Bienfait- Grain Elevators

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

Bienfait Elevators

Apr 19, 1907

Here we see the business development already in Bienfait
Note- the One Grain Elevator is listed now.
Article signed by George J. Oliver (Sr)
Secretary Business Committee
b- Dec 1868 in ON
wife Edith Oliver, b- Oct 1876 in ON
daughter- Bernice Oliver, b- Aug 1901 (8?) in ON
son- George Oliver, b- Nov 1910 in SK

George J. Oliver (Sr) born Dec 1868 in Ontario
1911 Census says Scotch Nationality, Methodist religion.
shown as a type of merchant.
With his wife Edith,( b- Oct 1876 in ON) Presbyterian
daughter Bernice, (b- Aug 1901 in ON) Presbyterian
and son George Jr. (b-Nov 1910 in ON) Presbyterian
When and where he died is unknown

1906 family boarding with the John Morris family, in Estevan, Qu'Appelle District, SK
George, age 41, Edith, age 30, Bernice age 5

so we know he came West between 1901 and 1906

Is this his marriage record below?, looks like it could be to me, except wife birth year off a bit.
George J. OLIVER, age 29,
b- ca 1868 in Burgess North, Lanark South, ON
Accountant living in Copper Cliff,
s/o George Oliver b-ca1838 in ON, occupation Miller, & Mary (Maxine?) GIBSON,
married Edith A. ELLIS, age 23,on Sept 16, 1897 in Sudbury ON.
b- ca 1874, in Penville
living in Copper Cliff,
d/o Thomas ELLIS & Hannah L. HILL,
Wtn. Thomas M. ELLIS, Eva M. ELLIS
One reason this might be the right guy father was George, and he named his son George as well
to carry this on again just a guess here.
George SR mined Phosphate and Mica on his farm in Burgess area.

Aug 20, 1907

Now is this the 2nd one? or one mentioned above?
Northern Elevator Co builds 30,000 bushel grain elevator in Bienfait

Oct 4, 1907

Now we know there was 2, no name for the first one though.

Nov 6, 1907

Now they have the elevators, they have no Rail Cars to load it in.
Both Elevators are full, and wagons coming loaded with wheat, were expecting to load coal for the trip home.

Left- 1965 Parade view of the elevator with Stan & Olga Kingdon's Horse in the foreground – A Little Newer View of the Elevator on the right

My Dad, Phil Gent, Harry Barker, Myself, and a girl, name unknown,

In the 1965 Bienfait Parade, Red River Ox Cart, we won 1st!
Bienfait Pool Elevator #733 is shown

Located on a siding off the CPR line. On the North East corner of Railway Ave and Aldridge St.
In 1915 this was the Interior Elevator Company Elevator
In 1931 this Elevator was the Co-op Elevator.

At least by 1932 this Elevator became the Saskatchewan Co-operative Wheat Producers Ltd. Elevator
or informally the Saskatchewan Wheat “Pool” Elevator as shown above

Letter written to my grandfather Gus Gesell, June 12, 1939 with his earnings from 1932 to 1939

“The Pool is the World's largest Farm, the World's Largest Shipper of Wheat, the Biggest Business in Canada
– and it was built by the Man Behind the Plow.” W.A. Irwin, 1929

1915 map showing this Pool #733 / Interior Elevator Co. Elevator
Capacity I believe the old map says 30,000 Bushels
#101 on Block 100
They also had another building at #107, Block 100

Interior Elevator Company was originally the Royal Elevator Company, owned by N.M. Paterson and Company, out of Thunder Bay,
who bought this elevator and 13 others, and the Interior Elevator Company name was formed.
In 1920 this Elevator became the N.M. Paterson and Company Elevator.
In 1950, N.M. Paterson and Sons Ltd. Elevator
Norman Paterson, born 1883 in Portage La Prairie, MB
died in 1983. This company still operates run by Normans' descendants.
Date of Sale to the Pool of this elevator, unknown, but before 1965 as in the pictures above.

Below is a Receipt from this Elevator, dated Jan 20, 1942, from my grandfather, Percy James Gent
He got $29.90 for just over 55 bushels of No 3 wheat.

Name appears to me as C. O. Dew, Elevator Operator

I remember a little boy going here with a small truck full of grain.
It fascinated me then, and they still do.
Shame they are not preserved.
Trains built the West, but Grain kept them running!
In Bienfait's case, Coal Shipments also I guess.

In my dad Phil Gent's history notes, he states in 1928 in his spare time from the farm work,
he hauled stones for the foundations of the United Church, the Anglican Church,
the first Catholic Church, and the Pool Elevator

Agent, Feb 5, 1947 was a Mr. A. T. Smyth.
His son Roy George Smyth, an employee of M&S was killed that day, age 21, by a loaded coal car.
He was a motorman on an underground electric trolley used to haul cars to the main shaft to be lifted up to the surface
He served in the Canadian Army in WWII overseas, and was discharged ca 1946

There was another Elevator in Bienfait, complete with a Milling Machine.
shown on this 1915 map across from the King Edward Hotel.
Also located on the CPR line.
It was called Lake of the Woods Milling Co. Ltd. Elevator
It had a capacity of 30,000 bushels, and was #125 on block 100.
Next to it, to the west was their flour warehouse #123, block 100.
They also had another building at #131, Block 100

1915 map showing Lake of the Woods Milling Co Ltd Elevator

The Five Roses Cookbook (1913) came from this Company, still being produced, and still one of the best.
It is a kitchen MUST have!
The Company Began in Keewatin Ontario, in 1888 per the museum there. (1887 in another source)
It was privately owned. They owned many Elevators in Saskatchewan by 1911,
so this one was built before then, is my guess. When it was removed is unknown to me.
Where building #131 is shown, is where the caboose on the M & S train display would be sitting.

Mr. Ken John worked at this Elevator as 2nd man
According to his story, he even painted this elevator at one time

Arthur Hugh Graham,
b- Feb 11, 1889 in Russell ON
d- ?
Manager of the Lake of the Woods Elevator, as well as Overseer of the Village in the 30's.
He controlled the relief payments in the village, during the depression era.
He was also a School Trustee.
Art Graham bought an old school
He was the First Honorary member of the Bienfait Legion
served in WWI, Reg #256927, living in Sedley SK when he enlisted, Jan 10, 1918 in Regina
Occupation Grain Buyer, Single, Presbyterian
Father- Hugh Graham
living in Russell ON in 1918

There now appears there was a Third Elevator, located just east of the CPR Station,
about 650 feet East of Young st. Name of this elevator is unknown at the moment.

My Grandfather Gus Gesell was the Elevator Man in the Pool Elevator from 1932 to at least 1939.
I have his Brass Grain Test Rod today. It is 2 tubes of Brass with a hard wood handle on one tube
You turn the tubes to close the oblong holes and then he would push this into a wagon of grain.
It would then be pulled out and then with a half turn of the 2 tubes he could see each section of the test sample,
as there is now a visible hole every 4 or 5 inches.
This would stop someone from putting an inferior grade of grain at the bottom of the wagon,
but being paid for top grade passed on the top layer.
Today they sample the load as it is being dumped and a scoop is taken every so often.
The size of the trucks used today, this tester would not not reach 1/4 into the load.
Pictures of this tester below
it is about 3 1/2 feet long and 1 1/2 inches in diam. approx

Grain Tester used in the Bienfait Elevator by Gustav (Gus) August Gesell
my mother Helen Gent's father, and my Grandfather

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Employers Association membership card no 538, Gus A. Gesell, May 31, 1939 Elevator Weighing Department Apr 3, 1939 car load of wheat
Misc. Documents relating to the Bienfait Pool Elevator ca 1938/39
My Grandfather Gus Gesell was Elevator man at this time.

Sask Pool Elevators Agents meetings letter, July 22, 1939
Mr. E. A. Brown
Superintendent “A” Division, Saskatchewan Pool Elevators
Ernest Alfred Brown
b- Nov 5, 1885, Reading, Berkshire, England
d- Dec 7, 1970 in Estevan SK
Buried Dec 9, 1970, in Regina SK. Immigrated from Reading England ca 1909.
Married Hetty McKean (1884-1956) June 1908, in Reading, Berkshire, England
They had 2 daughters, and a son

Sask Wheat Pool Elevator letter July 24, 1939 re sale of binder twine — Sask Wheat Pool Elevator letter July 24, 1939 re sale of binder twine page 2
Letter signed by D. R. Lamont,
dated June 13, 1939 and July 24, 1939
Assistant Manager, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.

Daniel Russell (Russ) Lamont
b- Nov 24, 1888, on family farm near Melita, RM of Brenda, MB
d- July 23, 1960, age 71, on a street in Regina SK
buried in Riverside Memorial Park, Regina
He retired July 31, 1954, as Manager of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool
after leaving school he worked for his father in the mill in Melita.
Later joined Lake of the Woods Milling company as a salesman.
In 1917/18 he joined the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company Ltd.
1925 became manager of their Saskatoon Office
transferred to their Regina Office, and made Assistant Treasurer.
In 1926 he continued in his job, when the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool was formed, as their Assistant Treasurer.
Official name- Saskatchewan Co-operative Wheat Producers Ltd.
shortly after this he became the Pool's Chief Accountant.
1937 he became Assistant Manager.
1950 he became Manager

His father operated one of the first flour mills in Western Canada at Melita MB.
He came west from Owen Sound, ON in 1882

Father- Thomas R. Lamont
b- Mar 16, 1861 in ON
Baptist, Miller in 1901 census
Mother- Jennie McDonald
b- Nov 13, 1861 in ON

Mr Russ Lamont was an Elder in the Carmichael United Church in Regina
Later transferred to Westminster Church, became an Elder there.
He was an active Mason
married with 3 daughters,
lived at 3071 Retallack St., Regina SK

Russ had 2 brothers,
Cecil Alexander Ralph (Cyril?) Lamont, Winnipeg, MB
b- Jan 3, 1901 in RM of Arthur, MB
President of North-West Line Elevators Association, ca 1956
served in WWI, reg #1084413

Roger Royaston (Roy) Lamont, Napinka, MB
b- Dec 9, 1892 in RM of Wincester, MB
d- Oct 18, 1966 in Melita MB
Served in WWI, Reg # 259123
Agent for Manitoba Pool Elevators, 1942-1962

and 2 sisters,
Mrs. Annie (Olivia) Whaly, CA, USA
b- Dec 2, 1890, MB

Mrs. Winnefred (Winnifred?) Grace (Winnie) Leguee, Dahinda SK
b- Dec 20, 1895, RM of Wincester, MB

an email note Apr 7, 2012, from Mr. Barry D. Reed to tell me his father Gordon Reed was the Pool Elevator Agent
from 1953 to 1974 in Bienfait. Barry lived in Bienfait until 2006.
thanks for the info!

1916 Elevator man in Bienfait was Garrett B. Lightfoot, age 39, b- in USA, immigrated in 1911


  • Last modified: 2018/02/24 09:58
  • by dlgent