Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Alexander Allen (1882-1942)
Born in Ireland on 9 January 1882, he came to Canada at an early age and received a veterinary degree in Ontario. Prior to 1920, he worked in Ottawa for the federal government’s animal health branch then was transferred to Prince Edward Island to open the first fur-breeding experimental station in Canada. When fur farmers in Manitoba formed the Manitoba Fur Breeders’ Association in 1930, they employed him for two years to carry out experimental work on animal health at the Manitoba Agricultural College and the All Star Ranch in North Kildonan. He then joined the staff of the Manitoba Department of Mines and Natural Resources where he worked as an animal pathologist, specializing in the diseases of fur-bearing animals. Considered an authority on mink farming, in 1936 he was the founding superintendent of the Experimental Fur and Game Station at the University of Manitoba’s campus in Fort Garry. He died of a heart attack in his sleeping quarters at the station on 27 April 1942 and was succeeded in the position by Dr. R. J. Kirk. Survived by his wife Alice, four sons, and two daughters, he was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, Ontario.
“Fur farm to be started by Manitoba,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 March 1932, page 2.
“Manitoba’s fur industry forges ahead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 December 1933, page 44.
“Government fur farm is opened at Fort Garry,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 October 1936, page 7.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Dr. J. A. Allen found dead at university,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 April 1942, page 13.
“Dr. J. A. Allen dies at experimental farm of the university,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 April 1942, page 9.
“Allen funeral rites Thursday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 April 1942, page 11.
“Dr. J. A. Allen,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 April 1942, page 2.
“Head of Manitoba experimental fur farm resigns,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 May 1946, page 4.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 31 January 2017
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