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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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Dr. Joseph Lynch and Dr. Jacques came to Portage la Prairie when settlers were pitting their skill against the wilderness. This area was spoken of as the "last outpost" at that time and when Dr. James Cowan came from the Red River settlement, which offered comparative safety, to buy them out in 1871, they (at the Settlement) considered him foolish to say the least. "Long Gone" they would call it today! However, he became a dominant figure in Portage la Prairie's history.
He and Dr. Lyons were the only doctors west of Winnipeg, and often had to plough through shrieking blizzards for distances of 40 to 60 miles. Dr. Cowan was so devoted to his profession that he never seemed to think of himself, but only of the welfare of those who constituted his huge practice. His unselfishness made him widely loved by everyone. He retired when he was 63 years of age, passing on his practice to his son, Samuel.
Dr. Cowan represented Por tage in the Manitoba Legisla ture from 1871 to 1884, as a supporter of the Conservative party, and is also credited with having brought the first saw mill into Manitoba.
He passed away in 1910 at the age of 79 years, after win ning an honored spot in the memory of old-timers.
Dr. D. J. M. Hagarty was another pioneer in medicine in Portage la Prairie. An early paper says of him, "He prac ticed his profession when the white population was small and most of his pa tien ts were Indians."
A Dr. Macklin is also men tioned in a paper of the times, as being here in 1881.
The Lundy name is well known in Portage. Dr. Frank Lundy was so loved by everyone that a public fountain was erected after his death to perpetuate his memory. Dr. E. J. Lundy, respected and remembered, was here at