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Wills Family

: Buffalo Hunters
The Chippewa/Saulteaux, Cree, Nakota and Metis buffalo hunters had been regularly
hunting from the big bend of the Souris River down through the rand Coteau to the
Missouri River and as the buffalo diminished, gathering along the border at Cypress !ills
then following the herds along the Milk River, Missouri River, and down into the "udith
#asin of Montana$ These groups wanted a reserve in the Cypress !ills area but the
government wanted to move them off the border and up to the %u&'ppelle (alley$
'lthough the treaties had been signed by many groups their reserve lands had not been
*n +,-,, the !alf.#reeds living in the vi)inity of Cypress !ills petitioned the government
for their own reserve$ This is a petition re/uested a re.opening of the buffalo hunt
between November +0
and 1ebruary+2th ea)h year and the granting of Metis 3reserve4
land$ The re/uest was for a strip of land +25 miles long along the 'meri)an border
beginning where the 6embina River )rosses the border, running west for +25 miles into
Saskat)hewan$ This strip was to be fifty miles from south to north$ The petition did not
re)eive a favourable response$ The 7ills family members who signed this petition were8
9douard 3Neddy4 7ills :b$ +,5;<
9dward 7ills :b$ +,==<
>onald 7ills :b$ +,05<
"ohn Thomas 7ills :b$ +,2+<
regoire 7ills :b$ +,2-<
"ames 3"ean4 7ills :b$ +,2,<
Son.in.law "erome ?afournaise :b$ +,0-< husband of 6ris)illa 7ills$
Son.in.law 7illiam ?aframboise :b$ +,2=< husband of Marie ?aRose 7ills
' number of men of the Cypress !ills !unting #rigade were present at the #attle of the
rand Coteau in +,2+$
The men from the 7ills family are8
9dward 7ills :b$ +,==< and his father.in.law Charles >emontigny$
9douard 3Neddy4 7ills :b$ +,5;<
' number of the men who were involved in the +,-, Cypress !ills 6etition for a reserve
had petitioned two years earlier for admission into Treaty 1our as a )olle)tive$ An
September -, +,-;, thirty Metis at 1ort 7alsh submitted a petition on behalf of the Metis
of the four distri)ts of 'ssiniboia, N$7$T$ to Boin Treaty 0$ Ane of the men who signed
both of these petitions was "ohn 7ills :b$ +,0,<$
'lso known as 7elsh and 7ells$
This battle took pla)e between a Metis buffalo hunting party from St$ 1ranCois Davier, led by "ean
#aptiste 1al)on and the Cut !ead :6abaksa< Eanktonai :*hanktonwanna<, >akota, led by Chief Medi)ine
:Sa)red< #ear, on "uly +2 to +;, +,2+$
An 'ugust ;, +,,5, ?ouis Riel and a group of Metis living in Montana petitioned eneral
Nelson '$ Miles for a spe)ial Metis reservation in Montana$ Twenty of the men signing
this petition had also signed the Cypress !ills Metis 6etition in +,-,$ 'mong these men
was 9douard 7ills :b$ +,5;<$
Edouard Neddy Wills (Wells, Walsh). :b$ +,5;<
9douard 7ills was born near the site of 1ort ibralter, Red River, the son N7C 6artner
"ohn 7ills :*rish< and "osephte rant :Metis<$ "osephte was Cuthbert rant&s sister, thus
Cuthbert was Neddy&s maternal un)le$ "ohn 7ills had built 1ort ibralter whi)h was later
destroyed by the !#C in +,+; during the trade war between the two )ompanies$
*n +,@F, at St$ 1ran)ois Davier, 9douard married *sabelle M)illis :b$ +,+,< the daughter
of 'ngus M)illis :+--0.+,0@< and his Metis wife Marguerite Notinikaban (ent de #out
:b$ +-,5 at 1ort 7illiam<$ *n +,25 9douard, his wife *sabella and their four )hildren were
enumerated in the )ensus as living with Charles #elgard, family G-= at 6embina$ !e is
listed as a =, year.old hunter$ *n +,;; 9douard left ManitobaH he had a house at St$
1ran)ois DavierH he went west following the buffalo$
An September +-, +,,; 9douard re)eived his Metis S)rip$ *n his appli)ation he states that
he had left St$ 1ran)ois Davier in +,;; to follow the buffalo$ 1rom +,;; to +,,+ his
family had always wintered at Cypress !ills$ An "uly +2, +,-5, he states he was living at
7ood Mountain and thus was eligible for s)rip under the >ominion ?ands ')t$ 't the
time of his +,,; appli)ation he said he had been living for five years at ?ewiston,
Montana$ !e gave his o))upation as farmer, hunter and freighter$ 't the time of
appli)ation he listed his seven living )hildren as8
9dward :b$ +,=@ near 1ort 9lli)e<, married Marie >emontigny :b$ +,0+<, the
daughter of Charles >emontigny and Marie >esBarlais in +,;= at St$ 1ran)ois
>onald :b$ +,05< >onald married ?ouise Collins :b$ +,==<$
6ris)illa 'ntoinette :b$ +,0-< the wife of "erome ?abou)ane dit ?afournaise,
living at #attle River$
"ohny Thomas :b$ +,2+<, married ?ouise 7ilkie :b$)$ +,;2<, the daughter of
'lexander 7ilkie and ?ouise ariepy on Mar)h +0, +,,=$
Marie (irginie :b$ +,2+< at 6embina, the wife of Mi)hel ?angevin$
'ppoline, the wife of "oseph ?averdure
"ames :b$ +,2,<, married Marguerite #erger$
!e listed his eight de)eased )hildren as8
"ean 7ills, born +,=, and died on A)tober =5, +,05 at S1D$
Marie :b$ +,0+< married eorge Muller$
'llan 'kmund :b$ +,00<$
Can&t remember name8 ' )hild who died before transfer$ 6robably "ames 7ills, b$
Magdeleine, born May +2, +,2; at 6embina, died +,-F$
regoire, :b$ +,2-< died +,,5$
Marie ?aRose, :b$ +,;+ at 6embina<$ She married 7illiam ?aframboise, the son
of 1ran)ois ?aframboise and Marie Trottier$ She died +,,5$
Wells Sr., EdouardH address8 e!iston, ".S.#$H born8 +,5; at 7innipegH father8 7ells
:*rishman<H mother8 Marguerite rant :MItis<H married8 +,@F at St$ 1ran)ois Davier to
*sabelle M)illisH )hildren living8 9douardH >onaldH 6ris)illa, wife of "erome ?abou)aneH
"ohnH (irginie, wife of Mi)hel ?angevinH 'polline, wife of "oseph ?averdureH "amesH
)hildren de)eased8 "ohn, Marie, 'llan, )annot remember name, Madeleine, ?arose,
regoireH s)rip for J+;5$55H )laim no$ ,,F$
Wells, EdouardH heir to his de)eased daughter, $adeleine WellsH address8 BattlefordH
born8 +,2F on the 6lainsH died8 'pril, +,-- at Cypress !illsH father8 9douard 7ells
:MItis and deponent<H mother8 *sabelle M)illis :MItis<H s)rip for J@05$55H )laim no$
Wells, %ris&illaH address8 afournaise Settlement' Battle (i)erH born8 +,0; at St$
1ran)ois DavierH father8 9dward 7ells :MItis<H mother8 *sabelle M)illis :MItis<H
married8 at St$ "oe to "erome ?afournaise, dit ?abou)anneH )hildren8 details on husbandHs
appli)ationH s)rip for J+;5$55H )laim no$ +;-$
Wells, (ose n*e (oss . Con)erning the )laim of her de)eased husband, a MItis )hild
+re,oire Wells . #orn, +,2- . >ied, 'ugust, +,,5 . 'ddress, -u.#//elle Settlement .
1ather, 9dward 7ells, :MItis< . Mother, *sabelle M)illis, :MItis< . Married, 'pril, +,-;
at Cypress !ills to Rose Ross . !eirs, Rose Ross, :widow and deponent< and 'lexandre
7ells, born +,-, . Claim +,+
Welsh, Ed!ardH address8 e!iston, $ontanaH born8 +,=@ near 1ort 9lli)eH father8
9douard 7elsh :MItis<H mother8 *sabelle M)illis :MItis<H )laim no$ -;5

afournaise, 0eromeH for his minor son, "oseph ?afournaiseH )laim no$ ==2=H address8
1uhamelH born8 +,,0 at >uhamelH father8 "erome ?afournaise :MItis and deponent<H
mother8 %ris&ille Welsh :MItis<H s)rip )ert$8 form 9, no$ @2,;$
afournaise, 0eromeH heir to his de)eased son, 1ran)ois ?afournaiseH )laim no$ ==2@H
address8 1uhamelH born8 +,-; at Cypress !illsH father8 "erome ?afournaise :MItis and
deponent<H mother8 %ris&ille Welsh :MItis<H died8 Mar)h, +,,0H s)rip )ert$8 form 1, no$

Compiled by ?awren)e #arkwell
Coordinator of Metis !eritage and !istory Resear)h
?ouis Riel *nstitute