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Memorable Manitobans: Simon St. Germain [Simon dit Brisard St. Germain] (1855-1941)

Municipal official, immigration official, postmaster, community activist, judge.

Born at what would become the Rural Municipality of St. Boniface (since renamed St. Vital) on 5 May 1855, son of Joseph St. Germain and Annie McGillivray (c1825-1912), on 14 October 1878 he married Maria Rose Hamelin (c1855-1953, daughter of Joseph Hamelin). They had at least ten children: Joseph Napolean “Nap” St. Germain (1879-1958), Maxim “Max” St. Germain (1882-1964), Ernest “Ernie” St. Germain (1885-1951), Raoul “Ralph” St. Germain (1888-?), Marguerite Marie Ida Eliza St. Germain (1889-1982, wife of Arthur Mathew Carriere), Marie Lucie St. Germain (1891-?), Olivine Marie St. Germain (1896-1987, wife of George Eugene Deslauriers, later wife of John Williams), Simon Joachin Jules St. Germain (1893-?), T. McGillivry St. Germain (1900-?), and Solomon “Sam” St. Germain (1901-1977). For a while after their marriage, the couple took up residence in the Rural Municipality of Ritchot where he was a Councillor (1894). Both he (1895-1907) and Rose (1908-1932) served as Postmasters of the Ritchot Post Office. The couple celebrated their 60th anniversary in the Glenwood School auditorium with a crowd of some 400 friends, residents, and dignitaries.

By 1901, the family had taken up residence off St. Mary’s Road on Lot 139 in the Rural Municipality of St. Vital where he was the leading force in the establishment of the St. Germain School District, serving as School Board Chairman (1906-?). He was also a Councillor in the 1920s and early 1930s. He was an Immigration Officer and was known as the “suitcase judge” on account of how the federal courts sent him to numerous places to preside over legal proceedings. He was a charter member, Secretary, and multi-year President (including 1907) of the Union Society of St. Joseph and the first Secretary (1887-?) of the Metis Society [Union Nationale Metisse].

He died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 25 May 1941 and was buried in the St. Norbert Roman Catholic Cemetery. He and his wife were commemorated with the naming of Ritchot Post Office (opened on 1 April 1937) as the St. Germain Post Office, and St. Germain School in the Louis Riel School Division was named for him.

Sources:

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901, 1906, and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

“Additional nominations [Ritchot],” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 December 1893, page 3.

“Metis celebration,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 July 1907, page 3.

“[...] to divide St. Vital into 2 Municipalities,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 December 1921, page 5.

“St. Vital,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 January 1923, page 17.

“Councillor St. Germain takes out warrant against J. H. Mager,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 Dec 1924, page 2.

“Council of St. Vital refuses to act on beer,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 April 1928, page 5.

“St. Vital,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 January 1930, page 8.

“Elections in suburbs see heavy voting [St. Vital],” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 December 1932, page 2.

“Old-timers attend Union Metisse picnic,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 July 1933, page 2.

“Three Wards at St. Vital to be contested,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 November 1933, page 11.

“Metis members will mark 50th year of activity,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 June 1937, page 11.

“Metis Society celebrates jubilee of founding,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 June 1937, page 19.

“Men who helped to found Metis Society 50 years ago join in jubilee gathering,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 June 1937, page 19.

“Their Majesties send wire to couple on diamond wedding day,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 October 1938, page 10.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 May 1941, page 2.

Obituary, Winnipeg Tribune, 27 May 1941, page 34.

St. Boniface Estate file #3630, Simon St. Germain, Archives of Manitoba.

Obituary [Ernest St. Germain], Winnipeg Free Press, 31 March 1951, page 34.

“Pioneer grocer’s daughter dies in 99th year,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 January 1953, page 13.

St. Boniface Estate file #6048, Rose St. Germain, Archives of Manitoba.

Death notice [Joseph Napoleon St. Germain], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 October 1958, page 24.

Obituary [Joseph Napoleon St. Germain], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 October 1958, page 32.

St. Boniface Estate file #7403, Napoleon St. Germain, Archives of Manitoba.

Obituary [Olivien St. Germain], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 July 1962, page 22.

Obituary [Maxim St. Germain], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 August 1964, page 33.

Obituary [Solomon St. Germain], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 September 1977, page 39.

Obituary [Olivine Marie Williams], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 October 1987, page 26.

Obituary [Ida Carriere], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 December 1982, page 54.

Post Offices and Postmasters, Library and Archives Canada.

Who We Are / School History, St. Germain School.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 8 July 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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