Quest in Roots:
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Settlement in our area began in 1877 starting in the eastern section close to the Saskatchewan Trail. In that year there were five homestead entries made. James McKinnon N.E. 3·13·15 and Duncan McShannock S.E. 3 -13-15 have the honour of being the first homesteaders in our area. They both made their homestead entries on June 27, 1877.
Surprisingly, in 1877 there were 27 land sales.
William Butler Elphinstone bought sections 2-13-16 and 6-13-15. In 1878 he added another threequarters when he purchased N.W. and E. of 1-13- 15. This gave him the very large holding of two and three-quarter sections.
The main influx of settlers came in 1878. There were 32 homestead entries and 39 land sales.
Homesteaders continued to arrive in strong numbers until about 1882. Then they gradually tapered off until the last two entries were made in 1898.
In 1882 land sales really rose as the first settlers desired to expand after they received patent. This acquisition of obtaining land continued over the years.
The following chart gives the first entries in the area of the townships covered.
William McKenzie was the first one in the whole'' area to receive his patent for his land N.E. 24-12-16 on June 1, 1882.
As only the head of a family could apply for homesteads the women who applied must have been widows. There were four women homesteaders in the area. Elizabeth Cameron made entry in 1878 for S.W.
21-12-15. In 1880 Isabella Morgan made entry for S.E.
18-12-16. Elizabeth Trehern made entry for S.E. 14-13- 16 in 1881. Jane Gregory made entry on April 22, 1882 for N.W. 18-13-16. Two of these women expanded their holdings after patent.
There were also three women who purchased their land. Margaret Gemmel bought N. 23-13-15 in 1878. In 1888 Rhoda Ann Law bought W. 21-13-16 from the C.P.R Mary Jane White bought N.W. 14-13- 15 in 1889.
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