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Shoal Lake Minute #18
Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1855, Frank Dobbs came to Canada at age 16 to work on land survey crews in southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 1874 he joined the North West Mounted Police and went west on their famous trek. During his tour of duty, he took part in the Riel Rebellion in 1885, resigning from the force in 1886. In 1902, he was awarded a silver medal from the Dominion of Canada for services rendered during the 1885 Rebellion.
For his duty in the NWMP, Dobbs received a free half section of land seven miles south of Shoal Lake and started farming. Realizing farming was not for him, Dobbs took up selling real estate and insurance and bookkeeping. Shoal Lake Rural Municipality hired him as secretary treasurer in 1899, a position he kept until 1933. He held the same position for the village from 1909 to 1931.
Frank liked being busy. He was secretary-treasurer of the Shoal Lake Agricultural Society from about 1900 to 1925, Clerk of the County Court from 1885, agent for eight insurance companies, real estate agent with Hudson’s Bay Land Development and a Mason. An ad he ran in the 1905 Henderson’s Directory says in addition to real estate and insurance, Frank has “money to loan” and improved and unimproved farms for sale.
In 1909, Dobbs, as village clerk, received over a hundred applications in response to an advertisement for a constable that appeared in Winnipeg papers. The village’s new constable would be Donald Findlayson.
Frank and Mary Dobbs moved into Winnipeg where he died in 1940, laid to rest New year’s day, 1941. Frank, his two daughters Kathleen and Norah and wife Mary are all buried in the family plot in Shoal Lake Cemetery.
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Category Archives: Shoal Lake History
The town of Elphinstone celebrated its centennial in 1979 and the Shoal Lake Star printed a special issue commemorating the event. Several Shoal Lake companies advertised in the paper including Menzies Department Store where Junction 16 Clothing is today, and … Continue reading
Reid Dickie This falls under the category of blatant self-promotion. When you drive down a country road and see a lonesome old farmhouse, sun-baked and tumbling down or a busted-up half ton rusting away on a rise or an abandoned … Continue reading
Reid Dickie Looking through a box of family stuff I came across this program from the Nov. 16, 1962 opening of the newly-built Shoal Lake elementary school (right side of picture) and the transition of the red brick school to … Continue reading
Reid Dickie He was manager of North American Lumber in Transcona where he became president of their board of trade. He was a Transcona school trustee and elected five times as a town Councillor. He was main organizer in the Transcona … Continue reading
Bill Lewycky was an astute businessman who, along with his family, contributed to the town for over forty years. He was Shoal Lake’s mayor from 1981 to 1989. Recently Bill passed away and his sons, Dennis and Terry, and grandson, Kutwa, assembled … Continue reading
Reid Dickie Nothing says turn up the tunes, point her toward the vanishing point and step on it like an old Texaco filling station! Previously I have posted about the Art Moderne Texaco filling station in my hometown in western … Continue reading
Reid Dickie The picture of Shoal Lake in the header at the top of this page shows a 1940s view of the town. It was taken where The Drive meets South Railway. The picture shows the wealth of brick buildings … Continue reading
Reid Dickie Until rural electrification reached small towns and farms via Manitoba Hydro in the mid to late 1930s and refrigerators became available, the icehouse played an important role in keeping perishable foodstuffs from spoiling. A small building, often wood … Continue reading
Reid Dickie Every Canadian province has an official Mounted Police Museum. In Manitoba it is located in Shoal Lake. In my video report find out why this is an extremely appropriate town to have the museum.