Emerging Communities of the Municipality

, - The years [873 to 1880 saw an influx of settlers, many remaining only for a brief time. Among those who stayed are such names as J. J. McDonald. from Perth, Ontario who became a councillor, Samuel McIntyre and the Addisons. Mr. and Mrs. Addison perished in a prairie fire leaving two children, Frances and Robert, who were taken in and raised by friendly neighbors.‘ .

In the northern townships 8 and 9 where the Parkers first settled near the La Salle River, Parkers themselves acted as immigration agents, encouraging relatives and friends to come from the east. When single men arrived they often worked for Parkers a few years before acquiring land of their own.

John McKiven, William Blanks and George Nichols from Great Britain all spent some time working for the Parkers before striking out on their own. William Atchison came in 1882, married a local girl Margaret Wilson and together they worked on John Parker’s farmstead until they could afford to purchase their own land.

Settlers from nearby homesteads around Osborne filtered into the Sanford district. The bleakness and monotony of the open prairie had presented too much of a contrast to their pastoral surroundings in England and Ireland. Among these were Cornelius Wheatland and family, three sons of James Moore and David Rodgers. David, his wife Isabel and thirteen children relocated along the river five miles east of Sanford.

After the Macdonald Road was built from Winnipeg in 1887 (crossing the river by the present highway bridge) many families settled around the Sanford village site. In 1891 John Cuddy, a former Winnipeg merchant, opened a post office in his home by the bridge. He called it Mandan, a name given to the early district by the Indians. The Cuddy family’s leadership qualities and musical abilities were welcomed.

Alex McCurdy2 who lived across the road from John Cuddy, had once been a professional boxer. After marrying Isabel Rodgers and settling in Sanford, his yard became a gathering place for evening entertainment for young men where they could learn to box and wrestle. McCurdy also built a graded racetrack on a portion of his land and promoted an interest in horse racing. His enthusiasm in community and church affairs set an example for the young people.

In 1901, the time when the railroad was built, the district was called Ashland, the post office Mandan and the church Blythefield. To counter this confusion, the railway chose to call the station Sanford.3 The community gradually accepted the new name.

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