Did You Know?

1. Some Argyle "Firsts"

First Settlers in Argyle:  In 1879 the John Wilson family were the first settlers in what would become Argyle Municipality

First Iceland Settler:
In 1880 Kristoferson from the “New Iceland” colony at Gimli, visited the district south of Glenboro.  He was impressed with the agricultural potential of the region and influenced several others from New Iceland to come south. He homesteaded SE 10-6-14, the first Icelandic settler to file a claim.

First Argyle Council

Reeve: George Playfair   Councilors: F. Butcher, A. Henderson, G.W. Cramer, James Graham, J.F. Macey, James McLellan

First Secretary Treasurer of Argyle: (1881-1887): William Stark

First Post Office was in the Playfair house – Otenaw 16-5-13

Other Post Offices: Pasadena 20-4-13, Moropano 20-4-14, Roseberry 28-3-14

First to Own a Threshing Outfit: George Cramer

First Doctor: Dr. Thomas Beath was practicing in 1891

First Bride: Lizzie Playfair, daughter of G.W., married Albert Cramer

First Child Born: Katy Wilhelmina Playfair (Later Brisbin), to Mr. & Mrs. G.W. Playfair

First Church Services in Argyle: 1884 - Rev. James Bell from Crystal City

First Resident Minister: Rev. James Hoskins

First Business in Baldur: Mr. A.E. Cramer moved his creamery to the NE corner of Elizabeth Ave and 2nd Street where it soon became a General Store operated by G.W. Griffiths.

First Teacher at Baldur: Miss Jennie Wells - she held classes in a room above the saddlery shop in 1890

First Community Picnic in the Bru: At Jones Lake in 1884

First Teacher at Neelin: Caroline (Carrie) Cumming –  1907 after school moved there from Roseberry. Carrie was the daughter of pioneer and former steamboat captain John Cumming.

First Store in Greenway: 1890 H. Carbouneau.

First Real Estate Agent: Frank Schultz - he also dispensed marriage licenses!

First Banker: Frank Schultz - The Union Bank, opened in 1903, later became the Royal.

First Post Office in Baldur: In The Jesse Chester house.

First Blacksmith: Harry Goodman

First Phone: Installed by Percy Curtis to facilitate easy communication between his businesses in Greenway and Baldur.

First Edition of the Baldur Gazette: June 30, 1898 Mr. S. R.P. Cooper - editor and proprietor

First Female Newpaper Owner: Annie Ferguson Playfair bought the  Baldur Gazette
in 1909, likely from Percy Curtis, then  bought the Belmont News which she sold in 1910. In Dec 1910 she bought the Hartney Star from Walpole Murdock and operated it for about a decade.

First N.H.L. Player: Tommy Johnson joined the Montreal Canadians in 1950.The R.M. of Argyle was named after The Duke of Argyle (Formerly The Marquis of Lorne ) who was the Governor General at the time.

2. Fun Facts

As the Northern Pacific Railway approached, the villages of Greenway and Belmont were  located first. Baldur only came into being after locals of the Otenaw district protested vigorously.

The name "Baldur" was chosen after Chesterville was considered. Baldur was the beautiful Norse God of innocence and summer sun, Son of Odin the supreme God and creator.

The name was proposed by pioneer Carrie Christopherson wife of Sigurdur. (Carrie Street is named after her.)
Elizabeth Avenue was named after the wife of the first storekeeper, G.W. Griffiths

Frank Schultz, known in Baldur for starting the first bank and for other business activities, began his career as a teacher. While living in Belmont he taught for several years at Northfield School near Wawanea where Nellie Mooney (McLung) received her early education. He figures prominently in her memoir of her early years, “Clearing in the West”.

The Rosehill district was first known as the Clark Settlement.

Glenora was the only “village” promoted in Argyle during the “Manitoba Boom” of 1881-82.  Ads offered lots for sale. A sawmill, grist mill, and store were open for business a few kilometers west of the current village. A prairie fire wiped out the mills in 1885, but the name survived and the village sprang to life in a new location with the arrival of the Wakopa Branch in 1904.

Alex Fowler and C. Johnson took part in a visit to the Scottish Curling Association in Scotland in 1899
By Dec. of 1880 there were 11 Cramers and 20 Playfairs in the Otenaw district just northeast of Baldur

Otenaw means “grand encampment”