George Benjamin Rooks

Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

George Benjamin Rooks

Considered to be the Co-Founder of Estevan with John McLeod.
They both arrived so close to each other in 1892, that both are given the credit as Founders of Estevan.

George Benjamin Rooks
b- Feb 14, 1855 in Arkona, Lambton Co., Ontario, Canada.
d- June 3, 1937, a Thursday evening, at his home at #1213 3rd st (see below), in Estevan, age 82
He arrived in Estevan in the Spring of 1892 from Manitoba.
Funeral was held in St Paul United Church in Estevan, Rev. H. A. Mutchmor officiated
Buried in Old Estevan Cemetery

father- Henry Rooks
b- June 17, 1827, Germany
d- Dec 25, 1902 Estevan Saskatchewan, Canada

mother- Margaret (Maggie) Sloam
b- Germany
d- Canada

sibling- Henry Rooks
b- Apr 8, 1852 - Bertie, Welland Co, Ontario, Canada
d- Nov 1, 1934 - Arkona, Lambton, Ontario Canada

married Louise Millistone Reeves, July 17, 1889 at Virden, Manitoba, Canada
b- Jan 4, 1869 at Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England
d- Feb 21, 1945 at Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
daughter of Henry Reeves (1835-1909) and Louisa Nicholls (1837-1871)
She was the First Woman in Estevan

6 children:
Edith Irene Rooks (1890–1977), Mrs A. C. Hill, Poynette Wisconsin, USA in 1937, Mrs James W. Fields of estes Park, Co, USA in 1964
Lester George Rooks (1890–1917) (Died at Vimy Ridge in WWI)
Robert Albert Henry Rooks (1894–1905)
Earnest P Rooks (1897–1897)
Charles Bernard Rooks (1900–1964)
Melvin Alexander Rooks (1907–1986)

Age 16 his family moved to Michigan USA, and he took a turn at the Northern Ontario Logging Camps, and his private farming enterprise.
After this he returned to his hometown and operated a pool hall for a time, then he came West.
He arrived in Winnipeg MB, Feb 15, 1882, where he caught typhoid fever.
After several weeks, he survived, and with a friend went to Emmerson MB to claim a homestead.
Arriving there Emmerson was in flood stage, and he had to pay an enterprising scotsman $5 to take his trunks across the flooded area.
The land they found, was already reserved by the Government.
He returned to Winnipeg, and then set out for Melita Manitoba.
After a winter of hardship in Melita, he carried on to Estevan, Arriving in Estevan, Apr 29, 1892
His family joined him within 2 months, and for 10 years operated a boarding house in Estevan.
He built several houses at Taylorton, and made a trip to Prince Albert to aid in building the jail there.
In 1902 30 people crammed into this house for the first Church Service

Stockwell's Hardware Store, built in 1892
Side of the Stone building showing the construction style. Hidden partially from view today.
Located on Lot 23, Block 19- #1205 4th st
One of the Oldest buildings in Estevan is located here, built in 1892 out of stone, Stockwell's Hardware Store.
Used by the Perry Brothers later on, on 4th st, next to the Bank of Montreal today, with a new facade in front.
This is a side view from the Empire Hotel, built with a sloping roof to the rear.

His personal Home at #1213 3rd st, built Spring of 1893

*Rooks House ca 1912, from E.R. Davis Postcard #111, courtesy Grant Walker
Of course his Stone home on 3rd st. is still standing today, occupied by a family member.
Located on Lot 24- Block 43, #1213 3rd st
One of 4 Stone buildings left in Estevan.

Central School- aka: The Stone School, built in 1893
Colorized Postcard of Central School, Donated to me by Volker Tobias, who lived in Estevan
You can see the Original Little One Room School on the left, behind the larger addition.
George Rooks built the Original part which was a basement, with one floor school above.
It was built in 1893, opened in 1894, and closed Oct 3, 1955, demolished shortly after that. Westview School replaced it.
One room of the 4 room addition was used as a high school until ECI was built in 1912.
John Phillips added a 4 room addition to the one room Stone School in 1907.

First St. Matthew Anglican Stone Church, built in 1895

First Anglican Church just before it was removed June 1, 1918, for new Church
Location was on the NE corner of 12th Ave. and 3rd st.

Presbyterian Stone Church, built in 1902

Presbyterian Stone Church Postcard, No 410, E. R. Davis Photographer
Postcard courtesy Grant Walker, CA
Located on Lot 10 - Block 53, #1202 - 3rd St. Estevan SK
across the street from his home, still standing today

Per Obit above, he built stone buildings in Taylorton SK. as well
I would bet the old Taylorton store which parts are still visible, was built by him.

Photo submitted by Ingrid Beahm, from Cheryl Andrist Family Collection

Was the stone house in Roche Percee, which was rebuilt a few years ago, built by him? Possible for sure.


  • Last modified: 2019/04/21 14:51
  • by dlgent