People of Kenora - M

My Website | My Twitter| My Facebook| My Blog | MyLinks| My Work

People of Kenora - M

A complete index of People of Kenora may be found at

This websites welcomes submissions to this site by sending information which may be sent to

Colonel Harold Arthur Clement Machin 1875 - 1931

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 at 35. He died of Heart failure 5 March 1901 after a severe attack on pneumonia.

John "Shorty" MacGuire 1874 - 1948

John Macguire was born in Glasgow Scotland around 1874 and came with his family to Canada at a young age. They settled in Carp, Ontario, near Ottawa. He attended school and after graduating from school worked in the mills. Around 1898 he moved to Keewatin and remained for a short time before moving west to British Columbia

He returned to Keewatin in 1910. He began a bus service between Keewatin and Kenora. The bus was often referred to as "the old stagecoach".

From 1922 to 1940 he operated a taxi business.

He died on Jaanuary 8 1948 at age 73.

Lloyd Mack

Editor of Kenora Daily Miner and News

Wife Shirley

President of Kenora Rotary Club in 2008-09

John Shorty

William "Bill". M. Marr 1958-59

Came to Kenora in 1943 from Manitoba . Had a garage cross from post office and son had a marina foot of Matheson St. Marr's Marina and a Grain storage facility on Park Street presently occupid by parlking space of Mall

Wife Dorothy

Dr Duncan John Mason 1897-1954

Doctor in 1930 Office above what is now King's Furniture.

J. "Jack" D. MacDonald

Ken's Storage

wife Belle

joined Rotary 17 04 1945

Carter's Motors limited 1953

John Farquahar MacGillivray 1870 - 1942

Ernest David Manning 1891 - 1945


Ernest David Manning, son of Sydney Manning was born on 4 April 1891 in Forrest, Plympton Township, Lambton County, Ontario. His father, Sydney Manning, was born in Harberton, Devonshire, England and immigrated to Canada as a child in 1867 according to census documents. His mother Elizabeth Shillington was born in Lambton County. The couple had married in Plympton in 1889 where they raised their children

Ernest Manning
Ellen Frances Manning born 1893
William Shillington Manning 1896-1969
Ray Frederick Manning born 1898
Earle Sydney Manning 1901-1959
Joseph Coulton Manning 1905-1905
Mary Margaret Manning born 1909

In 1891 Ernest and his mother living with the Wilkeson family in the county of Lambton, his mother listed as a domestic. His father Sydney was living with his parents, also in Lambton. By the 1901 census the family had reunited and were living on their farm at Plympton with new members since the last census, Ellen, William, and Ray. By 1911 the family was completed with two more children Earle and Mary; sadly baby Joseph had only lived for a few months in 1905.

Ernest graduated from Queen's University.

Ernest signed his attestation papers for World War 1 in Guelph, Ontario on 10 June 1916. His present address was given as Georgetown where he was working as a high school teacher. He gave his father Sydney back in Forest, Ontario as next of kin. Twenty five years of age, he had blue eyes and black hair. As a Private with the 56th Overseas Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Ernest embarked from Halifax aboard the SS Metagama on 11 Sep 1916. In January of 1917 he was transferred to the new 55th Battery, CFA and arrived in France in late August. Less than a month later, on 18th of September at Lens, he sustained a shrapnel wound to the elbow. Invalided to England by the end of the month, the injury was very serious. The elbow was shattered and disorganized, requiring a complete excision with bone removal. Infection set in and Ernest was to spend time at a number of hospitals in England including six months at the No 16 Canadian General Hospital, Orpington before being transferred to the No 5 Canadian General Hospital at Liverpool in May of 1918.

Ernest was invalided to Canada aboard the Araguay, arriving in Halifax in early June of 1918. He was granted a furlough and then discharged in London, Ontario on the 6th of September as medically unfit for service. His intended residence was Forest, Ontario where his father was living.

On 12 August 1919, Ernest married Nellie Madeline Darling in Simcoe, Ontario where Ernest was working as a teacher. Born in 1897 in Durham, Gray County of Ontario, Madeline was the daughter of John and Eliza Mary (Horn) Darling. Her father was a druggist by trade. They had three children,

Helen Patricia born in Simcoe Ontario, married G Wakefield
David Manning
Madeline Manning

In 1921 Ernest was working as a teacher in Simcoe. After leaving Simcoe, Ernest was a high school principal in Tweed and Newmarket for a number of years.

The family moved to Kenora, Ontario where Ernest took over the position of principal of the Kenora High School in September 1935 and remained until his death in 1945. He was a governor of the Ontario Teachers' Federation. He was a member of the Kenora Rotary Club, a member of the Masonic Lodge AF and AM, the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion, and of Knox United Church. During the Second World War years he made a point of meeting the boys and girls of Kenora passing through the town or returning after the war.

Ernest died on 15 November 1945, in Kenora, stricken with a seizure while at work. He was survived by his wife Madeline, son David with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, daughter Mrs G Wakefield of Winnipeg, and daughter Madeline in nursing training in Toronto. Ernest is buried in the Lake of the Woods Cemtery, Kenora.


Canadian Great War Project at

William H Marr

Came to Kenora around 1944. He ran a marina at the bottom or Wharf Street. Commador of Lake of the Woods Sailing Association in 1968.

President of Kenora Rotary Club in 1958-59

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.

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

John Mather died 10 June 1907.

References Dictionary of Canadian Biography, , Obituary June 12 1907 Kenora Miner & News

Robert A. Mather

Ruth Jessica (McArthur, Tait) Bowiec

See Ruth Jessica Bowiec

William McCarthy 1848-1913

Thomas McClellan 1881-1966

Thomas McClellan, son of James McClellan and Isabella Sheppard was born at Whitehaven, Cumberland, England on May 7 1881.

He came to Canada in 1906 to St Thomas, Ontario. He then traveled to Edmonton, Alberta before moving to Kenora in 1907.

He married Janet Cossar on June 9 1909 at Kenora, Ontario

He became a mechanic with C.P.R. in October 1905 and retired in June 1946

He was a member of Pequonga Lodge No 414, A.F. and A.M. the International Brotherhood of Machinists.

He was a veteran of the First World War. His war record may be seen at

He was a charter member of Branch No 12, Royal Canadian Legion.

He served as chairman of the Board of the Kenora General Hospital for 21 years.

He served as a Kenora Town Counsellor from 1930 to 1934 and Mayor from 1935 to 1939.

He passed away August 8 1966.

James Nelson McCracken 1861-

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

James McCracken built what became known as the Heath Block for a grocery business. J. McCracken served as a town counsellor in 1885-1886 and 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.

Samuel Charles McGimsie 1847 - 1936

Samuel Charles McGimsie 1887 - 1970

William George McGimsie 1880 -1968

Donald "Dan" McInnis 1881 - 1980

Donald "Dan" M. McInnes, son of Peter McInnis and Jane Neil was born in Maxville, Ontario on September 23 1881.

IN 1905 Dan and his two brothers traveled to Kenora, Ontario. Dan entered the business of Cheesemaking.

In July 21 1910 he married Elizabeth Gould in Kenora, After the marriage, he moved to Fernie, British Columbia. They had three children Kenneth, George and Evelyn.

He moved back to Kenora and worked with Murphy Bros delivering supplies to Redditt where thenCNR line wsa being constructed as well as tolumber camps on Lake of the Woods. From 1911 to 1915 he entered a partnership with Harry Thorpe purchasing a wood sawing machine.

In 1915 he purchased a confectionary business on Matheson St (South East Corner Matheson and Second St. S. Six years later he established a dairy. He retired in 1936.

He then moved to Fort William, next to London anf finally returned to Kenora.

He supported theThistleHockey Team. He was an original shareholder of the Rat Portage skating rink. He helped form the Kenora Pipe Band.

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

Christopher Hugh Mckinnon 1889 After 1954

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 1885 - 1944

Hugh Bathgate McKinnon, son of William A MacKinnon and Clementine Geary, was born in Rat Portage on April 21 1885.

He married Edna DeGagné Jan 25 1911. They had four daughters,

Dorothy McKinnon1913

Helen McKinnon 1915

Hugh McKinnon 1917

Monica McKinnon1919

Lorna McKinnon 1919

William McKinnon

Edward McKinnon1929

He joined the Canadian Pacific railway as an engine wiper in 1901 and by age of 21 became one of the youngest railway engineer 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 for the seat vacated by Peter heenan. He was re-elected in 1935 and 1940.

He was responsible for for house to house delivery of mail in Kenora

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.

Reference: Early settlers of Rat Portage

Chris H. McKinnon

1953-54 Mining Recorder Government Servics

Imperial Oil

joined Rotary 10/02/1920

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 January 1899 Married F.J. Kelly

Jessie Alexandria McLeod January 29 1901, married Maxwell Yorston Cameron (1950-51 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 left home at the age of 15 years arriving in Keewatin in 1883. He acquired a job with the Canadian Pacific Railway construction crew working on the Winnipeg -Rat Portage portion of the railway. Shortly afterwards he he went to work for the Keewatin Lumbering and Manufacturing company starting at the bottom on the "green chain" piling lumber as it came out of the sawmill. He worked on bush camps as Camp clerk keeping track of supplies and payroll records. When he was 21 he was sent to Northern Minnesota for the winters as a timber cruiser. In time he worked his way up to camp supervisor. In the summers he would return to Keewatin where he worked in the sawmill. In 1903 he became supervisor of the lumberyard. In 1906 he was still going to the work camps and was responsible for several camps at the south end of Lake of the Woods. Following the fire of the mill in 1905 most were out of work. Backus and Brooks bought the Keewatin Lumbering and Manufacturing Company in 1906, renamed it the Keewatin Lumbering Company, rebuilt the sawmill and kept Dan as logging superintendent. In 1907 he was appointed the General Manager of the company. He was appointed Vice President of the company and general manager of the Kenora Paper Mill when it opened in 1923. The Compamy became the Minnesota and Ontario Pulp and Paper Company on January 8 1941. Dan retired at age 73 in 1943 at age 75.

Thoughout his life Dan was active in community affairs. He joined the IOOF in 1895. He joined the Keewatin Masonic Lodge at age 21 (1889) and remained with it for another 58 years. He joined the Kenora chapter in 1914. He was a member of the Board of Trade in 1920 and subsequent president and the Board of Education in 1921-22. He was a charter member of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1920 and President in 1923 - 1924. He was a Mayor of Keewatin.

In reporting his death, the local newspaper described him as a Pioneer of the District LumIndustry and a "tower of strength in any project organized for town and district improvement". He died February 26 1947.

A plaque in his honour was placed on the waterfront described him,


Further information may be found in Don Cameron, "Dan McCleod: The Man Behind McLeod Park" in Common Ground Stories of Lake of the Woods, page 188-200.

Donald Thomas McLeod 1924-2009

Donald "Don" Thomas McLeod, son of Norman McLeod and Louise was born June 22 1924 in Vancouver, BC. Don was youngest of four children Margaret Wilton McLeod, John "Jack" McLeod, and his twin sister Mary Lee.

He attended schools in West Vancouver and completed his education at the University of British Columbia. His studies were interrupted by services in the Royal Canadian Airforce during World War 2.

In 1946 while traveling to Kenora to spend a holiday vacation he was asked to "temporary" fill a position at the Kenora Town Hall and remained 43 years progressing to Clerk, Treasurer and Chief Administrative Officer.

Don married Catherine McLeod in Kenora. They had one child Donald in 1969.

Don was a community builder serving in many community services. He was President of the Rotary Club in 1983-84. He was president of the Kenora Thistles. He was secretary and president of the Kenora Golf and Country club. He was a member of the selection committee of the Northwestern Ontario Sports hall of Fame. He was a member of the vestry, Rectors Warden, and finance Committee of the Diocese of Keewatin and St. Alban's Cathedral.

Don loved the Lake of the Woods spending the summer months at the family cottage on Isle Petite. He loved hunting in the Whiteshell. In retirement he enjoyed Alaskan cruises talking with fellow passengers and crew of diverse backgrounds.

Don was a friendly greeter at Rotary, at the Recreation Centre and around town and was fondly remembered long after his death on September 30 2009.

William A. McLeod

Robert "Bob" McMillan 1936-2011

Robert McMillan

Robert "Bob" Alexander McMillan, son of Walter and Jean McMillan was born on June 2nd 1936 in Regina Saskatchewan. Other siblings included Wally, Eileen and Isabelle.

He married Joanne his wife of 54 years in 1957. They had three children:

Cathy McMillan married Rick Roy, Children Ryan, Christine, Michelle and Melissa

John McMillan married Charlene; son Luke

Brian McMillan married Cheryl, Children David and Devon

While in Kenora he was employed by TransCanada as Manager.

He was president of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1984-85.

Bob was caring, fun loving, generous and loved to spend time with family and friends. He was loved his family deeply and was loved equally by them. Family times were treasured by Bob as was every game of golf with wife Joanne and their friends. Bob was a very special person that meant so much to each family member.

After a brief illness he died in Kelowna on June 26th 2011.

Rory McMillan

Rory McMillan

Rory McMillan is a lifelong resident Kenora where he attained his early education. He attended Lakehead University and Ubiversity of Manitoba graduating with a Master of Social work - Administration. He is married to Glenda McMillan. He has been employed by the Ministry of Community and Social Services in Kenora as a Program Administrator. He also has been an accasional instructor at Confederation College in Kenora. He has served as a Kenora Town and City Councillor for over 16 years. In October 2014 he received the most votes of the elected 6 councillors. He chaired the Corporate Services Committee. His interests include community volunteer work, reading and music.

Charles Edward McMurdie 1854 - 1932

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, burried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.
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, burried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

He passed away on Februrary 16 1932 in Kenora, his wife Catherine having predeceased him in February 2 1923. Both are buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in 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.

George McPherson (Jr.) Son
English 1881 Census of Canada
Half Breed 1894 scrip application
Scotch B 1901 Census of Canada
Scotch 1911 Census of Canada
Chippewa 1921 Census of Canada
Scotch 1921 Census of Canada

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 Dorherty McQuarrie 1852- 1928

Alexander Dorherty 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

He died in Alert Bay, Comox, British Columbia, Canada on 05 Feb 1928.

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 Alexander.

Malcolm Doherty McQuarrie 1847-1933

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 came 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.

He died in Vancouver, British Columbia on 02 May 1933

Ontario Manitoba Boundary Dispute The Argus Nov 23 1883
Dispute Dispute

Charles Henry "Rabbit" McVeigh 1897-1984

Charles Henry "Rabbit" McVeigh, son of William Henry McVeigh and Charlotte Lottie Mary McGinnis was born in Kenora on March 29 1897. His father owned the Commercial Hotel All of the siblings were born in Rat Portgage (Kenora).

William James McVeigh born March 31 1895, married Gertrude May Beaudro16 Oct 1893 in Kenora, died 20 Mar 1948 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, buried in Lake of the Woods.

Charles Henry McVeigh March 29 1897

Laura Vivian McVeigh born on January 28 1899, married William James Cuthbert 01 Jun 1921 in Winnipeg died 08 Apr 1978 in Winnipeg.

Dinah McVeigh born on November 24 1900, beleived to have died young and at least by 1911.

Daniel C. McVeigh born Nov 1901, married Leslie Norah Lupton in Winnipeg on 09 Feb 1920, died 26 Apr 1961 in Montreal.

Eleanor Caroline McVeigh March 20 1903, married Harry Frankland in Winnipeg on 21 Aug 1926, died in Winnipeg on 20 Nov 1956.

Robert Earl McVeigh born and died on November 04 1906

Charles Henry McVeigh was an outstanding hockey paper. he played with the Regina Capitals of the WCHL from 1921 to 1925, the Portland Rosebuds of the WHL in 1925-26 and the played 397 games in the National Hockey league with Chicago Blackhawks 1926-8 and New York Americans, 1928 to 1935 and finished with London Tecumsehs in 1935-36. He the refereed with the American Hockey League.

He married Grace Marion Wood in 1922 in Sackatchewan and they had one daughter Charleen (1928 1983)

Frank Ranover Miclash 1953

Frank Miclash was born May 16, 1953 in Kenora Ontario. He served as a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1987 to 1999.

Miclash was educated at the University of Manitoba, receiving a certificate in education, and later worked as a teacher. He was elected to the Lake of the Woods District Hospital board in 1985, and served as a commanding officer of the Navy League Cadet Corps.

He was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1987 provincial election, defeating New Democrat Doug Miranda by just over 1,000 votes in the Kenora constituency. The Liberal Party won a landslide majority in this election; Miclash was served as a parliamentary assistant in 1988-89. Miclash defeated Miranda a second time by 331 in the 1990 election. Miclash served as chief opposition whip in 1991-92, and was easily re-elected in the 1995 election.

The province's boundaries were radically altered in 1996, such that Miclash's Kenora riding was merged with the Rainy River of NDP leader Howard Hampton as Kenora—Rainy River. Hampton won the election by just over 3,000 votes.

Miclash worked for three months as a manual labourer on the Grace Anne luxury yacht following his defeat. He was subsequently appointed to the province's social benefits tribunal by the Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris and he continues to serve on that body. He owns a fishing camp and a bed-and-breakfast inn.

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.

James Risk Mercer 1883 - 1969

James "Jim" Risk Mercer, 8th child of William Clark Mercer and Annie Munsie Stuart was born in Dryfesdale, Dumfriesshire, Scotland September 21 1883. His siblings included Jane Anderson Woods Mercer, 1868 - 1874, Isabelle Porteous Mercer 1870 - 1966, Stuart Mercer 1872 - 1966, Mary Euphemia Mercer 1874 - 1962, Thomas Mercer 1876 - 1942, Annie Stuart Mercer 1880 - 1904, William John Mercer 1881- 1931, Eleanor Cowan Mercer 1887 - 1978, Elise Pearl Mercer 1888-1970. According to the 1891 census, the family immigrated to Canada in 1886. According to the 1921 Census the year of immigration was 1883. The last two were born in Canada and all born in Scotland except Jane and Mary ended up immigrating to Canada.

The family commenced living in Kingston Ontario. William died on April 2 1894. In 1901 the wife, Anna, James Eleanor and Elise were living in Montreal. Jim married Annie May Small on August 19 1914 and he described his residence on August 18 1914 as Montreal.

He joined the Rotary Club between its Charter meeting and July 1921 when he is described as Chairmen of the Rotary Boys' Committee.

He was secretary of the Club for three years prior to his term as president of the Club 1928-1929.

In Kenora he was employed as Secretary of the YMCA. He passed away September 16 1969.

Captain Fred Mongrain

" was born at three Rivers, Quebec December 2 1863. He came to Rat Portage when he was only 16 years of age. "Fred" was one of Rat Portage oldest citizens. He had a record of over 60 years of lake transportation.

He married Marie Perrault and had at least three children.

Fred or Alfred Mongrain

Rosana Mongrain

X Mongrain married L.J. Oliver

X Mongrain who married Charles McArthur

Reference Early Settlers of Rat Portage p 567

A. Leo Murray 1890-

Leo Murray was born in Rat Portage on May 14 1890. He enlisted on January 20 1915 and saw service overseas. Upon returning from overseas in 1919, he opened a store on the Murray block which had a fire in May 1927. He reopened his grocery store on the North West corner Matheson and Second St. S. on June 29 1927 bragging of the most modern equipment. He also owned a large chicken farm in Clearwater Bay. He retired in 1945 after 26 years and sold his business to Robert Jackson, a former employee.

Mr.. Murray served as an Kenora Alderman from 1930 to 1934. He was an active member of the Kenora Rowing Club and President of the club in 1933 and 1950. He was a member of the Kenora Lodge no 74 ,B.P.O Elks. He was President of the Canadian Legion from 1935 to 1939 and again in 1944.

Harry "Sherry" Sherman Murphy 1871 - 1958

Henry Sherman Murphy, son of Aaron Hiram Murphy and Hannah M Britt was born Dec 16, 1871 in Andover (Perth-Andover) New Brunswick. He received his education in New Brunswick and worked with the Canadian Pacific Railway in New Brunswick before coming to Rat Portage in March 1896. He worked with Frank Gardner in his store on Main Street. He join his brother in the carthage and fuel business around 1897 and the firm became known as Murphy Brothers. In April 1913 the Murphy Brothers purchased the ice business or Eric Holstrom. He retired from the business in 1928 when the brothers sold to John Kron. He became associated with Sun Life Assurance from 1928 to 1950 in the insurance business.

He married Maud Saxton (born Apr 04, 1882, Glencoe, Ontario) on September 9 1914 and they had 2 children,

Harold Murphy born Jun 05, 1919 in Kenora, married Marianne Doris Tettley in Glencoe Ontario, died Oct 19 1959 in Kenora

Marian Elizabeth Murphy married Al Sherrett

He was a member of the Kenora town council in 1908 -1909. He was an active member of the Board of Education. He was past President and Honourary member of the Kenora Board of Trade. He was a long time member of Rotary Club.

He was active in the construction of the Tabernacle Baptist Church i later years a devote member of the Knox United Church. He was a member of Gold Hill Independent Order of Odd Fellows and holdrer of the fifty year Jewel.

He died in Kenora on October 28 1958.

Robertson "Bob" Pierce Murphy 1858-1940

Robert " Bob" 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. They had one daughter Elizabeth who died at approximate 2 years

He founded his cartage business on Sep 14 1882 with a two wheeled cart and the first horse brought to Kenora.

1st Horse

Picture curtesy of Dan Murphy

Grandson, James Hyatt, passed on an amusing story of bob's enterprising nature,

Bob Murphy found a young orphan bull moose during a freight run and took the moose home with him.  The moose was stabled with the draught horses and over time it apparently came to believe it was a Percheron horse. When the moose grew to adult size, Bob harnessed it with an older Percheron and used the team to pull freight loads to local mines.  This arrangement ended in the autumn when the moose rediscovered his true lineage and entered the rut,  Bob then released the moose in a remote location with it's own kind.

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.


Pictures curtesy of Dan Murphy. Bob is the second man to the right of the tall man in the middle of the picture.

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 after a 13 month illness:

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.)

He remarried in Winnipeg, Sep 05, 1917 to Emily Annie Lodge. They had two children

Roberta Emeline Murphy born May 13 1918, married William George Hyatt April 6 1946, and subsequently married Ragnar Ongman.

Roy Pierce Murphy born June 13 1921 in Kenora, Ontario, married Ethel Ann Francis, died January 4 2009 in Edmonton.


Common Grounds Committee, Common Ground: Stories of Lake of the Woods, Kenora: Lake of the Woods Museum, 2010

Hylnski, Sharon, Cheryl Barnard, Bonnie Bowiec and Lori Nelson, Early Settlers of Rat Portage, 1881-82, Call Letters in Kenora Public Library 971.311HLY

Mead, Florence, Through the Kenora Gateway, Kenora: Bilko Press, 1981

Nelson, Kathryn (1978) A Political History of Kenora, 1981. Kenora Public Library 320.9713 Nel

Nelson, Patricia and Lori (1978) A Colloquial History of the Lake of the Woods. Kenora Public Library 971.311