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From Dedication & Introduction Pages of
McConnell: Little Town Lost, 1982

DEDICATION

 In October 1979, co-incidently with the arrival of the first settlers to this area, in 1879, the McConnell Women's Institute resolved to gather together a history of this area, including Viola Dale and Ellenville.
Everyone has been involved in the sense that they have written up family histories. We have been assisted on past records by senior citizens of McConnell.
We, with fond memories and appreciation, dedicate this book to the pioneers and families to follow, providing a record of the past and remembering McConnell with love.
Our thanks to all who sent histories and pictures, contributed community events, and to Nora McConnell for her sketches, and to "New Horizons".
We regret any omissions of people or places and any unintentional errors.

Members of Women's Institute
and
History Committee



INTRODUCTION

 It is only fitting that we pay tribute to the earlist settlers who came weat from Ontario, travelling west to Winnipeg by train, from there seeking homesteads some two hundred miles west.
It was in 1879 that such settlers came to this particular area of Manitoba. Their means of transportation varied, some travelled via he rivers, but most came by ox drawn wagons which had been brought from Ontario or purchased before leaving Winnipeg.
One such family was Frank and Maggie (Brown) Middleton who arrived at their homestead on Section 36, Township 14, Range 23 along the banks of the Oak River. As more settlers arrived in the following year or so the need of a post office and a store was soon realized and the Middleton's log house became the centre for this public service. The small community was then given the name Viola Dale and continued as such until the start of McConnell after the railroad was built in 1911.