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Memorable Manitobans: William Forbes Alloway (1852-1930)

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William F. Alloway
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Banker, businessman, philanthropist.

Born in Queen’s County, Ireland, 20 August 1852, son of Captain Arthur William and Mary Alloway, brother of Charles Valentine Alloway. He was educated at Montreal High School, then came to Manitoba with the Wolseley expedition as a private, in 1870, and worked briefly as a veterinarian. Then, beginning with a tobacco store, he moved into freighting and was an active dealer in Metis scrip, from 1872 to 1877.

After 1879, he became a partner with Henry T. Champion in the banking firm of Alloway and Champion, which was transferred to the Canadian Bank of Commerce in 1923. His initial donation of $100,000 provided the incentive for establishment of the Winnipeg Foundation. Alloway was a silent partner in many business ventures, especially in the milling industry. In 1910 he was listed by the Winnipeg Telegram as one of Winnipeg’s 19 millionaires. He boasted that he had paid cash for everything throughout his life.

In 1879, he married Elizabeth Maclaren of Buckingham, Quebec. He served six years on the Winnipeg City Council, and was a Governor of the Winnipeg General Hospital. He was a member of the Manitoba Club and St. Charles Country Club. His recreations included riding and driving. Liberal. In 1911, he lived at 407 Assiniboine Avenue, Winnipeg.

He died on 2 February 1930. He is commemorated by Alloway Avenue in Winnipeg.

See also:

All Western Dollars by Peter Lowe
MHSTransactions, Series 3, 1945-46 Season

Historic Sites of Manitoba: W. F. Alloway Building (179 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: William Forbes Alloway Statue (Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Alloway and Champion Bank Building (667 Main Street, Winnipeg)

William Forbes Alloway, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

Sources:

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.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

“Free Press Necrology Files”, Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 16, University of Manitoba Archives]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 September 2013

Memorable Manitobans Memorable Manitobans

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