Western Canadian Immigration Association (WCIA)

Western Canadian Immigration Association (WCIA)
aka: Western Canada Land and Immigration Association

An Association formed to distribute material to encourage immigration of American Settlers to come to Western Canadian Provinces.
The Association was sponsored and funded by Canadian Pacific Railway, Grand Trunk Railway, Canadian Northern Railway, Canadian Government, and the Hudson Bay Company.

They were to inform the Americans of the Attractions, Advantages and Resources of Western Canada Provinces.

Based in Minneapolis MN, formed the first time in Mar 1896.
They must have disbanded and re-formed again on Jan 25, 1904, headquartered in St Paul MN, with an office in Winnipeg MN.

50 Land men, representing Canada, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, met at Merchants Hotel in St. Paul MN to form this new Association.
Winnipeg had 25 delegates.

Membership fee was $10, and a yearly $5 in dues.
You had to be a bona fide dealer in Canadian lands to be eligible to join.
2 existing members had to recommend any new members

John H. M. Haslam was elected as the First President of the Association and resigned shortly after, in May 1904.

C. H. Douglass from Chicago was elected First Vice-President
James Scott from Winnipeg, elected 2nd Vice-President
N. J. Halsey of Peoria IL was elected 3rd Vice-President.

Executive Committee had 7 members:
First elected Executive Committee of WCIA
D. W. Bole, G. F. Carruthers, and W. J. Christie from Winnipeg.
O. A. Robertson, and F. B. Lynch, of St. Paul, MN
A. D. McRae of Duluth MN, and S. A. Coldren of Iowa City Iowa.
Paid Secretary- Theodore M. Knappen
They held annual meetings.

Sept 8, 1905 a special train left Minneapolis, with 100 Editors and Proprietors of Agricultural Newspapers, from all over the USA, were on the train.
Secretary of the WCIA Theodore M. Knappen, was on board, plus S. W. Leavitt, the Chairman of the Minnesota Board of Control,
Warden of the Stillwater Prison, Henry Wolfer, Wesley J. Speers,Spears? representing the Dept of the Interior for the Canadian Govt.
They went direct to Winnipeg, where they caught another train, on the CPR mainline, and headed to Calgary.

Herbert Vanderhoof was General Manager of the Western Canadian Immigration Association, ca Apr 30, 1907

In 1907 he reported to the Grand Trunk Officials in Montreal, that some newspapers in the US were reporting stories of fantasy, such as wolves attacking settlers,
Trains stopped in huge snow banks for weeks, and ice and snow everywhere.
Not much has changed in 100 years, most Americans still think Canadians live in Igloos!

The Association produced a small booklet “The Canada West” published in Winnipeg MB

Herbert Douglas Vanderhoof
b- Oct 1875 in St. Paul, MN
d- Aug 7, 1921 in Chicago, Cook Co., IL, USA , after a 2 years illness.
buried in Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Chicago, Cook Co., IL, USA

Began in career as a newspaper man in Portland ME, USA
Worked for newspapers in Worcester and Boston before he went to Chicago.
In 1906 he became Secretary of WCIA
He was the founder of the Canadian Monthly Magazine.
Vanderhoof BC was named after this man
He was an ex journalist based in Chicago.
He worked for the Chicago Inter-Ocean Newspaper, and was recognized as one of the Best Newspaper Writers in the States.
Shown as an Advertising Representative when he died.

Survived by his mother, widow and a daughter.

married Emily J. Hill, June 25, 1900 in Chicago IL
b- ca 1878, age 42 in 1920, in Canada
immigrated to US in 1881

daughter Mary Vanderhoof
b- ca 1911

mother- Abbie “Abby” Harris Vanderhoof, nee Strong
b- Oct 1849 in Mass.
d- 1935 probably in Chicago
buried in Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Chicago, Cook Co., IL, USA
Abbie's parents:
father- Charles Dibble Strong
b- June 19, 1808 in Somerset England,
d- Jan 7, 1890 in St Paul, MN
Owned a large Hardware store in St Paul
mother- 2nd wife of Charles- Abigail Spurr Fitzgibbon, nee Jefferson- b- NS, Canada
daughter of Robert and Sarah Jefferson

Abbie married Douglas Vanderhoof, July 16, 1867 Cook Co. IL

Sometimes researching these names you run into history that isn't the best, and this fellow is sad to say one of those.

father- Douglas W. “Doug” Vanderhoof
b- Mar 10, 1846 in Manchester Center, Ontario Co., New York
d- no sign of him anywhere.

Moved to St. Paul May 1858
Bookkeeper in 1870 in St. Paul, Ramsey, MN
they had 3 children, 2 were living in 1900
partner in Vanderhoof Bros. merchants, in St Paul MN
in partnership with brother Andrew J. Vanderhoof, b- ca 1837 in NY.
They went into bankruptcy Feb 26, 1870
and all their goods were seized.
Law suits between them and the Bank of St. Paul lasted for a while in the Supreme Court.
Feb 1882, Douglas W. Vanderhoof was a bookkeeper for the First National Bank in St. Paul, and after 11 years, was being charged with embezzling close to $50,000.
He used the banks money in stock and wheat speculations.
When arrested he had a pistol in his pocket, and they were worried he was trying to commit suicide.
He was sentenced June 8, 1882, to 10 years at hard labour, in the Stillwater Penitentiary the Minnesota Territorial Prison, aka Minnesota State Prison.
I think we now know why he doesn't appear with the family in future census.
The Younger brothers of Jessee James gang fame, served time in the same jail.
Pretty sure this was when the family moved back to Chicago.

sister- Hattie Luella Vanderhoof
b- Aug 1872 in MN, USA
married Ernest L. Floyd
b- Jan 1872 in Maine,
both his parents born in Maine.

1900 Herbert and his mother living in Boston MA
with his sister Harriet and her husband

sister- Fannie Vanderhoof
b- ca 1868 in MN
d- bef 1881

Grandfather- William Vanderhoof

Grandmother- Fannie Vanderhoof
b- ca 1826 in NY

Uncle to Herbert, Lewis W. Vanderhoof
b- May 31, 1842 in Manchester, Ontario Co., New York

John Herber Morris Haslam

See my web page on this fellows bio

Theodore MacFarlane Knappen
b- Oct 23, 1871, Paynetti (Poynette?) WI, USA
d- 1938

Graduated from University of Minnesota with BA, class 1891

spent 2 years as a civil engineer in Washington and Montana

He was from Minneapolis in 1904,
Elected Secretary of the British Columbia Timber Company, Feb 1909

Became Manager and Secretary of the Coquitlam Terminal Company in BC in 1911

Became an author of many books, some are available online.

One of the main writers on the Minneapolis Journal newspaper.

father- Theodore Frelinghuysen Knappen
b- Dec 14, 1845 in Plattsburg New Jersey
d- Dec 14, 1910 at his home, Minneapolis, Hennepin, MN, age 65
(newspaper says Dec 15th?)
buried in Lakewood Cemetery Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN
occupation- County Attorney of Isanti county
in 1854 came west with his parents.
Settled in Columbia Co, WI
He married Sarah in 1870.

mother- Sarah Louise MacFarlane
b- 1849, WI, USA, age 42 in 1892
d- Oct 18, 1915
buried in Lakewood Cemetery Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN

Sarah and Theodore had 3 daughters and 3 sons
all survived their father.

grandfather- Charles C. Knappen
grandmother- Mary Knappen
both born in NY

married Nellie (Malura?) Malina Cross, Aug 28, 1896 Hennepin, MN, USA
b- Feb 6, 1870, Leyons, Iowa, USA
daughter of Judson Newell Cross and Clara Steele Norton
Her father was a Captain in the Civil War.

they had 4 children:

Private Judson Norcross Knappen
b- Sept 15, 1898, Minneapolis, Hennepin, MN, USA
d- May 12, 1953 in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia USA

Theodore T. Knappen
b- 1901 Minneapolis MN
d- Mar 20, 1951 in NY, age 50

Phoebe M. Knappen
b- 1906
d- 1979
buried in Evergreen Memorial Park, Tucson, Pima Co., Arizona

Andrew Macfarlane Knappen
b- 1915
d- 1980
buried in Evergreen Memorial Park, Tucson, Pima Co., Arizona

David Wesley Bole
b- Feb 14, 1856 Hampton Co. ON
d- June 24, 1933 in Winnipeg MB

son of James Bole and Ann Murdock

George Frederick Carruthers
b- Sept 19, 1846 in Toronto, ON
d- June 23, 1918 in Winnipeg MB

Editor and owner of the Manitoba Gazette

William John Christie
b- Mar 18, 1858 in London ON
d- May 14, 1942 in Winnipeg MB

son of John Christie

O. A. Robertson (Oliver?)

He was also President of the Union Colonization Company
They purchased an 108,000 acre chowchilla ranch in California in 1912
It cost 2 million dollars in 1912!

Frederick “Fred” Bicknell Lynch
b- May 4, 1866 Cottage Grove, Dane Co., WI, USA
d- Oct 8, 1934 in USA
buried in Roselawn Cemetery, Roselawn, Ramsey Co. MN

Lynch and Robertson formed the Northwest Colonization Company
They acquired land in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
They were Minneapolis businessmen.

son of John W. Lynch
and Helen A. Lynch

married Isabella Chalmers Purdon
b- Oct 10, 1867 Alexandria, Douglas Co., MN
d- Nov 26, 1924 in MN

They had 2 daughters

Alexander Duncan McRae
b- Nov 17, 1874 in Glencoe ON
d- June 26, 1946 in Ottawa ON

became a Major General in WWI with the Canadian Army
a MP, a Senator, and a farmer.
He formed the Saskatchewan Valley Land company
headquartered in Winnipeg, with his cousins and business partners, Alexander and Andrew Davidson, also from Duluth MN.

son of Duncan Alexander McRae and Mary Mahwhinney

Stevens A. Coldren
b- May 15, 1872
d- July 13, 1924
buried in Oakland Cemetery, Iowa City, Johnson Co., Iowa, USA

He was in Iowa City, Iowa in 1904,
but in 1910 moved to Kansas City
He also was an Attorney.

son of John C. Coldren and Mary O. Coldren, nee ?

C. H. Douglass

one article says his name was C. H. Douglas
my guess- Charles H. Douglass
b- Oct 1866 in MN

1900 he is shown as a “? unreadable Dealer”

mother- Mary U. Douglass, nee Fuller (Mate Douglass in 1880 census)
b- Aug 1839 in NY

father- S. J. Douglass
b- NY (age 52 in 1880 census)
d- bef 1900 census
parents were married for 41 years, they had 7 children, 6 still living in 1900

sister- Berenice O. Douglass (alt Burnice)
b- July 1876 in Nebraska

sister- Mabel B. Douglass
b- July 1880 in Nebraska

sister- Florence Douglass
b- ca 1871 in Nebraska, USA

brother- Leon Douglass
b- ca 1869 in Nebraska

brother- Justus G. Douglass
b- Nov 18, 1865 in Wisconsin, USA
d- Oct 23, 1917, Chicago, IL, USA, age 51
buried in Rosehill Cemetery
travelling salesman

family living in Lincoln Nebraska USA in 1880 census
If I have the correct family Charles shown as charley in 1880, a store clerk, age 13

Lieut. James Nimmo Scott
b- June 13, 1886 in Point Edward, ON
d- May 22, 1915, Battle of Festubert, age 29

eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Scott
enlisted in WWI Sept 21, 1914, in Valcartier Quebec
and was killed in action on the field of battle in Belgium
8th Canadian Infantry Batt., D Company
occupation- Publisher
Treasurer and Managing Director “Canada Monthly” magazine in 1914

N. J. Halsey

Silas Wright Leavitt (aka Leavett, Leavet)
b- 1843, in Belmont, (Gillmanton) New Hampshire, USA
d- Mar 11, 1939 in Hennepin MN, age 95
buried in Litchfield Cemetery, Meeker co., MN

One of the leading citizens of the village of Litchfield MN
He fought in the Civil War before heading west.

son of Joseph Smith Leavitt and Hannah Lane Cotton

married- Mary Dyson Chapman, Aug 30, 1866
b- Dec 11, 1845, Fitchburg, Worcester, MA USA
d- Dec 30, 1932
buried in Litchfield Cemetery, Meeker co., MN

they had 4 daughters, 2 died as infants:

Edith May Leavitt
b- July 29, 1867 Belknap, New Hampshire
d- July 13, 1879, age 11
buried in Litchfield Cemetery, Meeker co., MN

Grace Wright Leavitt
b- June 24, 1873 in Litchfield, MN
d- 1968

Ruth Beatrice Leavitt
b- 1889
d- 1890
buried in Litchfield Cemetery, Meeker co., MN

Marian Hannah Leavitt
b- Aug 19, 1877 in Litchfield, Meeker, Co, MN


  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 12:40
  • by dlgent