This page is a text version of the History of Portage la Praire and Surrounding District. 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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Mr. Thos. Huddlestone is another Oakland pioneer whose life's story would provide many hours of enjoyable reading for everyone. We wish we could tell of the young Englishman's experiences on a plantation in South Carolina after he came to America with his bride in 1850 via sailing vessel; their trip to Ontario in 1866; their lives as storekeepers in a shop three miles east of Portage la Prairie on the banks of the Assiniboine River; and their experiences, also, on a homestead in Oakland - a farm that has never passed out of family hands.

Every pioneer has had an interesting story to tell and many of them related their experiences to descendants. What a pity that we are unable to include them in this book!

In the past 40 years Oakland has enjoyed having the Delta highway, the first No. 4 highway, and now the new modern one which makes trips to Winnipeg speedier and more enjoyable.

With all the modern conveniences of today, folks enjoy country living in a manner unknown to their ancestors.


This district was named after Fred Jackson, an early settler, who donated the north-west corner of 14-13-6 for the site of a church which was to be built there. However, the official opening of a church didn't take place until 1909. In the meantime, services were held in the Portage Creek school and in the home of a Mr. Green, another early settler.

The first church board elected were: J. G. Hill, Ed. McDonald, Ed. McKechnie, F. Jackson and J. P. McKechnie.

J. F. Bain, who arrived in the district prior to 1873, owned the land on which the school stands. C. J. Green, who bought the land, deeded one acre to the district for $5.00 in 1895. The school was built by Thos. Cook in 1886 and opened for classes in the fall of 1887 with 14 pupils enrolled. The first teacher was Miss Louella Wainde and the first school board - S. C. Higginson, Chas. Cuth­ bert and C. J. Green.

Names of the men credited with establishing the school are as follows: Chas. Cuthbert, G. W. Snider, E. C. Snider, C. J. Green, AU. J. Green, Mathew Howie, J. Trimble, J. McLeod, John N. McDon­ ald, J. R. Snider, and [as. McDonald.