Manitoba Historical Society
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Manitoba Business: Lake of the Woods Milling Company

Link to:
Presidents | Western Managers | Country Elevators | Sources

In May 1887, a group of Montreal-based investors affiliated with the Canadian Pacific Railway incorporated the Lake of the Woods Milling Company. Between 1887 and 1888, the firm constructed a large mill at Keewatin, Ontario [now Kenora] to process prairie-grown wheat into the Five Roses brand of flour. They established other mills at Portage la Prairie (Manitoba), Medicine Hat (Alberta), and Brantford (Ontario), as well as an extensive network of country elevators across western Canada, and an administrative office in Winnipeg.

In November 1954, most of the company’s assets were purchased by one of its competitors, the Ogilvie Flour Mills Company. The mill at Keewatin was destroyed by fire in the 1960s and not rebuilt.

Some corporate records are held at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

Presidents

Period

President

1887-1888

Alexander Mitchell

1888-1892

?

1892-1911

Robert Meighen (1869-1911)

1911-1931

Frank S. Meighen

1931-1954

?

Vice-Presidents

Period

Vice-President

1887-?

John Mather (1827-1907)

?-1954

?

Western Sales Managers (Winnipeg)

Period

Western Manager

1887-1889

?

1889-1906

Samuel Alexander McGaw (1848-1916)

1906-1913

George V. Hastings

1913-1922

William A. Matheson (1859-1939)

1922-1932

Nixon John Breen (1872-1954)

1932-1941

?

1941-1947

George Heatly Booth (c1886-1947)

1947-1954

?

General Superintendents

Period

General Superintendent

1887-1912

George Henry Kelly (1860-1940)

1912-1954

?

Country Elevators (Manitoba)

Location

No.

Rail

Built

1959
Capacity
(bushels)

Comments

Altona

 

CPR

1951

76,500

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Amaranth

 

CNR

1917

-

Built by Harper Construction Company; demolished (13 June 1936); salvaged parts shipped to Wapella [Saskatchewan] to build new elevator

Arden

 

CPR

1895

35,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Beausejour

 

CPR

1912

50,000

Annex (1954); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Bede

 

CPR

?

-

Burned (23 October 1922)

Boissevain

 

CPR

1895

35,000

Annex (1942); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Brookdale

 

CPR

1902

-

Demolished (5 May 1950)

Cameron

 

CPR

1902

42,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Carman

 

CNR

1895

?

Demolished (November 1934); lumber used to build new elevator at Beausejour (?)

CPR

?

?

 

Carroll

 

CPR

1919

20,300

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Clandeboye

 

CPR

1916

40,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Dalny

 

CPR

1903

42,500

Annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Dauphin

 

CNR

1899

65,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Deleau

 

CPR

?

?

Demolished (1924)

Dominion City

 

CPR

1895

26,000

Rebuilt (1923); annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Douglas

 

CPR

1892

40,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954), sold to Manitoba Pool (1959)

East Selkirk

 

CPR

1912

-

Destroyed by fire and rebuilt (1922); sold to Searle Grain (July 1938)

Elkhorn

 

CPR

1892

30,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Elva

 

CPR

1897

23,500

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Emerson

 

CPR

?

?

Burned (25 May 1928)

Eriksdale

 

?

1917

-

Built by Harper Construction Company; demolished (20 June 1934); lumber reused to build elevator at Whitewood [Saskatchewan] (June-July 1934)

Ewart

 

CPR

1905

-

Demolished (August-September 1949)

Forrest

 

CPR

1897

30,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Giroux

 

CNR

1899

-

Demolished (November 1934); lumber used to construct annex at Beausejour (?)

Goodlands

 

CPR

1902

32,000

Annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Gretna

 

CPR

1888

17,000

Annex (1942); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Griswold

 

CPR

1889

35,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954), sold to UGG (1960)

Harmsworth

 

CPR

1910

30,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Hartney

 

CNR

?

-

Demolished (1924)

CPR

?

 

 

Holland

 

CPR

1888

-

Closed (1941), demolished (summer 1947)

Kenton

 

CPR

1902

32,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Killarney

 

CPR

1900

?

Sold to UGG (31 July 1952)

Landseer

 

CPR

1903

45,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Lauder

 

CPR

1897

22,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

MacGregor

 

CPR

1897

30,000

Burned (1928) and rebuilt same year; annex (1942); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Manitou

 

CPR

?

-

Burned (16 August 1929)

Medora

 

CPR

?

-

Sold to UGG (11 July 1928)

Melita

 

CPR

1892

38,000

Annex (1942); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Methven

 

CPR

1890

27,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Miniota

 

CPR

1910

35,000

Bought from Federal Grain (1944), sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Moore Park

 

CPR

1905

25,500

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Morden

 

CPR

1895

36,000

Annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Naples

 

CPR

1903

-

Destroyed by fire (16 September 1937)

Neepawa

 

CPR

?

-

Demolished (1924)

Newdale

 

CPR

1924

34,000

Replaced flat warehouse (before 1900); annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Ninga

 

CPR

1892

35,000

Annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Plum Coulee

 

CPR

1888

25,000

Annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Portage la Prairie

 

CPR

?

60,000

Annex (1959); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Regent

206

CPR

1913

-

Built by the Matheson Grain Company (1913), sold to Lake of the Woods Milling (1918), destroyed by fire (13 August 1944)

Reston

 

CPR

1895

-

Destroyed by fire (15 July 1950)

Rosenfeld

 

CPR

1903

35,000

Built by Imperial Grain Company; bought (1918); demolished (1937) and replaced with modern elevator; annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Rossendale

 

CNR

?

-

Destroyed by fire (7 April 1931)

Russell

 

CPR

1904

?

Closed (1 February 1951)

Snowflake

 

CPR

1906

16,000

Annex (1942); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Souris

 

CPR

1891

30,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Thornhill

 

CPR

1888

18,000

New annex (1942); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Tilston

 

CPR

1907

35,000

Extensive repairs (1927); annex (1953); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Treesbank

 

CPR

1892

36,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Tyndall

 

CPR

1918

35,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Virden

 

CNR

1889

-

Demolished (1937)

Waskada

 

CPR

1902

33,000

Extensive repairs (1927); annex (1941); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Whitemouth

 

CPR

1917

-

Flat warehouse bought from ?? (1917) and rebuilt as elevator, sold to Northwest Commission Company (September 1927), demolished (fall 1934), lumber used for annex at Beausejour (1934)

Whitewater

 

CPR

?

-

Sold to Northwest Commission Company (September 1927)

Willen

 

CPR

1914

30,000

Built by Matheson Grain Company; bought (1918); office destroyed by fire (8 January 1955); sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

Winkler

 

CPR

1895

35,000

Sold to Ogilvie (November 1954)

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lake of the Woods Building (212 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg)

Sources:

“The Keewatin mill,” Manitoba Free Press, 21 November 1888, page 1.

“Robert Meighen here,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 May 1893, page 4.

“Robert Meighen, President of Lake of Woods Milling Co. passes suddenly away,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 July 1911, page 1.

“George V. Hastings about to retire,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 May 1913, page 6.

Record of Country Elevator Receipts, Expenses 1922-23 to and including 1955-156, Lake of the Woods Milling Company Limited, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, Ogilvie Flour Mills fonds, MSS120-L-128.

Ogilvie - Lake of the Woods Purchase, File 7, RG 4, Manitoba Pool Elevators fonds, Series B, Central Office Records, B.14, Acquisitions, Box 1: 1937-1977, S. J. McKee Archives.

We thank Janice McClelland for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 March 2021

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