of the Swan River Valley
100 Years in the
Swan River Valley
1898 - 1998
Alexander and Agnes Anderson
Alex Anderson emigrated from Scotland to Carberry, Manitoba in 1880, bringing with him, his bride, Agnes (Darragh), from Ireland.
After farming in the Carberry area for some years, he heard of the new area being opened up in Swan River Valley. So in the spring of 1898, he drove his team and buggy to the area, and planted some wheat on the bank of a creek. He then returned to Carberry. In the fall of that year, he again came to Swan River, and found that the wheat had ripened and had not frozen. He immediately purchased land, the north half of Section 23-35-27 WPM (presently “Mountain View Farm”).
In the spring of 1899, Alex returned to Swan River to establish a home for his family, who arrived late in the summer. The family, consisting of his wife, Agnes, one son, Bruce, and three daughters, Margaret “Nellie”, Kathleen “May” and Florence, came by train to Cowan and then by team and wagon to “Mountain View Farm”.
Alex Anderson helped to organize the Shaw School District; he was involved with the Agricultural Society for many years and helped organize the United Grain Growers. He was keenly interested in the improvement of Agriculture, especially livestock, having first raised purebred Shorthorn cattle and then Aberdeen Angus.
Alex Anderson moved to Swan River in 1937 and passed away in 1939. His wife predeceased him in 1934.
Florence Anderson married Earl Shaw and they farmed in the Shaw District. Nellie Anderson taught school for a short while. She also took a business course and received a diploma in nursing. She spent most of her life at home on the farm. She passed away in 1959. May Anderson taught school for 10 years, then studied to become a Missionary. She spent 10 years in China. Following this, she spent several years as a Missionary on Indian Reserves and other areas. She spent some 35 years serving the Womens Missionary society. May Anderson passed away in 1980.
Bruce Anderson continued to operate the family farm, and in 1925, married Ina Watson of the Flordale district. He too served his community well, being a school trustee, a director of the Agricultural Society and director of the Manitoba Aberdeen Angus Association. He became well known for the production of quality Angus cattle.
Ina Anderson was a typical farm homemaker. Helping
out on the farm, she still found time for church, Sunday School and Womens Missionary Society.
Bruce and Ina retired to Swan River in 1965 where he passed away in 1966. Ina passed away in 1993.
Bruce and Ina had two sons- Robert and Douglas. Robert married Ruby Mortimer and they had two sons, Randy and Brian.
Doug Anderson married Bernice McRae from Brandon. They live on the original farm in the house built by Doug’s grandfather in 1917. They have three children, Maxine, Scott, and Bruce.
Maxine is a figure skating coach and is also employed with MTS. She married Lyall Cook, they live in Portage la Prairie and have one son, Bryce.
Scott married Orycia Zenchyshyn. They have two sons, Aaron and Mark. Scott farms with his dad at “Mountain View Farm” and is very involved with breeding and showing Angus Cattle.
Bruce married Ione Staniland and they have two children, Austin and Breanna. Bruce and Ione live close to the original farm and are also very involved in the breeding and showing of Red Angus Cattle.
Doug and Bernice’s lives have been mainly centred around cattle events. Doug is a past president of the Swan Valley Agricultural Society, the Manitoba A & B Fairs, and the Manitoba and Canadian Angus Association. He has also served on the Pool Elevator board, the United Church board and is a Rotary Club member.
The “Anderson’s” have been honoured by the Canadian Angus Association for outstanding achievements and dedication of Youth and the Angus Breed in Canada. They have also received the “Van Daele Award” from the Manitoba Angus Association, in recognition of contribution to the Manitoba Angus Industry.
In 1988, the Andersons were named the “Farm Family of the Year” by Swan River Chamber of Commerce and in 1990, Doug received a Certificate of Recognition from the Swan Valley Historical Society.
While continuing to raise championship Angus cattle at Mountain View Farm, Doug imported three Gelbvieh females from Germany in the early 1970s This herd was built up to over 100 head and after raising many championship animals throughout North America, was dispersed in 1995. Doug was a member of the founding board of directors of the Canadian Gelbvieh Association.
In 1995, Mountain View Farm received a plaque in appreciation of their many years of dedication to the Gelbvieh breed.
Breeding and improving livestock has been a way of life for the “Anderson’s” for 100 years.
Submitted by: Doug Anderson
Manitoba's Swan River Valley is an area rich in history. These family histories were a part of the 1998 Pioneer Centennial History Book project. If you would like the history of your area available online, have your historic group contact the Key Rock Group for information on electronic publication. We offer publication free of charge and also provide the option for making your history book available on CD.