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Memorable Manitobans: William Armstrong (1869-1937)

Businessman.

Born at Tillsonburg, Ontario on 30 August 1869, son of William S. Armstrong and Eleanor Oliver, he was educated in Muskoka public schools then worked in the lumber industry of the area. In 1889 he came to Manitoba and settled at Westbourne where he worked for lumberman Peter McArthur until 1896 when he opened a retail lumber store at Portage la Prairie. He served for three years on the Portage town council and chairman of the Board of Works. He sold the business in 1909 and went to Winnipeg where, in the following year, he organized the Dominion Gypsum Company and served as its President and Manager. He quarried gypsum at the north end of Lake Manitoba and processed it in Winnipeg for use as a building material. In 1915 his company merged with the Manitoba Gypsum Company. He remained with the company as its Vice-President and Managing Director until retirement in 1927.

In 1896, he married Isabella Jean McIntosh (1875-1944) of Carholme, Ontario. They had seven children: Mary Eleanor Armstrong (1896-?, wife of Edwin Frederick Erzinger), William Ewart Armstrong (1899-?), Hilda Isabel Armstrong (1901-?, wife of William Christie Smith), Olive Margaret Armstrong (1903-?, wife of J. P. Hogan), Beryl McIntosh Armstrong (1905-?, wife of Thomas Bruce Ross), Charles Gordon Armstrong (1908-?), and Norah Jean Armstrong (1910-?, wife of Erskine Kier MacNutt). He was a Mason (Khartoum Temple, Order of the Mystic Shrine).

He died at Toronto, Ontario on 19 September 1937 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

Sources:

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

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

1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

“Wm. Armstrong, former head of gypsum co., dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 September 1937, page 6.

“William Armstrong dies in Toronto in his 69th year,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 September 1937, page 20.

“Founds industry: Spear first to investigate traces of gypsum in Manitoba,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 July 1941, page 8.

Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Barbara Armstrong for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 August 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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