3 John Todd Family History

Son of  2John McAllum TODD Sr. & Madelaine DUCHARME

     3  John TODD Jr. b. May 10, 1852/54 or 55 in St. Charles Parish, baptized June 17, 1855 in St. James, RRS, d. March 11, 1943 in
         Battleford SK.  He  worked as an Interpreter, Mail Runner/Carrier, Police Guide, and Freighter between Battleford, Swift
         Current, Saskatoon and Edmonton.  Grandson of Dr. William Todd.
    +   Rosalie DESJARDINS, 1st Wife, b. St. Vital Oct. 5, 1858, married June 2, 1874 (the same day as John Todd Sr.)
         Her  father was Jean Baptiste DESJARDINS and mother was Marguerite HAMELIN.
    +   Isabelle BOUSQUET, 2nd Wife, b. 1846 m. Jan. 28,1879 in Battleford d. Mar. 5, 1918 in Battleford.  She was a Battleford Treaty Indian.
    +   Maria PAMBRUN LEPINE, 3rd Wife 3, b. Aug. 25, 1859 in Lac La Biche, m.1919 in Battleford, d. Aug. 6, 1935 in Battleford.

From:   The Battlefords, a History by A. McPherson

"John Todd first came to the settlement of Battleford in the early summer of 1876 in company with Peter Ballendine.  Soon after his arrival he signed a contract with the Government of Canada to carry mail from Battleford to Edmonton.  Each return trip took about twenty-one days on the trail and he covered this route some 17 times a year.  In summer his "mail coach" was a Red River Cart and in winter a dog sled.  In the summer of 1880 he gave up carrying the Queen's mail and took to freighting, establishing something of a record in a 13 day trip from Touchwood Hills to Battleford with loaded carts."

From:   Footprints in the Dust by Douglas W. Light.

"Todd, born 17 June 1855 at St. James, Red River, was the son of John Todd Sr. and Madeline Ducharme.  For a number of years he was the mail carrier between Winnipeg and Edmonton.  His [2nd] wife, Isabelle Bousquet, was a Battleford Treaty Indian. ... p. 289, "John Todd Jr. died in Battleford, Saskatchewan on 11 March 1943. Belle and John Todd Jr. adopted the adopted children of Frank Smart and his wife Kate Josephine Donovan in Battleford.  Frank and Kate had been married on 9 June 1883.  He was killed during the Northwest Rebellion by a bullet fired by an Indian on 22 April 1885.  Light also says, on page 203, that "Shortly after the Rebellion, Mrs. Smart returned to the east, leaving her two adopted young sons in Battleford where they were brought up by Mr. and Mrs. John Todd."  One of them, Frank Smart married in 1902.  John Todd Jr. served as a scout for Lieutenant-Colonel Otter's troops during the events of 1885.  John and Isabelle are listed in the 1891 Saskatchewan census living in the area of South Battleford.  He is listed as being 39 years of age.  There is a photograph of an elderly John Todd Jr. on page 49 of "Historic Battleford", which was printed in 1955.


From:   1900 Scrip - Volume Two by Gail Morin

"KA-PE-SE-SE-SIT, Alexandre; #931; Filed: Isabelle BOUSQUET, widow of Alexandre KA-PE-SE-SE-SIT, now wife of John TODD, concerning the claims of the Heirs of Alexandre KA-PE-SE-SE-SIT;
Address: Battleford; Born: Fort Pitt, 1835; Father: Pash-ko-wagan or old CRIN (HB); Mother: Marie (Indian woman).  He lived in North West Territories the whole of his life (except the years he lived temporarily before the transfer in Manitoba) in the NWT.  He lived at Fort Pitt on the 15 July 1870 & until he died at Carlton in Spring 1877, Intestate leaving as sole heirs his children and widow as follows: Isabelle BOUSQUET, his widow, now wife of John TODD, Battleford; Marie KA-PE-SE-SE-SIT, wife of Thomas Hogdson, Battleford; La Rose KA-PE-SE-SE-SIT, unmarried, Battleford; Emilie KA-PE-SE-SE-SIT, unmarried, Battleford.
Married: St. Boniface, Manitoba, 1860, Isabelle BOUSQUET; Children living: Marie, LaRose & Emilie.  We lost Henry, who died at St. James, Manitoba, when only 2 years of age before 1870 and Charles who died also in St. James, Manitoba, when only 1 year of age before 1870.  Joseph who died at Battleford during this summer 1886, aged 23, was unmarried and Intestate & without issue, leaving as heirs his sisters, and the deponent.  I cannot produce certificate of burial as he was buried at Carlton [and] nobody there knew to keep record.  Isabelle BOUSQUET, wife of John TODD(x); Battleford; 21 Sept 1886; Alfred SCHMIDT (x); [David] D. VILBRUN.  $160 approved C-14951"

Link with Past Severed by Death of John Todd
Funeral Held Saturday for Aged Plainsman Who Was Colorful Figure of Early Days

Battleford Press

The funeral of the late John Todd, the last of Saskatchewan’s long-trail men, who passed away last Thursday, was held at St. Vital’s Church on Saturday morning with Rev. Father Denommee officiating and a large number of old time residents in attendance.  Mass was sung by J. Arthur Prince, and the remains were laid to rest in the Catholic Cemetery, pallbearers being R.C. Jefferson, A. Inkster, sr., J.H. Speers, H.C. Adams, J. Ballendine and Wm. Prichard.  Arrangements were in charge of Sallows and Boyd.

His death at the age of 87 severed one of Battleford’s last links with the freighting days of the seventies, when men counted it but an incident in a summer season to trek from Fort Garry to the far west.  He had been a resident here almost continuously for the past 60 years.

Born at St. James, now a part of Winnipeg, John Todd first came to Battleford in the early summer of 1876 in company with Peter Ballendine, now long deceased.  Soon after his arrival here he signed a contract with the government of Canada for the transport of mails from Winnipeg to Battleford and from Battleford to Edmonton.  Each return trip to Edmonton meant 21 days on the trail.  The journey had to be undertaken 17 times a year regardless of the horse and whiskey thieves that infested the region; or of the war-loving Indian tribes that had not acceded to treaty terms.  Saskatchewan’s first mail carrier packed a rifle on those early trips.  Food was where he found it, and if luck was against him, he tightened his belt and pressed on.  In summer his “mail car” was a Red River Cart and in winter a dog sled.

Battleford residents apparently needed to know their flag signals in those early days.  The Saskatchewan Herald, Western Canada’s oldest newspaper, published at that time by the late P.G. Laurier, records how a red flag was flown when the mail arrived from the west; a blue one when the mail was sorted; and lanterns were displayed at night; and the whole procedure reversed when the mails departed.  January 1880, it is recorded, saw the western mail a week behind schedule, and all the horses on the route played out.  John Todd set out by dog team to the rescue.  He met the delinquent mail 80 miles to the west, and taking the mail bags he retraced his steps, arriving in Battleford after a run of 160 miles in a little over 40 hours.  There was no such word as failure in John Todd’s dictionary.  In the spring of that year, Todd had to walk all the way up to Edmonton and back with the mail.  He journeyed back from Edmonton in eight and a half days.  That summer he gave up carrying Queen’s mail and took to freighting, establishing something of a record in a 12-day trip from Touchwood Hills to Battleford with loaded carts.

The rebellion of 1885 saw him throwing in his lot with the loyalist cause and acting police scout in many a hazardous adventure.

His last big job - and how he used to chuckle over it - was locating a bunch of green Englishmen in Barr’s colony in Lloydminister.  It took him over ten months to do it he recalled to this writer some months before his death.  There are settlers here who claim that John Todd knew every quarter section in this territory from Battleford to Edmonton.  Mental alertness and clearness of speech characterized him until a brief time before his death.  His proudest day was in Saskatoon in June 1929, when in company with several other pioneers from Battleford he was presented to Their Majesties, the King and Queen.  Not a man to talk a lot about his own contributions to the upbuilding of the West, he nevertheless cherished above all things this recognition of what he had tried to do for the land he loved so well.

His last public appearance was in the summer of 1942, when all Canada paid tribute to the service of her army men, John Todd was in the forefront of an assembly in North Battleford that paused to honor Canada’s gallant soldiers.

John Todd Died Today
Was Mail Carrier and Police Guide in Early Days
Funeral Saturday

Unnamed Battleford Newspaper
Nov. 3, 1943

John Todd, another familiar figure in the history of the West, passed away at his home in Battleford on Thursday morning at the age of 87 years.  A former mail carrier in the early days, he has resided in Battleford almost 60 years.  The funeral will be held at St. Vital’s Church at 10 a.m. on Saturday of this week.

Born at St. James, Manitoba on June 17, 1855, he was the son of John Todd and Madeline Ducharme, and was married at Battleford in 1878 to Isabel Bosquet, following whose death he married Maria Lepine in 1919.  There were no children of either marriage, although he adopted Henry Smart, son of a scout killed during the rebellion, and with those son, Frank Smart, he had been living recently.

For a number of years he served as the mail carrier between Winnipeg and Edmonton, and later freighted from Battleford to Swift Current and Saskatoon.  On a number of occasions he worked with the Mounted Police as a guide, and was a member of survey parties on various occasions.

From: National Archives of Canada

4      Reference:  RG15 , INTERIOR , Series D-II-1 , Volume 660 , Reel T-14408
                          File : 285746 , Access code: 90
        Keywords:  TODD J
        Outside Dates: 1892
        Finding Aid number: 15-5 15-6