St Lazare got its beginning as a Roman Catholic mission in the 1820’s. Founded by Oblate Father Jules DeCorby, who had immigrated from France in 1867.
Father DeCorby was at this time attached to the mission at Lebret, Saskatchewan. Father DeCorby named this new mission St Lazare to commemorate the place where departed from France, from which he departed on his journey to Canada.
The mission was located at the junction of the Qu’Appelle and the Assiniboine Rivers, approximately 3 miles North of the Hudson Bay Company’s Fort Ellice. Church services in those early years were held in the homes of these early settlers, which were mostly métis families. Since Father DeCorby was very nomadic, traveling from mission to mission, other missionaries from Lebret helped with the St Lazare mission namely, Fathers St. Germain, Campeau and Lepage.
In 1880, a log Church was built and Father DeCorby became the first resident priest. At about this time, a French Canadian, Delphis Chartier and family arrived at the Fort Ellice via steamboat and settled at the mission. He eventually opened a post office, October 1st, 1895, and various other businesses. In 1895, Father DeCorby was replaced by Father Léon Favreau and in 1898 a new stone Church was constructed under the supervision of Mr. Chartier. The new Church was blessed by the Archbishop of St Boniface Adelard Langevin, in 1899. A stone rectory was also built at this time.
In 1900, Father Favreau conducted a census of the mission, the census which included men, women and children was 89 families, 456 souls in all broken down as follows. Métis 342, French Canadians 34. French 15, Irish 30, Scotch 19 and Germans 18. On May 13, 1909, the mission of St Lazare was declared a parish by the Archbishop of St Boniface Adelard Langevin.
On July 7, 1883, the Rural Municipality of Ellice was born, with its headquarters at Fort Ellice, with the decline of the fort and the emergence of St Lazare, its permanent headquarters were moved to St Lazare with the first meeting in the space rented from Father Favreau on January 6th, 1902. In 1905, the merchants of the mission anticipated the coming of the railway and began relocating to what is the present day location of the Village of St Lazare. Records indicate the railroad opened in 1908.
Many businesses sprung up at this new site, General Stores, barber shop, pool room, blacksmith shop, hotel. Eugene Fouillard started a Massey Ferguson dealership. In 1911, a grain elevator owned and operated by the Atlas Grain Company opened its doors.
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