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trouble and the country was in a state of great excitement. Scott's execution, at the order of Riel, sent a wave of indignation over the land, as did the proclamation of a republic by the rebel leader. Mr. Connor shared in the efforts made by settlers to release men whom Riel had taken as prisoners. He took charge of the arrangements for the protection of life and property in the Portage district, while a contingent from the district assisted the loyalists in their operations around Fort Garry, over which Riel had hoisted the rebel flag.
With the exception of the looting of the Hudson's Bay store at Portage by a band of Riel's men, Mrs. Connor did not recall anything very serious occurring in this neighborhood. With the arrival of Sir Garnet Wolseley's expedition at Fort Garry in 1870, Riel made a hasty retreat.
Mrs. Connor recalled tha t there was grea t jollification at Portage when the news spread that the C.P.R. was to run through the district instead of taking another route as had been originally proposed. Huge bonfires were set ablazing everywhere.
One of the successes achieved by Mr. Connor was as a pioneer in the use of threshing machinery. Buying an outfit which up to that time had not made a favorable impression on the sturdy farmers ac customed to old methods, he turned it to splendid account and placed it at the disposal of others, with excellent results for all concerned.
Mrs. John Connor, the fine pioneer lady who submitted the material on which the foregoing narrative is based, passed away in Jan uary of 1929 a t the age of 90 years.
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE AS I REMEMBER IT IN 1874
by Robert McDermott
"My first impression of Portage la Prairie was of a number of small houses painted red - not in the sense of a "town painted red" as described for instance by Jim Sparks, but just red houses.
My first meal there was in a hotel, probably Wallace & Blakes, the menu largely figuring in pemmican and bread made of 4X flour. This 4X flour was ground in Portage. Billy Smith was owner of the Mill and in it my father was engineer.