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Memorable Manitobans: Skapti Arason [Skafti Arason] (1850-1903)

Pioneer farmer.

Born in Iceland on 10 September 1850, he immigrated to Canada in 1874 and, the next year, was sent by the Canadian government to investigate settlement prospects in the new province of Manitoba. He is believed to be one of the first Icelanders to visit Manitoba. Upon arrival in Winnipeg, he and three other Icelanders traveled up the Red River to the western shore of Lake Winnipeg before choosing a site near present-day Gimli. In 1881, due to repeated crop failure, he left the settlement and took up a homestead near what later became the town of Glenboro. He farmed in this area until his death in 1903. A short memoir of his experiences in Canada is held at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

Sources:

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Skapti Arason Fonds, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

“Recalling a distinct society: Last St. Boniface Mayor remembers”, Winnipeg Free Press, 31 July 1988, page 70.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 October 2010

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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