John Fee

James Hartney

Moses Calverley

Charles Batty

W.K. Bradley

Edward Briggs

Reverend Butterworth

Festus Chapin

W.E. Crawford

James Duthie

Alice and Ida Edwards

Arthur Fry

Sydney Fyson

Harry Hill

Tena Hopkins

Ed Hornibrook

Blanche Hunter

James Innes

Eduoard Isabey

William Kirkland

Alex Mains

James McArter

William and Angus McDonald

Annie Playfair

Professor Racine

Connie Riddell

Alex Rogers

Alex Sutherland

Lillian Beynon Thomas

Dr. Tolmie

Albert West

Fred Woodhull

Chas Fee

The "We Made" Concept...

The We Made Hartney project uses the materials and analysis provided by the recent, and highly successful Notable People Project, combined with additional research to create an illustrated document which more deeply explores the achievements of a range of selected notable citizens whose work and life impacted strongly on our community; and which places those achievements into a wider context.

THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE who have made Hartney their home over the years, since its inception in 1892, have been a fascinating group, full of strength and wisdom, wit and vigour, kindness and foresight.
Some of these people are also significant, key figures in our history. They have either come to define Hartney by their very being, or they have changed Hartney through their actions and decisions.
This booklet recognizes and honours these people.

On the following pages you will encounter the collection of Hartney-ites who have made a real difference. The useful way we have chosen to explore and describe these people has been to focus on traditional occupations and avocations. With one key person typically defining each entry (a merchant, a school teacher, a brick-maker, etc.) we expect that the rich and deep experience of life and work in Hartney can be effectively and succinctly defined.

The people profiled in this booklet are special, but we have also endeavoured to feature others with slightly lesser claims to significance who help define or enhance a certain entry. And where possible we have also added information and details on certain occupations and avocations so that readers can come to fully understand and appreciate who these people were, what they did, and how they did it.

This booklet was developed through a project called Notable People, an initiative of the Historic Resources Branch of Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism. That project allowed us to develop a comprehensive inventory of potential candidates, and to carefully analyze and assess the relative significance of the 229 individuals profiled. We are grateful to the Province for this support and direction.
It is easy at the turn of the 21st century to forget the origins and qualities of Manitoba’s smaller communities. But at their beginnings these were very industrious places, with young, ambitious people, full of life, and with great dreams for their new home. It is also important to recall that these places were also self-sustaining, with nearly everything one would need made at hand. Much of what was required for daily life was manufactured here, from bricks to dresses, harnesses to flour. A place like Hartney in 1900 was active, lively and fun.

            East Railway Street, looking north, ca. 1902.

It is important to set the stage for the following stories, and we are fortunate to have the words of Hazel McDonald Parkinson, who in 1957 created our first local history book, The Mere Living. We quote extensively from that remarkable little book, which we highly recommend to anyone interested in small-town life in the late 1800s and early 1900s:
“Like most prairie towns it was placed to serve the agricultural neighbourhood that surrounded it. Yet it soon developed a community life of its own, a composite of the lives of the people who came to it to make a living, and who, in building homes on its streets, built also a part of Manitoba’s tradition. How that community life became the sum of its parts is the story that unfolds as we recall the men and women who came west in the early nineties.
The influx of businessmen, shopkeepers, blacksmiths, implement dealers, grain buyers, carpenters, livery-men, notaries, clergymen and doctors that would provide services for one another and for the farmers in the Hartney district, followed the pattern that was being repeated over and over in similar centres of Manitoba in the eighteen eighties and nineties, where town after town was being established, as the web of railway lines spread through the province.
The newcomers might differ in education, cultural background, wealth and ability, but most of them had two things in common: youth and enterprise. Most of the town builders of that period were in their twenties or thirties. Older men and women were the exceptions and usually came to the west with younger sons or daughters.

Aunt Tena Hopkins told of her first days in the new town, when, from the windows of her home above the store she could watch buildings, such as the new C.P.R. station, being erected and of a walk she took with Mrs. Butchart and Miss Margaret Woodhull who came to assist her brother, Dr. Woodhull, in the drugstore.

Hazel McDonald Parkinson, author of The Mere Living.
Aunt Tena crossed the street to Butchart’s hardware, then joined by Mrs. Butchart she called at the drugstore for Miss Woodhull. They passed Bradley’s barber shop, Douglas’ harness shop, Barter’s butcher shop, the Hotham-Blair livery stable, P.G. Drost’s flour and feed store, and the O’Brien Avondale Hotel. They called for the mail at the Hartney-Dickson store and turned east on Poplar Street where Mrs. Butchart pointed out Jos. Young’s hardware and his house on the corner of Spencer Street, with H. Hammond’s house to the north and S.H .Dickon’s house to the east.
Turning south on that corner, they passed Dr. McEown’s new house beside that of Jos Young, examined the half finished Methodist church and the parsonage beside it. They looked to the southeast toward the Hartney farm where the Beynon family lived and eastward from the church to the David Leckie home.

Spencer Street, looking south, ca. 1900. 

They turned west after passing the church and reaching East Railway Street again, walked north past the Leckie lumber yard, along a footpath that was being worn by the feet of the townsfolk into a dusty road that caused them to speak of the need for sidewalks.
From the top floor of the Hopkins store, the prairie could be seen stretching in the haze of the Turtle Mountain on the south, to the river to the west and north, outlined by the green woods along its banks, and the east rolling endlessly toward the flat horizon. Around the nearer farm homes the intenser green of newly planted shrubs and small trees added variety to the landscape but did not obscure the buildings huddled together on the farms.
Since that time, when the town began, Hartney’s people have been our people, and its ways, on the whole, our ways. Goodly ways they have been, that make us, who no longer actually reside in the town, happy to look back to the years when Hartney was to us the core of Manitoba and our home.”