Neepawa, Manitoba, incorporated as a town in 1883, population 3629 (2011c), 3298 (2006c). The Town of Neepawa on the fertile "Beautiful Plains," is 175 km west of Winnipeg. Neepawa, a native term for "plenty," is a service centre for surrounding grain and livestock farms. Homesteading began in the 1870s. Settlers of British origin were followed by those of Eastern European origin, particularly Hungarian and Polish. The townsite was established in 1880-81, competing against Minnedosa as regional centre. The Manitoba and North Western Railway arrived in 1883, followed by a Canadian Northern line in 1902.
Early economic activity included wheat marketing, services, grain milling, wood and marble works, a roundhouse, a brick yard and a creamery. Salt refining, to tap natural brines, began in the 1920s and was revived in 1932, operating under a succession of owners until 1970. During World War II, Neepawa had an elementary air-training school.
Contemporary activities include poultry and pork processing operations, and timber preservation. Birthplace of author Margaret Laurence, her house and the town's cemetery with Laurence's "Stone Angel" are tourist attractions. In July Neepawa hosts the annual Manitoba Holiday Festival of the Arts, which offers art and craft classes as well as providing a venue for artists.