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.

Due to the size of computer file, the bibiographies of individuals who have lived in Kenora have been relocated to other files which you can find by clicking on the links below. A comple index of residents of Kenora can be found at http://retson.ca/peopleofkenora.html

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
Dr. Gerald Whitaker 1903
Dr. Roy Wesley James Whitaker
John Samuel Whiting 1859-1935
James Percy Williams
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.

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, Ontario 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 for nine years. The store then moved to the standard block for six years. In 1905 he had Alex Stephen build him a block in which he moved his jewelry business where it remained until sold to Ernie Newman in 1940.

In 1890 he and a couple of other young men sent an order to Toronto for a dozen hockey sticks and a rule book so they might learn sothething about the game. When the team was formed it adopted his suggested name ofthe Kenora Thistles

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

He was a member of the Library Board, he served twenty years on the Board of Directors and was Chairperson of the YMCA and twenty two years on General Hospital Board.

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 was working for Thompson Brothers and Forrest when he came to Kenora to establish a jewelry store for A. W. Thompson. The store was opened in his name and located in the Clouger Block (latter renamed the Lincoln Block) for 9 years. He then trnansfered to the standard Block for 6 years. In 1905, the Rioch Block was built for Mr. Rioch by Alex Stephen beside the then Town office and the prsent site of Penner's Jewelery store. On June 1 1940, Mr Rioch sold his business to E. M. Newman and latter it was in turn sold to Dave Penner.

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

They had one daughters, Margaret G. Rioch born September 25 1899 in Rat Portage. She never married.

He was the C.P. R watch inspector for 40 years before his retirement.

He served 20 years as chairman of the YMCA Board. He served 23 years as chairman of the General Hospital Board. He was an elder of Knox united Church.

He was an early member of the Rotary Club. He was a pioneer member of the curling club. He was associated with the rowing club.

In the winter of 1890 Mr Rioch and some other young men sent an order for some hockey sticks and a rule book so they could learn something about the game. It was his suggestion of the name Kenora Thustles that was subsequently adopted for the team. Seventeen years later in 1907, the team became the team from the smallest town in Canada to wun the stanley cup.

He died April 26 1944 in Kenora and is buried in Lake of the woods cemetery

James Malcolm Savage

James M. Savage, posibly son of William Savage and Christina Ross was born in Quebec in September 1864 or 1865. He married Mary Ann Arbuthnot

He had two children:

Lottie Mary Savage

Agnes Gertrude Savage born November 29 1884 in Ste Catherine Ontario; married Thomas Otto Mackay; died November 16 1910 in Victoria

He came to Rat Portage around 1890 and was employed by the Ontario and Western Lumber Company. He joined the rowing and Curling Clubs in 1892. In 1894 he was secretary-tresurer for the company in 1894.

He quickly engaged in local politics. He was a town councillor in 1892 and mayor in 1893 and 1894. In 1894 he was elected MPP for the Provincial parliament for the constituency of Western Algoma narrowly defeating James Conmee by 8 votes. He became mayor again for part of 1897 when William Young resigned after a few months in office and again in 1898.

In 1897 he was secretary for the Coronada Gold Mining Company. The same year he was on the Board of the Jubilee Hospital.

Mr. Savage left Rat Portage in 1899 for St. Catherine, Ontario. There he was the manager of a large manufacturingb plant. Next he moved to Quebec where he became a contractor. After a few years he moved to Winnipeg and went into the real estate business. In 1910 he moved coal mining on the Pacific Coast and became manager of Canadian Colleries one of the largest corporations on the coast at the time.

He died in Victoria on August 12 1923 sudenly on board a steamer.

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 Whitaker Elizabeth Jane Macfie was born in 1903. His parents had come to rat Portage in 1890. His siblings included Alice, Vera, Roy and Beryl. He received his early education in Kenora and then graduated from University of Toronto in Dentistry, where his brother Roy had begun his studies.

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 and his brother Roy built the Dental clinic known for many years as Whitaker Dental Clinic now (2013) occupied by the Ho Ho Restuarant on Matherson St.

He was President of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1963-64

Roy Wesley James Whitaker

Roy Whitaker son of William Whitaker Elizabeth Jane Macfie was born on April 12 1897 in Rat Portage. He received his early education in Kenora and at the age of 18 enlisted in the Caniadian Expeditionaery Force. He listed his occupation as "banker". He was discharged due to "chronic nephritis". He then went to the University of Toront to study Dentistry. On April 17 1917 he re-enlisted with the Canadian Dentist Corps. In October 1917 he joined the Royal Flying Corp. In March 1918 he was discharged to the Imperial Army RFC as a Lieutenant serving with the 115 Squadron of the RAF. He was shot down over France, rescued and admidted to Hospital. In the Hospital he contacted influenza and was invalided back to Canada arriving in St. John, Newfoundland on December 24 1918.

He finished his Demtustry studies in North Western Univesity in Chicago. While there he married Etta Velma Macmartin on December 18 1920. They reurned to Kenora 3 in the Oddfellows Block. In 1947 he and his brother , Gerald built the office building on Matheson Street which was Known as the "Whitaker Dental Clinic" (present location of the Ho Ho.)

Roy and Etta had two children,

William Whitaker

Vonnie Whitaker

Roy then remarried Patricia Odam. They had two sons, Byng who died of Polio in 1953 and Gerry.

Roy was active in sports playing baseball, and hockey. He served on the executive of the Junior Thistle as President.

He was a member of the masonic lodge, Shriners, Rotary Club, Curling and Gold Club.

He was president of the Lake of the woods United Service Institute. He was chairman of the Kenora District Health Unit.

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

James Percy Williams 1890 -1956

James Percy Williams, son of Jabez Williams (born July 29 1858, New Buckingham, Norfork, England) and Ann Mackenzie (born May 15 1862 St Andrew, Manitoba) was born January 24 1890 in Fort Frances. There were 7 children Herbert Bruce Williams (1886-1926); Lawrence Joseph Williams(1888- 1922); Ethel Ellen Elizabeth Williams (1892-1969); Rubert Jabez Duncan (1893-1973);Lucy Caroline Margaret Williams 1895 - 1974) and Stanley (1897-1911)

Jabez Williams worked with th Hudson Bay Company first as a clerk and later as Factor at Lac Seul.

When the Mother Annie Williams died at the early age of 37 several of the children moved to Uncle James Mackenzie including "Laurence J"., "Pearcey J.", "Ethol E.E.", "Ruppert D.", and "Lucy C." according to the 1901 Census 444 N2-3-Page 24.

Percy received his education in Rat Portage and began to work with Hose hardware.

He enlisted in the War in Kenora on May 21 1915 and was sent over to France from England on February 1916. He was injured in the war and spent time in Hospitals in England and France as welll as Winnipeg after returning to Canada. He joined the Canadian Legion: British Wmpir Service League (Kenora Branch) October 3 1927. More information on his military history can be seen at http://www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=114750

Following the war he went back to work at Hose Hardware. In 1921 he went into the Hardware business with Mr Fred Caniff and eventually established his own store on Seconds Street. He was publisher of the Kenora Miner and News for several years.

He married Marion Solsolist Pittman in Kenora on July 14 1926. They had four children,

Jocelyn Williams Married J.R. Campbell
James Douglas Williams 1929 - 2005
Lawrence Pitmann Williams 1932 - 1998
Barbara Marion Williams 1940-2009

He served on the Kenora School Board.

He served as mayor from 1939 to 1943

He was a member of the Lake of the Woods Gun Club, a Director of the Kenora Golf and Country Club, a member of the IOOF, held membership in the Conservative Party.

He was an Honourary member of the Kenora Rotary Club.

He died in Kenora February 24 1956. He is buried in the family plot in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

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