Dr. John Christian Schultz had come to prominence by leading the “Canadian faction” opposing Louis Riel’s efforts to make Manitoba a province. He invested in Selkirk and came to own the land that became Clandeboye, Manitoba and Superior Avenues. He built the first Merchants Hotel in 1877.
A Real Scallywag
After Louis Riel had negotiated Manitoba into Confederation as a full province, he and his Metis supporters were branded as “traitors” by the incoming Ontarians. The troops sent to quell Riel’s “Rebellion” harassed and assaulted the Metis. Leading them and urging them on was . . . Dr. J.C. Schultz!
Schultz used his connections to gain political power, becoming the Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Lisgar. Schultz acquired vast holdings in both Winnipeg and Selkirk by buying Metis lands. He sided with Winnipeg’s ambition to become the capital city.
Not surprisingly, he prevented Selkirk’s petitions and documents from being presented to a parliamentary committee looking into the route changes. In fact, he offered land and cash to the CPR to change its route to pass through Winnipeg instead of Selkirk.
He made a fortune when the CPR crossed into Winnipeg. When he was defeated at the polls, John A. Macdonald made him a Senator and then Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba in 1886.
At Schultz’s funeral in 1896, the wise and respected Sheriff of Assiniboia, Colin Inkster, remarked after hearing the eulogy “tis a pity we knew him!”
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