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William CaseHenry Bird Steinhauer was baptized as a boy during a mass baptism by William Case and Peter Jones. William Case continued to shape the young convert's life by finding an American benefactor to sponsor his formal education. Accordingly, Steinhauer was educated at Methodist schools, including mission schools for his early education and more formal schools once his aptitude for learning became apparent.  

From 1832 to 1835 he attended Cezenovia Seminary in the state of New York, after which he was assigned by the Canadian Methodist church to teach at the Credit River Mission school. Methodist minister and educator Egerton Ryerson enrolled Steinhauer into the Upper Canada Academy in 1836, however his education was again interrupted by a teaching position, this time at the Alderville Mission school. He returned to the Upper Canada Academy and graduated in 1839.

Egerton ReyersonHis education completed, Steinhauer briefly returned to the Alderville Mission school. In 1840 he was sent to Lac La Pluie (Rainy Lake, Ontario), where he assisted William Mason as interpreter, translator and teacher. In 1842 he was moved to Norway House, thus beginning his missionary career in the Canadian West.

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