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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Aitken (1864-1936)

Horticulturist.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland on 12 August 1864, son of William Aitken and Christine Findlay, he learned the landscaping and engineering trade under Alexander Galloway then studied under Donald McKelvie of Dundee, and completed his education with Garlick Sykes of Manchester and London. He worked at his profession until April 1900 when he emigrated to Winnipeg with his family. He worked for a year and a half for the city park board. In December 1901 he was appointed superintendent of Elmwood Cemetery and, under his supervision, its grounds were designed and laid out.

He was a member of the Manitoba Horticultural and Forestry Association, the Canadian Forestry Association, and the Winnipeg Horticultural Society. He helped to organize, with William Pearson, Dr. J. H. R. Bond, and Ella Cora Hind, the Winnipeg Garden Club. Its objective was to promote the cultivation of trees and flowers on vacant lots around the city. He was also one of the organizers of the Order of Scottish Clans.

In 1890, he married Margaret Merrilees Alexander of Scotland. They had five sons and four daughters.

He died at Winnipeg on 12 July 1936.

Sources:

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 December 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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