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Memorable Manitobans: Hugh Armstrong (1858-1926)

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Hugh Armstrong
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Fish merchant, MLA (1892-1895), MLA (1900-1903), MLA (1903-1907), MLA (1908-1910), MLA (1911-1914), MLA (1914-1915).

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Hugh Armstrong
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Born in New York state on 5 August 1858, but came to Canada with his parents at the age of two years. His parents settled in Carleton County, Ontario, and he received his schooling at Richmond. He commenced a career as a merchant in Carleton County but, in 1883, Armstrong joined the westward movement of ambitious young man from Ontario, arriving in Poplar Point, Manitoba, where he went into the fish export business. The Armstrong Trading Company prospered, eventually being based in nearby Portage la Prairie.

Armstrong was elected to Manitoba Legislature for the Woodlands constituency in 1892. He resigned in 1896 to contest unsuccessfully Selkirk for the House of Commons, being defeated by John A. Macdonnell by one vote. Re-elected to the Manitoba Legislature by acclamation for Portage la Prairie in 1902, he was defeated in 1907 by Edward Brown after a heated campaign and was again returned in 1911. He met defeat in the general election of 1914 when he ran for Portage la Prairie. With the Roblin government remaining in power a seat was found for Mr. Armstrong in Rupert’s Land. He decided not to enter the legislature again, however, when the Roblin government retired in 1915, and was replaced by Fawcett Gowler Taylor. Armstrong held the portfolio of provincial treasurer from 1908, succeeding J. H. Agnew, until the Roblin government went out of power in 1915.

Armstrong married Mary Younghusband in Carleton County, Ontario, 1885. He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Carleton Club, and Adanac Club. Recreation: travel. Conservative. Address: Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 522 River Avenue, on 4 March 1926.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: La Riviere Brickyard (La Riviere, RM of Pembina)


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

“Former minister of treasury of Manitoba dead,” newspaper clipping dated 4 March 1926. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]

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

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

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 January 2015

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