A decade of Growth – Fire - Rebuilding
A flouring mill is conducted by Band and McDonald, capacity of the mill
75 barrels per day run the year around.
The first school in Baldur was in the upper room of the store which Mr.
Kadrie now occupies. The building was then used by C. W. Watson, later
Dr. Watson, as a boot and harness shop. This started in the spring of
1890 with Miss Wells as teacher.
The first blacksmith is Harry Goodman.
Photo (1912) courtesy the Archives of
It seems that the settlers were good law abiding citizens as there was
no police officer until John Harrower of Baldur was appointed in 1890.
J. Playfair and Sons owned and operated a planing mill from 1890
The first store in Greenway was built and opened early in 1890 by C. H.
Carbouneau, who brought his supplies by team from Cypress River about
fourteen miles north.
Thomas E. Poole moved to Baldur in 1890 and established himself as a
hardware dealer and tinsmith.
“In the year 1891 Mr. W. 0. Fowler had some small buildings under
construction such as flour and feed shop shops, and a well-established
bakeshop. The J. S. Smith and Co., general merchants, started business
in a building now occupied by Cleghorn’s Drug Store, erected by a
lumberman by the name of Brundit who joined the ranks of local
In the year 1891 a frame church from the Tiger Hills was hauled to
Baldur and church services of all denominations took place there until
churches were built.
Baldur’s first elevator, the Manitoba Elevator, was a horse-powered
structure built in 1891 by W.O. Fowler and operated by his son Alex.
This was soon replaced by the Farmer’s Elevator with a 12 horsepower
engine. “ Baldur Gazette 1899
The Brandon Sun, Jun 5, 1891
The Simpson School
In the early days of the village the children
attended Tiger Hills School, then situated about three kilometers
to the southwest. As the town grew, a new district formed from parts of
Tiger Hills and Otenaw districts was created for the town of Baldur in
1891. It was named the Simpson School District, in honour of the
surveyor who obtained the school site from the Northern Pacific
town-site company. An existing school at Hnausa Mb (North of Gimli) had
already taken the name Baldur.
At first, classes were held in various locations with Miss Jeanie Wells
as the first teacher. The building in the photo was erected in 1892.
The bell was donated by the Hon. Thos. Greenway, the Premier of
Manitoba. For the first years only the main floor of the new building
were used for classes with the upper story used as a lodge room and
hall. It was soon full however, and by 1902 the Principal’s class was
moved to rooms over a commercial building, and a third teacher (Miss
Annie Playfair) was added to the staff.
In 1905, after considerable debate regarding the site, the second
Simpson School replaced this structure, which was moved a short
distance and converted as a residence. In 1915, after the closure of
the school at Hnausa, the name was changed to the Baldur School
District. Baldur High School, as it was later known, served until 1976.
Sig. Christopherson, the first person to establish an implement shop,
sold to W. Hearn in 1892. Immediately C. Johnson built an implement
shop on a lot which he rented from S. Christopherson until W. 0. Fowler
bought it and later built his block and Chris Johnson had to
move. He bought a lot on its present site and as a dealer in
agricultural implements, Chris Johnson developed an excellent trade.
The Glenora School district was formed in April 1892.
Frank Schultz, Banker
F. Schultz's Private
Frank Schultz came to Manitoba in the '80's, taught school
a few years at Mapleton, then removed to Belmont, where he
was connected with the office of Frank Burnett for about three years.
In 1892 he opened a real estate and inŽsurance office in Baldur,
which has grown to a good paying
business. A year or two ago he bought from the
Northern Pacific railway the townsite of Baldur and is the
veritable Lord of the Manor He is P. G.
of Baldur Lodge. No, 27,1 O.O.F., is an enthusiastic Orangeman
and has been an active worker in the order for
years. At the recent session of their
grand lodge he was elected to the responsible position of Grand Master.
He never rests, is alŽways on the move, and it is not his fault if
Baldur is not one of the most progressive towns in the province.
(Baldur Gazette 1899)
The present Marringhurst School erected.
James Graham opens the first butcher shop in Baldur.
W.O. Fowler built the first two-storey brick building on Elizabeth
Avenue in Baldur. Over the years this building, demolished in
1981, served as a post office, a bicycle shop, an IOOF Hall and a pool
room and barber shop.
A prairie fire left devastation in its wake, nor was it checked 'till
it had reached J. Brinkworth's. Tree, logs for buildings, game and
stock were not spared. It burned the Cowie and Watson Grist and Sawmill
(near Neelin) and they didn't replace it.
Farmers sold shares and built a farmer’s elevator in opposition to the
Manitoba Elevator with a 12 horse power engine by the Vulcan Iron works
and R. McCauley was the grain buyer with Andy Embury being the owner of
Map of the Province of Manitoba Showing the
Division into Provincial
Image Courtesy of University of Manitoba Archives & Special
The Preston Bros. and Herman Davis opened the first lime kiln at the
west end of Rock Lake. It was here that the pioneers purchased their
lime to plaster their log houses. The lime was also used to white wash
the interior of their dwellings to make them cleaner and lighter.
Baldur’s first drug store opened under the supervision of Dr. Irving M.
Cleghorn, who was beginning his practice in Baldur.
Brandon Sun May 14, 1894
The Skjalbreid Hall built in Grund in 1896 was used for various social
The Hall at Grund (photo courtesy Roy
In 1897 Frank Schultz built the bank building that served Baldur until
it was replaced in 1977. It became a Union Bank (operated by Mr.
Schultz) in 1903 and in 1925 the Royal Bank absorbed the Union Bank.
Frey SD. # 890 established on 24-6-14.
Mimir SD. # 891 and Hola SD. # 889, (1-6-14) established
W.O. Fowler appointed Postmaster.
The Fowler House – hosting Students and
Staff from the Simpson School
W.O. Fowler came to Baldur in 1891, from the Wawanesa area. He built a
flour and feed shop, and a bakery. He was a major shareholder in the
Manitoba Elevator Co. He also served as Postmaster. This fine home,
built in 1897, remained in the Fowler family until 2010. It is a
Designated Municipal Heritage Site.
The Anglican Church was erected with Archbishop McRae as dedicator and
Rev. Belter as rector.
Greenway School district was organized. The school was built in 1898
and was opened on January 1899 with Miss Elizabeth Buch as teacher of
the 10 pupils.
Frank Shultz purchased the town site from the Northern Pacific Railway,
the population was around 400 and townspeople could choose from four
general stores, a hardware, three fruit and confectionery stores and a
host of other businesses.
The first publication of the Baldur Gazette appeared on June 30, 1898.
Statistical Information Concerning the
Municipality of Argyle for 1898.
(From the Baldur Gazette Special
Historical Edition, Sept. 1898)
The population of the Municipality of Argyle
is 3,200. It has 800
resident farmers. Comprises 240,708 acres of which 3,500 acres are
wooded and 80000 acres under cultivation. The municipality is
exceptionally rich in stock, having 5,000 horses ; 7,000 cattle ; 1,000
sheep; and 4,000 pigs. The asŽsessed value of real and personal
proŽperty is $1,125,000; taxes imposed for general municipal purposes
amount to $3,750; school purposes, $11,874; deŽbenture purposes
$271.50; judicial and county, $866.00 The total taxes imposed for 1898
being $17,762 00. The assets of she municipality at the first audit
were $34,604.52 and the liabiliŽties $9,992.55, showing the
municipaliŽty's net worth to be nearly $24,000. The debenture
indebtedness on the 3lst December 1898 was $1.390. It is hardly
possible for any municipality to be in a better financial condition
than is Argyle at the present time.
In 1898 a business streak of energy was evinced the town gaining
thereby a third general store, a second lumber yard, a bakery and a
newspaper, and the onward rush continues at the present time. The
activity in mercanŽtile and business circles during the preŽsent year
has resulted in the erection of $25,000 worth of building, and
inŽdications of a like expenditure next year. It has a population of
lour hunŽdred, has a solid stone and a number of handsome brick
business houses and reŽsidences and is most substantial in every
respect. Populated by progresŽsive liberal-minded businessmen
The Baldur Gazette building was originally situated on the present post
office lot and was moved to its present site later. The first
publication took place June 30th, 1898, with Mr. S. R. P. Cooper as
proprietor and editor.
COUNCILLORS in 1898
Ward 1—R. M. Wilson, Marringhurst P.O., Man.
Ward 2—John Clark, Baldur P.O., Man.
Ward 3—S. Fargey, Belmont P.O., Man.
Ward 4—A. W. Playfair, Baldur P.O., Man.
Ward 5—Skafti Arason, Glenboro P.O., Man.
Ward 6—J. Scott, Jr., Hilton P.O., Man.
SECRETARY—TREASURER. John Harrower, Baldur, Man.
LEADING BUSINESS HOUSES IN BALDUR. 1898
C.F. CURTIS, GENERAL MERCHANT.
THE J. SMITH & CO, GENERAL MERCHANTS.
MRS. S. BELL, GENERAL MERCHANT.
W. J. S. WAUGH. GENERAL MERCHANT.
H. DAVIDSON, WATCHMAKER AND JEWELER.
CHESTER HOUSE. J. CHESTER. PROPRIETOR.J. PLAYFAIR & SON. FURNITURE
DEALERSUNDERŽTAKER, AND LUMBER MER-CHANTS.
The Chester House
DRUG & STATIONERY DR I. M. CLEGHORN.
SHAVING PARLORS. S. J. MARION.
D. MACKENZIE. LUMBER MERCHANT.
CHRISTIAN JOHNSON, DEALER IN AGRICULTURAL IMŽPLEMENTS, SEWING
H. GOODMAN, GENERAL
BLACKSMITH AND MACHINIST.
G. B, SEXSMITH, BUTCHER AND FRUITERER.
NUNN & RAYCROFT, BAKERS, CONFECTIONERS AND
A. E. WEST, MERCHANT TAILOR.
A. HELGASON, BOOKBINDER AND ACCOUNT BOOKMAKER.
W. O. FOWLER, POSTMASTER, DEALER IN BICYCLES
MRS. W.J.S. WAUGH, MILLENERY ETC.
MISS DORA SNYDAL, DRESSMAKER ETC.
M. MORRISON, CARRIAGE BUILDER AND GENERAL BLACKSMITH
J. SCAMMEL, GENERAL BLACKSMITH
N.P. HOTEL J, DEW. PROP.
MR. G. COUZENS, BOOT AND SHOE MAKER
MRS. M.W. RANKIN, CONFECTIONARY
A skating rink was built on the south side of the track.
Three grain elevators serve Baldur.
The first telephone was possessed by Dr. Cleghorn and connected his
home to the store.
Municipal Clerk John Harrower was robbed at gunpoint and the thieves
made off with $700 in municipal funds.
Baldur Curling Club organized.
Two performances were given by celebrated poetess Pauling Johnson.
The Fowler Block
The structure is a Municipally Designated Heritage Site and the oldest
building on Elizabeth Avenue. Harry Haskill, the “Glenboro cyclone
bricklayer” (A quote from the Baldur Gazette) is credited as builder.
It has housed a Grocery / General Store since it opened in 1899.