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No. 86

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Memorable Manitobans: Alan Joseph Adamson (1857-1928)

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Alan Joseph Adamson
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Financial agent.

Born at Galway, Ireland on 1 August 1857, son of Reverend John Evans and Harriet Adamson, brother of J. E. Adamson, he was educated at Dublin high school. He came to Canada in 1873 and worked on a survey expedition, working in 1875 as a telegraph supply contractor at Battleford, Saskatchewan. He farmed at Nelsonville until 1891 then operated a grain business at Morden from 1891 to 1898, and a hardware, implement and real estate business at Rosthern, Saskatchewan from 1898 to 1900.

He served as President of the Western Trust Company (274 Main Street, Winnipeg) from its inception, and was a director of the Canadian Territories Corporation of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Investment and Trust Company, as well as Vice-President of the North Empire Fire Insurance Company. In 1904, he was elected to House of Commons for Humbolt, serving until 1908.

In 1880, he married Julia G. Turriff of Manitou, Manitoba, sister-in-law of J. E. Gayton. They had eight children: J. E. Adamson, Christopher Arthur Adamson, Alan Bell Adamson (b 1888), Dr. James L. Adamson (b 1890), Lily Jane Adamson (b 1891, wife of A. J. Bell), Herbert Adamson (b 1894), Harriett Bell Adamson (b 1897), and Dr. Gilbert Adamson (b 1901). He was a member of the Manitoba Club and Carleton Club. Liberal. Anglican. In 1911, the family lived at 161 Mayfair Avenue, Winnipeg.

He died at his winter residence in Tampa, Florida on 3 April 1928. His body was returned to Manitoba for burial in St. John’s Cemetery.


Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, 1911. C. W. Parker, editor. Canadian Press Association, Vancouver.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

“Alan J. Adamson dies while visiting south,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 April 1928, page 1.

“Funeral of A. J. Adamson will take place today,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 April 1928, page 4.

Reprint of Southern Manitoba and Turtle Mountain Country by L. O. Armstrong, annotated by Felix G. Kuehn, Winnipeg: Boundary Commission – North West Mounted Police Association, March 1991. [Archives of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 March 2013

Memorable Manitobans

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