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People of Kenora - P

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R. J. Parrott 1853 - 1929

Robert James Parrott son of Mathew Parrott and Frances Jane Hickson was born February 15 1854 aavccording to his death certificate, April 16 1853 according to the 1901 Canadian Census and 1856 according to his headstone.February according toarrived in Rat portage around 1881. He was employed by Bridge and Building Dept of the CPR. Later he became an auctioneer and owned a second hand store on Main St. In 1906 he became the manager of the Kenora Boat Co which was originally owned by George and Neill Brunsel. He bought the business in 1920 and renamed it Parrott Boat Company. He operated a sight seeing boat on Lake of the woods. He sold his business to Gus Anderson and in 1934 it was bought by J.W. Stone. He passed away in February 16 1929.

John Alfred Partington 1869

John Alfred Partington, son of Thomas Partington and Louisa Holden was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England in 06 Feb 1869. When a boy of ten years, he crossed the Atlantic with his family and to settle in St. Louis. After several years they moved to Bird's Hill Manitoba to farm and then to Selkirk.

He married Mary Magdalen McInnes in Selkirk, Manitoba in 15 Apr 1891. He arrived in Rat Portage around 1895 and operated a grocery store on the corner of Matherson and Second St. In 1897 his business was on the corner occupied by the Pier Restuarant in 2016. He partnered with Earnest Appleton in King Cash Grocery. In 1905 John Partington, John Nash and Neil Brunsell were inspectors of light houses and buoys on Lake of the Woods.He resided in Rat Portgae by 1901. By 1916 he had moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. He died in 11 November 1924

Oswald Partington 1871 - 1932

Oswald Partington, son of Thomas Partington and Louisa Holden was born in Newton Heath, Manchester, Lancashire, England in 1871.

He married Bertha Emma Yates on 11 October 1901 in Selkirk, Manitoba in 15 Apr 1891.

He came to Rat Portage arounf 1892 and worked in the grocery busines for the first few years. He worked as a composer in the Miner and News for a couple of years before returming to the grocery business.

He became a partner for the Insurance firm of Derry, Appleton and Partington, with Joseph Derry and Ernest appleton.

In 1912, he was appointed clerk of the Division Court and in 1925 Deputy Sherrif becoming Acting Sherrif fo a short period.

He was a member of the Board of Trade and Lake of the Woods Masonic Lodge.

He died in Kenora on 21 November 1932 after a week of pneumonia.

Source Miner and News Front Page Nov 23 1932

Dr. James Paterson Paton (J. P. Paton) 1886 - 1968

Dr. James Paterson Paton, son of Thomas Paton and Patterson Isabel came to Kenora in June 1912. Much of his early work was with the CPR but in the winter he made trips to lumber camps by horse and sleigh.

he practiced medicine for a total of 56 years until his death

He married Hellen Olive MacGillivray on September 12 1917 in Wellington, Ontario.

They had a least two sons James born 1917 and Thomas born 1920.

On his 50th anniversary as a physician over 500 people came to a testimonial dinner for him.

He was a member of the Kenora Rowing Club, the Kenora Lawn Tennis Club, the Curling Club, and the Golf and Country Club.

He was a member of Knox United Church.

He was President of The Kenora Rotary Club 1954-55.

He contributed substantially to Kenora District Home for the Aged.

In 1967 he received the Canadian Centennial Medal.

John "Jack" Penner 1907 - 1994

john "Jack Penner was born in Crimea, Russia in 14 September 1907. He came to Canada at 18 years of age and travelled to Winkler where he stayed for several years. He married his wife Beth in Winkler

He started his first watch repair stand in front of a drug store and and lattrer established Penner's Jewellers in Kenora . He retired in 1977

Joyce Penner m. Harold Primmer

Fergus Penner m. Barb

David Penner m.Joan

He was a devote member of Knox United Church where he sang in the choir. and an elder. He was president of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1861-62.

Jack Penner died in 13 May 1994 in Kenora.

Albert John Pike

He served with the OPP for 10 years.

John Pike was Chief of Police from 1939 to 1970

Charles Alfred Pitt

Alfred Pitt

Alfred Pitt was born in London, England on June 11 1871. He arrived in Canada at the tender age of 16 years and settled in Pipestone, Manitoba. He married Carrie Elizabeth Hames in Birtle Manitoba on June 29 1898. They had four children

Edith Margaret Pitt born July 30 899 in Pipestone Manitoba, died December 13 1992

Eva Margaret Pitt born January 18 1901 in Pipestone Manitoba , died March 22 1961 in Winnipeg Manitoba

John Alfred Pitt born March 7 1903 , died in 1956 in Dryden

Arthur Raymond Pitt born December 12 1904 in Pipesone Manitoba, died September 23 1961 in Kenora, Ontario

He began a partnership with Mr MacNicol in Pipestone Manitoba in the early 1990s and in 1909 they purchased the "Cassidy Store" at the corner of Queen and Earle Streets in Dryden, present site of Kupper's Bakery.

In 1917 they bought the Hunter Store in Keewatin which was managed by John C Scott for 5 years. John C Scott bought the store in 1922.

Upon incorporation of the town of Dryden, he beacame the town's first mayor. He was President of the Dryden Board of Trade.

He passed away on January 22 1952 in Winnipeh Manitoba.

Arthur Raymond Pitt 1904 - 1961

Arthur Pit, son of Charles Alfred Pitt and Carrie Eliza Hames was born Pipestone Manitoba on December 12 1904. He attended public school in Pipestone and Dryden Ontario. He attended the University of Manitoba. After completing his education he worked at the Arthur Pitt store in Dryden. He came to work in the Kenora store in 1932.

He married Edna May (Nee Bailey )Watson. He adopted Donald Joseph Perrault, the son of his wife Edna and her first husband Joseph Perrault after the marriage and had a second child, Linda Gail Pitt.

He was active in Knox United Church serving on the Board of Stewards and as a trustee.

He was a town councillor from 1937 to 1939 and from 1942 to 1944. He was mayor in 1952 and 1953.

He was a president of the Kenora Chamber of Commerce.

He was a member of the Kinsmen and Rotary Club.

He was active in Masonic Circles. He was Past Master of the Lake of the Woods Lodge, a member of the Golden Chapter, the Ledger Preceptory and Khartoum Temple and a member of the Eastern Star.

He served as a member of the General Hospital Board and General Hospital Board and General Hospital Expansion Committee. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Salvation Army.

He died in Kenora on September 23 1961. His wife survived him passing away July 16 1977. They are buried in Lake of the Woods cemetery in Kenora.

Donald Joseph Pitt 1928 -2015

Don Pitt

Donald Joseph Pitt, son of Joseph Perrault and Edna Bailey, and adopted son of Arthur Pitt was born on June 25 1928 in Kenora Ontario. On the death of his father at the age of 3 he went to live with his maternal great Uncle and Aunt Walter and Ellen Loutitt. He was adopted by his step father Arthur Pitt following his mothers remarriage 5 years letter.

He married Margaret Eva OLson on August 26 1950 in Keewatin, Ontario and they had three children, Jane, Judy and Donna.

The family in the early years lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma wher Donald worked in the retail clothing business. In the 1950s he returned to Kenora to work at his father's store on Mian street. He left the store business to work for Garth Nelson at Nelson's Liesureland. Later after he retired he served as a carrier agent for Lake of the Woods Enterprise and as a personal driver for Dr. Peter Pan for his out of town trips.

Donald served on the Kenora Town Council for a number of years and the flags flew at half mask in his honour at hs death.

He was a member of the Kenora Kinsmen Club, the Kenora Bowling Alley,the Kenora Curling Club, and Ducks Unlimited. H served on the Kenora Police Commission. He was an elder at Knox Uniteed Church.

He passed aaaway Januray 7 2015 in Kenora Ontario.

Alphonse J Plante

Came to Kenora in 11927 to drive a bus for Jim Fox.

In 1934 went into business for himself.

They had two children Peter and Annette

Joseph Aime " A.J." Poirier

Joseph Aimee Poirier "A.J." , son of Alfred Alphonse Poirier and Marie Brule was born in St Ste Agathe ?, Manitoba in 1893 ?. He married Anne Marie Ouelette in Kenora on 26 Janaury 1921.


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

Charles Pope 1855 - 1927

Charles Pope, son of Robert and mary Anne Pope, was born on April 23, 1855 in Leicestershire, England. He married Annie Paterson in Toronto on April 29, 1880. He came to Rat Portgae in 1890 and was employed as a conductor with the CPR. He was also an engineer for many years . He was appointed General Chairman of the Board of Locomotive Engineers.

They had 6 children

Jessie Ellen Pope March 20 1881 in Toronto
Ethel May Pope born April 26 1882 in Toronto
Annie Pope born Feb 2 1887 in Toronto
Charles A. Pope born Jun 12 1888 in Manitoba
Agnes Pope born Dec 6 1889 in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Georgina Pope born on Nov 10 1891 in Rat Portage

Around 1917 he retired and moved to Winnipeg. Later he moved to Nelson BC where he lived for a couple of years. He passed away in Vancouver on September 27 1927

Earle Cameron Popham 1892 - 1959

Earle Cameron Popham the son of Edwin S. and Ella G Popham was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 1 1892. He attended Central High School, Wesley College and graduated in Arts from the University of Manitoba. He enlisted with the Canadian Arm forces from 1915 to 1919. For more information on his military career see

He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1920 and the Ontario Bar in 1924. He came to Kenora and joined Colonel Machin in practice. He was appointed Kings Counsellor in 1934 and Crown Attorney in 1936 succeeding Colonel H.P. Cooke. He was appointed County Court Judge in 1938.

He married Eleanor May Groff in Winnipeg August 24 1920. They had at least 5 children.

Joan Popham 1923- 2004

Shirley Popham 1928-1980

Ross Cameron Popham 1929 - 1935

Twins Hugh and Clark of Winnipeg

He was president of the Kenora Board of Trade, first president of the Northwestern Chambers of Commerce. He was active in both provincial and federal Liberal associations.

He was active in the Lake of the Woods Lodge, A.F. and A.M. He was D.D.G.M. of the Masonic Order for the Western District.

He was president of the Kenora Kinsmen Club and District Governor. He was president of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1941-42.

He was chairman of the WW2 Kenora Victory Loan.

He was president of the Kenora Athletic Association, honourary president of the Kenora Ski Club and a member of the Kenora Golf and Country Club.

He died in Kenora April 10 1959. His wife Eleanor died in Winnipeg 1976. They are buried in Lake of the Woods cemetery in Kenora.

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


Robert John Nicholson Pither 1824

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, page 29 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.