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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Morton's Elevator, 1886 - Photo courtesy E. I. Dow

and remain permanently on the land they selected, seem to have been the Rentons and the Dries, who arrived early in the Spring of 1880. John Renton had been through the country the year before, while Will Drie had been with the Northwest Mounted Police in the Birtle district. Urie preferred the Turtle Mountain location because of the general belief that railroad connections with Winni­ peg would be completed earlier than in the Birtle area. Both men were from the neighborhood of Hamilton, Ontario, and they had gone back for their families. The Dries stayed at Emerson for almost a year, and when the Rentons arrived, both families started along the Boundary Commission Trail which was to be the highway of settlement for Southwestern Manitoba until the C.P.R. reached Brandon late in 188l.

The settlers awaited the opening of the Land Office until Ottawa appointed G. F. Newcombe as the land officer. He arrived in late July, 1880.The assistant officer was P. V. Gauvreau. By the end of 1880, seventeen homesteads with pre-emptions had been selected in township two, ranges 22 arid 23.

Among other early arrivals were Ashmore and wife, a son and a daughter, locating on the N. half of 16-2-22; the Johnson Bros. (Phillip and Bing) on 14-2-23. J. P. Morrison and Robert Howatt on 32-2-22. Others close to the Trail, James and John Fleming on 24-2-22 and Robert Dawson and John Taylor on 22-2-22. George B. Smith on 24-2-23, James King on 22-2-23, and Robert Russell on 28-2-23. The year 1881 was a good one for settlement, according to the Land Office records; homestead entries in the Turtle Mountain area totalled 328.

Meanwhile more Ontario settlers were moving in on the second townships of ranges 22 and 23. Andrew Morrison, his wife, and John