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