The LaPortes of Manitoba and their Roots in Quebec and France

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Joseph Laporte of Winnipeg, MB and Minot, ND

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Joseph, Zepherin and George, three sons of Charles Victor LaPorte of Ottawa, himself a direct descendant of Jacques de la Porte of Montreal,  arrived in Winnipeg in the 1870's along with their brother-in-law Casimir Prud'homme, who had married their sister Eulalie
Joseph, the eldest, arrived by June 1873 with the announcement that Chabot, LaPorte & co. of Ottawa planned to open a new dry goods store 'in the old Alfred Boyd place by the Merchant’s Bank'. Ads for their store appeared regularly in the The Manitoban and in Le Manitoba local papers from then until August 9.  From August 16, 1873 the ads became for Chabot only.  Joseph's disappearance was explained by the report of the Grand Jury of the Court of Queen's Bench in the September 20, 1873 issue of The Manitoban that a True Bill had been levied in three cases of The Queen vs. Joseph Laporte, one charge of Indecent Assault, one of Assault and one charge of Attempt to ravish and carnally know a girl under the age of twelve years.  As the prisoner failed to appear a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.  I have not found anything more on his case but it seems likely that he was arrested, tried and convicted for those crimes as he does not appear again in the usual public records until the 1877/78 edition of The Manitoba Directory which lists him as boarding in Onesime Monchamp's Hotel de Canada and as working as a clerk in the Bertrand and Prud'homme Hardware store. The Henderson’s Guide for 1880 lists C. Prud’homme now running the Hotel du Canada with Joseph employed as his clerk at his hotel but living at the Commercial Hotel right across the street which was now run by Joseph's brother Zepherin.
This was the same Joseph Laporte as on March 1, 1880 The Manitoban reported that Joseph Laporte was on the planning committee for 'a complimentary supper for Mr. A. H. Taylor (viz. Taylor was the Ottawa Agent of the Grand Trunk Railroad Company) put on by former residents of Ottawa at the Hotel du Canada, the proprietor of which is himself a native of the Capital'.  The proprietor of the Hotel du Canada at that point was Onesime Prud'homme.  On March 12 the same paper reported that at the complimentary supper 'Mr. Joseph Laporte sang “The Brigadier” a beautiful French song and was applauded'.  Joseph appears to have successfully redeemed himself as on July 12 of that year the Winnipeg Daily Times reported that Joseph Laporte attended a Conservative banquet honoring the Postmaster General put on by members of the Liberal Conservative Club at the Canadian Pacific Hotel and then on July 21 that Joseph Laporte had represented St. Boniface East (one of 7 representatives) to the Conservative Convention called to fill a vacancy in the representation of the constituency of Selkirk in the Dominion Parliament.  He seconded a motion formalizing the balloting process.  Thomas Scott won the nomination.
Joseph was still living there in early 1883 when he clerked for George Laporte, another of his brothers, at the Inland Revenue office at Main and York Sreet.  That same year he married and left to settle with his new bride at Neche on the Canada/US border.  Their five children were baptized in the nearby Catholic churches in Leroy and Bathgate, North Dakota.
 By 1888 he was living in Neche where he advertised himself as a Notary Public and an agent for the Dakota Investment co.  In 1889 he became an inspector of customs at Pembina.
In 1890 he received a promotion to Deputy Collector of Customs at Pembina.  Although Joseph is a very common name in French Catholic families we know that we are still following the same one as in 1893 the Brandon Mail reported that Joseph Laporte, a former Winnipeger and now a Deputy Collector of Custome in Dakota had paid a visit to Brandon.
In 1894 Joseph left Pembina to settle in Minot, ND where he managed the Strain Brothers general store.  That's the large 2 story brick building in this photo.
Joseph and two of his children would have unfortunate accidents in the next few years.  In 1896 their daughter Laura, 12, would severely break several bones in her arm while playing with friends.  In 1901 their son Alonzo, 14, was accidentally shot and killed when a friends gun accidentally discharged.  Then in 1903 Joseph stepped out in front of a train and was killed immediately.

Joseph's Family

Joseph Laporte b. ?
m. Josephine Marie Dufour (or Dufort)
            1.  Marie Regina Laura Laporte b. March 25, bp. April 24, 1884 Leroy, ND
            2.  Charles Casimir Laporte b. Aug. 25, bp. Oct. 25, 1885 Leroy, ND
            3.  Georges Alonzo Laporte b. Aug. 14, bp. Aug. 28, 1887 Leroy, ND
                 d. Dec. 21, 1901 Minot, ND (gun accident)
            4.  Joseph Eugene Laporte b. Feb. 27, bp. Mar. 14, 1889 Bathgate, ND
            5.  Laura Marie Laporte b. March 25, bp. April 10, 1889 Bathgate, ND
Joseph d. Mar. 25, 1903 Minot (struck by a train)


This site was last updated 05/11/23