Pioneers of Willow Bunch

Migrations to Western Canada, (excerpts taken from Poplar Poles & and Wagon Trails, History of Willow Bunch 1870-1970, and translated from pages 346-350 Lanaudière History >> Brouillette, Lanthier, Morneau)

     Rather than exile to the United States, the French Canadians in Quebec were invited, among others, to colonize the vast western plains after the Canadian government had taken possession of them in 1870. Some Lanaudièreans responded to the call. In Saskatchewan, they were told that they would “find beautiful farms of 160 acres of land, on which they could live comfortably, with the assurance of seeing their children settle around them”.
     At the twilight of the 19th century and the beginning of the following century, we find residents from these regions in St. Boniface, St. Norbert, Winnipeg, MB, Gravelbourg, Regina, Fairholme, and St. Victor, SK. A locality in the latter province attracts a great number of Lanaudière residents: Talle de Saules, or Willow Bunch, the land that saw the birth of the giant Édouard Beaupré.
     Since 1870, Willow Bunch had been a Métis winter camp, along with Jean-Louis Légaré, a businessman and fur trader, from Saint-Damien-de-Brandon, born at Saint-Jacques-de-l’Achigan in 1841. Then came Joseph Lapointe, also born in Saint-Jacques-de-l’Achigan, and in 1883 the brother of the latter, Prudent Lapointe, who worked for Légaré and married Élizabeth Ouellette in 1889, a close relative of the wife of Légaré, Marie Ouellette. To this core of Jacobians, have joined over the years the Ducharme of Saint-Félix-de-Valois, the Durand and Bruneau of Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon, the Lanoie of Saint-Charles-de-Mandeville, the Granger, Duperreault, Forest and others of Saint-Damien-de-Brandon.  To a certain extent, Willow Bunch has taken on the appearance of a smaller reproduction of the country of Lanaudière.
     Here again, migration is a family affair, shown by the family ties between heads of families of Saint-Damien-de-Brandon who lived in Willow Bunch in the early twentieth century. Moreover, once in this parish of Saskatchewan, ties are created between previously unrelated families as a result of the marriage of their children. Thus, the family of Hildège Duperreault is now united to that of Adélard Beauparlant by the marriage of his daughter Marie-Anne to Fortunat Beauparlant. The same goes for the families of Gédéon Forest and Alfred Bruneau when Marie-Rose, the daughter of Gédéon, marries in 1919 Alfred’s son, J.-Pierre-Aristide.
     With the larger scale of immigration in 1905 Willow Bunch becomes the landmark for numerous settlers.   Following is a list, that was compiled in the “History of Willow Bunch 1870-1970”, of pioneers who arrived in the region during the first decade of the century.
     Also added to this list are the names of earlier settlers to the Willow Bunch/Wood Mountain area from 1870-1900.

Still to be added>> 1870-1900

In 1870: Jean-Louis Légaré

In 1871-1900:

(excerpt from pages 306-307 History of Willow Bunch 1870-1970 Rev. Clovis Rondeau and Rev. Adrien Chabot)
In 1901: appear only the names of Mr. Tabarie and Joseph Boucher.

In 1902: Constantin Angé, Count Xavier and Mrs. de la Rivière, Joseph de la Rivière, Léon Michaélis, Ernest Lauzière, and Charles de Villèle.

In 1903: Francois Currat, Léon Currat, Alfred Currat, Romuald Granger, Albert Saunier, Hormidas Granger, David Marion, Alfred Lalonde, Edmond Lespérance.

In 1904: Marc Noel, Raoul Philippon, L. Savary, J. Bizard, J. Dubuisson, Léon and Clovis George.

In 1905: Philippe Mondor, Jules Lautier, Napoléon Durand, Nazaire and Francis Légaré, Arthur Lavallée, Conrad Légaré, Henry Nabb, James Porter, Ulric Haimbault, P. Boutin, George Thompson, Joseph Gagné, Joseph Degrand, J. Lauzière, U. Audette, Arcade Bergeron, W. J. Wheatly.

In 1906: Georges Lalonde, Siméon Ducharme, Ed Fitzpatrick, Delphis, J.A. and E. Myette, J. Rivière, F.X. Bellefleur, Wallace, Azor and Jack Porter, W. and Harvey Brown, Dan and Seaman Zucker, T. Valentine, Paul Knutson, J.T. Hoath sr., Antoine Bourque, Joseph Lespérance, Zéphir Gosselin, William Gosselin, Robert and John Hoath, John Reich, H. Sporpind, Alphonse Dauphinais, Ernest Deniset, Alexandre Bruyère, Alex Lespérance, A. Himbeault, F. Gorell, David McConachie.

In 1907: Edouard Frigon, Pierre Desautels, Mme Elie Mondor, Gabriel Mondor, Dr. A. Godin, J.F. Bellefleur, Joseph Beaulne, P. Dysthe, H. Lauzière, Paul Weismiller sr., Paul Weismiller jr., Albert Rainville, Jack Harkness, George Allen, Dr. Howey, Henry Johnson, U. and Napoléon St-Julien, Joseph Dufresne, Louis, Henri, Pierre, Paul and Anatole Campagne, Geo. Pulfer, James Quigley, Paul Bonnet, Frank Jones, George Davis, Edouard Delia Forest, René and Raymond Leduc, Camille Perthuis, J. Sureau, Arthur Rheault, J.B. André, Joseph Duperreault, Ovila Letourneau, Emery Robins, Hans and J. Knutson, W. Stempkie, Dannie Murray, Herb and Joe Anderson, Pat Smith, Clarence Bradish, Sam Belleview, Joe Halve, Philias Gosselin, J.M. Letilly, Jos. Duret, David Caillet, Alexis Breault.

                                                                                             Picture taken on east end of Willow Bunch Hotel before the railings were added to veranda

In 1908: Laurent Giraudier, Joseph and Adolphe Balaux, E. Lebel, Alex and Sinai Beausoleil, Pierre Dionne, John Blackie, Wm. and Ed. Gibbons, John Schooley, Neil and Alex McLennan, Wm. Montgomery, Adam and Peter Fritz, Wm. Gardiner, Alex and George McNiven, George Wincarnie, Dr. Bird, Fred Schnot, Maurice Switzer, W. Garland, Gordon, Archie and Jack Campbell, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Arthur Hudson, David and Walter Whitelaw, Robert and John Beattie, Wm. Gold, Alex and Archie Scott, Jack and Tim Foley, Wm. Buick, Nels Sporpind, Gustave Lodomez, Wm. Connor, Charles Beanish, Ben Cursons, Fred and Albert Cursons, Wm. Cole, W. Duncan, Geo. Weaver, James Milligan sr., John Milligan, Edwin Porter, Bill Atkins, Frank Boxer, Fred Henn sr., Gaucher Brothers, Dr. Duhamel, Laurent Godin, Raymond and René Gauthier, J. Simard, G. Fitament, E. Rémy, Norbert Parkes, Pierre Yon, R. Dicks, W. Rapalgie.

In 1909: Damien St-Denis, Solomon Beauchesne, Irénée Granger, A. Souillet, Hormidas Lafrenière, Albert Lambert, J. Deshablains, T.W. Bennett, Wm. Collier, Philippe Légaré, Léopold Granger, Oscar Montgomery, Ernest and Oliver George, James Welch, Jim Kennedy, L. Viturat, H. Thielens, J. Bélanger, A. Simard, Ch. Beaubien, J.P. Beauregard, A. Normandin, E. Montreuil, Alfred Fontaine, Matt. Foley, Jack Eger, Isaure Lapointe, J. Michaelis, Jim Doyle, Zéphirin Therrien, Edwin George, Euclide Bruneau, Damien Boucher, Adélard Ducharme, George Hayes, Alexis Lespérance, Hervé Lamontagne, Isidore Durocher, Georges Dionne, Joseph Lanoie, Homidas Dionne, Moise Béchard, Jos. Beausoleil, J.C. Farrell, George Linklater.

In 1910: Francois, Oscar and Jules Raboud, Louis Raboud, Charles Crovillion, Fr. Francois Lemieux, Francois Rodrigue, Amédée Roy, J.A. Mathieu, John Luz, David Kyle, G.B. Elliott, Floyd Rolston, Isaac Chatterton, Ed. Gibson, John and Charles Abbot, Lane Dahlman, Peter Fiske, George Bartch, Fred Geiger, Alfred Lambert, Am. and Arthur Beaubien, Joseph Bourgeois, Jos. and Ernest Lambert, Ph. Bolley, Fred Holick, J. Carroll, Dan Meronsk, Fred Hann jr., Robert Lipsett, Emile Bruneau, Arthur Rainville, Félix Poirier, Isaie Labrie, Lucien Lamaire, Isidore Poncelet, Daniel McDonald, James Munroe, Robert Skinner, Joseph Provost, Evangeliste Beausoleil, Siméon Béliveau, Joseph Blais, E. Desrosiers, A. Gilbert.

                                                                                         Drawing by Georges Wackernie – 1910 Pioneers

Excerpt taken from: History of Willow Bunch 1870-1970, Volume II Willow Bunch 1920-1970, Pg. 305-308