People of Kenora - W
A complete index of People of Kenora may be found at http://retson.ca/peopleofkenora.html
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Gin Ham Wai was born in Toyshan District, Kwangtung, China on November 23 1902. He emigrated to Canada arriving in Vancouver on board the Empress of Russia on October 31 1902. He paid a head tax of $500. He worked in a Chinese grocery and next Cecil Cafe in Winnipeg. He returned to China in 1930 where he married Lee Shui Kim. Due to the passage of the Chinese Immigration Act he was not able to bring back his wife and child to Canada. She died in 1943.
On returning to Canada in 1930 he relocated to Kenora. In 1933 he opened Ken Cafe which he continued to operate until 1965. He died in Kenora in August 1990.
Ken Wai, son of Gin Ham Wai and Lee Shui Kim, was born in Kwangton, Toyshan, China in 1931. Because of the Chinese Immigration Act passed in 1923 he was unable to be brought to Canada and immigrated only in 1949. He came to join in working at his father's restuarant Ken's Cafe. He stayed in Winnipeg for a couple of years. He finished school in Kenora. He attended Ryerson Radio College in Toronto from 1953 -1955 to achieve a certificate in Electronics.
He returned to Kenora and worked briefly with Olson's Radio Shop and then continued with the T.V. repair business with the Town and Country. In 1979 he opened an electronics business and expanded the business to include sales.
He married Jennifer in 1959 and they had four children Sussie 1960, Don in 1961, Wayne 1969 and Nancy in 1970. He died in Kenora in August 1990.
John Walls 1847 - 1934 and Elizabeth Catharine Link Walls 1863- 1933
John Walls, son of George Walls and Barbara Clarke was born in Bathurst, New Brunswick on 23 August 1847. He was the eighth child of 10 children. He left Bathurst to work in in the mill and arrived in Keewatin sometime in 1883. Elizabeth Catharine Link, daughter of John Jacob Link and Jane Eliza Quinn was born in Burwick Ontario on 2 February 1863 and married William Thompson on 26 April 1879. Following his death, she married John Walls in Norman on 3 January 1888.
John had a daughter by his first wife,
Sarah Ethel Walls born 31 January 1882 born in New Brunswick
The birth dates for the following 4 children with Elizabeth Catharine Link was taken from the 1901 Census of Canada,
George Arthur Walls 24 Dec 1888 born in Keewatin
Jean Catharine Walls born 14 Dec 1893 in Keewatin, married Roy
Margaret Edna Walls born 17 Mar 1895 in Keewatin attended University of Toronto a high school teacher on Edmonton, Alberta. After she retired, she moved back to what has become known as the Mather Walls house in Keewatin (see below).
John Walls born 10 Jun 1898 in Keewatin, married Betty Ross
John Walls commenced working for John Mather who operated the Keewatin Lumber and Manufacturing Company (currently Kenora Forrest Products Company). He worked his way up the company becoming General Manager of the company. In 1889 John Mather built three almost identical homes, the second of which served as residence for his son David Mather and has become known as the Mather Walls House located at 1116 Ottawa Street. This house was purchased by John Walls in 1906. (see the following website for further information : Mather Walls House )
Elizabeth Catherine Walls died 18 august 1933. John Walls died 1934. They are both buried in the lake of the Woods cemetery in Kenora.
The following notes were added by Jeanne Craddock, JeanneCraddock@hotmail.com , great grandaughter:
John and Elizabeth (nee Link) Walls Family
Twenty-five year old John Walls arrived in Keewatin from Bathurst, New Brunswick in 1883. He was employed by the Lake of the Woods Milling Company and later served as foreman of this company. He loved to curl at the local rink and was a member of the Keewatin Masonic Lodge #417 AF and AM. He played the violin and loved to have his daughters accompany him on the piano.
John Walls married Elizabeth Catherine Link, daughter of John Jacob Link and Jane Elizabeth (Quinn) Link. The Link family were early residents of Norman. John Link was from Stormont ON and Elizabeth was from Northern Ireland. Elizabeth had three brothers living in Kenora, Jim, Adam and William Link. Jim Link was a Kenora business man, councillor, an avid rower with the early Kenora Rowing Club and very involved with the Kenora Thistles Hockey Club. Jim Link was the coach and trainer of the Kenora Thistles during their three Stanley Cup challenges in 1903, 1905 and 1907. In 1907 he coached the Kenora Thistles to the Stanley Cup championship. Jim died 1n 1964 at 90 years in Vancouver.
Adam died and is buried in Sacramento , California. William is buried with his parents, John and Elizabeth Link in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.
In 1906 John and Elizabeth Walls purchased from David Mather the house located at 1116 Ottawa Street in Keewatin. In this lovely old home they raised their four children George, Jean, Margaret Edna and John. This house is now known as the Mather-Walls House and since 1975 has been the property of the Ontario Heritage Foundation.
Elizabeth Walls passed away in 1933 at the age of 70. Her husband John followed her in 1934 at the age of 76. They are buried in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery with their son George and daughter Margaret Edna. The local newspaper paid John Walls a wonderful compliment in his obituary. " John Walls, one of the oldest and best loved citizens of Keewatin is called to rest."
He grew up in Broadview, Sask. As a child he attended a Presbyterian residential school in Birtle, Man. He moved to Kenora in the late 1950s. He later served as a principal in the principal of Cecilia Jeffreys School in Kenora from 1966 to 1969. He served as Executive Director for Grand Council Treaty 3, and Chairman of their national assembly for many years. He acted as executive director for Ojibway Tribal Family Services.
Wasacase served on town council in Keewatin, then city council in Kenora. He has served on various Kenora Boards including including Lake of the Woods Hospital Board, health unit, police, and board of education. He served as chairman of the Kenora Police Services board, Fellowship Centre and St. Andrew's United Church.
In a community that's been so bitterly divided over the years, Colin's equally respected on either side. First Nations members will remember him for his contributions to sports and culture, as well as his leadership.
He's also been known to play softball and curl at a high level.
He worked over the years with the federal government to close the institutions across the country. He's also helped Ottawa shape cultural policies for aboriginal artists and authors.
Colin Wasacase received the 2012 Ontario Senior Achievement Award as one of 20 seniors of distinction chosen by Lieutenant Governor David Onley.
He continues to serve as board chair for the Kenora Fellowship Centre (also known as Anamiewigummig, which means "house of prayer" in Ojibway). He is a Cree elder. He is invited to serve as the Legion chaplain for Remembrance Day ceremonies, as well as an elder at public functions in the community.
His sense of humour has served him well over the years. In an early day following his arrival in Kenora one day he entered a local restaurant for a meal. After waiting for a significantly long time, the waitress finally stopped and said."I'm sorry, we don't serve Indians, here."
"Colin's reply was direct."That's OK, I don't want an Indian. I want a hamburger.
Jack Watterson, son of David and Mae Watterson was born April 16 1922 in Joahannesburg, South Africa. He immigrated with his family at the age of 4 along with his brother Douglas and twin sister Mary. They settled in Windsor, Ontario. As a child, Jack loved to swim in the Detroit River.
Photo curtesy of Wife Gloria
He married his wife, Gloria of 51 years in 1957. They had two children,
Bruce Watterson (Wife Audrey, child Ryne)
Joan Watterson (married Harry Bardal)
Out of high school, in 1940 Jack joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and served his country for five years during World War II. His final posting was in Gander Newfoundland where he was a gunner in the Lancaster Bombers that flew missions over the Atlantic. After the war, Jack came to Northwestern Ontario to visit an air force buddy and fell in love with the area. He spent a year in Fort Frances, then settled in Kenora in the early 1950’s.
He started a career in Kenora with Zeal & Gold Department store, which inspired him to open Jack Watterson Ltd., selling fine men’s clothing. In subsequent years, he was a Transportation Officer and Purchasing Agent for the Kenora Public School Board, followed by several years as the Manager of the Kenora District Housing Authority.
Jack was very dedicated to his family and his community. He served many years in a variety of positions on the Public School Board and as a Kenora Town Councilor in 1975 and 1976. He was involved in several service clubs including Kenora Legion Branch 12, the Jaycees and Rotary.
He served as president of Kenora Rotary Club 1970-71.
He was also an avid sports fan. Growing up in Windsor, he became a life-long fan of the neighbouring Detroit sports teams, especially the Red Wings and the Tigers. During his Air Force years, he played on the RCAF basketball team. He also spent many summers umpiring local baseball games and playing baseball. In the winter, his love of hockey drew him to serving on the executive of the Kenora Thistles for several years, and more recently he could often be seen cheering on his grandson at the rink. Jack was introduced to curling when he moved to Kenora and he had a real love of the game. In later years he also took up golf and loved to spend time on the course with the Senior Men’s league. He developed a great love for Lake of the Woods and spent many enjoyable days on the lake with family and friends swimming, fishing and camping.
He passed away on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, at home, at the age of 88.
Chanie Wenjack 1954 - 1966
Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack was born on 19 January 1954. He died 23 October 1966 near Redditt, Ontario
Chalie grew up at Ogoki Post, on the Marten Falls Reserve, with his parents and sisters. At age nine, he and three of his sisters were sent to Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School located in Kenora. The Cecilia Jeffrey School was run by the Women’s Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and paid for by the Canadian government. Charlie was placed in grade one and after two years, in remedial classes with special instruction in English and arithmetic. The school gave him the name “Charlie,” which is the name by which Chanie was most commonly known.
On 16 October 1966, Wenjack and two of his friends left Cecilia Jeffrey School during their afternoon time on the playground. They were wearing only light cotton clothes when they ran away. Wenjack told his friends that he wanted to see his father. The jury at his inquest and journalist Ian Adams concluded he run away because he was lonely. His sister believes that he may have run away because he was sexually assaulted. The day he and his friends left, nine other children also left Cecilia Jeffrey.
Wenjack followed his two friends to the cabin of their uncle, Charles Kelly, near Redditt, ON. Kelly took his nephews to his trapline. Wenjack walked the nearly 5 km to meet them, then set out alone to find his father. Kelly advised him to follow the railroad tracks and to ask railway workers for food. He carried only a glass jar with a few matches. The weather turned cold with snow squalls and freezing rain. The temperature went down to between -1 and -7°C. Dressed only in a cotton windbreaker and no food, Wenjack covered 19 km on foot before dieing from exposure. He died in the early morning of 23 October 1966, one week after he left the Cecilia Jeffrey School. A CNR engineer passing on a freight train discovered his body beside the track. He was discovered over 60 km from the Cecilia Jeffrey School.
The principal of the Kenora school remembered Wenjack as a boy with a good sense of humour, particularly adept at noticing wordplay. According to a letter written by Wasacase to his supervisor in November of 1966, Wenjack’s mother had requested that his body be returned home. After first refusing the expense, the Department of Indian Affairs made the travel arrangements. By train, principal Wasacase, several of Wenjack’s sisters and his mother accompanied Wenjack’s body to Nakina, then by plane to Ogoki Post. In the same letter, Wasacase claims that Wenjack’s father did not know that his son had died. Wasacase, the police and Indian Affairs had attempted unsuccessfully to contact him. Wenjack’s father had only received an earlier letter that said his children were doing well at Cecilia Jeffrey.
Charlie Wenjack was buried on 27 October 1966. His death sparked national attention (See Maclean's Article at http://www.macleans.ca/society/the-lonely-death-of-chanie-wenjack/ ) and the first inquest into the treatment of children in Canadian residential schools. The Wenjack family later learned the details of the inquest through CBC radio and newspaper reports. They were not allowed to attend the inquest.
Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia (http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/charlie-wenjack/) accessed October 13 2016
Gus Westin, son of Nils Hansson Westin and Catarina (Karin) Christina Widenstrom was born in Naske, Vasternorrlands, Sweden on Feb 27, 1878.
He married Ida Margarette Norman April 28, 1908 in Kenora. She was daughter of Karl Frederick Norman and Margreta Degerstrom. She was born September 4 1884 in Skogsa, Boden Norrbottens, Sweden and predeceased her husband on October 13 1948. They had 7 children and adopted another, all born in Kenora:
Edna (Johnson) Westin born about 1907 in Kenora
Elvira Westin born December 20 1909, married Hljalmar Holmstrom, died April 2 2001
Olga Westin born about 1912, married Harold Gibson
Alva Westin born abt 1916, married Harold Skead
Verna Westin born about 1917, Married Ross MacDonald, died December 24 2007
Edwin Westin born about October 8 1918, married Gwen Fee, died January 9 1989
Doris Westin and Alfred Westin died at birth.
Gus owned and operated Westin's Pool Room and Cafe on Main St. He was associated with Westin Cabins on Water Street until his retirement in 1946.
He attended Bethesda Lutheran Church and was a member of Gold Lodge I.O.O.F. for 63 years
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 Restaurant on Matherson St. He was President of the Kenora Rotary Club in 1963-64
Roy Wesley James Whitaker 1897 -
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 Canadian Expeditionary Force. He listed his occupation as "banker". He was discharged due to "chronic nephritis". He then went to the University of Toronto 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 admitted 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 Dentistry studies in North Western University in Chicago. While there he married Etta Velma Macmartin on December 18 1920. They returned 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,
Roy then remarried Patricia Odam. They had two sons, Byng who died of Polio in 1953 and Gerry.
He joined Rotary August 12 1941.
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
Harold Erick Whiting b. 6 Nov 1909
Dorothy Evelyn Whiting b. 24 Feb 1912; married Thomas Boucha 1940
He died 27 September 1935. He was buried on Treaty Island
President of Kenora Rotary Club 1964-65
Gerald Whitehurst, son of John W. Whitehurst and Christie McDonald in Fort Williams (Thunder Bay) Ontario on May 25 1898. His siblings included John Allen Whitehurst (Dec 31 1891), Angus Clarke Whitehurst (Jan 14 1893), and Walter R. (Jan 25 1896).
He enlisted in World War 1 on April 2 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He embarked from Halifax with the 179th Battalion on October 3 1916 on the S.S. Saxonia. Further details with respect to military can be found at http://www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=143507
He married Ada Beatrice Rose (b. Oct 25 1899) on June 19 1920. in Fort Williams. She survived Gerald passing Jul 19 1966. They had one daughter Geraldine Joyce "Babe" born August 12 1924 and passed away October 27 1928 of polio.
He worked as an electrician for CPR. In 1922 he transferred with the CPR from Fort Williams to Kenora.
He served as a Kenora Town Council in 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1933, and 1934. He was an active campaigner for Labour in several elections
He died May 29 1898 in Kenora at the age of 39 years.
Edwin Ernest Whiteside, son of William Ernest Whiteside and Florence orothy Horne was bor 17 Nov 1915 in East Dereham, Norfolk, England. His father died in 1919, wheh he was only 3 and she remarried Guy Edward Mann in 20 Jun 1920. He traveled to Canada with his mother and Sisters Phyllis Elaine (b. 1913) and Eileen Maybel (b. 1919)and step sister Dorothy G. Mann (b. 6 Jun 1921) with arriving in Quebec on 6 Nov 1925. He served in the Kenora Light Infantry from 1934 to 1937. In Kenora he resided at 506 5th St. South.
On 25 September 1939 in Winnipeg, he enlisted with the Winnipeg Grenadiers, Service number H6584. His trade on enlisting was given as Miner Transport.
He embarked for Jamaica 9 Jun 1940 and returned to Canada September 9 1941. He embarked from Vancouver 27 October 1941 with "C: Force for Hong Kong arriving 16 November 1941.
The Battle of Hong Gong commenced with bombing on December 8th and was over by December 26th 1941.Corporal A. McCorrister indicated that the Company was attempting to work their way back to headquarters when he was wounded by Machine gun bulletts at Wong Nei Chong Gap, Hong Kong and died about two hours later. The official date of the death was finally determined to be Dec 20 1981 although McCorristers statement on file appears to suggest a date of Dec 18 1941.
By letter dated May 21 1948, his mother was informed that his body could not be identified and hence he was buried in an unmarked grave at Chai Wan, Hong Kong Island and name on the Sai Wan Memorial Column 28.
John "Happy Jack" Whitmore, son of William and Catherine Whitmore was born in Durham Township in 1858. His mother died when John was a young boy possibly about 1865. He had a number of Siblings, two older, Harriet born about 1851, Thomas born about 1854, and two younger, William born about 1860 and Catherine born about 1865.
A news story at the time of his death in 1940 has him coming wet in 1891. The 1911 census has him living with his cousins Thomas and John Whitmore and the 1921 census has him living alone on Superior Street Keewatin.
"He lived his quite life in an ancient shack situated in an area of Keewatin which was underdeveloped. He lived all alone and had no family. Happy Jack was friendly, but extremely quiet, he would only speak when he was spoken to. Happy Jack was well educated in math and loved to help young children with their problems. His philosophy was "Live and let Live". The only time he worked was in the summer at the Stove Mill at the Lake of the Woods Mining Company, he started work in 1896 and worked for 33 years. There is little known about him, no one knew where he came from, what brought him here or who he really was. Happy Jack died April 16 1940."
Direct quote from Hlynski, Sharon et al. Early Settlers of Rat Portage Page 476
Sydney Charles Wilcox, son of Charles Smith Wilcox of Windsor, Nova Scotia and Emma Gertrude Thom from Quebec, was born July 26, 1883 in Windsor, Nova Scotia. He was educated in Windsor and then attended King's College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering.
He married Constance Marguerite Whitman, daughter of Francis Whitman and Florence Ritchie of Annapolis, Nova Scotia on September 10 1910. They had three children:
Gertrude Whitman Wilcox born July 16 1911. She married Frederick Jackson July 26 1943, Vancouver, B.C. She died in 2002 in Kenora
Charles Tom Wilcox was born in Winnipeg in 1914 He married Daphne Gunne in 1943 in Kenora. He died in 1994
Arthur Whitman Wilcox March 12, 1920 He died in 2007. He married Frances Enid Harvard in Winnipeg in 1948.
Sydney arrived in Kenora by 1911 and sought employment with The Canadian Pacific Railway.
Sydney served as a Second Lieutenant with the 68th Regiment in Windsor, Nova Scotia. He served again in World War 1 enlisting January 4 1916 in Winnipeg, was promoted to Captain and fought in France. More information with respect to his military career can be found at http://askgen.ning.com/group/kenora-great-war-project/page/wilcox-sydney-charles as well as letter written to is daughter Gertrude on June 14 1917.
Returning to Canada, he worked with the Canadian Pacific Railway in Brandon before returning to Kenora in 1939. He retired as Divisional Engineer in 1948.
Sydney was active in his church as a member of St. Alban's serving on the vestry, as Rector's Warden, as a member of the executive of the Diocese of Keewatin and as a lay member of the Cathedral Chapter.
He joined the Kenora Rotary Club shortly after it was chartered in 1920 and served as president in 1926-27. He was the first member to receive the 30 year pin in his Rotary District.
He had a life member in the Lake of the Woods Officer's Institute He was a member of the Kenora branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
He was a member of the Town Planning Board and a member of the Secondary School Board.
He died August 12 1969.
James Percy Williams, son of Jabez Williams, New Buckingham, Norfork, England and Ann Mackenzie was born January 24 1890 in Fort Frances, Ontario. 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 well 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 Solsoleil Pittman in Kenora on July 14 1926. They had four children,
Jocelyn "Joddy" Williams b.10 May 1927 Kenora, Ontario, d. 31 July 2017 Cornwall, Ontario, m. James Reid Campbell
James Douglas Williams b. 30 Nov 1929 at Kenora, Ontario, d. 2 January 2005 Spokane Valley, Washington, m. Eva Mary Hutcheson
Lawrence "Larry" Pittman Williams b. 10 May 1932 at Kenora, Ontario, d. 12 August 1998 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Barbara Marion Williams b. 26 Sep 1940 at Kenora, Ontario, d. 1 Sept 2009 in Sequim, Clallam, Washington, m. Mark Siegrist
He served on the Kenora School Board.
He served as mayor from 1939 to 1943
He was a member of the Canadian Legion British Empire Service League, Kenora Branch, a member of Lake of the Woods Gun Club, a Director of the Kenora Golf and Country Club, a member of the IOOF, and 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.
Photo courtesy of Mark Winkler
Jacob Winkler, son of Frank Winkler and Chaia Schachter was born in Radutz, Bucovina, Austria on March 15 1894. He married Rose Goodman (Gutman) on April 10 1921 in Winnipeg Manitoba. They had two children, Kevin Winkler and Clarice (Winkler) Phillips.
They came to Kenora in 1925. He carried on a retail clothing store on 12 Main St. S. known as Styles Clothes Shop.
He was described by his daughter-in-law as a very kind and caring man. This was born out by his practice in the depression of giving clothes away from his shop to people who could not afford to buy them.
He and died young at the age of 58 on July 16 1952 in Kenora, Ontario
Photo courtesy of Mark Winkler
Kelvin Winkler, son of Jacob Jack Winkler and Rose Goodman Gutmann was born in Winnipeg on February 16 1929. He married Lila Resnick in Winnipeg on May 25 1953. They had three Children.
Laurence Winkler born November 6 1953
Jay Leonard Winkler born July 24 1957, Married Helen, died 2002
Mark Winkler born October 13 1959
At one time or other he owned seven stores in the area including stores in Sioux Narrows, Nestor Falls, and Fort Frances. He owned the Dalmore Hotel before he sold it to HoJos and renovated it in the mid-seventies. There was located Lila’s Gift Store (which was originally started where Ella Lynns was located and where in 2015 the Royal Bank now stands). He owned Pat’s Stationery as well as The Lake of the Woods Trading Post on Second Avenue as well as his original store Kelvin’s Woolen’s Store which was located in the basement of the Kenricia Hotel on Main Street. He had a warehouse where the original Green School Annex which was next to Central School for over 15 years and then built a warehouse on the East Highway past the Jail. He also had an ice cream stand in the Kenricia Hotel called The Ice Cream Factory from 1976-1979.
He started by taking over his father’s clothing store Styles Clothes Shop at 12 Main St. South in the early 50’s where he lived with his parents when they first got married. He loved to go swimming out in the back of the building …where ironically Winkler Harbourfront Park stands today.
Kelvin was elected to town council in 1977 and served two terms and then won election as Mayor. He was defeated by Joyce Chevrier in 1994. He was elected as Mayor in 1998 and was mayor for a year before amalgamation of the the three towns of Kenora, Keewatin and Jaffray Mellick in 2000.
He worked closely with MPP Leo Bernier to secure funding to develop Kenora's Harbourfront and to build the bypass north of the City. He was able to distinguish between his personal interests and his civil responsibilities. While personally opposed to the construction of the Kenora Bypass which he felt would kill his business, he supported it publically on the basis that it was in the greater interests of the citizens of Kenora.
His son Mark indicated that he maintained his private life. He was a devoted husband and father and never discussed public affaires at home. He was a gentle, never vindictive man who refused to attack his opponents or belittle those few who served to frustrate and vex public servants.
He passed away in Toronto May 5 2005. He was predeceased by his wife in 1996.
Reference: Conversations with son Mark Winkler.
Photo courtesy of Mark Winkler
In his creation entitled Life's Little Moments Mark tells his own story in photos, videos and audio files from his early life in Kenora, to performer, to professional artist and then management. A work of passion - a must be seen to appreciate the man, his talents and life.
Mark Winkler, son of Kelvin Winkler and Lila Resnick was born in Kenora on October 13 1959. He attended schools in Kenora and then University of Michigan. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education and Honour Scholar Diploma in Opera Performance. He was a talented musician, opera singer before entering the production side of the performing arts.
He worked 3 years as a Musical Director for Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich Ct, and then moved on as a creative director and produced multi-media for a variety of Fortune 100 corporations in New York City as indicated in Life’s Little Moments. He presently resides in New York.
Ira Frankilin "Pat" Wismer, son of Norman Wismer and Debra Mezina Clark, was born in Souris, RM Glenwood, Manitoba on 23 April 1898. Pat at the age of 16 years signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 15 Dec 1914. He embarrked in Halifax on 23 Feb 1915 in the b 32nd Battalion. In 2 May 1915 he embarked for France and on the 5th transferred to 2nd Battalion (Eastern Ontario Regiment) . Their first battle was 2nd Battle of Ypres and over the course of the war fought at Ypres, St Julien, Festubert, Mount Sorrel Fesnoy, Amien. He received the Distinguished Conduct Medal,
for conspicous gallantry and devotion to duty, Assisted by another man he succeeded in capturing an enemry machine gun which was causing us casualties. Later, he entered a dug-out and toiok three officers and four other ranks prisoners"
He was also awarded Croix de Guerre on Jun 20 1917. On 11 August 1918 he was wounded in the arm and ininvalidated to England.
Upon his discharge he married Eveline "Ivy" O Keeffe on 10 Apr 1919 in Portage La Prairie. They had two daughters, Eveline Wismer and Margaret Wismer.
Pat became a brewmaster and in 1935 was found in St Catherines, Ontario and in 1940 in Rosedale, Toronto. In january 1948 he moved with hs family to Kenora wher he bought the Bentz Brewery and renamed it the Lake of the Woods BreweryHe sold the business in 1952 but stayed with the business until it closed its doors in 1954. He then oped a Stationary and novelty store called Pats
He served two terms on the Kenora Council. He was a member of the Rotary Club, the United Travellers Association, the Kenora Legion, and the Curling Club.
His first wife died 9 Nov 1971. on 1 Jun 1974 he married aroline Lucy (nee Tilbey Wismer, widow of his brother Russell. He died 19 Apr 1975 at his cottage on Coney Island.
Fred, son of Fred and Ann Witts, was born in Uley, Stroud District, England on June 21 1871. He immigrated to Canada in 1892.in January 1898, he married the widow Sarah "Sadie" Harrison (nee Dodsworth) whose husband William John Harrison had died 30 May 1892 in Morton, Manitoba. She had three children by her first husband, the youngest of whom was 8 at the age of the marriage. Tey had
Gordon Frederick Witts born 22 Oct 1898 in Boisevain, Manitoba,
Della born abt 1901 and Joseph, who probably died in Infancy.
In 1901 their residency was still Boisevain, and some time after they moved to Kenora. Fred was employed as a manager of Cameron and Heap and its successor Western Grocers.
He served as a town counselor in Kenora in 1916-17 and 1921-22. He was a member of the Board of Trade, Lake of the Woods Masonic Lodge. He attended a Rotary Club on Feb 28 1922 Dinner with wife and either was a member by that date or joined shortly after. He was past president of the curling club in 1916.
His first wife Sarah died in Kenra on 04 Sep 1927. He married Cassie Lucille Davis in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 20 Aug 1929.
He moved to Detroit around 1930
He returned to Canada and took up residence in Keewatin. He operated a grocery store Keewatin, Grocery for 5 years.
Photos curtesy of Stephen Richards. In 1936 he opened up a wholesale tobacco business Witts & Cummer.
He moved to Stratford, Ontario. He passed away there in October 1942.
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 1885,1886, 1908, 1909 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.
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He attended Cresent Heights High School
He attended and graduated with a BA in Political Science and History at the University of Calgary.
From 1975 to April 2011 (36 years) he was President of QSI Interiors Ltd., serving Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton.
His wife Marion and Fred took up permanent residence in Kenora. Since 2000, they have provided business management consulting, assisting companies understand and implement cost controls, efficiencies, time management, strategic planning and succession planning with Eagle Point Inc. Ontario
He was active in the construction trades and business organizations including, Past Winnipeg Chapter Chair, Past Chair of Conference 95 and past co-chair of Conference 2006, Construction Specifications Canada, Past Chair and member of the Board of Directors, Construction Labour Relations Association of Manitoba, Past member of the Board of Directors and member of the initial Trade Definitions committee, Winnipeg Construction Association, Past director in Winnipeg and current member of the Board in Kenora.
He was a past member of the Board of Directors, St. Mary's Academy,
He was the 95th President of Kenora Rotary Club in 2013-2014.
In 2014 he was Lake of the Woods Development Commission business development co-chairman.
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
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, 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
Patterson Medical Clinic Website
Robertson, Heather & Melinda McCracken Magical, Mysterious Lake of the Woods, Winnipeg: Heartlands Associates, 2003