The LaPortes of Manitoba and their Roots in Quebec and France

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Telesphore LaPorte (1863 to 1920)

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Click on any photo to see a larger image, click on the larger image for an even larger one in many cases
Telesphore, born in St. Norbert, Quebec to parents Joseph LaPorte and Esther Houle, was 17 when his family moved to St. Norbert, MB in 1880 where he married Hermina Bonin in 1884.  He was actually their second born child; the first, also named Telesphore, was born in 1861 but only lived for one year.  Hermina was the oldest of 15 children in the Francois Bonin family that had just arrived at St Norbert from Lanoraie, Quebec in 1883.  The 1891 census has them farming near St. Norbert with their 5 children, Ernest, Blanche, Anna, Georges and Augustine.  They gave up farming there after losing several crops to frost and moved to Kenora, Ontario around 1894 where Telesphore found work with a sawmill and Hermina ran a market garden.  The ground there is mostly solid rock so Hermina and the children scraped up soil around the town to build up their garden and the children sold their vegetables door to door.  Telesphore gained a reputation as a strongman after he won a bet by carrying a railroad “frog” (a tool used to lever train cars back onto the track) for a certain distance.  Their daughter Corinne was born there in 1898.  By 1900, though, unable to pay their taxes on their house they left it for the taxes and returned to St. Norbert.  Telesphore found a job that summer as a labourer on the construction of a new colonization road into Manitoba's Interlake region.  Their situation must not have been very good as the May, 1901 Census shows them living with their 7 children in a 2 room house on his brother Sylvio’s farm.  
I believe that would have been one of the original log cabins built by the Metis hunters who had worked for the Hudson Bay Company supplying food for the company's fort at The Forks in Winnipeg until the government pushed them off their land to make room for new settlement from Ontario and Quebec after 1870.  Joseph LaPorte's family had lived in a former Metis cabin when they first arrived there in 1880 and Sylvio had taken over the LaPorte family farm after Joseph's death in 1894.
That September Telesphore moved his family from St Norbert to his homestead at Inwood in Manitoba's Interlake.  See The LaPortes of Inwood for the next part of his story.
Family Group Photos
A family gathering in about 1919: back row daughter Blanche Beaudoin, son Ernie, not sure, Telesphore, daughter Corinne, unknown boy; front row unknown woman, grandson Leo Beaudoin, his mother Esther Houle, the last woman is marked Hermina on the photo but it doesn't look like her, looks more like a Bonin.
A family gathering in about 1920: back row Hermina and her mother Celina Bonin, middle row Corinne LaPorte (wearing man's hat) and Stephanie Bonin, front row Leo LaPorte and Anna LaPorte Bonin.
My dad's (Ben LaPorte's) baptism in spring 1915 on Telesphore's farm; back row Anna LaPorte Bonin, Leah Cossette LaPorte holding Ben in his christening gown; Stephanie Bonin McNeil, Telesphore holding grandson Leo Beaudoin; front row Jeanne (unknown relation), Corinne LaPorte
Telesphore's Wife Hermina Bonin
The first photo is assumed to be Hermina from the house photo above but she would have been 58 in 1918; photos of Hermina in about 1920, in their 30th Anniversary photo in 1914 and at the Tache Hospice in St Boniface shortly before her death in 1956 at age 96.
Telesphore's Memorial Cards (handmade by family members)

This site was last updated 04/13/23