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Memorable Manitobans: George Morton (1821-1891)

Pioneer.

A prominent dairy farmer in Ontario, known as the “Cheese King” because he had influenced the government to place a 4% duty on American cheese, Morton immigratedto southwestern Manitoba in 1880 to establish a dairy farm and cheese-making busines, attracted by the rich haylands of the Whitewater Lake area. Through negotiations with the federal government, the Canadian Pacific Railway and Hudson’s Bay Company, he gained control of two townships (72 square miles) plus the promise of a railway with a spur line to his farm.

He built a sawmill on Max Lake in the Turtle Mountains to provide lumber for the farm buildings that he planned to place on every quarter section. The project failed because the CPR did not arrive in the area until 1886 and Morton kept his cattle in corrals instead of turning them loose on the prairie with the result that many froze to death during the first winter. He stayed on, however, and built an elevator and store in the town of Boissevain, becoming known as the “King of Boissevain.” He was a Conservative candidate for the Turtle Mountain constituency in the 1886 provincial general election.

He died at Boissevain on 27 December 1891 and was buried in the Boissevain Cemetery. He is commemorated by the Rural Municipality of Morton in Manitoba.

Sources:

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

Geographic Names of Manitoba, Manitoba Conservation, 2000.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 October 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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