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Members of the council were known as associate judges, and not as souncillors or aldermen as they are today. Their duties con­ sisted of learning of important needs and improvements of the community and making decisions regarding infractions of the law.

The officials took an oath of office and the system of trial by jury was instituted for the first time west of Fort Garry. The system added dignity to law enforcement and was so satisfactory that this form of local govern men t was in existence for some time.

The first associate judges were: William Hudson, Henry Ander­ son, Farquhar Mcl.ean, John Garrioch, Thomas Anderson, Peter Henderson, Charles Anderson, and John Norquay.

The first constables for the community of Portage Ia Prairie were William Hudson, Henry Anderson and J. D. McKay.

High Bluff and Portage, both being new communities, worked closely together. Constables appointed in High Bluff were Charles and Thomas Anderson.


The squealing, laden ox-carts Broke the quiet of the plains,

As they slowly lumbered westward In hot suns or drenching rains. Settlers seemed driven

By desire to pass the test

Of pioneering on the prairies, In the little-known wild west.

They tramped firmly in the footsteps Of explorers none could see,

Until their eyes beheld the beauty Of Portage Ia Prairie.

They have gone, but left their spirits On land where once they trod, Land, on which has sprung a city; Fertile fields that once were sod.

Anne M. Collier


For a good many years the Red River ox cart played an impor­ tan t role in the expansion of the fron tier. I t was, in the early days, the only means of land transportation, not only to bring