The Dunsmores
by Edith Dunsmore (Mrs. R.M.)

"Among the earliest settlers in Glendale district in the County of Beautiful Plains were the Dunsmores.  They were Scots who emigrated from Govan, near Glasgow, to Canada in 1842.  The parents, William and Janet (or Ann), came with their family: Jean, William, Emily, Glaud and Robert (family lore tells that a boy died on the way across the Atlantic). They pioneered in an unorganized area of Ontario called the Queen's Bush after spending four years in Beverly township and Galt.  They later moved to Mornington Township, Perth County, Ontario.  1880 and 1881 the boys, who were now married with families, moved to Glendale.  We know very little about the move itself except that they came by rail, with their effects, as far as Portage la Prairie and the rest of the way in wagons.

"Robert came first.  He had come in 1879 with Duncan laing, R.C. Campbell, and a Mr. Sewell to look for available land.  He filed for homestead July 1, 1880 on SE 1/4 30-14-16 W.  William and Glaud followed in 1881.  William homesteaded SE 1/4 18-14-16 W and Glaud bought his land from the C.P.R. W 1/2 17-14-16 W.  Each had a son who also filed for homestead or bought adjoining land.

"William and his wife Mary (Keeler) had six children so they were much interested in having a school for them as wre others in this new land. They got together and bought an acre of land for the sum of one dollar from the Canada North West Land Co. Limited on the north west corner of 21-14-16 W in the County of Beautiful Plains.  Thomas Darling, Duncan Laing and William Dunsmore were the trustees whose names appear on the Deed of Land, 1883 and who would be responsible for having Glendale School #207 built.  When Glendale Presbyterian Church was built he was one of the first elders.  He was a staunch Liberal in his politics. However, due to his wife's illness, they sold the farm about 1895 and moved to Portage la Prairie where both are buried.

"Fortunes must have been looking up for the Dunsmores in Ontario for the youngest in the family, Robert, received more education than the rest. He graduated as teacher from Woodstock College in 1864.  He taught for four years before going into business.  In 1866 he married Marion Campbell, a cousin of R.C. Campbell with whom he first came to Manitoba.  When the Municipality of Glendale was organized in 1884, Mr. James Litt surmised that the councillors were all Scotsmen for By-Law #1 reads: 'That R. Dunsmore be appointed Sec.-Treas. at a salary of one hundred dollars a year and that he give the municipality a bond in the sum of three thousand dollars with satisfactory security for the safekeeping of municipal moneys in his charge and the correct, careful and satisfactory performance of his duties.'  Upon the formation of Langford Municipality, he became its first secretary-treasurer, a position he held unntil his retirement in 1912.  The farm in Glendale had been sold in 1900.

"Robert and Marion had five children: William Darnley, Robert Glaud, Gordon, Leslie and Nellie.  Only W.D. or "Little Billie" as the family knew him, to distinguish him from the other Williams in the family, was the only one who continued to live in Langford after the formative years.  Leslie's picture appears with a hockey team in a picture hung in the lobby of the Yellowhead Centre in Neepawa.

"Jean, the eldest in the pioneer family, married John Connell of the Glenburney distrisct and their daughter, Jean, taught in Glendale School.  Emily, the other daughter, married Alec Robertson.  They didn't
move west, but their son, John, lived for many years on SE 18-14-16.

"Only Galud, our ancestor, continued to live on the original homestead. From the assessment roll of 1885 his property is listed as: 320 acres, 120 cultivated, valued at $1,400.00; 6 cattle; 2 horses; also 3 days
statute labour; 7 family members and Presbyterian religion.

"When I have asked why Dunsmores didn't take up land in the Portage area, they tell me that at that time the land was extremely wet.  This seems to be borne out by an account by W.D.'s of the family's trip from there to their Glendale destination in 1880.  It tells that  it took ten days to accomplish with oxen and wagon for some days they only made three miles because of sloughs.  William D. lived at home until he homesteaded his father's preemption, later trading it for NE 1/4 17-14-16.  There he and his wife, Marion (Kines, sister of Mrs. Andrew Montgomery), lived for 25 years.  They had no children.  They were an active part of the community particularly in the Presbyterian church where Marion taught Sunday school and played the organ.  After leaving Glendale, they continued to live in Neepawa until their deaths both at venerable old ages.

"As proof that pioneering was not all work and no play there is an item in the *Neepawa Press* July 17, 1896 which reads: "The lawn social at the "Bluff Farm", Mr. Robert Dunsmore's, was a decided success.  The grove was lighted with chinese lanterns and beautifully decorated with arches and appropriate mottos.'

"In 1896 he was able to build a new house, known to us and many others as 'The Stone House'.  It was an imposing structure, built entirely of large, squared granite stones.  It was very large, two full stories high, ..."

I'm missing the next page, so don't have the last paragraphs of this
story.  Sorry about that.

TTFN
Patricia Sherman
 

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