This page is a text version of the Beckoning Hills History Book. This is the story of the Turtle Mountain Area of Manitoba. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

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, Win. Willson was born in Kent County, Ont., in 1859, of United Empire Loyalist stock. He received his education in Slabtown School in Kent County. He came to this district in 1882 along with Wm. Lambert. They walked from Brandon to Old Deloraine to make entry for their homesteads. Mr. Willson took for his homestead part of 28-3-20 where he took up residence Nov. 15th, 1882. He worked on his farm in the summer and went into camp in the Turtle Mountain where he spent two or three winters cutting wood. His first post office address was Nimitaw, the first postmaster he received mail from in this district was James Rae.

Wm. Willson and Margaret Little were married in 1886. She was born near Gcderich, Ont., in 1886. She lived a few years near Broadview, Sask., before she was married. Her father transported supplies in the North West Rebellion with a yoke of oxen and wagon, earning $5.00 per day.

Wm.Willson built a grain elevator on his farm in 1903, the first of its kind in the district. A J. 1. Case sweep horse power was used for power. One horse could drive the elevator, but eight or ten horses were required to drive a 10 inch crusher or circular saw. Horses were used for power until 1914.

Wm. Willson helped build one of the first schools in the district and was secretary treasurer for a number of years. He attended the first church service in Boissevain, which was held in a coach on' the C.P.R. tracks. In 1910 he retired from his farm and lived in, Boissevain for a number of years. His farm won the Good Farming competition in 1911 and 1912. Mr. Willson was elected mayor January 4th, 1916, and served in that capacity until October 5th,.1920. He was a horseman of merit and raised several standard bred racers that made good records for themselves.

During his residence in Boissevain, Mr. Willson was an active member of Doric Lodge, A.F. and A.M., G.R.M, Both he and Mrs. Willson were members of St. Paul's United Church. In later years they resided in Brandon.


H. A. Harris was born - near London, Ont., 1856. His father, originally from Yorkshire, England, had spent most of his life in Canada. In 1880, H. A. married Margaret Dickson, whose brother Benjamin later homesteaded in the Boissevain area. H. A. found this land very beautiful, but hard to farm, so returned to Grey County where he bought a tract of timberland near Parkdale, making the stormy and hazardous voyage by ship from Georgian Bay to Owen Sound. Three days previous to their voyage, a vessel carrying crew and passengers of over three hundred foundered with only two survivors.