Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 144 years

Manitoba Communities: Ivanhoe (Unincorporated Rural Municipality)

by Florence May Brown

When the history “Minnedosa Memories” was being compiled in 1957 & ’58 we found certain references to the Municipality of Ivanhoe, but could get nothing to show where it existed. Further searching, even to Winnipeg since then was fruitless until last summer (1965) when an original copy in the handwriting of the clerk (Wm Miller) of the Municipality was received by this writer—“A list of the electors for that portion situate in the Municipality of Ivanhoe for the year 1883.” I wrote to Mr. H. Bowsfield, Archivist, and he was able to help me further with a copy of the Act which concerned its formation. The story is as follows.

After the western boundary of Manitoba was extended in 1881 the County of Minnedosa was one of those formed to have its own local government in municipal affairs. The territory which was included come covers the towns of Minnedosa and Rapid City and the Municipalities of Odanah, Minto, Clanwilliam, Saskatchewan, Harrison, Strathclair and Blanchard [sic], and in 1882 was controlled by a Warden and six or more councillors. It lay to the north of Brandon County. The area being so large, there was bound to be differences of opinion on many matters, and very soon friction had arisen between the south part around Rapid City and the Minnedosa community. One chief cause was the surveys made by the Canadian Pacific Railway company, one of which would take the road through Rapid City and the other, a branch line from north west of Portage la Prairie, into the Minnedosa valley. This friction came to a head in February 1883, when the southern part of the County comprising Townships 13 & 14 in Ranges 17 to 22 took a vote a decided to petition the Manitoba government to be allowed to form a separate unit called the Municipality of Ivanhoe. On June 7th the Executive Council, under Premier John Norquay, gave assent to the request and appointed Albert Larwill of Rapid City as Returning Officer to hold an election for Warden and Councillors, to be held at Rapid City, with nominations on Monday, June 18th and the election, if any, on the following Monday. We do not know if an election was necessary but on the “List of Electors” three of the councillors and the Warden was named. They were Francis Rose, S32-T14-R17 for the two east townships, Wm J Manbey 10-14-18 for the next two townships, David McNaught 23-14-19 for the next two, and R. S. Armstrong, 23-13-20 as Warden.

In the meantime the Province was proceeding with plans for less unwieldy, smaller areas of municipal control and during 1883 each county was divided into municipalities. Minnedosa then had six as named earlier, except Minto which was formed in 1904 from parts of Odanah and Clanwilliam. The Minnedosa Star, the town’s first newspaper, in a sarcastic article “Secession,” in the February 16th 1883 issue, wrote the following—

“On Thursday last the electors in townships 13 & 14 across the whole county had the opportunity so ardently wished for of recording their votes for or against the division, and in a few weeks will have the extreme pleasure of paying the expenses of it. How strange that the people of Rapid City will always “put their foot in it.” But then how could they be expected to know that it is the intention of the government at its next session to divide all the counties into municipalities … so that the vote of Thursday will be a waste of time and money.”

I also quote some lines from the Rapid City Standard which said “Now it is true that there is a strong feeling of rivalry between the two towns, and is not that the best possible reason for separation.”

And so the Municipality of Ivanhoe dissolved and faded into a dream.


“The Municipality of Ivanhoe” by Florence May Brown, Minnedosa, January 1966 [Archives of Manitoba, MG9A60-1]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 June 2023

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2023 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.