
Bernadette Jeannette Gardner b. 27 Feb 1912

Sadie died July 1914.

Frank died in St Joseph Hospital 31 Jan 1937 at the age of 89 years.

Sources: Fraser, Alexander (1907) A History of Ontario, Vol. II, Montreal: The Canada History Co, Page 808

William Robert Housten Gerrie 1855- 1927

William Robert Housten Gerrie, son of William Gerrie and Marguerite Housten was born November 2 1855 in Eastern Ontario. He married Christena Drysdale b. 30 Jun. 1858 in Rat Portage, in 1891.

He came to Rat Portage in 1884. He was involved in construction business and was also the Town building inspector. He was an active member of Board of Trade.

He was also active in Knox United for 15 years as choir leader and secretary treasurer of the Church Sunday School. He was a member of the town council in 1887-88 and in 1895. He died February 12 1927 as a result of shock and excitement brought about by fire which broke out in his residence the same morning

William Greenwood 1852-

William Greenwood was born at Salford, near Bristol England on March 16 1852. He resided in London Nephroma 1915 until his death in 1925.land for some time before emigrating to Canada in 1892. In Canada he took up a homestead at Whitemouth for two years before moving to Rat Portage.

The 1901 census gives his occupation as constable. Later he went into the Dairy business. In 1922 he sold his farm to the Kenora Golf club.

In 1904 he was elected as a Alderman for the West Ward

He served as President of the Kenora Agricultural Society from 1915 to his death in 1925.

He married Eleanor Ann Shattell and had at least 15 children of whom 10 survived him:

William Greenwood born Jun 14 1878
Alfred L. Greenwood January 16 1880
Arthur Greenwood Oct 16 1881

Eleanor (or Eleinoy) born March 3 1883
Annie Greenwood born Apr 16 1885
Jessie Greenwood born December 26 1886
Gertrude Greenwood born Sep 29 1888 died 1904
Harold Greenwood born Feb 9 1890
Ralph Greenwood born Dec 22 1891
Elisabeth Greenwood born Jul 13 1893
Henry Greenwood born Jul 13 1893
Edith Greenwood born Apr 16 1895
Frank Greenwood born Jun 13 1897
Grace Greenwood born Jun 13 1897 died before 1901
Jack Greenwood born 1898 died 1898

John Robert Gunne 1870-1935

Dr. John Robert Gunne, son of Robert Gunne (1822-1900) and brother of William James Gunne was born 20 February 1870. He went to Dauphin in 1893, where his father was a Dominion Land Agent. For the next few years he was the only doctor in the community and answered calls from as far away as 50 miles. In 1903 he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature representing the Dauphin constituency. In 1905 he moved to Kenora and went into a medical partnership with his brother, J. W. F. Gunne. Later deciding to specialize, he made two trips to Europe, in 1905 and 1910, where he took postgraduate work in London and Vienna. On his return, he practiced medicine at Winnipeg with A. W. Moody, later returning to Dauphin where he organized a medical clinic, working there until his death. He was married twice, first on 8 April 1903 to Christina Malcolm (?-1922) and later to Maizie Parker in 1928. He died at Dauphin, Manitoba on 5 June 1935 and was buried there. (Source Manitoba Historical Society)

Dr. William James Gunne 1859 - 1950

Dr William James Gunne, son of Robert Gunne (1822-1900) and brother of Dr. Robert Gunne, was born in Florence, Ontario, 19 Dec 1859. He came to Rat Portage in 1884 and worked as a clerk and accountant in the store of the late Angus Carmichael.

He graduated from Trinity College and first practiced medicine at Cockberry, Manitoba. There he met and married Alzina Evelyn Livingstone, daughter of William Gay Livingstone of Glenboro. They married in 1888 and had three children
Dr. Livingstone Gilbert Gunne b. 11 Jan 1890 in Glenboro
Dorothy Gunne b.29 Jan 1893 m. Mr Green
Kathleen Gunne b. 31 Oct 1900 m. Mr Lewis

They moved to Rat portage where Dr Gunne worked with Dr. Scovil as CPR Doctors.

Doctor Gunne was chairperson of the First Old Age Pensions Board for Kenora District. He served on the local CNIB Board, Director of the General Hospital Board, Health Board and Board of Trade. He was honourary president of the Kenora Rowing Club and involved with District Football League and Tennis Club.

He instructed classes for the CPR and the local high school. He passed away 16 August 1950.

Dr Thomas Hanson 1846-1913

Marcel Dubroy in A History of the General Practitioner 1879-1957 indicates that Dr. Thomas Hanson was the first Doctor to practice in Rat Portage. Dr. Hanson, son of Dr. Henry Hanson and Catherine "Jane" Moore was born 10 Sep 1846 in London, Ontario and attended the local med school. He worked in the Harper Hospital in Detroit and then served in the Union Army in the American Civil war as a surgeon from 1861 to 1865. After the war he returned to Selkirk, Manitoba and then Winnipeg where he was hired by CPR.

He was sent to Cross Lake where he was stationed until, at age 33, he and his family traveled to Rat Portage. He arrived in Rat Portage on September 30 1879. During the construction of the CPR (1879-1884) he was CPR Doctor in the construction camps from Rat Portage to Hawk Lake. He had the first Drug store in Rat Portage. He sold it to W.D. Coate.

He delivered the first white baby born in Kenora.

He served the Department of Indian Affairs as Medical Officer in the District from 1886 to 1913. During the summer months he traveled to the Reserves by huge canoes, paddled by hired natives. In the winter he traveled by dog sled.

Doctor Hanson moved into Rat Portage and located around the present Kenrica Hotel site and subsequently built a home for himself at 709 Second Street South. There no hospitals at the time and operations were carried out on the Hanson dining table. Hanson himself would quarantine himself with patience with smallpox and diphtheria in a building on the south side of Ninth Street North for months.

Marcel Dubroy reports that Dr Hanson was a big man, six foot, 200 pounds

Thomas Hanson married Carline F (Pruden) Larson b. 22 Jan. 1852, daughter of Peter Pruden and Susette Josephte Gothiver Jolicoeur. He had 7 children and two step daughters,

By Father Ryor Larson:

Mary Rosaline Larson 1870
Blanche Larson 1873 m. Max Kirkpatrick 26 May 1898

Rhoda Jane Hanson b. 18 Feb 1877 Manitoba, m. Richard Wilmot Gardner 02 Apr 1902, Rat Portage
Thomas Henry Hanson b. 13 Mar 1879 Manitoba
Christina Hanson b. 15 Jan 1881 Rat Portage, m. John Warren 25 Jan 1905 Rat Portage
Helen Gertrude Hanson (Nellie)b. 17 Nov 1884 Rat Portage m. Kenneth Raymond Weeks, Rat Portage
Irene Hanson b. 4 Oct 1885
Sybil H. Hanson b. 13 Dec 1892 Rat Portage, M. Louis Leo Cromwell, Rat Portage
Jack Orville Pruden Hanson b. 22 Jun 1894, Rat Portage

Dr. Hanson died September 13 1913.

References: Early Settlers of Rat Portage, Page 386-387, Through the Kenora Gateway, Page 124-6 , Dubroy, Marcel A History of the General Practitioner 1879 - 1957

Maxwell Kirkpatrict Heap 1870-1941

Maxwell Kirkpatrick Heap, son of James Heap and Jean Heap was born May 3 1870 at Lindsay Ontario. He married Blanche Larson, the step daughter of Dr. Thomas Hanson and Carline F (Pruden) Larson May 26 1898.

He came to Rat Portage in 1895 as a bookkeeper for Lake of the Woods Fishing Company operated by his uncle F. Colcleugh of Selkirk Manitoba. He became associated with W.G. Cameron in 1895 and with Cameron and Heap Wholesale Groceries in 1897 or 1898 located on north side of 2nd St. S. Branches were subsequently established at Regina , Prince Albert, Dauphin, Fort William, and Nipigon. They sold the business in August 1929 to Western Grocers. After the sale of the business he moved to Vancouver where he died in February 11 1949.

William Eddie Heath 1890-1957

William Eddie Heath was born in Portland Ontario on October 28 1890.

He married Marie Martha Giquere in Keewatin May 18 1916. They had one daughter Phillis.

He was Captain of the Kenora Volunteer Fire Department under Chief Baxter. In 1917-1918 he was assistant chief under Fire Chief Fred Dubois.

He was employed by R.W. Ferrier who owned a grocery store.

He formed a partnership with Mr. R. Neale to operate Neale and Heath Grocery. He bought out Mr Neale in 1932 and operated the Heath's Grocery

He was president of the \curling Club (1921-22).

He was a member of the I.O.O.F lodge.

He died October 27 1957.

Louis Hilliard 1851-1914

Louis Hilliard was born 21 Sep 1851. He immigrated to Canada from Norway in 1870 according to the 1901 Canadian census. emigrated He married Annie X (b. 7 Nov 1863)

They had at least 3 children:

Charles E. Hilliard b. 20 Aug 1882
Laura B. Hilliard b. 6 Jul 1894
Harold A. Hilliard b. 26 Nov 1889

Rat Portage Miner and News - September 6, 1904

Excerpted from a letter written to the editor by a visitor to Mr. Hillard's farm which was located in Jaffray, about 2 miles from downtown Rat Portage (now Kenora).

Mr. Hilliard has 180 acres, 70 of which are under cultivation, and he claims 40 acres more of swamp land which is already drained and will be cleaned up this fall. Some of it that I saw was from one foot to eighteen inches of beautiful black mould, with clay subsoil.

His crop this year consists of 48 tons of hay, 9 acres of wheat, several acres of barley, and a quantity of vegetables of all kinds. He has 250 hogs and some turkeys and chickens, and he tells me that in 1903 he sold 37,000 pounds of pork, and since he started clearing off his land he has taken over eight thousand cords of wood of it. Still, when you talk of farming in this district, the majority of our citizens look at you as if your mental health would be improved by a sojourn to Selkirk. I do not claim to be a practical farmer, but when I see what Mr. Hilliard's farm proves, I cannot help but call the attention of the business community to the possibilities of this section in an agricultural way. I have met a dozen men who question the fact of Mr. Hilliard making his farm pay, but that is no doubt owing largely to the want of knowledge of what he is doing, and confidence in our soil. Thirty-seven thousand pounds of pork at 7c, amount to $2,590. Wages for the pork alone would not be over $480. The hogs will pasture on clover for three months out of four, that is one month to harden them on grain. The life of a pig should be about four months, and they should weigh about 125 pounds, to make the best pork. Mr. Hilliard showed me one sow that has two litters this year - one of twelve and one of eight. That is, twenty from one, and Mr. Cameron tells me his company buys about five carloads of pork every year. The CPR, the eastern farmer, and the pork packer gets all, and we sit here and do not make and effort to get any settlers onto our lands.

Howard Fenwick Holmes 1878- 1917

Howard Fenwick Holmes son of Daniel Holmes and Charlotte Hoyt was born in 18 Apr 1857 at Petitcodiac, New Brunswick. He married his wife Maud Marion English in 5 Jun 1878 in Woodstock New Brunswick. At their marriage in 1878, HF was living in Victoria Co, New Brunswick while Maud was living in Woodstock, NB

They came to Rat Portage in 1882. He became a Town Counsellor in 1883 and 1884. He opened his hardware business on Main St. in 1890. He was a member of the First Electric Light and Telephone Company in 1890.

In 1894 he became agent for Hamilton Powder Company. This company was created in 1862 to buy the assets of the former Canada Powder Company, which had formed in 1852. Their major product was black powder, used for blasting. In 1878 the company was purchased by Dr. Thomas C. Brainerd, a U.S. businessman in the black powder industry. In order to provide the massive amounts of explosives needed to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, a new dynamite factory was opened in McMasterville, Quebec. Other black powder plants were acquired in Quebec and the Maritimes and, in 1890, the company opened the first explosives plant in the far west, near Nanaimo, British Columbia. In 1910 Hamilton Powder and Dominion Cartridge merged with the Acadia Powder Company, Ontario Powder Company, Standard Explosives Company, Western Explosives Company and Victoria Chemical Company to form the Canadian Explosives Company (CXL). During the 1920s they diversified into paint and varnish, coated fabrics and plastics, and in 1927 they changed their name to Canadian Industries Limited. Canadian Industries Limited, also known as C-I-L is a Canadian chemicals manufacturer. Products include paints, fertilizers and pesticides, and explosives. It was formed in 1910 by the merger of five Canadian explosives companies. It is currently a subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries.

He lives on Water Street, right behind the Museum. (McDonald's Directory of Rat Portage and the District of Rainy River, 1894.)

He sold his Rat Portage Hardware Co business, located on the west side of Main Street to C.E. Neads around 1897.

In 1901 he is a contractor. He apparently became estranged from Maud sometime after 1901, the last record of them living together, he had his left arm amputated and he may have suffered from alcoholism.

Maud died 25 April 1907 and is buried in Portage Vale Kings County, New Brunswick.

There is a record of him arriving in Buffalo, New York on 6 Nov 1913 but may not have been permitted entry. Another record has a Howard Fenwick dying in Jackson, Florida 20 April 1917.

Henry Edward Hook 1864- 1947

Henry (Harry) Edward Hook, son of John and Sarah Jane Morehouse. was born in Liverpool, Lancaster County, England, December 11, 1864. (His birth date according to 1901 census was Dec 11 1865 but Dec 11 1864 according to Baptism records on Jan 20 1865 he was born on 11 Dec 1864).

He was educated in public and private schools in Liverpool, England. He entered the cattle business for three years, then entered a retail meat store in Liverpool where he learned the retail business.

In 1882, at the age of 18, he left England for Winnipeg, Manitoba. Subsequent he moved further west to Brandon and later to Whitehood, where he took up land. In 1886, he returned to Winnipeg and then to the mountains to work in the snow blockades. He secured employment in a logging camp for a brief period before heading to the Kootenai country where he assisted in putting in the branch line between Arrow Lake and Nelson, BC. For a time he was in the survey department. Later he clerked for a brief period in Winnipeg

In 1892 he came to Rat Portage to assume the management of a store for Andrew Gibson. In 1897, he embarked in business on his own account in a shop in Norman, opening a butcher shop which he conducted for a year. He then received a proposition to become a partner in a store at Rat Portage, after which the partners conducted both business enterprises, one at Norman and the one at Rat Portage (Second Street South). In 1900, he bought out his partner's interest and carried on the business as Hook & Co., dealing in groceries and meats. He sold his business to A. Leo Murray

He was a director in the Western Ontario Fish Company and a stockholder of the Gallagher-Holman-LaFrance Company of Winnipeg, acting as manager of its plant in Kenora. He also held investments in mining property.

In 2 June, 1897, he married Harriet Eleanor McGinness (or McGennis), a daughter of John and Matilda McGinness of Stillwell, Dakota. He had three children:

Annie Irene Hook b. 19 Apr 1898, Rat Portage, m. V. Patrick

Douglas Edgar Hook b. 13 Sep 1899 Rat Portage

Keith Edward Hook b. 17 Jul 1905, Kenora

Ethel Marion Hook b. 25 Aug 1907 Kenora, m. Mr. McIntyre

Audrey Hook b Kenora m. J. Fraine

Prior to marrying he boarded at the Hilliard House and subsequent on marriage took up residence on 3rd St. N.

Mr. Hook was an active Liberal and became the first vice-president of the Liberal Association. He was a member of the Kenora Board of Trade, the Church of England and the Kenora Hockey Club.

References: Fraser, Alexander,A history of Ontario : its resources and development (1907) 1860-1936 Volume: 2, Toronto : Canada History Co. Call number: AMY-0015 Robarts - University of Toronto Pages 811-812; Hlynski et al. Early Settlers of Rat Portage Summer Project 1981-82 Volume 1 Page 63

Captain Frederick Thomas "F.T." Hooper 1851 - 1924

Captain Frederick Thomas Hooper, born 23 Nov 1851 in England, came west from Peterborough in 1873 to Fort Frances. He installed machines for the work on the construction of the Mackenzie Canal at Fort Frances. He returned east the same ear to finish his training as a machinist.

In 1876 he returned to Fort Frances and took out his Lake Captain papers and operated a streamer on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. He made his home at Rat Portage at this time. He handled transportation on the lake during the busy construction period of the CPR. In 1882 he was captain on D.L. Mather's boat.

He married Mary Sarah O'Sullivan, daughter of James O'Sullivan and Sarah Lewis. They had 8 children

Charles Thomas Hooper (Tom) b. 24 Nov 1883 (See Below)
May Kathleen Hooper (may) b. 14 Sept. 1885
John Hooper (jack) b. 03 Oct 1888
Isabella Helens Hooper (Isabel) b. 19 Dec 1890
Fredrick James Hooper (Jim) b. 28 Dec 1892
Sarah Margaret Hooper (Madge) b. 30 Mar 1894
William Hooper (Bill) b. 06 May 1899
Frances Hooper Aug 1901

Captain Hooper was a member of the Masonic Lodge.

Captain Hooper died in Kenora on 03 Jan 1924. His wife in 6 Jun 1935.

Charles Thomas Hooper (Tom) 1883 - 1960

Charles Thomas Hooper's oldest son of Captain Tom Hooper was born in Kenora on 24th Nov 1883. He played hockey as a lad and was a member of the Junior Thistle team that challenged the senior thistle team in January 1896 and soundly beat the senior team. In 1896 along with 13 year old Tommy Phillips joined the Senior League. By 1901 the team rose to the top of the Manitoba and Northwestern Hockey League. Playing with the Rat Portage Thistles in their first season a challenge was issued for the Stanley Club. In 1907 along with Roxy Beaudro, Tommy Phillips and Billy McGimsie, the Thistles won the Stanley Cup.

He died in Vancouver B.C. on 23rd Mar 1960.

James Jackson Horn 1873-1954

James Jackson "Big Jim" Horn, son of Alexander Horn and Janet Jackson was born Nov 26 1873 in Carleton Place, Ontario. His siblings included,

John Alexander Horn born October 13 1871 married Sadie McRitchie, died July 10 1931 buried in Lake of the Woods cemetery, Kenora
Minnie Maud Horn born March 31 1876, married Edwin Devlin, died Vancouver September.

He married Frances "Fanny" Mary Smith April 5 1899 in Portage La Prairie. They had two children,

John Melvine Horn born 1900 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, died 1975
Marion J. Horn born 1910 died 1990

He joined the CPR as an operator in Collander Ontario. He was an agent at Shoal Lake in 1901, and dispatcher at Fort Frances from 1901 -1905. In 1906 he became Chief Dispatcher at Kenora. In 1909 he was appointed Train Master. In 1910 he was transferred to Winnipeg as Acting Inspector of Transportation. In 1911 he returned to Kenora as Chief Dispatcher. In 1912 he returned to Winnipeg as Inspector of Transportation. In 1913 he became chief Inspector in Kenora and Train master in Ignace in 1915. Between 1919 and 1929 he was supervisor in Kenora. In 1929 Mr Horn became Superintendent at Revelstoke, BC until he retired in 1938. He then moved to Vancouver

He was a charter member of the Rotary Club and became President in 1921-22. He was a member of the Pequonga Lodge No 414 A.F. & A.M. and Gold Hill Lodge No 261.

He enjoyed fishing an took an interest in filming motion pictures for his own use. He died in January 16 1954 in Vancouver BC.

References: Early Settlers of Rat Portage V. 1 Page 154

Algeron Sydney "A.S." Horswill 1862-1927

Algeron Sydney Horswill, the last Mayor of Kenora under the Name "Rat Portage"  before it changed its name to Kenora. He was born on February 1st 1862 in Leaminton Spa, Lancashire, England. He married Amy Vivian Partington, (born May 20th 1867 in Manchester, Lancashire, England) in Marriage: 1885 in Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada in 1885.

They had a large family of which all but the last child were born in Rat Portage:

1.  Richard Sydney Horswill born Nov. 2, 1884 in Rat Portage, Kenora, died Jan 1886 in Rat Portage.

2. Algeron Thomas Horswill born Oct 26 1887 in Rat Portage; married Margaret Pearl McGregor, died Mar 18th, 1965 in Castlegar, BC

3. Alfred Stanley Horswill born Mar 12 1891 in Rat Portage, married Irene Evelyn Danforth, died July 3rd 1979 in Nelson, BC

4. Eva Violet Gersnell Horswill born April 20 1892 in Rat Portage, died January 19 1975 in Ladner, BC

5. Amy Vivian Horswill born October 14th 1894 in Rat Portage; married Robert Morrow March 2nd 1915 in BC; died June 12 1920 in Nelson, BC

6. Mary Louise Horswill born Feb 6th 1897 in Rat Portage; died October 15 1964 in Vancouver, BC

7. Leslie Wyatt Horswill born January 27 1899 in Rat Portage; died Feb 1900 in Rat Portage

8. Edward Allan Cecil Horswill born February 18 1902 in Rat Portage; died July 22nd 1965 in Vancouver, BC

9. Hugh Vernon Horswill born December 29th 1905 in Rat Portage; died December 24 Dec 1994 in Trail, BC

10. John "Jack" Partington Horswill born June 17th 1910 in Nelson, BC married Margaret Anne Hipperson

The name Hudson's Bay Company adopted for their post located on Old Fort Island on the Winnipeg River was Rat Portage,  a rough translation of the Ojibwa name Waszush Onigum. This name was adopted by the community that grew up around it. The first suggestion of a name change came in a public meeting in 1892 followed by a local poll held by the local newspaper where 103 voted to retain it while possible alternatives, including Sultana, Norman, Sabaskong, Island City, Island Park, Pequonga, and Lakeside garnered a total of 173 votes. Strong feelings were expressed and the idea was dropped.

In 1902, the issue was raised with Imperial, Portage Falls, Goldwater, and Kenora presented for public approval.

In 1904 the Town Council gave the first reading of a bylaw to change the name at an October Council  meeting and a week later, the name Kenora was chosen. The name was derived by combining the first two letters of Keewatin, Norman, and Rat Portage. Credited with inventing the name was given to Mrs Matt Brown and Miss Hall. When the decision of the meeting was reported to the town, there was an instant uproar. A petition against the change was circulated in the town and sent to the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council in Toronto, whose approval was required to make the name change official.

The issue in the municipal election held on January 2, 1905.  In that election, Mayor Algernon S. Horswill was re-elected, as were three of the 1904 Councillors. Added to the slate were C.C. Delbridge, who was opposed to the name change, and William Robertson and W.W. Scott, whose position on the name issue seems to have been pro-change. The Lieutenant-Governor required a resolution from the new Council confirming the former's Council's resolution regarding the name change. A special Council meeting was held  and the confirming resolution was passed. At a April 10, 1905, town meeting held in the fire hall, once again, indignation was expressed with the name change. When Mayor Horswill was asked to explain the actions of the previous Council in passing the name by-law, he explained quite calmly that they had been within their rights to do so, since they were the elected representatives of the people.

Less than a month later, without the voter's input, Kenora was officially declared the new name of the Town, by ratification of the Lieutenant-Governor.  A large crowd assembled for another town meeting on May 25th gathered to express indignation . The Mayor was allowed to defend the actions of himself and the Council and he did so. When he was finished, there was applause and the name "Kenora" remained.

In 1908 A.S. Horswill moved to set up another business in Nelson BC. There he was once again elected a Town Counsellor.  He died on May 25 1927 in Spokane, Washington, USA. His wife died on Jul 7th 1944 in Nelson, BC

Source for Name Change:

Rat Portage Becomes Kenora, Lake of The Woods Museum Newsletter, Vol. 15 No.1, by Lori Nelson,

Jacob Hose 1853-1907

Jacob Hose was born in Wisconsin, US in 1853. He married Adelaide Emily Lucas at Kenora in 20 Jan 1888.

Hose Hardware Building as it appears in 2012

He arrived in rat Portage in 1881 and started his hardware business known as the Tin Shop in a log Cabin. In 1883 he erected the store occupied by R.J. Husband. In 1898 he build the large brick building (corner of Main St. South and Second St. South).

In a few years with deteriorating health and increasing business he took Mr Canniff into the partnership of Hose and Canniff.

In 1890 he erected the first amusement hall on the southwest side of Main St. known as Music Hall,

If ever Rat Portage erects a statue to the memory of the man who fostered and fed amateur dramatic art, that emblem in reticent store must represent Mr. Hose. Talk about about kindness and good nature! Any local troupe could use the Music Hall every night for months free of charge, and Mr. Hose would supply the fuel and light. He did this not only for the dramatic club, but for the minstrels, and in fact for everybody in town who wanted to get up an entertainment. Indeed it is not going to far to sa that there was a period in our early history when we thought the music hall belonged to the people. (Oct 4 1901)

Hose owned the point of land known as Kendall Point. He and his wife had no children. Eventually 4 of his sister Mary Kendall and her husband William's 5 children inherited the land.

On October 3 1906 Louis Hilliard agreed on the sale of the lot of land where the Hilliard House had burned down to Clayton Delbridge for $11,000 and on November 26th the same year Delbridge sold the lot o Jacob Hose and Joseph Johnson for $23,000. (Georgina Johnston page 269)

Mr Hose died suddenly July 11 1907. Mrs Hose moved in with her sister Mary Frances (Lucas ) Kendall. She died 21 years latter on 11 Feb 1928.

John Wesley Humble 1851- 1939

John Wesley Humble (J.W, Humble) was born in London Ontario on 22 Sep 1851. His father Thomas Humble was one of the pioneer farmers in Middlesex County, Ontario and J.W. Humble was brought up and worked on the farm until the age of 20. In 1871 he took up employment with J.S. Watson of Township of Brudenell, Renfrew County. He learned telegraphy and became a a store clerk and telegraph operator. He was a graduate of Oxford University, England where he learned bookkeeping. He remained in Mr Watson's employment until December 1878.

In March 1879 he arrived in Winnipeg. In April 1879 he was engaged by the contractors of section B of the CPR which extended from Rat Portage to Eagle River. He worked until the construction was finished and then entered the employment of Frank Gardner of Rat Portage. In 1883 he was a clerk in McKinnon Brothers. General store with Angus Carmichael.

In 1885 he went into business for himself and took over the wine and spirt business of the Gare Estate on the corner of main Street and First Street South until 1899 when he sold it to E.R. Welsman.

The 1888 publication "The New West", Winnipeg, Manitoba, gives the following description of J.W. HUMBLE's business of " Wholesale and Retail Wines, Liquors and Cigars, Main Street, Rat Portage"

Prominent among the honorable and substantial business houses of this city is that of Mr. J.W. Humble, dealer in wines and liquors, who has been established in business here since 1885, during which time he has built up a large and lucrative trade, which extends to all parts of the surrounding country. The premises occupied are fitted up in a neat and attractive style, and a large and complete stock of imported and domestic wines, brandies, whiskies and cigars is carried. In addition to a prosperous local patronage, the house enjoys an extensive outside trade. Mr. Humble's honorable business principles have won the esteem of the trade, and he is popularly considered a leading merchant in his line.

He married Martha Malissia Ross, daughter of William Ross and Margaret Carswell on 25 Dec 1889 and had three children:

Florence Margaret Humble b. 11 Dec 1890 at Rat Portage, Ontario
George E. Humble, b. 1892, died 15 Jan 1897
William Garnet Humble b. 18 Mar 1894 at Rat Portage, Ontario

Mr Humble was very active in the community of Rat Portage. He was a member of the Rowing Club member and Board of Trade in 1890. In 1895 he was a member of the Hospital Finance Committee. He was a member of the Finance Committee and on the Board of Directors of Western Algoma Brick Company in 1896. He was President of the Library Board, and on the local board of Health, Chairman of First Board of Jubilee Hospital in 1897.

Between 1893 and 1896 he erected three blocks on or near Main St.

In 1902, he was appointed Sheriff for the District of Rainy River which lasted until he retired in 1931. He died in Kenora in 1939.

Fredrick Dufferin Jackson 1874- 1944

Fredrick Dufferin Jackson, eighth child of Robert Jackson and Jane Riggin was born in Perth County near Strathford in 15 Aug 1874. He came to Rat Portage around 1898 and opened a bakery business with brother William at the foot of Matheson Street.

He married Edith Lye on 12 Sep 1900 at Stratford, Ontario. They had

Edna Irene Jackson b. 26 May 1901 at Rat Portage d. 13 Feb 1902 at Rat Portage

Alma Edith Jackson b. 21 May 1902 at Rat Portage, m. David Francis 14 Aug 1928 d. 19 Jun 1981 lived in Medicine Hat

Frederick Herbert Jackson b. 25 Jul 1903 in Rat Portage m. Letta Violet Ray 10 Jun 1931 d. 15 Dec 1990

Robert Edward Jackson b. 25 Apr 1905 in Perth County m. Nattie Fisher d. 06 Mar 1956

Gladys Marion Jackson b. 03 Sep 1906 at Stratford, Perth, Ontario m. Mr Douglas

Charles Gordon Jackson b. 05 May 1908 at Stratford, Perth, Ontario d. 15 Sep 1963

Harold Walter Jackson b.23 Jun 1915 m. Annie Jane Duncan d. 01 Feb 1988

In 1904 the Bakery moved to 129 Main St. subsequently owned by the Campbell Brothers.

Three children were born in Stratford between 25 April 1905 and 5 May 1908 and the last in Winnipeg on 23 June 1915. His obituary indicates he moved further west to Winnipeg in 1918. In Winnipeg he was a member of the IOOF. He returned to Keewatin in 1924 where he farmed outside Keewatin. He died 21 September 1944.

Charles Wilbur Jackson1979-1936

Charles Jackson, tenth child of Robert and Jane Riggin was born 15 Sep 1879 near Strath ford, Perth County Ontario. He was the third of the Jackson brothers to join the Bakery Business in Rat Portage in 1901. The business subsequently moved to Main Street in 1904.

He was a member of the Pequona Lodge, the Kenora Board of Trade, Gold Hill Lodge, I.O.O.F. charter member of the Kenora Rotary Club and an ardent member of the Kenora Gulf Club.

He resided above the Main Street store with his first wife Anna (Matheson) and their four children - Roberta Jean ( b Sep 26, 1907), Patricia Evelyn ( b Mar 17, 1909), Edgar Charles ( b Aug 3, 1912) and George Matheson (b Feb 7, 1915) . Anna died during childbirth on Feb 7, 1915. In 1909, Charlie purchased two lots (11 & 12 King St) on Coney Island and built a cottage in 1911 that became a focal point for the family's gatherings.

Charlie married Christina Gladys Craig of Keewatin, ON, on Feb 27, 1918. They had two children, Marjorie and Douglas (twins) on April 26, 1921. They purchased a house on First Street North in 1921 where they lived until moving to 506 First St South in 1925. He passed away on May 16, 1936, leaving sons Edgar and George to run the family business until 1968 when the business was sold to two employees, bakers Robert Giles and Oswald Clark. Up untill the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Flour mill burned down in 1967 they had had the exclusive right to sell white and brown bread in the Kenora area. They had the commercial accounts as well and delivered bread to the various commercial establishments in the area.

Their nephew Randy Jackson, subsequently opened up a bakery shop in 1984 Sunset Country Donuts and sold it in 1997. He subsequently became the Manager of the Roy Thompson and Massey Concert Hall in Toronto for 8 years from August 2000 before retiring. He was a talent musician and President of the Lake of the Woods Historical Society. He contributed substantial information with respect to the Jackson family who came to Kenora.

William "John" Jackson 1872 - 1924

William John Jackson, the seventh child of Robert Jackson and Jane Riggin was born on Maple Willow Farm in Strathford, South Easthope Township, Perth County, Ontario in 23 Mar 1872.

He married Annie Mary Cardwell (born 12 Jan 1877) on 28 Feb 1900 and had the following children:

Ruby Isabella Jackson b. 26 Feb 1901 m. Richard Hingston Elliott 21 July 1925 in Kenora

Florence May Jackson b. 20 May 1902, Rat Portage d. June 1929 Teacher at East Windsor

Thomas E Jackson b. 19 February 1904 Rat Portage d. May 1965

Ida Kathleen Jackson b. 19 Feb 1904 (Twin to Thomas) Rat Portage m. Roscoe H. Brown 23 Sep 1960 d. 24 Jan 1964 in Detroit

William J Jackson b. 3 Aug 1906 Stratford, m. Edith d. 1984 Kenora

He came to Rat Portage in 1898 and opened a bakery business with brother William at the foot of Matheson Street. In 1904 they moved to 129 Main St. in property subsequently owned by the Campbell Brother. He passed away July 30 1924.

James Lowry Johnson 1871-1961

James Lowry Johnson son of James Johnson and Anne Sanderson was born January 31 1871 in Omemee (Near Peterborough) Ontario.

In 1891 at age 20 he came to Kenora to establish Johnson Pharmacy with his older brother Joseph.

He married Margaret May Phillips September 6 1906.

They had four children:

James Lowry Johnson born July 15 1907. He married Margaret MacDonald, They had 4 sons David, Doug, Ian and Jimmy.

Margaret Evelyn Johnson born April 2 1910. She married Les Ingo. They had three children, Ken, Brian, and Marilyn.

Lawrence Phillip Johnson was born about He married Eleanor Ducasse “Julianna” Toole, They had 8 children, Terry, Larry, Paul, Eleanor, Mary Pat, Billy, Elizabeth and Kevin

Mercelline Johnson was born about 1914. She married Art Piggott. They had a child Jimmy.

He was president of Kenora Rotary Club 1949-1950.

Lowry Johnson died in Kenora in 1961 at age 90.

William Glenfield Kendall 1853-1931

William Kendall, son of John and May Kendall was born in Battlesbridge, Essex, England on September 23 1853. He was employed as a CPR railway engineer.

He married Mary Frances Lucas, daughter of Francis Lucas and Hannah Frances Duffett on August 31 1888 in Rat Portage. They had five children,

Ivan Lucas Kendall born May 9 1890
Marvin Kendall born Jun 10 1891
Jennie Kendall born Sep 4 1892
S. Bessie Kendall born Dec 7 1893
Reuben Duffett Kendal born Aug 28 1895

In 1888 he bought 3 lots from Elizabeth Smith on Second Street South and in 1895 built a brick house on the north east corner of Second Street South and Fifth Avenue S. The family lived in the house until the last of their children died in 1983. In the mid 1950s the eastern portion of the property was sold to the First Baptist Church.

In 1987, Curtis and Barbara Sprague purchased the property and in the 1990s renovated the property and in 1997 opened it as the Kendall House Bed and Breakfast.

His wife predeceased him on July 20 1920. He died October 29 1931

Emma Kems

Emma Kems, daughter of Henry Kerns and Augusta Schultz was born July 5 1853 in Hamburg Germany. Her parents died when she was quite young and she moved to Manchester England. There she worked as a private secretary to a tea merchant.

She emigrated to United States sometime before 1875 and in 1882 she married Herman Ebers in Galvastone Texas. Herman Ebers had earlier emigrated from Hambery Germany himself in 1868 at the age of 16 years. It is not known whether she had known him in Hamburg or only made his acquaintance in the United States. He was a school teacher and Minister. He was also a founding father at Industry Texas. Herman died in 1880 leaving her three children:

Alice Lulu Ebers born 14 Jan 1876 in Galveston, Texas, USA. She married John George Baker in Kenora

Florence Ebers born February 9 1877

Thomas Ebers born February 9 1877 died very Young

Hermann Aphonse Ebers born March 18 1880

She died in Kenora on September 17 1940.in 1880

Reference "The Life of Emma Kems" in Common Ground: Stories of Lake of the Woods 2010

James Arthur Kinney 1877 1947

James Arthur Kinney, son of James Kinney and Malina Johnson was born at Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island, Ontario on 4 June 1878.

Following studies at Osgood Hall he moved to Kenora between 1905 and 1907 and established his practice of Law. He was legal advisor to the Diocese of Keewatin and subsequently appointed Chancellor of the Diocese a position he held until his death even after moving to Gore Bay.

In 19 Jul 1911 he married Anne Clifton in Hallowell, Prince Edward, Ontario. They had 4 daughters:

Billie Kinney
Margaret Kinney
Doris Kinney
Mirium Kinney

After several years he assumed duties as Magistrate a position he held for over 20 years.

James Kinney was President of the Kenora Board of Trade,

He was president of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1934-1935. He was president of the Masonic Lodge of Kenora and a member of the Legion, Kenora Branch

He moved to Gore Bay in 1944. He received his King's Councillor in February and was appointed Crown Attorney. and Clerk of Peace for Manitou Island. Chairman of the Advance Appeal for the District of Manitoulin

James A Kinney died February 18 1947 in Gore Bay.

Gustavus Adolphus Kobold 1862-

Gustavus Adolphus Kobold or better known as G.A. Kobold or familiarly as Chris or "Cris". Born in Ontario in 14 October 1862, son of Leopold Kobold and Wilhelmina Vollrath, he moved to Rat Portage, Ontario around 1880. There he operated a butcher shop. On 11 October 1882, he married Helene W. Appleby of Cobourg, Ontario.

She died sometime before November 1900, when Kobold sold his shop and moved to Winnipeg where he became associated with his father's butchery. On 14 October 1901, he married again, to Emma Rachel Johnstone of Winnipeg.

In Rat Portage, he purchased John Gardner's Butcher Shop next to the Hilliard House in 1880 and operated the business as Kobold & Bro. The business expanded and prospered until November 1900 when he moved to Winnipeg where he took charge of father's business. A man named Squire purchased the building for a meat market. The Building was later occupied by Ham Wong's Restaurant and subsequently again as Cecil Cafe

G.A. Kobold was one of founding members of Gold Hill Lodge no 261 in November 1887. He was a keen duck hunter, a member of hockey club and president of Senior Thistle Hockey Club in 1894. He was the Manager of Lacrosse Club around 1897 and an avid member of the Kenora Rowing Club. He was a member of the first Electric Light and Telephone company in 1890, and President of the Old Timers' Association in 1900

On 12 December 1904, he and his brother Victor C. Kobold built the Dominion Theatre in Winnipeg, and operated it until March 1909 when they leased out the business.

In May 1906 he was on the founding Board of Directors for the Happyland Park Company, along with Frank H. Pippen, J. H. Anderson, R. M. McLeod, William Blackwood, W. O. Edmounds, and D. E. Sprague. The firm operated an amusement park in Winnipeg for several years.

In 1910 he opened a real estate business in an office at the corner of Portage and Main, buying and selling city and farm land. In November 1910 he helped to found the first Rotary Club in Winnipeg, and served as its first president.

In September 1912, he and his wife moved to Los Angeles, California, intending to spend winters there and summers at their cottage on Lake of the Woods.

Dr Albert A Laidlaw (Partner of Dr Edmison)

Henry Langford 1867 - 1901

Henry Langford, son of Alexander Langford and Permelia Rowena Rich was born April 4th 1867 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. His Father Rev. Dr Alexander Langford moved his family around a number of towns where young Henry attended various schools. In 1887 he graduated from Victoria University with a BA and began his studies in law at the offices of Messrs. Fraser and Fraser London and Hartley Dewart Toronto. He was admitted to the Bar in 1891.

He came to Rat Portage in 1891 and entered a Partnership with James Robinson until Robinson was elevated to the Bench. He then took in Mr Cooper. In 1894 he was appointed Crown Attorney. In 1897 he entered a partnership with W. J. Moran in a law firm styled, Langford and Moran.

In 1895 he married Jeanne Davidson on December 26 1895 in Coburg, Ontario. They had one child Mary Elizabeth Langford born Apr 12 1897 in Rat Portage

He was choir leader of the Zion Church choir. He was a member of the Lake of the Woods Lodge A.F. & A.M and the Gold Hill Lodge I.O.O.F. He served on the Royal Jubilee Hospital Board. He was a member of the Curling and Rowing Clubs

Henry Langford died on April 13 1901 following a bout of pneumonia.

Robert Georgeson Laurenson 1845 - 1906

Robert Laurenson, was born at Laxfirth, Nestling, Scotland 24 May 1845 and came to Canada in 1864. He married Elizabeth Parrott (Perrault) and had three children:

Catherine Laurenson b. 28 Feb 1875 northwest Angle, m. David Bowhey Valentine 17 Jan 1903 in Rat Portage, d. 6 Nov 1909 Kenora.

Elizabeth Laurenson b. 1877, d. 15 Aug 1892 Rat Portage

Agnes Laurenson b. 1887

Catherine married David Bowley Valentine in Jan 17 1903. She had three children before the marriage

William Laurenson b. 02 Sep 1893 He took on the name of his step father after he married his mother and died of an illness Aug 27 1917 which he caught as a World War 1 soldier in France. He was ship back to Canada and died in Hamilton, Ontario www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=23482

Barbara Laurenson b. 10 Aug 1896 m. Arnold Skarra Thunder Bay Ontario 23 Aug 1923 d. 30 May 1961 Port Arthur buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

Robert Laurenson b. 02 Jun 1899

She gave birth to David Alvin Valentine on 2 Sep 1903. She died 6 Nov 1909. Her husband David Bowhey Valentine subsequent married Mary Ann Begg daughter of John Begg and Juliet Sturgeon. He went on to become Chief of Police in Transcona Manitoba

Robert Laurenson signed a contract with Hudson bay on 9 Feb 1864. He was in charge at the Hudson Bay Post in North West Angle 1874 to 1875 and for a short time in the summer he was in charge of the Post at Rat Portage. He was in charge of the Post in Rat Portage from 1875 to 1878.

He died 04 April 1906. He left his name on Laurenson Lake and Laurenson Lake, His obituary published in the local Kenora paper reported that he" died penniless in a little house up on the the Rideout Estate",

Mr Laurenson was well known in these parts as he was one of the first inhabitants of old Rat Portage and at one time trading in furs with the Indians. The town in view of the fact that he deceased had no near relatives, undertook the burial of the body which was interned in the lake of the woods Cemetery yesterday.

How very sad!.

Jack Lepine 1922

Jack Lepine was born in Quebec. He travelled out to British Columbia before the railway was built where he prospected and mined. He was one of the earliest settlers and prospectors on Lake of the Woods. He came to the Kenora area in the 1880s settling on an Island on the lake. He made a living trapping and hunting. He lived for a short time in the District jail there being no other place to accommodate him. He became ill and moved into the St Joseph's Hospital where he died in November 1922 (Nelson 1978)

James A. Link 1877

James A Link, son of James Link and Jane Turner was born February 27 1874 in Stormont Ontario. He arrived in Rat Portage in June 1887. He married Annie Johnson November 22 1899. They had three children William (Bill), James (Jim and Abbie.

He was employed by Rat Portage Lumber Company for 21 year. In 1908 he bought half in the Henderson Brothers and Fuel Business. They started out with 13 horses and up to date equipment. As an extra service they offered a delivery and pick-service of baggage to or from the service station. They bought the business of C.C. Delbridge Livery and Sales Stables and moved to Second Street in 1913. The business was known as Link's and Henderson.

In May of 1925 they provided the town with an ambulance that they made available any time day or night.

Following a fire in the business in 1928 Henderson sold his interest to Link

Link added an Ice Business by 1931. In 1933 he brought in a bus to run a route between Kenora and Keewatin and special trips throughout the District. In 1939 the business was incorporated and known as J.A.Links In 1939 he also added a new addition to accommodate more cars.

James Link served on the town council for nine years.

He was active sports enthusiast. He was an active member of the rowing club, winning many races between from 1894 and 1896 in Lake Minnetonka. He trained the Thistle Hockey team that challenged for the Stanley Cup in 1906 and the team that won it in 1907. In summer he was an avid horse racer.

He moved to British Columbia and was still living in 1953.

William Durie Lyon 1825 - 1893

William Durie Lyon , son of John Lyon and Mary McKechnie was born June 1825 in Blantyre, now a part of Glasgow, Scotland.

He immigrated to Canada settling in the Equesing Township in Ontario.

His wife was Mary McKechie Lyon and they had at least 7 children:

John Lyon b. 1855, Milton, Ontario

Margaret Lyon b. 1856, Milton, Ontario

Catherine Lyon b. Mar 1858 in Milton, Ontario. 30 Dec 1874 at Milton, Ontario

Mary Lyon 1861

William Lyon b. 1863, Milton, Ontario

Flora Rachel Lyon b. 29 Apr 1867 Milton, Ontario

Annie Elizabeth Lyon b. 19 Sep 1872 Milton, Ontario

He worked in a store in Streetville. He moved to Milton where he clerked in a store owned by Matthias Teetzel. In 1856 he was a member of a mercantile firm of White, Martin and Lyon in Milton.

In 1867 he established an extensive lumbering business at Michael's Bay on Manitoulin Island with John White and George Brockitt Abrey.

He served on the Town Council of Milton. He then served several terms and presided as Warden for two years.

He served as Liberal MPP for Halton Riding from November 2 1875 to April 25 1879.

He was appointed Stipend Magistrate for Rainey River in 1879. He settled initially in Fort Francis and then made his home in Rat Portage.

His wife refused to come to Rat Portage remaining in Milton. Only the younger son William ever came to Rat Portage. His other son John took his own life,

One of his concerns while in Rat Portage was the whisky peddling going on the lines during construction days.

Before incorporation the affairs of unincorporated areas were managed by Magistrates appointed by the Crown. Duties covered every facet of the town -hiring the constables, paying them ordering their supplies and supervising their duties. He bought land from the Hudson Bay Company for $150 per lot for a court house and jail on Matherson Street. He began sidewalk and street improvement. He assessed timber standards and set timber limits. He was in charge of business licenses. Her served the town until his death October 10 1893.

J.F MacGillivray 1870 -

John F. MacGillivray, son of Farquhar MacGillivray and Jane Mary MacFarlane, was born August 20 1870. His parents were both of Scottish ancestry. His father. Farquhar was born in Williamstown, Ontario. His wife was from Montreal. Farquhar was employed as a clerk at the House of Commons, according to his obituary, where he had a long career on the staff of the House of Commons, retiring in 1903 at the age of 70. They had 4 children

John MacGillivray b. 20 August 1870. Ottawa, Ontario
Archibald D.F. MacGillivray b. 09 Aug 1874 Ottawa d. 28 Mar 1885 Ottawa, Ontario
Edmund MacGillivray b. 01 Mar 1876 Ottawa, Ontario
James Alexander Farquhar Grant MacGillivray b. 10 May 1880 Ottawa, Ontario. d. 15 April 15, 1917, Vimy Ridge

In March 1885 brother Archibald died of Whopping cough and in June 1885, Mrs MacGillivray died of Consumption. They were buried in Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa. Grant was living at home with his father for both the 1891 and 1901 censuses, with no occupation listed, and he was still living there in February 1907, when his father died of pneumonia at the age of 74. Farquhar was buried in Beechwood Cemetery beside his wife and son.

John arrived in Rat Portage on December 31 1896 and his brothers followed after. Edmund arrived in 1911. After his father's death Grant headed out west, possibly spending some time in BC, and when he enlisted in the army in May 1916 he was living in Kenora, Ontario.

Brothers, Grant and Edmund enlisted in World War 1 in Kenora on the same day, 10 May 1916, Grant's birthday. They joined the 94th Battalion, a local unit that was based in Port Arthur. A note on Edmund's Attestation Paper says he was discharged at Valcartier on 25 June 1916 and he re-enlisted for Home Service in Canada. Grant fought and died in the battle at Vimy Ridge (See further information at http://www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=50120)

John was a Barrister and set up his law practice in the Nicholson Block after arriving in Kenora. In October 1900 he moved to the Humble Block. He became Crown Attorney for the District of Kenora, replacing replacing P.E. Mackenzie as Crown Attorney when the latter moved to Saskatoon. He was appointed K.C in April 1910. In December 1918 he moved to Toronto where took up the position of Taxing Officer

He was also a dedicated supporter of the Kenora Thistles hockey team and served as their secretary in 1907 when they won the Stanley Cup. He was a member of the Kenora Rotary Club.

Colonel Harold Arthur Clement Machin 1875 - 1931

Colonel Harold Arthur Clement Machin, son of Charles John Machin and Emma Mary Louisa Biddlecombe was born 9 May 1875 in Rochester, New York, USA.

He received his education in a boarding school in Beaconsfield, England where he met Arthur Albert Knight, brother of his future wife. He was often a guest at social events at Horner Grange (See pictures of house and Knight family at http://www.fownc.org/newsletters/no61.shtml). The building is now used as a girl's school called Sydenham School. Furniture from the home was sent to Harold and Ida's house in Kenora and then subsequently in their new home in Shoal Lake. Many articles of this house are now in the Victorian Parlour, Lake of the Woods Museum, Kenora, Ontario.

He was involved in the 1896-1900 Canadian gold boom. In 1908 the couple went to Northern Quebec to prospects for copper. He was President of the Kenora Mines Limited. In 1910 he reopened the Mikado Mine and over Regina Mine. The Mikado mine was situated south of Bag bay on Shoal lake and was one of 4 principal mines of the Lake of the Woods area.

He came to Kenora around 1900. In 1902 he was called to the Ontario Bar and established his practice in Kenora.

He married Ida Florence Knight of England and South Africa in 1902. They had two daughters,

Ida Annie Knight Machin b. 08 Dec 1903 South Africa

Barbara Machin 1914

Machin was a conservative most of his political career and was the Provincial Representative from 8 June 1908 to 23 September 1919. In 1908 he ran in the newly created Electoral District of Kenora in 8 June 1908 defeating Liberal Andrew E. Annis 1078 votes to 847. In 1911 he defeated Liberal John T. Brett 1179 votes to 733. In 1914 he was acclaimed. Machin was a fierce opponent of Conservative premier William Howard Hearst's Ontario Temperance Act. He became a prominent member of the Citizen's Liberty League formed in 1919 to oppose prohibition in Ontario. He quit Conservative Party and ran as an independent in the 1919 election. He was defeated by labour candidate Peter Heenan:

Peter Heenan       1870      Labour
Machin Harold A.C. 895      Independent
Alfred Pitt              610     Conservative
Fife, Ashton T.       405     Liberal

Colonel Machin had a distinguished military career. In the Boer, he held the rank of Lieutenant and Captain in the South African Constabulary. Private to Staff Sergeant - 2nd Special Service Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment (1st Canadian Contingent, South Africa). Saw actions at; Sunnyside - 01 Jan, 1900. Padeburg - 18 to 26 Feb, 1900. Poplar Grove - 07 Mar, 1900. Driefontein - 10 Mar, 1900. Hout Neck - 01 May, 1900. Vet River - 05/06 May, 1900. Zand River - 10 May, 1900. Pretoria - 04 Jan, 1901. 1901 - Commissioned as a Subaltern, South African Constabulary. 1902 - Promoted to Captain, South African Constabulary. Served in the Orange River Colony until the end of the war in May 19, 1905 - Resigned in May, retaining his rank. He received the Queen's Medal (South Africa) with 4 clasps. and King's medal (South Africa) with 2 clasps.

Mr. Machin was one of the first to offer his services in World War 1 and organized the 94th Battalion which he commended on their trip overseas. He served in France with distinction. The history of the 94th Battalion is set out at http://www.94thbattalioncef.ca/history.htm:

While the formation of the 94th "Overseas" Battalion was not officially authorized until 22 December, 1915 when General Order No. 151 was published, the people of North Western Ontario had known that the Battalion was being formed since the 25th of October when the Fort William Times Journal published the news that the Kenora - Rainy River Regiment had been ordered to form a new Battalion for overseas service, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur C. Machin, the Member of the Provincial Parliament for Kenora. Colonel Machin had served in the Boer War with "C" Company, 2nd Special Service Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry and later as a Lieutenant in the South African Constabulary. Recruiting began immediately, and on November 4th, 1915, in Port Arthur, 198002, Sergeant Frederick Charles Cornell signed his Attestation Papers becoming the first of 1,385 men to join....

The next seven and a half months were spent trying to organize an effective military unit, and in spite of all the confusion which had been built into the system by the machinations of the Minister of Militia, Sam Hughes, they managed to get the job done and, I might add, done very well. At first, those men from towns where there was a Militia unit and an Armories, lived and drilled in barracks, but in towns and cities such as Fort William, the men lived at home or in hotels and drilled where ever they could find a space large enough for their purposes. There were no uniforms, weapons, or even office supplies. Most of the officers were learning their duties at the same time as the men, and it was very fortunate that a number of the enlistees had previously served in the British Army so as Non Commissioned Officers they were able to teach the men the basics of military life and how to live under military discipline. As the weeks went by, things began to change for the better and the men began to look like soldiers. On December 4th, 1915 the first uniforms arrived and were issued. On December 11th, "A" Company, which was living in the Port Arthur Armories, was issued wash tubs and washboards. On the 29th of December, the first shipment of rifles arrived and were distributed to the various companies, each receiving enough for one squad at a time to drill with them. There was no note as to when enough were received to issue one to each man. On January 27th, the renovations to the Steel Plant in the west end of Fort William were completed and the men of "B" Company finally moved into barracks. The atmosphere there was greatly improved on the 18th of February, when the bathing facilities were completed with 6 bath tubs and 1 plunge tank. The people of North Western Ontario adopted the men and made sure that there was always something being done to entertain them. They organized dances, parties, teas, sporting events, and concerts and set up reading rooms. They cheered the battalion's hockey team which competed in the Lakehead Senior Hockey League and almost won the championship, losing out to the "Fort Williams" in the final game of the season. They attended battalion church parades and inspections, cheered the men on route marches, listened to concerts given by the excellent brass band, and turned out to view them training to "Storm the Hun trenches". The 94th was truly, the battalion of the people. On May 25, 1916, the men of "C" an "D" Companies from Kenora and Fort Frances were moved to the Lakehead and on June 9, 1916, the Battalion left for Valcartier, Quebec for "Summer Camp" as it was called. For two hundred and five of these men it was the last time they were to see their families and friends. The 94th trained at Valcartier for a period until June 13th when they sailed from Halifax for England on the RMS Olympic. Although the 94th remained a battalion on paper until July 27th, 1918, with an office at East Sandling, it actually ceased to exist on July 13th, 1916 when it was broken up and the men were transferred to the 17th and 32nd Reserve Battalions to be used as replacements for casualties in front line units. The band's instruments were "disposed of." and the resulting funds were disbursed. I have not been able to learn what actually happened. The 94th did gain some measure of fame because of the story that is that it was broken up as a result of a coin toss. Apparently two battalions sailed to England on the Olympic, and it was decided that one of them would go to the front and the other would be broken up. Colonel Machin made the wrong call.

The local newspaper report:

Kenora, 27 May, 1916 KENORA UNIT 94TH LEFT THURSDAY -------- AN IMMENSE CROWD GATHERED AT STATION TO SAY GOODBYE WILL REMAIN IN PORT ARTHUR FOR SHORT TIME The Kenora detachment of the 94th Battalion left Thursday morning in command of major Schnarr in a special train. The boys in Khaki assembled at the Armories and headed by the combined bands of Kenora and Keewatin paraded to the station followed by an immense throng of citizens. The men presented a splendid appearance ant it was the general expression that they compared very well with any of the other contingents that have left here for overseas service. The men entrained as soon as they arrived at the station. As the 94th is expected to leave for Valcartier in the course of a couple of weeks, and none of the men will likely have the opportunity of visiting their home here again before going overseas, there were many affecting scenes of farewell. It was marvelous, however, to see the manner in which the mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts bore up when saying goodbye. They did all they could to cheer the men rather than depress them reserving for themselves the culmination of departure until after the train had left. In fact many of the wives and relatives of the men refused to go to the train, the parting scenes being held in the sanctity of their own homes. How nobly the women of Kenora and Keewatin are meeting the sacrifice has been amply evidenced on the occasion of the departure and anyone who was at the station on Thursday could never for one moment question the duty owing to the dependents of these gallant fellows.

Machin's record during World War 1 is recorded at http://www.94thbattalioncef.ca/officers.htm:

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, he was from Kenora. Battalion Commanding Officer. Transferred to 32nd Reserve Battalion, 18 Jul, 1916. Transferred to Canadian Pay Office, 21 Aug, 1916. Made CO of the 1st Canadian Labour Battalion, In 1917, he was assigned by Major General Sir John Wallace Carson to "put a stop" to the large numbers of Canadian soldiers who were getting married in England. On 3 September 1917 a Military Service Council, acting directly under the Minister of Justice, was created "to advise and assist in the administration and enforcement" of the Act relating to Contentious Objectors". On 15 Jun, 1918 its duties were taken over by the Military Service Branch of the Department of Justice and he was appointed Director of that Office. ACPF - RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5827 - 21

He died at his summer home on Shoal Lake on October 13 1931 after a lengthy illness. The District of Machin, Ontario, is named in his memory.

Ida Florence (Knight) Machin 1878 - 1950

Ida Florence (Knight) Machin, daughter of William Knight and Annie Penton was born May 1878 in South Africa. Ida's father William Knight had made a fortune mining diamonds and gold in South Africa. She grew up in South Africa and developed a passion for prospecting.

William and Annie had four children: Arthur Albert, Ida Florence, and Bertha Alice, known as Birdie, all born in South Africa; and Otto Algernon, born 1891 in Lewisham. England. The children had a private education, Ida and Bertha attending a school in Clapham, and Arthur a boarding school in Beaconsfield. There he met Harold Machin, the youngest son of the Reverend Charles Machin, a missionary living in Canada. Harold was often a guest at social events at the Knight family home, Horner Grange (See pictures of house and Knight family at http://www.fownc.org/newsletters/no61.shtml).

Harold returned to Canada after his schooling and entered Osgoode Hall Law School in the early 1890s. He was part of the first Canadian Contingent to fight in the Boer War and became a Captain in the African Constabulary. Whilst serving in the African Constabulary he married Ida in Cape Colony.

They had two daughters,

Ida Annie Knight Machin b. 08 Dec 1903 in South Africa

Barbara Machin 1914

The couple returned to Canada, where Harold established a law practice, became a Member of the Canadian Parliament and Ida and Harold carried on their mining interests in Canada, owning a large, profitable gold mine.

They lived in a mansion on what is now Machin Drive. When Horner Grange was sold , the contents - draperies, linen, silver, china, fireplace mantles, furniture, and even the cornerstone from the house - were sent to Ida and Harold's house in Kenora. The unique collection arrived in three box cars at a special siding constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway in Kenora.

Harold died in 1931. Ida and her two daughters, Barbara and Ida Ann, carried on with their mining interests in Canada. Her daughter. Barbara held her miner's licence from 1 April 1932, and on 1 April 1971. she was presented with an Honorary Permanent Miners Licence.

The contents of Horner Grange were moved in 1936 to Ida's new home in Shoal Lake. They were transported by barge, a trip that included a nightmare passage through rapids in a sixty foot barge. Their oldest daughter, Ida Annie Knight Machin, died 6 years after Harold, in child birth and Ida took her 5 day old daughter to Kenora.

In 1938 the family Ida, Barbara and the grand-daughter moved permanently to Shoal Lake and the house in Kenora was left in charge of a housekeeper. The Three women lived in a log cabin at Gold Point farm Shoal Lake. Ida died in 1950 and Barbara sold the home in Kenora and carted up the remaining silver, china and furniture to Gold Point farm.

Some of the collection from Horner Grange was sold over the years but many articles are now in the Victorian Parlour, Lake of the Woods Museum, Kenora. Barbara died in 1978. She never married.

Dr. Allan Scott Macdonell 1856-1901

Doctor Allan Scott Macdonnell, son of Donald David MacDonell and May Chisholm, was born in Glengarry County, Canada West (Ontario), Canada in 1856.

He came to Winnipeg as a 20 year old and worked first as assistant to Dr. Blanchard and than Dr Good. He moved to Rat Portage in 1884.

In 1885 he set up an office over W.D. Coates Drug Store on Main St.

He married Isabelle MacDonald 09 Nov 1898 in Rat Portage he 42 and she a widow 35. He died of Heart failure 5 March 1901 after a severe attack on pneumonia

David Low Mather 1854- 1947

John Mather 1827- 1907

John Mather, son of James Mather and Jean Low, was born 29 Oct 1827 in near Montrose, Craig Parish, Scotland. His father was a contractor and builder.

He was apprenticed to his father as a youth. He subsequently worked as assistant engineer on the Montrose - Aberdeen railway.

He subsequently managed a saw milling and ship business in Montrose.

John Mather died 10 June 1907.

His wife Jean Jane Low b. 24 Jun 1824. predeceased him on 08 Jan 1906 in Ottawa. He had three sons and two daughter, one of whom predeceased him:

Robert Addison Mather b. 19 Nov 1851, d. 18 Oct 1925 Vancouver BC

Ann Weir Mather b. 30 Mar 1853, Scotland, d. 11 Apr 1870 Chelsea, Quebec,

David Low Mather b. 17 Mar 1855 d. 1947 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jemima Jane Mather b. 27 Jul 1857, d. 13 Sep 1933 Ottawa, Ontario

Alan Gilmour Mather b. 27 Nov 1862, d. 13 Dec 1954 Ottawa, Ontario

References Dictionary of Canadian Biography, http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=6887 , Obituary June 12 1907 Kenora Miner & News

William McCarthy 1848-1913

William McCarthy served in the defence of Canada during the Fenian Raids. He subsequent went west via St. Paul with Colonel French who established the Northwest Mounted Police. He was present at Edmonton and other places when Mounted Police Posts were established.

He came to Rat Portage around 1881. He served on the Town Council in 1884, 1887, 1894 and was mayor in 1898-1900. He was a prominent conservative in the area.

He married widow Viola (Valsada) Halstead and had two sons John and William as well as raise her four step daughters

Annie Halstead 1868 (Mrs Annie Campbell)
Rosy Halstead 1870
Minnie Halstead (Mrs Burrage)
Tilly Halstead (Mrs Hockey)

John Seagar McCarthy 27 Sep 1881
William Oliver McCarthy 25 Jan 1919

Mr McCarthy was one of the first farmers in Rat Portage squatting on the North side of Coney Island. In 1812 had a frame building where he took in tourists. When the boundary dispute was settled he applied for title but John A, MacDonald had given all the islands to Mr Mather of the Keewatin Lumber Company. He purchased a building on the south west corner of Main and and Second Street and moved to town. They took in summer borders with his wife and daughters doing the work They kept adding to the house and called it Russell House.

James Nelson McCracken 1861-

Who was the town counsellor called J. McCracken in 1885-1886 who became the Reeve in 1887-1888 according to James Duffus, in A History of Politics in Kenora, 1976. In early Settlers of Rat Portage it is said to be John McCracken who was married to Annie Bunting and had three children Nelson, Arthur and Ida.

I will throw it out that it was James Nelson McCracken born in Ontario in 1861. His wife, Annie Ethel Bunting who possibly was born in 1867 in New Brunswick. Their marriage certificate have them married in Rat Portage on May 10 1889.

Hopefully others may be able to help out on this one.

Samuel Charles McGimsie 1847 - 1936

Samuel Charles McGimsie, son of John and Janet McGimsie from Scotland was born 30 Apr 1847 in Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada. He moved to Rat Portage in 1882. . He was involved with the construction of the CPR and subsequently went into the Contracting business first in partnership with Mr R.E. Dorsett and then on his own.

In 1875, he married Susan Charlotte George who was born 05 Apr 1856 in Cobourg, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada.

They had 4 children

Janet Margaret McGimsie b. 22 Jun 1878, d.12 Jun 1940 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

William George McGimsie (See below)

Susan Adelaide McGimsie b. 22 Oct 1883 died 11 Aug 1886

Samuel Charles McGimsie b. 4 Aug 1887 . He served in World War 1 with the 183rd Battalion of Winnipeg. In 1920 he was appointed Tax Assessor for the Town of Kenora. He married Mildred McDonald and had one daughter Jenny McGimsie (Marshall). He then married Mrs. Monty Mackenzie. He died in Vancouver 5 may 1970

Samuel Charles McGimsie Sr. served on the Town council in 1889. He was an active supporter of the Liberal party. He was a staunch member of the Methodist church. He died 22 Nov. 1936 in Kenora.

William George McGimsie 1880 -1968

b. 07 Jun 1880 known as Billie, was born in Woodsville, Ontario but moved with his family to Rat Portage when only one. As a youngster he was a member of various church groups and school teams that played hockey. His father build the Princess Rink in 1896 and installed it with electric lights to be used by the senior league. Billie and his younger brother along with other local boys made the rink their club house. In 1896 he was a member of the Junior Thistles that took on and defeated the Senior Thistle team. In the 1903 games first challenge for the Stanley Club McGimsie scored three goals. In the 1907 Stanley Cup game he contributed to the win. He was elected to National Hockey League hall of fame in 1960. He died at age 88 in Calgary, Alberta, October 28 1968. (Source Kenora Thistles: Our Hockey Heritage, Bowes Publishing Limited)

Captain Robert Sutherland McKenzie 1843-1933

Robert Sutherland McKenzie was born on the ocean between the straits of Belle Isle and Quebec, on the 22nd of May, 1843, his parents, at that time were en route for the Province of Quebec. (Fraser (1907) History of Ontario Pages 819-821) (Other records record birth at Lochaber, Papineau, Quebec, and many subsequent records indicate birth was around 1844).

The father Donald McKenzie was born in Ross Shire, Scotland, and the mother, Isabelle in Cromarty, Scotland. Mr. McKenzie was a mechanical engineer and brought to this country the first passenger engine operated between Montreal and Quebec. He afterward followed his chosen calling in the North Nation Mills at Quebec, superintending the machinery up to the time of his death by drowning in August, 1845.

Robert Sutherland McKenzie, was the youngest of six children, five sons and one daughter. He was educated in the public schools of Quebec and Ottawa At the age of twelve years he a job in a mercantile house, and was employed as a salesman until twenty-one years of age. He took part in 1866 at the Fenian Raid, being a lieutenant in the Ottawa Garrison Artillery

In 1866 he embarked in business of men's furnishings and tailoring goods, in Ottawa. In 1870, he turned to the steam boating and forwarding business on the Ottawa River, until 1884, when he sold out and entered into business relations with a contractor on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. In this connection he built round houses at Chapleau, White River and Schriber.

He was chosen by Dominion Government to arrange a settlement with the Duck Indians shortly after Second Riel Rebellion in 1885.

In the spring of 1886 he went to British Columbia, building the round houses at Donald, Beaver, Roger's Pass, Albert Canyon, Kamloops and New Westminster, returning to Ottawa in January, 1887. He was afterwards engaged in building twenty railway stations between Smith's Falls and Montreal. In the spring of 1887 he built the round house at Revelstoke.

In the fall of 1887 he was appointed Indian agent at Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, North-West Territory, by the Dominion government, serving in that capacity until 1900, when he was transferred to Port Pelly, Saskatchewan. In 1903 he was transferred to Rat Portage. The Cecelia Jaffray Indian Industrial School was opened in the year of his arrival and he took great interest in all its affairs.

He has remained as Indian agent for twenty years in charge of the Rat Portage and Savanne agencies, with supervision over two thousand Indians.

On 1 Aug 1886 Mr. McKenzie was married to Miss Elizabeth (Lizzie) A. McDonald, a daughter of the late John McDonald of Ottawa, who was government slide master for thirty-seven years on the Ottawa River. They had at least four children: Robert William, who was an inspector of ties for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Florence ; Eva Harriet; and Donald John Charles, who died at Hankow, China, where he was officer in the Imperial customs service. Early Settlers of Kenora give the names of children as William, Clayton, Charles and a daughter who became Mrs Joseph Ritze. I can not figure if Clayton was McKenzie's son or step son.

After his first wife died he married his sister-in-law Hattie MacDonald widow of Lizzie's brother William (maiden name Hattie Clair Farr) on 30 Oct 1913 in Cuyahoga, Ohio.

After his retirement in 1921 he continued to live in Kenora until 1926 when he moved to California. He later moved to Rock Island Illinois where he died in April 1933 at age of 89.

Mr. McKenzie was a member of the Masonic fraternity and a Presbyterian. Fraser in 1907 indicates that "Few men have more intimate knowledge of the west, its conditions, its development and its possibilities, and to a considerable extent he has aided in its development, while in official service he has also made a record that makes him a most worthy and valued citizen."

Fraser, Alexander,A history of Ontario : its resources and development (1907) 1860-1936 Volume: 2, Toronto : Canada History Co. Call number: AMY-0015 Robarts - University of Toronto Pages 819-821

Chris McKinnon 1889-

Chris McKinnon, son of Angus McKinnon and Catherine Jane McRae was born in Rat Portage in 1889. He grew up in Rat Portage. He played with the Kenora Thistles and in the Allan Cup games of 1913-14.

In 1912 he went into business with James Ronan and remained with him until 1932. Subsequent he went into business with R. Foster until 1939.

In 1939 he was appointed Mining Recorder for the District of Kenora.

He was president of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1953-1954.

He served several years on the Kenora Library Board and School Board.

Hugh Bathgate McKinnon

Hugh Bathgate McKinnon was born in Rat Portage on April 21 1885.

He joined the Canadian Pacific railway as an engine wiper in 1901 and by age of 21 became one of the youngest railway engineers at the time.

McKinnon was an unsuccessful provincial Liberal - Labour candidate at the Kenora riding in the 1926 election. He was first elected to Parliament in the Kenora-Rainy Federal riding in a by-election on 24 September 1934. He was re-elected in 1935 and 1940.

McKinnon died at his Ottawa residence on 10 April 1944, before completing his term in the 19th Parliament. He was survived by seven children besides his wife.

William Alexander McKinnon 1851-1911

William Alexander McKinnon was born around 1851 and left Shebandowan in 1879 on their way to Brandon, Manitoba. They crossed the Portage into Maligne's Lake where their canoe capsized and they lost their supplies. The continued across Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods on their way to Brandon, Manitoba. In Brandon they started a dry goods store. After their business was destroyed by fire they decided to return to Rat Portage where they were attracted by the lake.

William and his brother started a store on Main Street. In 1881 they hired Bill Lyon, and subsequently for a short time J.W. Humble before he opened up is liquor store. Around 1883 the brother's partnership was wound up and brother Angus returned East. William carried on the business for a few years before it was sold by public auction. He worked other jobs such as book keeping after the business was sold.

He married his wife Clementina (Bathgate ?) and lived in the Rideout House until their frame house was finished on First Street South. Latter they moved to third Street South. They had 4 children

Beatrice McKinnon b. 1884

Hugh Bathgate McKinnon b. 1886

Monica (or Marion) Isabella McKinnon b. 1890

Jim McKinnon who was still young when Mrs McKinnon passed away and he was brought up by a family named Galligan.

Mr McKinnon was a town councillor in 1894. He Died on February 20 1911.

Source; Early settlers of Rat Portage

Donald "Dan" McLeod 1868 - 1947

Donald Dan McLeod

Donald "Dan" McLeod, son of Farquahar and Jessie McLeod was born January 1 1868, Bexley Township, near Peterborough, Victoria County, Ontario.

He married Alexandrina Sutherland June 3rd 1896 in Keewatin, Ontario. They had six children

Agnes McLeod Born May 1897 married R.G. Davidson 1936-37 Kenora Rotary President

Jean McLeod born abt 1899

Jessie Alexandria McLeod January 29 1901, married Maxwell Yorston Cameron1950-51 Kenora Rotary President

Donald Margaret McLeod January 6 1906 married Laurence Archer Toole 1947-48 Kenora Rotary President

Catherine A. McLeod born February 14 1908

He was appointed the first plant manager of the Kenora Paper Mill after Mr Bachus bought the Keewatin Lumber Company. He died February 26 1947

Charles Edward McMurdie 1854-

Charles Edward McMurdie born 31 Jul 1854 in Lambeth, Surrey, England is reported by D. Hogoboam as arriving in Rat Portage in 1877, He married Catherine Sullivan (b. 9 Jun 1854 in Peterborough, Ontario)in 1881 Erie, Pennsylvania. He had 5 children:

Marie Josephine McMurdie b. 12 Jul 1882 Erie Pennsylvania d. 25 Sept. 1895 Rat Portage
Gertrude Catherine McMurdie b. 07 Jan 1884 Rat Portage d. 16 Nov 1959 Kenora
Charles Leo McMurdie b. 20 Oct 1885 Rat Portage d. 30 Jun 1968 Los Angeles, California
Edward Alphonse McMurdie b.17 Sept. 1887 Rat Portage, 29 Sept. 1918 France
Joseph Francis McMurdie b. 19 Mar 1891 Rat Portage d. 25 Dec 1948 Kenora

George McPherson, Sen. 1814-1891

George McPherson, son of Andrew Barton McPherson and Marie Binisi Okijikokwe Ikwesens (most common spelling) (Alternative, Marie Binisi Okipikokive Kewasens) was born near the Ottawa River possibly on 10 Aug 1814.

His father worked for the North West Company starting around 1803 which was amalgamated with Hudson Bay in 1821. He worked in the Grand Lac area , Temiskamingue district northwest of Montreal. George was one of at least 10 children born to the couple between 1803 and 1831.

George attended school in the Cornwall area where his grandmother Mary McPherson lived.

In 1830 he returned to Grand Lac. He was hired by Hudson Bay in 1831 and worked in the Temiskamingue district untill 1836.

In 1837 he was rehired by Hudson Bay Company and worked in the Albany District. He spent time in Moose Factory, Lac Seul, Fort Albany and Osnaburg House. He was in charge of the Osnaburg House Post from 1843 to 1856.

He married Isabelle Okewakumekekwa on 3 Jul 1842 at Martens Falls House, ON. They had the following children:

Margaret McPherson 04 Oct 1839 Martin House Falls, RupertsLand

Mary McPherson 23 Nov 1841 Martin House Falls, RupertsLand, d. June 1856, buried in St. Andrew's Church cemetery, St Andrew's Manitoba

Andrew McPherson 07 Dec 1836 Martin House Falls, RupertsLand d. 11 Aug 1855 Fort Albany, Ontario

Jean George McPherson 03 Oct 1845 Osnaburgh, Ontario

His first wife died sometime before 1850. He married Margaret Ademar 4 Jan 1850 in Osnaburgh.

He retired in 1856 due to ill health and spent two years living in Fort Alexander and the Red River Settlement.

The Hudson Bay established a Post first on Old Fort Island, Kenora in 1836. George McPherson was rehired by the Hudson Bay Company in 1858 and was sent to this post. in the summer of 1861 the store was moved to a site on what would later become northeast corner of First St. South and Main. In 1869 the Hudson's Bay Company surrendered its vast land holdings to the government. At Rat Portage, the Company retained a 50 acre plot which was increased after a company request in 1872 by 640 acres.

In 1870 George McPherson welcomed Colonel Wolseley of the Wollseley's Red River Expedition to Rat Portage. Captain G.L. Huyshe who accompanied Wolseley wrote of George McPherson, the Hudson's Bay Company factor:

Mr Macpherson, the official in charge is a Scotch half-breed, a quiet, gentlemanly, elderly man, who had received a good education in Montreal. He has for 13 years been buried alive at this post! Is it not a most extra-ordernary thing, that men of education can be found to stand a life like that, utterly cut off from the rest of mankind, receiving news from the outside world only once or twice a year, to all intents or purposes dead or sleeping? I ventured to question Mr. Macpherson on this subject and he replied simply that he had long since ceased to feel anything of the kind; he had is little farm and his wife and family, and was quite happy and contented. Mr Macpherson had a few acres of wheat, barley and potatoes, some pigs and cows, and a number of mangy-looking pariah dogs. These dogs are of all sizes and colours, nasty-looking brutes, but very useful. They do all the winter work, galloping for miles over frozen snow, dragging small sledges. (Throught the Kenora Gateway, Lake of the Woods Writers Group -Kenora Centennial Committee)

In 1871 George Senior retired from the Hudson Bay Company.

[In 1879 there were 13 men at the post under George McPherson. At this time the settlement consisted of nothing but the post and two other one-story log shanties. Through The Kenora Gateway (Page 43) Questionable]

George opened a private training post at Northwest Angle beside Harrison Creek following his retirement. The Post provided both supplies and over night accommodations. A map showing the location of this trading post prepared by A. Campbell and W.J Twining of the US Northern Boundary Commission may be seen in Robertson & McCracken's Magical, Mysterious Lake of the Woods at page 111. The post was located at the end of the Dawson Road.

In September 1873 the services of George McPherson were secured as interpreter for negotiations which were ultimately consummated in Treaty 3. A report of the negotiations and the treaty are reported in a book by Alexander Morris.

George died at Sabaskosing on Lake of the Woods in Sept 1891 and is buried in LOW Cemetery beside his wife, three daughters and an infant grandson.

The Following obituaries were provided by Becky Johnson:

The Late George McPherson

It was our painful duty last week to chronicle the death of Mr. Geo McPherson, but as the news was received just before going to press we could not do more than give it a brief notice. The deceased was one of Nature's noblemen, a native of this country, born on the Ottawa, his father being in the Hudson's Bay Co's service. He was educated at Brockville, Ont and afterwards entered that Co's service, being at Moose Factory and other points. He had charge of the old post location on Millers Island, and later removed to the present site of the Co's house, where he built the first house erected in Rat Portage. Nearly twenty years ago he left their employ and went into trading on his own account. Later he was appointed Indian Agent for the Lake of the Woods reserves, which position he held till about two years ago, when he was superannuated. He was born in 1814 and was 77 years of age. He held the highest respect and esteem of a wide circle of friends, and was especially beloved by the Indians far and near. He leaves a son and daughter to mourn his loss.

The Late Geo. McPherson

Last week one of the oldest inhabitants in this portion of the district passed away in the death of the late Geo. McPherson. He has occupied a prominent part in the history of Rat Portage and for the past number of years has held the position of Indian Agent. He was a native of the country and was born in the year 1814 and was consequently in his 77th year. He had charge of the old Hudson Bay Post when it was located on Miller's island in the Winnipeg River and was factor of the company here at the time of the removal of the post to the present site of their large stone building. Early in the seventies he left the employ of the Company and went into trading on his own account and continued this for a few years when he was appointed Indian agent over the Lake of the Woods Reserves. He held that position until about two years ago when he was superannuated and was succeeded by Mr. Pither, who was transferred from the Fort Frances agency. He remained on the superannuated list until last summer when upon the death of Agent McCracken Mr. McPherson was appointed to pay treaty on the reserves of his old agency, Mr. Pither taking the duty of paying on the Fort Frances reserves. The funeral was largely attended and took place on Saturday last to Union Park Cemetery. The deceased was well known by all the oldest inhabitants and of late years has been residing on what was known as McPherson's island near the traverse and his place was a principal stopping point for all either going or coming across the lakes, especially during the winter months. He was highly esteemed and among the Indians was looked upon as their best friend. Messrs.. Matheson and Lyon have been named as the executors to his will, and the deceased leaves a son and a daughter.

Becky Johnson;
Lake of the Woods Writers Group - Kenora Centennial Committee (1981) pages 43, 71;
Morris, Alexander (1880) The Treaties of Canada with The Indians of Manitoba and the North-West Territories including the negotiations on which they were based, reprinted 1991 by Fifth House Publishers, Pages 44-76, 320-327
Robertson, Heather & Melinda McCracken (2003) Magical , Mysterious Lake of the Woods, Pages 98, 99, 111

Alexander McQuarrie 1852-

Alexander McQuarrie, son of Archibald McQuarrie and Ann Docherty, was one of three brothers who acted as Town Counsellors of Rat Portage. He was born on February 3 1852 i in Nova Scotia, and moved to Goderich, Huron County, Ontario before 1859. He married Salome Headley on March 20 1879 in Goderich and had his first child shortly after. He had a total of at least 5 children:

Paul Headley McQuarrie b. 1 Jun 1879
Sidnham Charles McQuarrie b. 11 Jun 1880
Grace H. McQuarrie b. Mar 1883, d. 26 Mar 1883
Malcolm Keith McQuarrie b. 17 Aug 1884
May Bierl McQuarrie 16 May 1889

He arrived in Rat Portage possibly in 1882 and worked with his older brother in a grocery business called the McQuarrie Brothers. He served as Town Counsellor in 1896, 1898, and 1900

John McQuarrie 1850-

John McQuarrie, son of Archibald McQuarrie and Ann Docherty, was one of three brothers who acted as Town Counsellors of the young Rat Portage, incorporated in the Province of Manitoba. He was born in 1850 possibly in Margaree, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. He moved with his family from Nova Scotia sometime between 1852 and 1859 to Goderich, Huron County, Ontario, Canada.

He served on the first council in Rat Portage along with Fred Bulmer, Frank Gardner, H.F. Holmes with William L. Baker as Reeve.

He was the first sheriff in the year 1885 to 1886. His brothers who also were counsellors of the Town were Malcolm and Alexander.

Malcolm Doherty McQuarrie 1847-

Malcolm Doherty McQuarrie, son of Archibald McQuarrie and Ann Docherty, was the oldest of three brothers who acted as Town Counsellors of Rat Portage. He was born on 19 September 1849 possibly in Margaree, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. He moved with his family from Nova Scotia sometime between 1852 and 1859 to Goderich, Huron County, Ontario, Canada. He arrived in Rat Portage in 1882. He started a grocery store on the east side of Main Street. After the CPR finished he sold alcohol along with the groceries. He was a member of the Town Council in 1888.

He initially lived on Matheson Street and then moved into W.R. Juries house on Main St. North. On April 30 1872 in Huron County Ontario, he married Caroline Halliday, b. 15 May 1847, Lanark, Ontario. He had at least 9 children. From the 1891 Census they were listed as,

Alexander McQuarrie b. 1873
Isaac Halliday McQuarrie b. 1875
Hector McQuarrie b. Abt. 1877
Annie Elizabeth McQuarrie b.26 May 1879
Archie Malcolm McQuarrie b. Abt. 1880
Edna May McQuarrie b. Abt. 1882
Mamie Salome McQuarrie b. Abt. 1884
Caroline Flora McQuarrie b. Abt. 1886
Gregor Grant McQuarrie b. Abt. 1887

November 19 1883 Manitoba Attorney General cam to Rat Portage to throw some weight on the sovereignty issue. In the mid afternoon Mr Malcolm McQuarrie who sold liquor under an Ontario licence was summoned to appear before Manitoba Police Magistrate Breeton to answer the charge of selling liquor without a license.

At the Council meeting that night a resolution was put forward,

Moved by Councillor Gadbois, seconded by Councillor Alexander, that the Attorney-General be instructed to take the necessary action, under the advice of the Council to Prevent Messers. Holmes, The Reeve, and Councillors Stubbs, Chadwick, MacDonald and Baker from interfering with this corporation, and with the government and management of the town

The Council voted 3-2 McKinnon and Kobald voting Nay

McQuarrie disregarded the summons and a strong armed force of the Ontario police was placed in and outside of his store to protect him from arrest.

Attorney -General threatened to bring out the Field Battery from Winnipeg to maintain order. At the

Ontario Manitoba Boundary Dispute The Argus Nov 23 1883
Dispute Dispute

Margaret (Begg) Mitchell

For every famous pioneer whose success is supported by volumes of historical document, there were untold thousands of ordinary pioneers who sought to make a better life in what is now Canada. Though their struggles were not, on the whole , imprinted on the nation's collective memory, such pioneers made contributions far out of proportions to their position. There are untold numbers who should receive recognition for their goodness, their hard work and at times their sacrifice and compassion. Two such pioneer that I would like to sing the praises are Catherine (Spence) Beggs and her daughter Margaret (Begg) Mitchell.

Catherine's father was George Spence (1773-1859) who came from the Orkneys. Her mother, a Cree woman Catherine Tchi-Tchit. George was possibly born around 1773 was an officer of the Hudson Bay Company and in latter years, Sheriff of the York Factory District. It isn't known when George ceased to be an employee of Hudson Bay but it may be that he was part of the advanced party to prepare for settlers of the District of Assiniboia and Lord Selkirk's Settlers. George and Catherine were married on May 2 1828 at St Johns (Winnipeg) in the first Anglican Church built in the area. They moved to Mapleton just north of the Fort at Lower Fort Garry. George Spence died in 1859 and Catherine in 1865.

Margaret (Begg) Mitchell's father, Charles Robert Begg was born in Haddington, Scotland in Feb 14 1814 and was engaged by Hudson Bay on May 12 1831 on Wyre Isle, Sandwick, Orkneys and arrived at Montreal. For 5 years he worked in the company's Northern department as a labourer. He participated in the historic Arctic Discovery Expedition and after the expedition in 1840 became a crew member of a sloop which brought him to Lower Fort Garry. In 1841 he was assigned to the Red River District. In 1844 at about 30 years he met and married the 21 year old Catherine Spence, eldest daughter of George and Catherine Spence on May 16 1844.

Soon after their marriage Charles was promoted to Sloop Master and was sent to work in Lake Superior in the Company's Southern Department. Catherine and Charles moved around Northern Ontario including 10 years at the Pic River Post. They had a total of 9 children of which the fourth, Margaret Begg was born on January 10th or 11th 1852.

In 1862 Charles decided to move his family back to the home community of his wife Mapleton where they built on River Lot 5. Unfortunately their house was flooded out and the family returned to Pic (Red River). In 1865 Charles retired from Hudson Bay Company and returned to Mapleton. There, Margaret met and married George Mitchell.

George Mitchell was born around 1849 in Coventry, Warwickshire County, England. He was involved in the battlefield of the Louis Riel Rebellion and almost died. His wife Margaret found him and carried him to her home some distant away.

George and Margaret came to Lake of the Woods about 1879 first at North West Angle. She served as a nurse to Doctors during the construction of the CPR and afterwards. "She was not a graduate nurse by profession, but was according to instinct". She looked after many expectant mothers in her own home. Her Mother Catherine Beggs also assisted in bringing many Rat Portage Babies into the world'

George and Margaret had five Children:

Jessie Catherine Mitchell b. 28 Jun 1873 North West Angle, Lake of the Woods

Florence 'Flora' Mitchell b. 1 Jan 1878, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Minota Mitchell b. 1 Jul 1883 Rat Portage

William Mitchell b. 08 Aug 1885 in Rat Portage. He served almost 4 years overseas in World War 1. He joined the staff of the newspaper in 1901 and except for the war years, worked with Miner and News until his retirement. It is currently beleived that he married Margaret Mildrum Irvine overseas, although I can not confirm this. Similarly I believe he had one son William and one Mrs Robertson but don't know which Mrs Robertson this was. Hopefully a reader will be able to help out with additional information.

Marian Mitchell b. 19 Dec 1887 Rat Portage, Kenora, Ontario, Canada

In Rat Portage, George served as an accountant with J.K Brydon until his death in 1893. He was one of the gang who helped decorate the Devil's head in the Gap.

In 1894 Mrs Mitchell and her elder children built a home at 402 Second Street South. Three generations lived there subsequently. Mrs Mitchell died in Vancouver in 1944 at the age of 1944.

Robertson Pierce Murphy 1858-1940

Robert Pierce Murphy was born in Andover New Brunswick August 27 1857 or 1858. He farmed there until 1881. He married Susan Ada Donnelly in Andover New Brunswick prior to moving to Rat Portage in 1882.

He founded his cartage business on Sep 14 1882 with a two wheeled cart and the first horse brought to Kenora. The firm expanded in 1897 with brother Herman Sherman Murphy known as Murphy Brothers which developed into the largest teaming and transfer business in the district. The firm expanded to cope with construction work on the various camps on the lakes in the early years and in winter hauled heavy machinery across the ice to various construction sites.

In 1928 the business sold to John Kron and son.

His wife first wife died in May 30 1915 after a 13 month illness. He remarried again in 1917 to Emily Ann Lodge. They had one daughter Roberta (Mrs R. Ongman) and one son Ray.

Mr. Murphy was a member of the first band formed here in 1886 and in later bands. He was a member of Gold Hill Lodge, I,O.O. F, Golden Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and Pequona Lodge A.F. & A.M. . He passed away in 1940

The dates on his headstone are "Aug.27, 1857 - Sept.14, 1940" .

His wife died 30 May 1915:

Death of Mrs. R. P. Murphy

After an illness extending over the past thirteen months Mrs. R.P. Murphy passed away at her home Sunday morning. It had been known for some time that she could hardly recover but nevertheless the announcement of her death came as a shock to her many friends.

The late Mrs. Murphy was born In Andover, N.B. Shortly after her marriage at that place, she removed with her husband to Winnipeg. In 1882 they came to Kenora and have made their home here ever since. She was therefore one of the old timers, and prior to her long illness took a keen interest in the welfare of the town. She was devoted to her home, and also found time to give active service to her church in which she will be greatly missed. Besides her husband, she leaves three brothers and two sisters, Joseph Donnelly, Fort Fairfield, Maine, James, Three Lakes, Wisconsin, Mrs. John de Marchant and Miss Lillian Donnelly, who has been here for the past six weeks.

The funeral took place yesterday from her late residence to Lake of the Woods Cemetery and was largely attended.

(Kenora Miner and News, Wed., June 3, 1915.)

John H. Neale 1871-1934

John H. Neale was born on March 4 1871 in Totbury, Gloucester, England. He immigrated at the age of 17 years to Canada in 1888. He arrived in Rat Portage in 1890. He married Isabel Ann Sherrington on December 25 1896 and they had one daughter. He was first employed by A Bishop in the grocery business and later by Mr Heath. He subsequent formed a partnership with Mr Heath for 15 years and subsequently bought him out.

He was a member of the Kenora Board of Trade.

He was a very active member of the Masonic Lodge and Past Master.

He retired from his business after a serious illness and died in December 23 1934.

Nels Godfrey Nelson 1884-1957

Godfrey was a partner in the contracting firm of Bergman and Nelson which partnership was formed in 1916.

His family established themselves first in Lakeside and then purchased the family property on Tunnel Island where his son Earl lived most of his 90 years.

He married Judith Pauline Noréus December 14 1907 in Kenora, Ontario.

They had 5 children

Dora Nelson m. Everett Carlson

Ruby Nelson m. Earle Hooper

Irma Nelson m. Roy Anderson,

Rolph Nelson

Earl Arthur Nelson

John Nash 1848- 1914

John Nash was born in Thurso, Quebec. In 1869 he went to California for the 2nd gold rush. He arrived in Canada arriving in Norman in 1883. He became a Sawyer for Cameron and Kennedy Mill. He became a timber explorer and was engaged in this capacity by the Hardy Government of Ontario in 1900 when they made extensive explorations in the country to the north.

Mr Nash was a member of the Town Council in 1888, 89, 91, 92 and 1893.

He was appointed local agent of the Department of Marine and Fisheries and held the position until his death.

HE married Mary Lydia Dycie and had two daughters,

Maud Nash b. 13 May 1884

Florence Nash b. 28 Apr 1889

He died June 6 1914.

Murdoch K. Nicholson 1856-1945

Murdoch K. Nicholson was born 06 May 1856 in Mount Hope, Prince Edward Island. He came to Rat Portage in 1881.

His Tailor shop was located in a small frame building on Main St.. In 1895 he moved into the Board of Trade Building on the corner of Main and Second.. He build the Standard Block in 1888 which occupied his tailoring and clothing business

He served on the Town Council in 1894. He was on the board of the Jubilee Hospital in 1897. He was a member of the fire brigade in 1888 and became chief in1900. He was also chairmen of the school board in 1900.


He died June 6 1945.

Alice Maria August Ellen Nord 1879 -

The first "European" born in the Kenora area was Alice Maria August Ellen Nord daughter of Mr and Mrs Ole Nilson Nord. She was born 28 November 1879.(Notes by Agar Fitzgerald, Nelson 1978)

Walter Oliver 1826 - 1898

Walter Oliver was born March 28 1826 in Scotch Lake Settlement, Queensbury Parish York County, New Brunswick. He married Mary Ann Parkhurst February 21 Feb 1856 in Ingersoll Ontario. They had three children:

Caroline L Oliver 1857 in Ontario

Susan Oliver 1863 in Ontario

Emma L Olive 1866 in Ontario

He came to Rat Portage from Fort Frances in 1778-79 He was a builder by trade.

He was Reeve of the Rat Portage in 1884-1885 during the bitter Ontario - Manitoba Boundary dispute. Oliver appears to have support the Manitoba side of the boundary dispute and was the target of a bitter article by the Argus newspaper on October 12 1883. He survived two terms and returned as a counsellor in 1892. He died in 22 Jun 1898

Joseph Cyril Antoine Ouellette 1896 - 1878

Joseph Cyril Antoine Ouellette, son of André (Andrew) Ouellette and Lea Còté was born August 8 1896 in Rat Portage, Ontario. He attended elementary school in Kenora and began work Cameron Heaps.

He was drafted on February 12 1918 and served in the 76th Battery Canadian Field Artillery.

He married Frances Irene Derry, September 1 1921, daughter of Joseph Derry 1924-25 Kenora Rotary President and Frances McKeon. They had 5 children, all born in Kenora:

Stanley Joseph (Bud) Ouellette born 1922 shot down over Turin Italy in November 1943.

Mary Leone Ouellette born 1924 married Gerry Duggan, Died February 8, 2007

Joan Margaret Ouellette born 1927, married Dr James Edie

Albert Frances Ouellette born 1929 died January 28 1998

Gerald Ouellette born 1930 Married Estelle, Rotary President 1976-1977

After the war he returned to Cameron Heap which was purchased by Western Grocers where he eventually became Branch Manager. He retired in 1953.

Joseph Ouellette served on The Kenora Town Council elected in 1920. He was a member and President of the Kenora District Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 2806.He was president of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1942-43.

He was a member of the curling club and served on the Executive of the Kenora Thistles Hockey Club when they won the Western Canadian junior Championship 1939-40 season.

He died May 28 1978

Alfred Joseph Parsons 1848-1937

Alfred Joseph Parsons, son of Edmond Henry Parsons and Janet Gardner, was born on 14 April 1848 in born in Atlestone in the county of Huntington, Quebec. The Parsons family was also established in Quebec in the early '30s and Edmund Henry Parsons was for many years editor and proprietor of the Montreal Telegram, subsequently renamed the Montreal Star.

His mother Janet Gardner was a daughter of Major T. Gardner, an officer in the Huntington Frontier Dragoons, who settled in Quebec in the early '30s and took part in the rebellion of 1837 as a defender of English interests.

Alfred Joseph Parsons, was educated in St. Francis College at Richmond, Quebec. He left school at the age of sixteen years and for a few years thereafter was connected with newspaper work on the Telegram and Star. He afterward devoted about five years to the lumber business, and in 1872 he went to Peru, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits for four years. Returning to Montreal in 1876 he remained a resident of that city until 1883, when he made his way westward to Winnipeg and in the same year he came to Kenora as manager of the Bulmer-Bailey & Company lumber mill. His previous experience in lumbering well qualified him for the position, which he filled until 1886, when he was called to public service, being appointed postmaster of Rat Portage, now Kenora, which position he has since filled. The duties of the office are discharged with businesslike dispatch and his promptness and efficiency have caused his retention in the position and have won for him the commendation of the general public. In 1883 Mr. Parsons was married to Miss Florence Nightingale, a daughter of the late Dr. Edward Johnstone of Sorel, Quebec. They have five children : Beatrice Janet, Cecil Harry, Harvey Lawrence, Edgar Joseph and Frederick. Mr. Parsons is a member of the Canadian Order of Foresters and of the Church of England. His interest in community affairs is that of a public-spirited citizen who gives tangible evidence of his progressiveness and loyalty in active cooperation in many movements that have proven directly beneficial to the city and county

Fraser, Alexander,A history of Ontario : its resources and development (1907) 1860-1936 Volume: 2, Toronto : Canada History Co. Call number: AMY-0015 Robarts - University of Toronto Pages 814-815

John A. Patterson 1882 - 1932

John A. Patterson was born in Dundee Scotland in 15 Aug 1882. He married Clara Adolfina Jackson b. Abt. 1885 in Sress Isvall Sweden on 14 Aug 1914 Norman. They had one son John Alexander Patterson b. 25 Feb 1917 in Kenora. He purchased the business of John Fairbain Philbin around 1895 and carried on bakery and confectionery business "Snow Flake Bakery" from 1895 until he was appointed Postmaster at Norman in 1908. According to Early Settlers of Rat Portage, "He always had a good stock of California fruit and other fruit in season and was known for his shortbread and scones." Subsequently he was employed as a brakeman with CPR and died as a result of being scaled and injured by explosion of an engine boiler on a freight train that was a brakeman. at age 50 on 22 Jan 1932.

Thomas Neil Phillips 1883-1923

Thomas Neil Phillips "Tommy", son of James Phillip and Marcelline Bourassa was born in Rat Portage on 22 May 1883 according to a Jan 25 1921 statutory declaration of his mother, Marcelline Phillips.

In the early 1890s a hockey team in Rat Portage was initiated by the Hardisty family, who moved from the nearby city of Winnipeg. The name of the team, the Thistles, was submitted by Bill Dunsmore, in a local contest along with a drawing of a thistle which became the team emblem as well as a symbol of the area's largely Scottish heritage. The team's colors were red on white.

The early Thistles competed with other clubs around the area including teams from Winnipeg, Brandon, and Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. In 1894, the team won twelve games competing in the Manitoba Hockey Association (M.H.A.). The early popularity of the team encouraged local children to have pick-up games of rag-tag hockey along the lakeshore and the adjacent Laurenson's Creek. In 1895, Samuel Charles McGimsie built an indoor ice rink known as Princess Rink, complete with with electric light. The rink serve as sort of a meeting place for several young teenage boys who would play pick-up games of hockey when the rink was not in official use. An unofficial "junior" Thistles team was eventually formed, and the boys began to play exhibition games in the style of their older namesakes.

In January, 1896 junior Thistles challenged their senior counterparts to an exhibition game. The result was a shocking victory for the Junior Team. Team members included Goalie Fred Dulmage, Wellington "Duke" McCannon, Tom Hooper, Roxy Beaudro, Matt Brown, Theophile "Tuff" Bellefeuille, Billy McGimsie, Si Griffis, Bill Martin, and Tommy Phillips. Over the next couple years, the boys who comprised that junior Thistles squad populated the largely abandoned senior roster, and by the turn of the century began to dominate the M.N.H.A. intermediate division.

Playing out of the intermediate division, the teenage Thistles managed to finish tied for second place in 1899-1900, and at the conclusion of the 1900-01 season, beat the intermediate Victorias in a one game playoff to claim the M.N.H.A. intermediate championship. Games in Rat Portage were held at the octagonal-shaped Victoria Rink, the new indoor ice arena that opened its doors on November 30, 1897, located on the site of the Post Office (2012) at the corner of Park Street and First Street South.

In the 1901-02 season Tommy Phillips, who had previously ventured east to play a short stint with the senior league Montreal Shamrocks attended McGill University and play hockey in the Canadian Intercollegiate Hockey Union.

In 1903, after McGill's short four game season, Phillips had time to get on board another team before the winter was through, and did so by joining the Montreal senior circuit juggernaut. Phillips was inserted into Montreal's roster to help defend the Stanley Cup. During the summers the Rat Portage Rowing Club and the Rat Portage Alerts baseball squad were populated by the likes of Tom Hooper, Billy McGimsie, Si Griffis, Roxy Beaudro, and returning collegian Tommy Phillips.

Along with Phillips, goal tender Eddie Giroux from Toronto was inserted into the Thistles' 1904-05 starting line-up. With Phillips, the Thistles assembled one of the most formidable front lines in hockey history including Billy McGimsie anchoring center, Phillips took the Left Wing while Tom Hooper moved up and assumed Right Wing, Si Griffis in the rover position. Roxy Beaudro relieved at Right Wing. Many of the team had been playing together for nearly ten years. The end of the '05 season found the Thistles with 7 wins and only 1 loss-- celebrating another M.N.H.A. championship and the right to again challenge for the Stanley Cup. The thistles lost this challenge but returned in 1907 to win the Stanley Club and remain forever heroes in the small Kenora Town.

On January 4 th 1911 Phillips married Ellen Gertrude Kilgour in Wentworth County. He became a lumber dealer but died at the early age of 40 years in November 20 1923. He is buried in Hamilton Ontario

Sources: http://hobokin.net/others.html

Robert John Nicholson Pither

Robert John Nicholson Pither, son of Robert and Margaret Pither was born in Montreal October 29 1824. According to the Keewatin History Book Committee, (1973) The History of Keewatin, page29 he was "one of the earliest and perhaps the very earliest settler in the Lake of the Woods District" and came to this part of the country in a birch bark canoe in 1846.

Mr Pither was for many years agent for the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Frances, and afterwords was Indian Agent, with headquarters at Pither's Point near Fort Frances. Date of first appointment as Indian Agent February 1870. His home was for many years a few yards from the site of old Fort St. Pierre, which was located two miles east of Fort Frances. Pither’s Point Park is located on the shores of Rainy Lake in east Fort Frances on Highway 11. The park was named in honour of Mr. Pither. Pither work for the Hudson Bay Co. and later as the federal government agent for local First Nations. In fact, Mr. Pither lived at the point in the late 1880’s. Mr Pither later moved to Rat Portage and remained there until his death.

James Edward Rice 1862-1950

James Edward Rice, son of Charles Marion Rice and Caroline Offutt was born on 15 Feb 1862 in Chatfield, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA. He married Marguerite Beatrice McGuire.

They had at least 3 children:

Julia Esther Rice b. 28 Mar 1894 died young possibly at age 13 in 1907 in Calgary, Alberta

Anna Juanita Rice b. 11 Feb 1896 in Rat Portage, M. James Patrick Rice, d. 31 Mar 1969 in Seattle, Washington, USA

James Leo Rice b. 03 Jun 1898 in Rat Portage, d. 1960 in Vancouver, B.C.

He arrived in Rat Portage around 1884 and in his early years was employed by the CPR.

In 1897 he built the McLeod Block in which he located his clothing store. Mr. Thibaudeau's law office was located in the upper storey. In 1900 he became a partner of the Gardner, Rice and McLeod. consisting of of Gardner's General Store, Rice's Clothing Store and W.A. McLeod's Shoe Store. There was also a dressmaking and millinery department. There was an employed staff of about twenty staff. Around 1910 the Bijou Theatre occupied the main part of the Gardner General tore. In 1931 the building was rebuilt and the Imperial Bank replaced the Gardner General Store.

He was an active member of the Town council in 1899 and 1900.

By 1906 he had moved to Calgary and subsequently to Vancouver.

He died in Apr 1950 in Vancouver BC, his wife predeceased him in Vancouver on 29 Aug 1943.

Harding Rideout 1847-1932

Harding Rideout was born on 29 Oct 1853 at Bayside, Charlotte County, New Brunswick. He arrived in Rat Portage in 1882 during CPR construction. HE was employed by the CPR and latter went into the contracting business . He build the Anglican Rectory.

In 1896 he went into the furniture business in the firm known as 'Rideout and Davidson' and late as 'Rideout and Turner'. He sold the business around 1917 and went into the Insurance business.

He was a member of the town council for years, 1889, 1890,1891, and mayor 1908-1910.

For 15 years he served as Justice of the Peace.

He married Lydia Doten and had one child Joseph Harding Rideout b. 26 Sep 1882 in Oak Bay New Brunswick.

Harding Rideout was also a member of the Lake of the Woods Masonic Lodge, Board of Trade, Board of Education and associated with numerous community efforts and fraternal organizations

George M Rioch 1869 - 1944

George Mccheyne Rioch, son of George D. Rioch and Isabel of Hamilton, Ontario was born in Hamilton on 21 Jul 1869.

He married Clemmentina B. Paterson in Rat Portage on 18 Jan 1898. They had two daughters,
Margaret G. Rioch born in Rat Portage on 25 Sep 1899.
Isabel b.

He came to Rat Portage to open a store for Mr A.W. Thompson. The store opened in 1890 under Mr Rioch's named and was first located in the Clougher (Lincoln) Block. The store moved a couple of times. In 1905 he had Alex Stephen build him a block in which he moved his jewelry business.

He was a member of many clubs and associations including the Masonic and Oddfellows Lodge, Rotary Club, Rowing, Golf and Curling Club.

He was a member of the Library board Chairman of the Board of Directors of the YMCA and General Hospital .

He attended Knox United Church.

He died 26 April 1944 in Kenora.

James Robinson 1848 - 1910

James Robinson was born on a farm in Halton County, Ontario on 11 Jun 1848.

He became a cadet of the Toronto Military School in 1869. He joined the Halton Rifles and made ensign in 1872. He was subsequently appointed Lieutenant and Captain.

He studied at Osgoode Hall and came to Rat Portage in 1882. He opened his law office above A. D. McDonald Store. He succeeded Judge Lyon on the bench and as part of his duties traveled extensively throughout the district.

He was the treasurer of the Province of Ontario for the District.

he was the President of the first dramatic society in 1890

He married Alicia M. Cockerell and had two children

Elizabeth Robinson b. 30 Sep 1890

Ruth Robinson b. 27 Dec 1895

Sources; Early Settlers of Rat Portage page 278

Billy Ross 1847

Billy Ross was born 22 July 1847 in London Ontario. He came to Kenora (Rat Portage) with the Wolseley Expedition . He settled down in Rush bay in 1881. Ross was the first Black man in the area and claimed to "The First white man to cross the Lake of the Woods " (Nelson 1978)

Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Schnarr , son of William Schnarr and Catherine 'Katy' Zinkann was born in Tavistock, Ontario, Canada on 21 October 1868.

George M Rioch 1869 - 1944

George Mccheyne Rioch, son of George D. Rioch and Isabel was born on 21 Jul 1869 in Hamilton, Ontario.

He married Clemmentina B. Patterson in Rat Portage on 18 Jan 1898.

They had two daughters,

Margaret G. Rioch b. 25 Sep 1899 in Rat Portage'

In 1905, the Rioch Block was built for Mr. Rioch by Alex Stephen for his jewelry store previously located in the Clougher Block. On June 1 1940, Mr Rioch sold his business to E. M. Newman and latter it was in turn sold to Dave Penner.

C. Nelson Schnarr 1868-1952

C. Nelson Schnarr, son of Werner Schnarr and Catherine Zinkann was born October 21 1868 in Tavistock, Ontario. His siblings included, William, Mary Ann, John, Robert and George.

He came to Rat Portage in 1897. He was the first Dentist in Rat Portage. His office was located on Main St. over Carmichael's store. He married Eva Helen Margach September 28 1896 at Rat Portage. She died within a year on 3 May 1897.

He joined the Militia before the war with the 98th Light Kenora Infantry and on enlisting with the 94th Over Seas Battalion. He served in the 94th Battalion then as a Major second to Col. H. A. C Machin. He served in England with the unit and later became associated with the Dental Corp. On his return to Kenora he maintained his interest in the military associated with the Kenora Light Infantry. He continued his interest after retirement as a member of the Officer's mess and the Lake of the Woods United Services Institute.

He was an active member of the community. He was a member of the curling and Golf Club. He was the president and honourary member of the Board of Trade, District Grand Master of the Masonic Order, Member of the Lake of the Woods Lodge and a member of the Kartoom Temple of the Shriners. He was an honourary member of the Canadian Legion and for over 50 years a member of the Gold Hill Lodge , I.O.OF. He was a charter member of the Kenora Rotary Club and a President in Rotary Year 1922-23.

He served on the Town Council for several years and in 1926 was appointed private secretary of the Honourable Peter Heenan, Ministry of Labour.

He practiced Dentistry for 27 years before he enlisted Dec 20 1915 selling his Dentistry practice to Dr. J. A. Dean and returned to practice upon his return.

He died in Kenora October 31 1952.

Dr. Simons Southmayd Stuart Scovil 1854-1927

Simmons Southmayd Stuart Scovil, son of Samuel S. Scovil and Adeline Bushe was born on 28 Nov 1854 in Portland, Leeds County, Ontario were he spent his boyhood days. He graduated in 1878 from Queen's University, Kingston. Anthony J Mclaughlin. The next year, he married 18 Feb 1879 Ellen Ursilla Mclaughlin, daughter of Anthony J and Rebecca McLaughlin.

Dr. Scovil first practiced in North Gower in the Ottawa Valley and came to Kenora in 1882. He entered into private practice and shortly after was appointed surgeon for the division.

He was appointed Health Officer in 1896 (Horan page 49)

He built his home ay 303 Main Street South in 1882 where he located in the early days.

The Scovil had four children:

May Scovil b. 15 Apr. 1880 (Mrs Persse)

Gertrude Scovil b. 8 Nov 1881 (Mrs Chartesworth)

Jack Scovil

Stuart Scovil 17 May 1886 Rat Portage

Dr Scovil passed away 26 Dec 1927

Melvin E. Seegmiller 1868 - 1948

Melvin E. Seegmiller, son of Jacob Seegmiller and Mary Anne was born in Goderich Ontario May 27th 1868 and came to Rat Portage in 1886, an 18 year old. He taught along with Miss Janet Clarice Crooks in a 50 foot one log school house on Hennepen Lane behind what is now the Salvation Army Citadel (2013). is salary in 1886 was $600. The two had 70 students in th spring of 1886 divided in 8 classes. Seegmiller was elementary principal from 1886 to 1895.

In the spring of 1889 the site of the Central school was purchased from the Hudson Bay Company for the sum of $1387.59 and in the fall of that year a three storey brick veneer building was erected at a cost of $5500. In 1894 an addition was added to the school with 105 students taught in two shifts. Mr. Seegmiller took over the senior class at this time but only lasted one year as he only had a class 1 certificate. In 1896 an additional four rooms were added to the Central school to give a total of 10 rooms at a cost of $17,000.

Commencing in September 1896 a high school department was set up and Mr Roberts, a university took over the reins from Mr Seegmiller. Two additional teachers t the school at this time were Miss McFarlane and Mr Preston. In 1898 the central School was totally destroyed by fire.

Melvin Seegmiller became Secretary-Treasurer of the School Board in 1898 a position he held until his death in 1948.

Leaving the school in 1898 Mr Seegmiller opened an insurance and real estate business.

He married Mary Alexandra Campbell and had two children

Frederick M Seegmiller born August 1904, died 1923

Edward Arthur Seegmiller born May 1906, died in 1950

He was an auditor for the diocese of Keewatin for 10 years.

He was a charter member of the Kenora Rotary Club and subsequent appointed an Honourary member.

He was a President and Honourary member of the Kenora Golf and Country Club, and of the Curling Club, and President of the Kenora Rink Company, the Kenora Rowing Club, and the Kenora Figure skating Club. He was one of the originator of the rink building scheme. Reference: Olson, Jim, History of Kenora Public Schools 1883-1970 1971

Ernest Agustus Sharpe 1843 - 1912

Ernest Agustus Sharpe, son of James Gill Sharpe and Mary Ann Fowler, was born in McCann, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia on July 9 1843. Ernest Augustus Sharpe was in Rat Portage in 1879 and worked in construction work during the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was the first express agent in the area. He started the first boat livery in 1883

Over the winter of 1881-1882 he went to Galveston, Texas, and married Emma Emma (Kems) Ebers, widow of Herman Ebers on on March 16, 1882, and brought Emma and children to Rat Portage:

Alice Lulu Ebers b. 14 Jan 1876
Florence Ebers b. 09 Feb 1877
Thomas Ebers b. 9 Feb 1877 Died in Infancy
Hermann Alphonse Ebers b. 18 Mar 1880 Herman went by the name of Herman Sharpe and was one of twelve teenage boys who formed the original junior Rat Portage Thistle squad in 1896.

With Ernest she had three more children,

Howard Logan Sharpe b. 31 Jan 1883
Pearl Sharpe b. 6 Jun 1885
Constance Cornelia Sharpe b. 24 Feb 1888
Stanley James Sharpe b. January 28, 1887, d. 31 Jul 1887

Emma was a person in her own right and her story is told admirably by Ray Baker in "The Life of Emma Kems" in Common Ground: Stories of Lake of the Woods 2010.

Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe ran a boarding house in 1884 known as Bismarck House. He had a team and hauled wood and water to the house and subsequently started delivering water for 25 cents a barrel.

Mr Sharpe served on the Rat Portage town council in 1899. He served on the Board of Education.

He built the Sharpe Block on Second Street in 1905.

He died in Kenora Ontario 1 March 1912.

Alexander Shragge 1865 - 1933

Alexander Shragge, son of  Jacob Joel Shragge and Yhetta Gertrude Kamilaar was born 21 Oct 1865 in Brody, Galicia. He came to Canada with his parents in 1880 at the age of 15. The Family settled in Winnipeg.

His first job was a helper on a Red River Boat. A short time after he got a job with Hailey and Sutton Ltd at Morden, Manitoba. When the firm moved to Vancouver he accompanied the firm. He is listed in the 1891 Census in Vancouver. Shortly after he returned to Winnipeg.

In 1893 he came to Rat Portage. About 1893 he opened his Shargge's Clothing Store on Main St. The structure was small but subsequently enlarged with living quarters in the upper portions of the building.

in 1898 he married Elizabeth Ripstein. They Had 4 children:

Gerald Emanuel Shragge 23 Mar 1901 Rat Portage, m. Belva Margaret English, d. 19 Jul 1977 in Sannich, BC.

Yhetta Gertrude Shragge b. 1902 Rat Portage, m. Abraham Coppelman, d. 02 Mar 1976 in Vancouver, BC

Clarence Charles Shragge b. 04 Jan 1904, Rat Portage, d. 28 Dec 1969 in Toronto

Verna Clarice Shragge b. 14 Aug 1906, Kenora, Ontario m. Samuel Kleinman d. 11 Nov 1997 Los Angelas, California

Mr. Shragge was an active member of the Board of Trade, Town Council, Pequonga Masonic Lodge, Oddfellows, and the Rotary Club. He donated a trophy for baseball in 1904 and donated a lot at Pine Portage to the Boy Scouts for their annual camp. He sponsored the dog derby which eventually became known as Shragge's Dog Derby. He Died in Los Angeles, California in 3rd April 1933.

John William Stone 1875 - 1932

John William Stone, son of John and Mary Ann Stone was born April 3 1875 in Barrie Ontario.

He married Bertha Geraldine Fitzgerald. They seven Children:


William Baldwin Thibadeau 1844-1923

William B. Thibadeau was born in Kingston Ontario on 28 Aug 1844. He received his education at the Queen's College School, St. Hyacinth College and graduated from Queen's University in 1862 with a B.A. He proceeded to the degree of M.A. when he was called to the bar as a Solicitor. He practiced in Kingston for about 5 years.

After he moved to Winnipeg where he was engaged in active practice. In 1871 he amalgamated his practice with D.M. Walker and Rice M. Howard under the firm name of Walker, Thibadeau and Howard with Francis Evans Cornish in August 1872. Upon the Bencher's Law society coming into existence in 1871 he was appointed an Examiner for the society

In 1876 Civil Election there was a scuffle where 4 individual including Thibadeau and Cornish were alleged to visit the home of returning officer Huggard and after some hard blows walked off with the Polling Book. They were fined $20 each.

Thibadeau continued in active practice in Winnipeg until 1891 where his residence is listed in the census of that year.

He advertised in Rat Portage as early as 1883 and ultimately moved his practice and residence there at least by 1901. His office was located above the registry office.

He served in the Queen's Rifle Company in 1861 at the time of the Trent Affair. He became a Lieutenant in the 14th Princess of Wales Own in 1865 and captain in 1866. He received the Canada General Service Medal for his involvement in the 1866 Fenian Raid (medal indexed under the name of Thibandeau) for service in 1866 and 1870 Fenian raids in Manitoba.

In 1885, As Major W.B. Thibadeau he served as second in command in the Light Infantry Battalion under Lt. Colonel W. Osborne Smith in the second North West Rebellion.

He wife's first name is Margaret and they have three children:

Mildred Thibadeau b. about 1871

Mabel F A Thibadeau b. 10 Oct 1874

Gwendolin Thibadeau b. abt 1877 d. 07 May 1892

His residence in 1911 is Toronto. He may have died in Chicago, Ill on 21 April 1923

His religion is given as Church of England and that of his wife and children, "Free Church" on census.

References: Begg, William and Walter R. Nursey (1979) Ten Years in Winnipeg, (Online Manitoba Historical Society)Hlynski et al. !982); Mulvany, Charles Pelham The History of the North West Rebellion; Hlynski (1882) Early Settlers of Rat Portage.

Laurence Archer Toole 1905-1982

Laurence Archer Toole, son of George Archer Toole and Eleanor Cross was born in Rat Portage on Feb 7 1905.

He married Donalda Margaret McLeod and had two Children, Catherine (Toole) McLeod and Julianne (Toole) Langley.

He was president of Standard Realty.

He was president of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1947-48.

Laurence was active in several community clubs. He was a member of the rowing club, the curling club and the Golf and Country Club. He was Chairmen of the Hospital Board.

He was extremely active in pursuing the new museum.

He died October 10 1982

George Archer Toole 1874-1957

George Archer Toole was born in Wexford County Ireland on July 12 1874.

He arrived in Rat Portage in 1894. He worked as an accountant for Mr George Drewry.

He married Eleanor Cross at Winnipeg, Manitoba on August 7 1901 and had two children:

Laurence Archer Toole born in Kenora, February 7 1912, married Donalda Margaret McLeod, daughter of Dan McLeod, President of Rotary, 1923-24, died October 10 1982

Eleanor Ducasse Toole (AKA Julianna) born March 27 1912, married Larry Johnson, President of Rotary 1971-72.

Eleanor (Cross) Toole died shortly after her daughter on May 12 1912. He subsequently married Catherine Lillian MacLellan on April 25th 1922.

George A. Toole worked in insurance and real estate business for a number of years. He was President of Standard Realty which he incorporated in 1908. He was succeeded by his son Laurence.

He was very active in community and civic affairs. He served on the cemetery board, the Board of Education, the General Hospital Board (17 years), the Rowing Club and the Golf Club.

He served as Kenora Mayor from 1919 to 1923. He was President of The Kenora Civic Association

He was persistent in negotiations for a paper mill in Kenora. On December 22 1920 the Bacus Tender for the English River Pulpwood was accepted opening the way for the construction of the mill. On June 6th 1922, Mr Toole turned the first sod for the construction of the mill.

Gerald Whitaker 1903-

Gerald Whitaker son of William and Elizabeth Whitaker was born in 1903. He received his early education in Kenora and then graduated from University of Toronto in Dentistry.

He married Bernice McKenzie

He practiced first in Selkirk Manitoba for 20 years before returning to Kenora.

He was active in hockey, and rowing and a member of the Kenora Golf Club.

He was President of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1963-64

John Samuel Whiting 1859-1935

John Samuel Whiting son of John Samuel Whiting and Emily Wright, was born at Shotsham near Norwich, England on 20 May 1859.

He came to Canada at a relatively young age and for two years worked on a farm near Coburg, Ontario.

Subsequently he moved to the Kenora Area around1878 and built his home on Treaty Island, farming and prospecting. He optioned one of his mining properties The Gold Creek to Eastern Interest in 1934.

Elizabeth Campbell of Kenora, reading from his journal, reports: "He went by 'Sam' and prior to purchasing Treaty Island, he lived out on Clearwater Bay. Aside from prospecting and mining, Whiting also was one of the area's early market gardeners. He had crops growing on several islands around the lake, and he used the produce to supply the grocer in Keewatin, and maybe others in the area, too. He was partner to Mr. Kendall (from whom Kendall Inlet Road received its name), but the partnership went sour and the dispute between the two men went to court. His family kept Sam Whiting's journals, but a copy is held by the Lake of the Woods Museum. The journals were mostly business notes - income and expenditures, etc. - however, there are some interesting little memos on life on the lake in the early days scattered through the pages.

He mentions coming home one winter night from Rat Portage across the ice to Clearwater Bay. When he arrived home it was to find that his ox, named Dolly, and his dog had fallen through some rotten ice and drowned. Upon reading this, I felt such compassion for the man. In one day he had lost his main working animal, together with which he earned most of his living, and his trusted companion. A dog would mean so much to him living alone in the wilderness.

I turned the page and read the next day's entry, which read something like, 'Skinned the ox and the dog...' So Sam was a very practical man in the face of adversity, too!"

He married Emily Louisa Mylam in St. George Anglican Church, Montreal, Quebec on Aug 20 1899 the day after arriving on the ship Tainui from England. They had 5 Children:

Leonard Samuel Whiting b. 31 Oct 1904 in Rat Portage, d. Abt. 1990 Kenora, Ontario
Walter Whiting
Harold Erick Whiting b. 6 Nov 1909
Nellie Whiting
Dorothy Evelyn Whiting b. 24 Feb 1912; married Thomas Boucha 1940

He died 27 September 1935. He was buried on Treaty Island

Arthur Woods 1851-1915

Arthur Woods, son of Russell Woods and Elizabeth Huston, was born in Kildare Township, Jolliette County, Quebec on December 16th 1851. He married Harriett Ross in Ross Township, Renfrew County, Ontario in 27 Feb 1884. They had a large family of 10 children, all born in Rat Portage:

William "Harvey" Woods b. 7 Mar 1885
Arthur "Lorne" Woods b. 12 Nov.1886
John "Stanley" Woods b. 3 Jan 1889
James H. "Ross" Woods b. 14 Jan 1892
May "Marguerite" Woods b. 2 Feb 1894
Emily "Eileen" Woods b. 12 Feb 1896
Dorothy C. Woods b. 18 Dec 1899
Victoria Woods 21 Jan 1901
"Russel" Vernon Woods b. 10 Feb 1903
"Helen" Florence Woods b. 8 Dec 1907

He came to rat Portage around 1883 where he and his brother Russell had a store and sold meals near the CPR Line.

He became a member of the Police force and was promoted to Chief which he served from 1887 to 1907. He served on the town Council in 1885,86, 1908,09 and 1910. He was Chairman of Public Works and operated the Kenora Labour Bureau. He served as a school trustee for seven years. He was also chief engineer in the fire department until the water system was installed and again in 1888.

He later became interested in Real estate and had an office on Matheson Street.

He moved his family to Winnipeg in August 1911 where he died in February 14 1915 after a two year lengthy illness.

Note: Additions to this individual may be added by sending an email with additional information to jretson@shaw.ca.

Andrew Allan Young 1876 - 1942

Allan Young, son of Robert Hamilton Young and Elizabeth Paterson was born in Scarborough, Ontario on December 1 1876. He came to Rat Portage around 1890. He carried on business with his father until his father left for the West around 1909. He carried on business for several years.

In 1907, he married Mabel Creighton of Rat Portage and had two Children

Robert Creighton Young born October 18 1908

Paddy Young born in 1914

He was an active member of the Board of Trade, Gun Club, Anglers Club and Rowing Club. When he retired from the Clothing business he was connected with the Singer Sewing Machine Company and Carling's Distillery. He died in Rat Portage in the 1942.

William Young 1848-1920

William Young was born in Scotland about 1848. He came west and was located in Rat Portage during the Construction period of the CPR. Later he went into the contracting business and later engaged in prospecting and was one of the first discoverers of Gold in he area.

Around 1885 he was a justice of the Peace. He was Reeve in 1889, 1890 and 1891 before Rat Portage was incorporated. IN 1897 he was elected Mayor but resigned a few months later when he was appointed Stipendiary Magistrate for the District.

He married his wife the much younger Helga at least before 1901. He left for British Columbia around 1908 and acted as Magistrate during the construction of the G.T.P. in Northern BC.

HE passed away in Winnipeg in January 1920

Arrival Date in Kenora


John Fraser, James Charbonneau, James Fitzgerald, Charles Fraser, William and John Heany, James Ledman, George McGee


Adam Blondin, Israel Gagne, A.D. McDonald


James Begg, J. McKeown, Thomas Montgomery, George Montgomery,


James Baxendale, William Bishop, J. Bunting, John Challoner, John Fiddler, William Hawley, Wellington McCammon, Andrew McKenzie, John McQuarrie, William Richards


John Clark, William Gould, William Kendall, A.D. McKenzie, Joseph Perrault, Joseph Robinson


John Anderson, Joseph Beaudro, Sir Douglas Colin Cameron, J. Clarkson, John Dalzill, Fred Dulmage, J.J. Linklatter, Alf McDonald, Joseph Perron


John Benchley, J. Clarke, J. Clougher, Charles Falkner, William Howard, P.C. Mills, W.R. Wilson, Albert Wright


D. H. Currie, Joseph Derouin, Barney Duncan, D.T. Feguson. Ed Foster, W.L. Howard, Dave Kay, Nels Larson, William Margach, Alfred McCall, George McPherson, R. E. Preston, Thomas Ratchford, David Ross


Charles Anderson, Charles Caucutt, Joseph Harper, James Lang, William McKreith, Harry Webster


Robert Wiggins


James Fraser, G. Frisble, B. Linstrom, Thomas Loutitt, J. O'Neil, W, Ouelette, F Thompson


Common Grounds Committee, Common Ground: Stories of Lake of the Woods, Kenora: Lake of the Woods Museum, 2010

Horan, Gertrude C. (1952) History of Rat Portage, Ontario 1879-1905, Kenora Public Library REF 971.311 HOR

Hylnski, Sharon, Cheryl Barnard, Bonnie Bowiec and Lori Nelson, Early Settlers of Rat Portage, 1881-82, Call Letters in Kenora Public Library 971.311HLY

Johnston, Georgina "The Kenricia - The Grand Hotel in Common Ground: Stores of Lake of the Woods, Kenora: Common Grounds Committee, 2010

Mead, Florence, Through the Kenora Gateway, Kenora: Bilko Press, 1981

Nelson, Patricia and Lori (1978) A Colloquial History of the Lake of the Woods. Kenora Public Library 971.311

Robertson, Heather & Melinda McCracken Magical, Mysterious Lake of the Woods, Winnipeg: Heartlands Associates, 2003