Fox Sawmill


Thomas Fox

Thomas Fox was the third of ten children born to Michael Fox and Elizabeth Stanley. He was born near Kingston, Ontario where his parents had settled after emigrating from Dublin, Ireland in 1834. Tom did not have the desire to take up farming, and instead went into wagon making and carpentry at the age of fourteen. In 1862 he married Dianna McCann and they had four sons together.

In about 1870 the family moved to Moncton where Thomas Fox operated a shingle mill. Two more sons were born into the family there. When the mill burned in 1874 the family moved to Windsor where they were blessed by the birth of their first daughter and another son.

In 1878 Mr. Fox left his family in Windsor to travel to Winnipeg to pursue business as a contractor and builder. His family joined him the next year and in the spring of 1880 they moved west to Milford (at the confluence of the Souris and Assiniboine Rivers) and then south to Turtle Mountain. A neighbour allowed them to live his small log shack in the Wakopa area. While Thomas Fox spent some time in Winnipeg wrapping up his business, his oldest son Alfred built the family a log cabin to live in.

When Mr. Fox returned from Winnipeg he began operating a sawmill two miles north-east of Lake Max. People came from many miles around to use the lumber that was produced from this mill.

In 1881 Tom decided to take a homestead nearby and settled (on 10-2-19) several miles west of Wakopa in the Adelpha area.

In 1884 Tom moved his sawmill west where it was used to cut lumber for the growing CPR. The mill ws dismantled and hauled to Brandon where it was shipped to Calgary. Tom went along with his mill while his family stayed behind and his son Frank took over the homestead. Thomas Fox returned home every year to visit until his death in 1907.

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Author: Teyana Neufeld


Moncur, William. Beckoning Hills Pioneer Settlement Turtle Mountain Souris-Basin Areas. Compiled in conjunction with Boissevain 75th Jubilee. 1956. Pp 217.