More obituaries

Did I mention how much I enjoy finding newspaper articles and old obituaries?  I recently subscribed to Newspapers.com, which includes, among other publications, The Winnipeg Tribune.  Turns out that some obits I couldn’t find in The Winnipeg Free Press, are in the Trib!

I have found four more obituaries for Philomene’s siblings.

For Marguerite, who married Baptiste Beauchemin, this obituary was published in The Winnipeg Tribune, Tuesday, December 14, 1926, on the front page:

Marguerite McMillan obituary

Marguerite McMillan obituary

For Philomene’s sister Marie Anne who married Salomon Carriere, this obituary was published in The Winnipeg Tribune on June 16, 1922, page 6:

Obituary of Mary Ann McMillan

Obituary of Mary Ann McMillan

For Philomene’s sister Virginie, who married Daniel Carriere, this obituary was published in The Winnipeg Tribune September 5, 1993, page 13:

Obituary of Virginie McMillan

Obituary of Virginie McMillan

For Philomene’s sister Elizabeth, who married Pierre Bruce, this obituary was published in The Winnipeg Tribune, Wednesday, May 18, 1938, page 6

Elizabeth McMillan obituary

Elizabeth McMillan obituary

Sadly, still no obituaries for Philomene, or her sister Sara.

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The McMillan/Dease Family

Today I’m going to write about the children of our Hogue ancestors, William McMillan and Margaret Dease. They had nine children who survived to adulthood.  Gaps in the birth order would suggest there were other infants born who did not survive. I’ve already written about Philomene McMillan, who married Thomas Hogue, Sr. here.

Thomas and Philomene

Thomas and Philomene

When examining the families of these siblings, we see, once again,  how interconnected the people of the Red River Settlement were.

Philomene’s sister, Marguerite McMillan (1840 – 1926) was born in St. Boniface. She married Baptiste Beauchemin and they lived next door to Philomene and Thomas on the banks of the Assiniboine River in St. Charles. Baptiste Beauchemin was a member of Louis Riel’s Provisional Government.

A very interesting article appeared in The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946, when Marguerite and Baptiste’s son William died.

The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946

The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946

Wow!  Actually saw the shooting of Thomas Scott, a pivotal event in Manitoba history.

Marie Anne McMillan(1842-1922) married Salomon Carriere. They eventually settled in St. Laurent, Manitoba.

Joseph McMillan (1849-1923) married Pauline Bruce. I love finding obituaries!  Even though they often contain slightly inaccurate information, they do give us a glimpse into the lives and times of our relatives. I was able to find an obituary for Joseph. (Philomene died the day before her brother, but I’ve never found an obiturary for her.)

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WINNIPEG, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1923
JOSEPH M’MILLAN WAS PIONEER IN FARMING
St. James Resident Who Died Yesterday Was Prominent in Assiniboia
Western Canada lost another pioneer farmer in the death of Joseph McMillan, a native of St. Boniface, who died yesterday morning at his residence, 241 Maddock street, St. James, at the age of 73 years. Born in the Cathedral city, Dec. 4, 1849, Mr. McMillan crossed the river 60 years ago, and settled in St. James on what is now known as the Strathmillan estate, where he farmed for a number of years and had lived ever since.
After several years of active life in the municipality of Assiniboia, where he was elected to the council the first year of its existence and later presided over its deliberations as reeve, Mr. McMillan retired from the public life of the district in 1912.
Mrs. McMillan pre-deceased him, having died in September, 1922. He leaves two sons and four daughters, being W.F. McMillan of Poplar Point; J.E. McMillan, 240 Maddock street; Mrs. L.T. Hogue, Murray Park; Mrs. D. Lagasee, of St. Adolphe; Mrs. Charles Sayer, of Delmas, Sask., and Miss Catherine McMillan, at home.
In addition to being a pioneer of the west, Mr. McMillan had the further distinction of being the son of a native of western Canada, his father having been born in Edmonton, of Scottish descent. In the early days of his settling in St. James he taught school at Sturgeon Creek.
Up to Thursday afternoon, this pioneer was talking to his sons of the olden days, with their buffalo hunts and other exciting adventures, though he had been bedridden for the past eight months following a paralytic stroke.
The funeral will be held Monday, at 9:30 a.m., from the family residence, interment taking place at St. Charles cemetery.

Buffalo hunts!  Those certainly would qualify as “exciting adventures”!

Virginie McMillan (1851-1933) married Daniel Carriere, a cousin of Salomon’s. (Both Daniel and Salomon were also cousins of Damase Carriere who was involved with the Riel Rebellion of 1885, and died at Batoche, Saskatchewan.) Virginie and Daniel lived in St. Eustache, Manitoba.

Sarah McMillan, (1852-1943), was married three times. She married Joseph Turcotte, was widowed, married Pierre Jobin, was widowed, and then married Antoine Vandal. Sarah is buried in St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba. (Pierre Jobin’s brother Ambroise died in 1885 from wounds suffered at the Battle of Batoche.)

Patrice “Patrick” McMillan, (1854-1929) married Elizabeth “Betsy” Caplette. I also found an obituary for him.

Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, Friday, December 13, 1929
PIONEER RESIDENT OF WINNIPEG DIES
Patrick McMillan Succumbs at St. Giles, Man., Aged 74 Years
Patrick McMillan, aged 74 years, and pioneer resident of Winnipeg, died Tuesday at his home at St. Giles, Man. He was born in St. Boniface, and resided on Davidson street, St. James until a few months ago, when he moved to St. Giles. In addition to his widow, Mr. McMillan is survived by two sons, W.J. of St. Charles, and Peter, of St. James; also three daughters, Mrs. N. Lane, of Deerhorn, Man.; Mrs. H. Breland of St. Francis, Man., and Mrs. A. Turcotte, of Charleswood, Man.
Funeral service for Mr. McMillan will be held this morning at 10 o’clock at St. Charles church, and burial will be made in St. Charles cemetery. The Clark-Leatherdale funeral home is in charge of arrangements.

John McMillan (1858-1908) married Virginie Bruce, sister to Pauline. John also has an obituary.

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 1908
John McMillan, of St. Charles, died at the family residence on Monday night, after a protracted illness. He was born at St. Boniface in 1860, removing to St. Charles when a young lad. He was a son of the late Joseph McMillan, [this is an error and should read William]an official in the service of the Hudson’s Bay company, who lived to be over 100 years old, his death taking place five years ago. John McMillan was well known, and highly respected by all with whom he came in contact, and was always ready to take an active interest in matters of general benefit to the community where he lived. He leaves a widow and five children: Alan, Josephine and Virginia, at home; Mrs. Alexander Smith, of St. James, and Mrs. Lacceet, of St. Vital. He was a keen sportsmen, having formed one of a party of five, consisting of A. Smith, H. Roberts, W. Pruden, G. Kerr, and the deceased, who went on an annual hunting expedition together for the last thirteen years. The funeral will take place this morning at 8:30 from the family residence to St. Charles cemetery, where interment will take place.

St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Elizabeth McMillan (1859-1938) married Pierre Bruce, brother of Pauline and Virginie.  They lived in St. Laurent, Manitoba.  I’ve found an obituary for Pierre.

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WINNIPEG, TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 1927, page 5
TWO AGED RESIDENTS OF ST. LAURENT DIE
Pierre Bruce, Aged 78 Years, and Pierre Lavelle, Aged 70 Called By Death

St. Laurent, Man., April 18.—Pierre Bruce, aged 78 years, died yesterday morning at the family ranch at Harperville, after a protracted illness. He was a native of St. Norbert, and resided in the neighborhood of Winnipeg for the first fifty years of his life. Mr. Bruce was an artist with the violin, and only a few years ago gave a demonstration of his skill, playing reels and jigs at the then “Pantages theatre.”
He is survived by his widow, two daughters and four sons.
The funeral will be held at St. Laurent on Tuesday.

All three Bruce in laws were nieces/nephews of John Bruce, who was President of the Métis National Council in 1869.

The family name “McMillan” was sometimes spelt “McMullen”. In 1878, Joseph McMillan must have petitioned HBC for acknowledgment of the correct spelling. In the HBC Archives, MG8 B53, we find this letter:

“Fort Garry 24th Dec 1878
I hereby certify an examination of old Hudson’s Bay Company record, that the family name of McMillan (say Father of William McMillan and Grandfather of Joseph McMillan) is spelt McMillan not McMullan.
J.H. McTavish
Chief Factor H.B.C.”

William McMillan, free trader

William McMillan and Margaret Dease Photo source: Ontario Archives

William McMillan and Margaret Dease
Photo source: Ontario Archives

This picture is of William McMillan and Margaret Dease. William is the son of James McMillan and Josephte Belisle, whom I wrote about here. Margaret is the daughter of John Warren Dease and Genevieve Beignet, whom I wrote about here. The picture was taken around 1902 when they were both very elderly. If you look closely at William’s left hand, you will note it is damaged. According to Heather Devine’s Informativel article The Indian-Metis Connection: James McMillan and His Descendants (which is available online, just google it):

“Like his father, William had bad luck with firearms. Apparently while on a buffalo hunt, he surprised an Indian trying to steal one of his horses. The Indian attempted to shoot McMillan, who grabbed the barrel of the gun in his hand. The gun went off, burning the flesh off his hand and leaving it permanently withered.”

They are in front of their house, which, although I am not a student of architecture, I’m quite sure was built in a style known as Red River frame construction. That’s the same style as  the Barber House, Riel House, and the William Brown house, which are all still standing in Winnipeg today. William and Margaret’s house was on lot 16 in the Parish of St. James.

Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface, Archives of Manitoba

Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface, Archives of Manitoba

This image, showing his name as William McMullen, is an excerpt from Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface in the holdings of the Archives of Manitoba. This copy is from the website of St. James Anglican Church. For those familiar with the Winnipeg suburb of St. James, the Anglican church is circled bottom right. The lot bearing the name James Bruce is today’s Bruce Park. William’s lot is in the upper left. It would be roughly where Vernon Street and Whytewold Road are today. Strathmillan Street got its name from the fact that it was the dividing line between William McMillan’s property and that of Donald Smith aka Lord Strathcona (you know him as the man hammering in the last spike of the CPR). The river shown at the bottom of the map is the Assiniboine, and the dotted lines mark the Portage Trail which became Portage Avenue.

William was born around 1806 in the North West Territories. I say this despite the fact that when he died, his family said he was 103! Here’s a picture of his gravestone in St. Charles Cemetery, Winnipeg.

William McMillan St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

William McMillan
St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

William was raised by his mother and her family near today’s Edmonton. Governor Simpson wrote in 1825 that William at 18 “was the boy of Mr. James MacMillan Chief Trader and [was] under no agreement with the company but never the less [would] …do anything the company require [d] of him”. (Hudson’s Bay Company Archives B60 2/3)

William claimed to be born in 1806 when he applied for scrip.

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

According to Heather Devine, William was a contract employee of HBC by 1826 “as a middleman on the York boats. He retired as a bowsman in 1835.”

Margaret Dease was born between 1813 and 1820, either in the Rainy Lake area (Fort Frances, Ontario) where her father, John Warren Dease was in charge of the NWC post, or in Fort Alexander. Here’s her scrip application.

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

William and Margaret married in 1832. The Red River Settlement Censuses allow us to track their life to some extent. In the 1838 census they have 4 horses and 5 mares. By 1843 they now have 1 house, 2 stables, 1 barn, 5 horses, 1 mare, 7 oxen, 4 cows, 2 calves, 9 pigs, 1 plough, 1 harrow, 6 carts(these are the famous Red River carts) and 6 acres of cultivated land. By 1846, they also own a canoe and have 8 acres of land cultivated.

When researching at the Archives of Manitoba, I was thrilled to find the notation in that 1846 census that William is “to the plains” meaning that he is away hunting buffalo! In 1849 they have 2 houses, 2 stables, 1 barn, 7 horses, 4 mares, 7 oxen, 1 bull, 4 cows, 1 calf, 5 pigs, 1 plough, 1 harrow, 7 carts 1 canoe, and a “shop of merchandise”.

The number of Red River carts is indicative of the fact that William was a “free trader”, that is, someone who traded in buffalo robes and other merchandise in defiance of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s regulations. He would have traveled south to Pembina and St. Paul. In the book Homeland to Hinterland: The Changing Worlds of the Red River Metis in the Nineteenth Century, Gerhard J. Ens states:

“By the late 1860s, there were literally dozens of robe traders making $1,000 or more per year.”

He then lists the names of  several traders including William McMillan and Margaret’s brothers William and John Dease.

William played a  role in the fight against HBC’s monopoly of the fur trade, and advocated for Metis representation in the governing of the settlement. His name is on several petitions in 1845, 1849, and 1850 made to the governor of Red River Settlement and to HBC. He most likely would have been amongst the several hundred armed Metis who surrounded the courthouse during the famous Sayer Trial of 1849.

In the book The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, Hugh McMillan tells of interviewing a grandson of William’s and learning this:

“The family spoke Cree in the home as well as French intermixed with Gaelic and English. Journeys took him as far afield as Kentucky to buy horses in order to improve his buffalo runners. At age 70 he went to the newly-opened Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota for eye surgery but came back nearly blind.”

When William died the Manitoba Free Press published a lengthy article on October 1, 1903 entitled “Death of The First Free Fur Trader” with many interesting, though likely embellished, details:

 

Death of the first free fur trader

 

“In those days the chief occupation of the few people who lived in the Red River Colony was trading and buffalo hunting; and, it was natural that young McMillan should fall in with the customs of the times.
He became a hunter at first, but the instinct of his Scotch blood asserted itself and he began trading on his own account; and was the first free trader in the vicinity – though, his scope of business was confined to the position of “middleman” between his hunting companions and the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was noted on the plains for his horsemanship and for his skill as a hunter; and, was always chosen as a leader or captain of the hunts.
In those days, the Indians knew no law but that of the Hudson’s Bay Company and were ever watching for a chance to raid the camps of the traders. The Sioux were the chief aggressors and Mr. McMillan often told of the fights the buffalo hunters had with these bold and warlike aborigines in the Souris and Qu’Appelle districts. These encounters were frequently of a revolutionary nature and scouts, and traders, had to constantly be on guard against surprise or ambush. His experience in this wild life on the prairies qualified McMillan as a guide; and, he had the distinction of being chosen on several occasions to escort titled gentlemen from the Old Country who came to hunt buffalo, half a century ago.
Forty years ago Mr. McMillan purchased a couple of hundred acres of land in St. James, just beyond Lord Strathcona’s Silver Heights farm, and made that his home up to the time of his death. He taught his children farming, but continued himself in the fur trade business until late in the seventies when the business ceased to be profitable.”

Doesn’t William’s life sound exciting?

Of Margaret Dease, I have no details, except that she bore 12 children, of whom 9 survived to adulthood.  Margaret died in 1905. Here is her gravestone in St. Charles Cemetery.

Margaret Dease gravestone St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

Margaret Dease gravestone
St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Here is the descent from William and Margaret to Pépère:

1-William MCMILLAN (1806-1903)
+Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
2-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
3-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)