Manitoba Pioneers, James & Martha Louisa Stanton

originally published in December 1, 1991 Stanton Stats.

James Stanton was born in 1851 at Newboro, Ontario on the Rideau Canal and educated there. In 1878, he married Martha Louisa Stedman, who was born in the Clear Lake district of Ontario in 1856.

In 1880, James came west to the end of the railroad in St. Boniface with his wife, Martha. He walked across the river [ice] to Winnipeg, bought a team of oxen and cart and drove to Portage la Prairie. Martha and James settled on what was known as a half breed script that ran north from the Slough Road in Portage. Their first child, Frances, was born in 1880.

They experienced some odd happenings there. Martha Louisa saw an Indian being shot off a horse on the road going by their home. She told of a neighbour woman hiding an American Indian under a quilt she was making on her knee, to keep him from our Indians who were chasing him for some reason.

Martha stayed behind in 1881 when James came to the area north of Treherne, section 23-8-10, and build a log house by a small bluff east of the present house. He had learned some cabinet making from his father and was able to make their first furniture.

Plans were made for James to go to Portage for his wife and baby Frances on a certain day. However, something happened; he could not go on the planned day, and there was no way to let her [his wife] know in those days. Martha was ready to leave. So she came to Smart’s landing by riverboat, and hired someone with an ox and stoneboat to take her to her new home. The trip took more than a day an when she finally arrived she found no one there as James had gone to Portage with a team of oxen the day of her arrival in Treherne.

James and Martha continued to live in the log house and raise their family. Two of their small children, Mary and George, died at the log house. They were buried on the home grounds until Bethel Cemetery was started and then they were moved there. Their father made their caskets as there were no undertakers in the area in those days.

Later, James build a new frame house for his family which was occupied by his descendants for over 100 years, and will standing until 1991 when it was burnt down.

For 36 years James Stanton was connected with the Louise School Board either as a trustee or secretary-treasurer. He acted as a councillor and for a time was reeve of the Municipality of South Norfolk.

Mr. and Mrs. Stanton were active workers in the Olive community affairs until they retired to Treherne in 1926. They are buried at Bethel Cemetery.

Source: Entries in the Treherne History book which would have been submitted by James and Martha’s daughter-in-law, Barbara (Mrs. J. L.) Stanton, with some additional information added.

NOTE: Please excuse terminology which may be found offensive today. These were the words used when the history book was written and probably also in the era when the history was made. It is used to keep the story authentic, not to intentionally insult anyone.