Roche Percee History Articles

Roche Percee, Saskatchewan

Below is a list of articles I have found, concerning the Roche Percee area, this includes Old and New Taylorton, Coalfields, Roche Percee, etc.

Dec 5, 1891

Sheriff's sale for Egan Bros. Coalfields, Patrick, Martin, and Anthony Egan sale at Carnduff.
George B. Murphy, Sheriff, Judicial District East Assiniboia. Sheriff's office- Moosomin
George B. Murphy
  • b- Mar 1, 1858, in Portage Du Font, Quebec
  • d- Nov 22, 1922, buried in Moosomin Cemetery
  • Irish Nationality, Methodist
  • George Murphy's wife- Ada May Murphy, nee McRae
    • b- June 22, 1864
    • d- May 20, 1917, buried in Moosomin Cemetery
    • Scotch Nationality, Methodist
    • her mother Jane Ann McRae was living with them in 1911
  • 3 Children I know of born in SK
    • Editha (Edythe) Jane Campbell Murphy,
      • b- Dec 8, 1889
      • d- Nov 22, 1950, buried in Moosomin Cemetery
    • Gerald George Murphy,
      • b- Dec 9, 1892
      • d- ?
    • Marguerite Jessie Murphy,
      • b- Aug 17, 1897
      • d- Mar 24, 1924, buried in Moosomin Cemetery
  • a possible relation:
    • John Donald Murphy,
    • d- June 23, 1991, buried in Moosomin Cemetery

George was appointed Sheriff in 1889, He was a member of the Masons, holding the title of Grand Master.
In the Rebellion of 1885, he was appointed Transport Officer, of the Battleford Column, 2nd Division, of the North West Field Force, Colonel George B. Murphy.
Before this he was a Surveyor. He wrote a diary of the day, which is in the University of SK archives. He was in partnership in a harness business in Qu'Appelle

Egan Brothers

Patrick Egan
  • - b- Sept 18, 1854 in ON
  • wife Margaret, 3 sons and a daughter living in Winnipeg, in 1901
Martin M. Egan
  • b- Oct 23, 1857 in ON
  • wife Catharine, one son William M. Egan, living in Winnipeg, in 1901
Anthony Egan
  • b- 1867 in USA
  • Father- Anthony Egan- b- 1830 in Ireland
  • Mother- Bridget (Brydges?) Egan, b- 1828 in Ireland
  • brothers: Edward Charles Egan, John M. Egan, Michael Egan, and Peter Egan
  • one sister, Mary Egan
  • 1881 all living in Winnipeg, Selkirk, Manitoba, all Roman Catholics
  • Father shown as a contractor as well.
  • Edward Charles Egan b-1852- d-1924
  • born at Fullerton New York.

Edward and John came to Winnipeg first, and Edward was also involved in building railroad lines, including the Crows Nest Pass Line.
It appears this family was involved in the CPR Railroad from day one.

Feb 12, 1891

George Anderson writes to his MP Dewdney, asking for a railroad to the Souris Coalfields. They were in Winlaw Assiniboia at the time. Meeting at the home of Mr. Sadler.
Location of Winlaw, Sec 22, Tsp 1, Rge 30, W1, South of Gainsborough, no longer exists.

May 21, 1892

Railroad is being constructed, 5 gangs at work, Egan's, McAnnarry's and McKenzie's outfits. Egan's are back in business it seems?

Feb 15, 1896

3 parts below, some overlap, sorry

Here we see the new CPR passenger and freight depot is built. A Mr. Bigg is a pit boss at the mine. Mr. Fred Gaw, son of the Justice of the Peace is mentioned. He was drilling an air shaft for his mine, and discovered high grade asbestos. I believe the name is Gow here, but I can't find a Fred Gow in 1901 census? There also was a miner's boarding house.

Then the big news, an active volcano in the area 1896. 10 years earlier, 1886, it was actively erupting.
Now I have Never heard of a volcano in this area, ever!

July 23, 1896

Interest in Lignite Coal is building

May 7, 1897

Names mentioned in article below:
  • Mr. James Mills
  • Mrs. George Gow, both ill
  • Rev. Mr. Scott preaches on Sundays
  • Rev. Mr. Jamieson, Presbyterian,
  • Sermons on every 2nd Saturday.
  • Both Ministers are from Estevan.
  • Union Sabbath School opened.
  • Officers elected:
  • Superintendent, Mr. T. H. Truscott (see below)
  • William Hamilton, Sec-Treas.,
  • Bible class teacher, G. E. Garbutt,
  • Children's teacher, Mr. Truscott, (see below)
  • G. E. Wiegand family leaves to Burlington ND

Souris Coal Mine developing a new shaft on other side of cut from their existing mine.

Mr. Thomas Henry Truscott was in Alameda Jan 1, 1905 when his wife Florence Alberta Truscott, had a son John Henry Lloyd Truscott
Dec 1921 he was a member of the Alameda Council but in 1901 census in Alameda, he is shown with wife named Margaret Truscott.
He is shown b- May 7, 1867, in ON, Methodist, Farmer.
she is b- Oct 14, 1875 in ON

May 25, 1897

Mr. F. D. Freemantle looking after Roche Percee Coal Mining Companies property, left for England. This should read Mr. H. D. Freemantle, short for Henry Douglas Freemantle, see his history on the next Roche Percee history page.
T. H. Truscott, and G. E. Garbutt played with the Estevan team, against Oxbow.

Average School attendance is 12

Rev. Mr. Pratt, Church of England minister from Estevan holding services at the home of Mr. George Gow, every Sunday

Lots of wild fruit in the valley.

June 14, 1897

Souris Coal Mine operation described.

Portal, Dunbar's, Coalfields, and surrounding districts, will celebrate Queen's Jubilee.

John Heas visited from Fargo ND.

Mr. John Truscott and Joseph Morrow of Alameda were visiting.

Mr. Patterson Custom House Officer at North Portal, came to town.

June 15, 1897

Roche Percee Coal Company closed, and being liquidated. Mr. Gosher has made an offer to buy all the assets. Liquidator, Mr. Bertrand.

Oct 4, 1898

Big storm reported.

Manager Cockburn and his wife returned from Winnipeg.

Preparations for a second railroad track are being made.

Houses being remodelled and enlarged.

Mr. Terry, an ordained Anglican clergyman preaches every Sunday, in one of the old buildings belonging to the old Dominion Coal Company.

Mr. Brokenshire, the Presbyterian minister, preached his last sermon after a winter there.

Click here to view Page 2, 1900-1914

Articles from 1900 to 1914 inclusive

Mar 8, 1900

Austrian miner, from the Roche Percee Colliery Company, disappeared walking to Estevan, carrying lots of cash.
Literary Society beat Estevan. Mr. Stokes and Mr. Peverelle Jr. in upcoming play. Mr. J. Cockburn is away on business.
Visitors, Mr. Rothwell from Estevan, Mr. John Allan of Portal, R. Clarke of Brandon. Mr. H. D. Freemantle is sick.

Mentioned in Ariticle

Henry Douglas (Harry) Freemantle
  • b- Oct 18, 1863 in Bishops Hull, (Taunton reg dist), Somerset, England
  • d- November 15, 1903 and is buried in the Taylorton Heritage Cemetery
  • Immigrated in 1881 to Canada (* one source says shortly after his brother Augustus, who came in 1883)
    • wife- Mathilda (Matilda) Freemantle, nee Richards
      • b- Apr 28, 1861 (1862 per death reg) in England
      • d- Feb 26, 1925 in Toronto, York, ON, age 63
      • She Immigrated in 1897
      • Matilda's Father- James Richards
      • Mother's name- Jane Mills
    • Harry's Father- Henry Freemantle
      • b- Apr 1, 1835 in Reading, Berkshire, England
      • d- Nov 15, 1903 in SK, town unknown
      • 1881 member of the Somerset Constabulary- Acting Sergeant
    • Harry's Mother- Francis Maria Freemantle, nee Martin
      • b- Dec 8, 1834 in Bishops Hull, Somerset, England
      • d- Jan 7, 1918, Toronto, York, ON of the flu
      • married bet Apr-June 1859 in Bridgwater Reg Dist, Somerset, England
      • Both immigrated in 1884 (1883?)
  • Siblings of Harry:
    • Florence Lotte Freemantle,
      • b- bet Jan-Mar 1862 in Bishops Hull, England
      • There was a Florence Lotte Freemantle who went to England in 1862 but she was 20 yrs old, so not this lady. Then I found reference to Florence Lottie Freemantle
        arrived in Townsville Queensland Australia on the “Hereford” on Aug 27, 1883. She left Plymouth May 16, 1883 this could be her age 20 for sure. Haven't been able to find other info on her at all
    • Augustus Harold (Oscar) Freemantle,
      • b- July 5, 1867- Chedzoy, (Bridgwater per enlistment papers) Somerset, England
      • Augustus (Oscar) immigrated in 1882
      • 1911 census says he immigrated in 1890 and shown as a Photographer.
      • Worked as a banker for 17 yrs with the Imperial Bank in Toronto then went into business as a photographer, just before WWI.
      • He was a member of the Masonic Order.
  • 1881 the Henry Freemantle family in Bishops Hull, Somerset, England
  • 1891 family in Broadview, Assa area
  • all in 1901 Roche Percee Census, all born in England
    • Harry as a Coal miner, Henry his dad as a retired farmer.
  • 1911 Harry, his wife and mother, living in Saltcoats district, SK, Tsp 20, Rge 32, W2
    • Harry shown as a farmer. Note- his land grants below jive with this location.
  • Henry Douglas Freemantle took out a few western land grants SE, SW and NE of Section 14, Township 20, Range 32, W1 & also W Section 18, Township 20, Range 31, W1

Henry Douglas Freemantle
served in WWI- Pte, Reg #681023, 170th Battalion, Enlisted in Toronto ON, Jan 16, 1916
Lived at 115 Shuter St, Toronto ON
says he was born Oct 18, 1865 on his enlistment papers.
also shows Oct 18, 1864 as a date.
but he was registered in 1863 for sure.
died in Toronto on March 20, 1937, and is buried in the soldiers section of Prospect Cemetery in Toronto
Occupation Motor Cycle mechanic
In 1885 he served in the Northwest Rebellion Field Force, for 4 mo.
Church of England religion
another source says he served in 3 wars, and was well decorated.
Now the interesting thing, it appears he won medals for his service
from the web:

Two medals come with a bar and ribbons.
The first is on a blue and red ribbon.
on the front there is a picture of Queen Victoria.
On the back it says Northwest 1885 Canada.
The engraving says:
12th Batt. York Rangers were based in Toronto, at the time of the Riel Rebellion
They were stationed at Ft. Qu'Appelle, and marched to Humboldt. The second is on a blue, white and yellow ribbon.
On the front is a picture of King George.
On the back is a picture of a horse and rider, with the years 1914 and 1918 printed on it.
On the side engraved is:
681025 (should be engraved 681023, his Reg #)
A.SJT.H.D.FREEMANTLE. 170-CAN.TNF. The third medal is an iron cross.
On one side it says
with a W under the date.
On the other side it says RHEIMS LOUVAIN AMiENS 1914
and in the centre is a W with a cross above it.
(the last medal shown is actually a spoof propoganda medal, of which there were numerous variations)

They are looking for the family of this soldier on this site
as it turns out his younger brother also served in a couple wars
Augustus Harold Oscar Freemantle
Oscar enlisted in WWI, Reg #9853, Sept 22, 1914 in Valcartier, Quebec
3rd Battalion, Army, Canadian Infantry, Photographic Expert
Rank- Sergeant Major
next of kin his wife
Edith Ruth Freemantle, nee ?,
b- Feb 1870 in England
she lived at 49 First Ave., Toronto, ON
He served in Northwest Rebellion, Canada 1885,and was at the Battle of Batoche.
10th Royal Grenadier when he enlisted for Boer war.
South African (Boer) war, 1899-1900, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry
Enlisted in Toronto, Oct 20, 1899, Reg #7308
age 33 years, 3 months.
b- Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Bank Messenger, next of kin his wife, c/o Imperial Bank, Toronto
awarded Queen's Medal #0823,
with Paardeberg, Dreifontein, Johannesburg & Cape Colony Clasps.
presented in Toronto, Oct 11, 1900
Rank Sergeant, 2nd S. S. Batt, RCR
Discharged Nov 5, 1900
Awarded Land Application #4859
In 1902 he attended the King's Coronation
31 years, 10th Royal Grenadiers, Toronto, ON
wounded at Ypres

Some info above came from Mr Don Blair Sept 2018, doing personal research on the family. \

July 29, 1901
Mr. Taylor and Mr. Cameron bought the Roche Percee Colliery Company Ltd. assets.
Leonard Gocher, Managing Director.

I found a Leonard Gocher
b- Apr-June 1868, in Haslingden Reg Dist, of Lancashire, UK
Leonard married a Mary F. Gocher, bet Jan-Mar 1912 in Poole Reg Dist, of Dorset, UK

Sir Douglas Colin Cameron (1854-1921) was elected Mayor of Rat Portage, 1901-1903,
He was Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, 1911-1916 He was a lumber merchant, with other interests.

July 3, 1902
Coalfields beat Estevan in soccer game.
Feb 28, 1903
G. O. Taylor returns to Winnipeg. He was the oldest child of Richard R. Taylor, founder of Taylorton. George Ormerod Taylor
b- 1872, in Todmorden, Lancashire, England
Birth registered in Todmorden Registration district.
d- Sept 19,1913 in Victoria BC, age 41, possibly of TB
He married Jane Campbell
b- ?
d- ?
Marriage June 10, 1903 in Kildonan, MB, Canada

Norman Rowell is ill.
b- July 4, 1881, in England,
He was a clerk in a dry goods store, in 1901.

Inspector Smith visits.
Imagine he was a mine Inspector?

Vice-President White and Engineer Lang of the CPR visited
there was a VP William Whyte, maybe a spelling error here?

Mr. Hamilton returns.
Imagine this is Mr. William Hamilton,
b- May 11, 1868,
wife Ella and daughter Jessie.
He ended up to be a big Coal Mine Owner.

Amateur Minstrel Club performing in Estevan.
Souris Coal Company is closing, the Roche Percee Mine for the season.
Literary Society holds box social and raised $30
Mr. and Mrs. Phillips left for St. Paul
Dentist Henderson has left the town.

Oct 12, 1903
James Smith injured in mine accident

Oct 5, 1906
William V. Hessey was the CPR agent, leaving to Lang.
age 35, born in Ontario, in 1906
wife was Elizabeth, daughter Jean.

From a Geological Survey of Canada Report 1906
Lignite. From the Souris river, one mile west of La Roche Percee, at the junction of Short Creek and the Souris River, Sask.
Geological position — Tertiary.

There are, agreeably with the observations of the late Dr. A. R. G. Selwyn, then Director of the Survey, three distinct seams of lignite exposed at the above mentioned locality. Of these, the uppermost, which is some fifteen or sixteen feet below the surface, has a thickness of two feet. Immediately beneath this there is a one-foot-six inch layer of clay shales, followed by a five-foot seam of lignite. This, in turn, is succeeded by fifty feet of a soft whitish sand-rock, at the base of which there is another seam of lignite, which has a thickness of three feet.

The following are the results of an examination of a sample of the material from the above referred to five-foot seam.

A brownish-black, compact lignite ; ligneous texture very marked ; lustre, for the greater part, dull, in more altered parts, sub-resinous to resinous ; tough ; fracture, on the whole, uneven, occasionally, however, verging on the sub-conchoidal, does not soil the fingers ; powder, black with a brownish tinge; it communicates a deep brownish-red colour to a boiling solution of caustic potash; by exposure to the air becomes more or less fissured and falls to pieces.

Aug 7, 1907
Bridge builder, A. L. McKay going to build a 60 ft steel bridge, over the Souris River, west of Roche Percee

Found Adam Linchiniske McKay
b- Apr 1850 in ON
shown as a Contractor in 1911 in Estevan with
wife- Margaret McKay, nee ?
b- May 1868 in ON

8 children I know of:
Alexander Stewart McKay,
b- June 1885 in ON,
shown as a Harness Maker in 1911 in Estevan
George Megan McKay,
b- Feb 1889 in ON,
foreman in Estevan in 1911
John Linchiniske McKay, b- Aug 1899 in ON
Isabel Margaret McKay, b- Jan 1901 in ON
Elizabeth Hughena McKay, b- Jan 1903 in Assiniboia (SK)
Adam Fraser McKay, b- May 1904, in Assiniboia (SK)
William Oliver McKay, b- Dec 1906, in SK
Donald Murray Cumming McKay, b- Dec 1910, in SK

but Nov 15, 2017 I found this fellow's Obituary in Dec 19, 1918 issue of the Estevan Progress.
Shown as Adam L. MacKay.
b- ca 1850, Dundee Scotland, same year as fellow above, but not in ON? (but he was raised in ON from age 4)
d- Dec 13, 1918 in Jeffery Hall Hospital, in Quebec City, Quebec, age 68 from the flu.
Came with his parents to Canada when he was 4 yrs old to ON
He had lived in Estevan area for 12 years prior, coming from Manitoba.
Survived by his sons, John, Frazer, Oliver and Donald and daughters Isabelle and Ina, names which fit pretty good to fellow above,
but then they list 4 married daughters, Mrs. Moore, and Mrs. Nicholson, of Moose Jaw, and Mrs. Storey of Glen Ewen and Mrs. Mains of Hirsch.
so who knows if that is correct fellow above, but pretty sure it is.
His body was brought back to Estevan, and after the funeral, was placed in a vault until spring.
He was a member of the A.F. & A.M. for many years, so funeral was held Wed. Dec 18, 1918, and was accorded full Masonic Honours.
Rev Dr. McIvor of the Presbyterian Church and Rev. J. T. Swalwell, Chaplain of Estevan Lodge of the Masons, handled the service.
Pall bearers were also Masons, Mr. Milligan, Mr. Bannatyne, Dr. F. R. Graham and Bros., Mr. F. W. Newcombe, Mr. Falkner, and Mr. Munro.

May 12, 1907
Rev. E. Riley Hine Methodist Missionary drowns while crossing a slough near Roche Percee. Came from England in 1906, age 20 when he died.

Sept 10, 1910
75 Coal Miners wanted by the Roche Percee Coal Mining Co.
Board and Room $4.50 per week charged.
Wage was .70 cents per ton of coal.

Mar 16, 1912
Roche Percee “The Village of Clay and Coal”
Now we have a Board of Trade, A. H. McConnell Secretary, takes out this newspaper ad to advertise the village

May 22, 1912
2 year old Human Skelton found among the rocks of the Coal Mining district of Roche Percee

Oct 29, 1912
Edwin Siddall a young boy was killed. Run over after falling from a wagon load of grain
He was 12 years old, and is buried at Taylorton Cemetery

Family in 1911 census
Father- Edwin Siddall- b- June, age 34
Mother- Annie Elizabeth Siddall (nee Hicklin), b- Dec, age 34,
married July-Sept 1896, Prestwich Reg dist, Lancashire, UK
Harry Siddall, b- June, age 14,
Edward Siddall, b- Dec, 1900, age 11, Salford reg dist, Lancashire, UK, d- Oct 29, 1912 (Edwin below)
Nellie Siddall, b- April, age 9
Thomas Siddall, b- Feb, age 7
all born in England, all immigrated in 1904
Nov 10, 1913
Matthew (Matt) Knight passes away.
b- Aug 12, 1855 in England
Listed as a rancher in 1901 census
1911 he lived on lots 1 and 2, Block 1, Roche Percee
Now a Livery Man and Coal Miner.
Immigrated in 1876.
Pioneer Resident, and Overseer of Roche Percee.
His wife was Frances (Fanny) Naomi Townsend, also born in England
She Immigrated in 1888.
Their son George Richard (Dick) Knight died age 24,
b- Dec 1910- d-Sept 1, 1934, from a mining accident.
All 3 above are buried in Taylorton Cemetery
Other children:
Charles Henry (Charlie) , Bessie, William (Willy), Frederick, Edward Albert, and Flora May

Mar 19, 1914
Tenders for Rural Telephone system called for Frank Durick, Sec-Treas., Wood End Rural Telephone Co Ltd.
Frank was born May 1872
His wife 's name was Margaret, and he had 7 children as of 1911
Frank is listed as a farmer in 1911, He Immigrated from the USA

Mar 1919


  • Last modified: 2018/09/24 19:41
  • by dlgent