Bienfait Misc. History

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

Written by Mr. Val Doerr from the History of Bienfait Book -dated 1955

  1. The Souris-Estevan branch of the CPR was completed twelve years before the first building was constructed on the present townsite.
  2. The First building used as a residence was built by John Millar, the Section Foreman in 1904, on the lot now owned (1955) by Mr Niviadomy.
  3. The First Store was built by A. J. Milligan on the lot now occupied (1955) by Tony Shpyth. This general store was operated by Mr. Milligan and A.E. Watt, opened for business in 1905.
  4. The first hotel built by Mr. Sandoff of Estevan, was situated on the corner now occupied (1955) by the legion Hall, was later sold to a man at Lampman and moved in 1910
  5. The Bienfait Mine owned by the CPR was opened for business in January 1904.
  6. The present Hotel owned and operated by Gordon White (1955), was built in 1907 by Fitzsimmons and Sons
  7. The First postmaster was Mr. A.J. Milligan
  8. The first Implement Business was operated by Daniel Jones, later the firm of Cronk, McDoul, and Sinclair opened an office and Warehouse.
  9. The first Real Estate and Insurance office was opened by Nelson and Doerr.
  10. The members of the first Council in 1912 were G.J.Oliver, A.E.Watt, and V.F.Doerr, and Mr Milligan was appointed Sec-Treasurer.
  11. The first poolroom and Barber shop was built by Henry Uhrich. Mr Uhrich also operated a livery and feed barn for many years.
  12. The Hardware store was owned and operated by Samuel Fielding.
  13. The First School building, a small frame building was situated on the lot now occupied by the Sec-Treas of the village (in 1955) this building is now owned and occupied by Oscar Sandberg (1955) on Railway Ave.
  14. The first Church Services were held in the small brick school
  15. The CPR Station (now Museum) was built in 1907, previous to that a box car was used by the first Agent, William McQuay.
  16. The Canadian National Railway branch line from Lampman was completed as far as Bienfait later in the fall of 1909. Bienfait was the terminal for several years. Mr Scott was the first Agent, and Mr and Mrs Scott with their five children lived in a large tent for three years as there was no housing accommodation for them till the company built their first Depot.

(Note these were recorded in 1955 or “present day” below)

  • First General Store- was owned by Milligan located at Kupchenko's farm (1903)
  • First Post Office- was at Kupchenko's farm (1903)
  • First Hotel- was owned by Mr Sandoff (Estevan), located where theatre is now (1905)
  • First Bar- was owned by Mr Sandoff (Estevan), where present day theatre is located (1905)
  • First Blacksmith Shop- was owned by Ole Twinsburg.
    It was located between the Old Post Office and Cuddington's Merchant Store (1905)
  • First Hardware- was owned by Sam Fielding. It was located east of the present day Hotel (1906)
  • First Livery Stable- was owned by Ellis Bros..
    It was located on the lot between the Drug Store and Birbrager's Store (1905 or 1906)
  • First Doctor's Office- was operated by a French Doctor.
    It was located where the Chinese Novelty Shop is now (1906)
  • First Lumber Yard- was the Crescent Lumber Co. operated by Guy Scott.
    It was located on the present site of the Beaver Lumber company (1906)
  • First Implement Shop- was owned by Dan Jones. It was situated where the Municipal office is now.
    Half of the building is now where Jim Cooper lives, and the other half is the building where Mr. George Johnson lives (1906)
  • First Barber Shop- was located in the old Post Office (1907)
  • First Pool Hall- was operated by Henry Uhrich.
    It was located in Boruk's Bakery Shop,just west of the Theatre where Mrs Ellis now lives (1907)
  • First Drug Store- was operated by the French Doctor in the Chinese Novelty Shop (1907)
  • First Bank- was Estevan Security Bank, located where the Legion Hall is now (1914)
  • First Shoe Store- owned by Cameron English and Adolfese Ellis.
    It was located south of the Drug Store and was made from the old Livery Stable (1917)
  • First Bakery- was owned by Mr Cuddington. It was located back of the old Post Office.
  • First Garage- was owned by Ed Sinclair. It was located east of the Hotel on Bob Hazzard's old lot (1920)
  • First Theatre- was operated by Ignautz Uhrich.
    A silent projector which was run by hand was used.
    It was located where Mrs Ellis is living now. (1922)
  • First Bowling Alley- was operated Gordon White. It was moved where the Municipal Office is now.
    Then it was moved to where the United Cafe now is located (1923)
  • First Cafe- was owned by Sandy Wong.
    It was located where the present day Post Office is situated (1923)
  • First Source of Power- was the old Hawkins Mine (should be Hawkinson mine, or Bienfait Mine)
  • First Electrical Shop- was operated by Mr Fraser and Charles Doerr.
    It was located in the Chinese Novelty Shop (1932)

In the Early 1950's (50-53), 1 mile south of Bienfait, on the Highway, near our farm, on the corner of the Highway to Estevan / Portal, there was a robbery of approx $10,000 in payroll money, destined for the Taylorton mine. There was lots of rumours of who did it at the time, but as far as I have been able to tell, no one has ever been charged.

My 2 older brothers think they know the guilty party, but will not let me print the name, to protect the family I believe the culprit is now dead. Hint- He had a well known car in the area at that time, and it was seen racing north in a cloud of dust heading to Bienfait at the time this happened. The Police Car headed south shortly after, all by our farm.


  • Last modified: 2018/02/24 11:10
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