This page is dedicated to Arthur Quesnel (1858-1933) Arthur was born and raised in Rigaud, Quebec. His parents were Antoine and Henriette Quesnel.
In 1879 Arthur moved to St. Boniface, Manitoba, traveling by train to Fort William, Ontario, which was the end of the rail line, and continuing on foot to St. Boniface.
Arthur worked as a Chef in St. Boniface and Winnipeg until 1885, at which time he moved to Manigotagan, Manitoba, on the east shore of Lake Winnipeg. He set up a fur trading post and became a prominent figure in the northern fur trade.
Arthur married Mary Rachel Meade and they raised a family of 12 children in Manigotagan.
Arthur and Mary opened the first post office in Manigotagan in 1908 and ran a boarding house where they fed and kept travelers overnight. They had a large vegetable garden, horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks. Three miles up the river they had a hay meadow.
In 1911, a trapper by the name of Duncan Twohearts returned from the trapline and produced a bag full of rocks that he had collected from Rice Lake which Arthur and his friend, Captain Pelletier identified as gold. Soon claims were staked including the San Antonio.
Arthur is a direct descendant of Pierre and Oliver Quesnel, well documented in Quebec's history.
In 1642 Pierre travelled from France and was one of the founders of Ville-Marie, the small settlement that became Montreal. His name is engraved as one of the first French settlers on the monument at Place d'Youville (Old Montreal). Although Pierre returned to France in 1643, his son Oliver immigrated to Quebec at 24 years of age, settling in Lachine and becoming a very successful merchant. His stone house still stands today.
In 1762, Oliver's great great grandson and Arthur's great great grandfather, Antoine Quesnel married Elizabeth Sequin. Elizabeth was the granddaugher of Ignace Raizenne and Elisabeth Nims, formerly "Josiah Rising and Abigail Nims", survivors of the historic 1704 Deerfield, Massachusetts Massacre. Josiah Rising (10 yrs. old) and Abigail Nims (4 yrs. old) were 2 of the captives that were taken to Quebec and adopted and raised by the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk). Ignace was given the new name of Shoentak'ani and Abigail the new name of T'atog'ach. In 1713 they were released and placed in the Catholic Mission, baptized for the 3rd time and given new names, Ignace Raizenne and Elisabeth Nims. In 1715, they were married and raised their family in Oka, Quebec. Their home still stands today. Their story is very well documented and recognized in Quebec history and in Deerfield, Massachusetts.