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Memorable Manitobans: Nicholas Bawlf (1849-1914)

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Nicholas Bawlf
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Grain merchant, municipal official.

Born at Smith’s Falls, Ontario on 15 July 1849, son of Nicholas and Cathrine Bawlf. Educated at public schools, Smith’s Falls. Commenced flour, feed and grain business, Winnipeg, 1877. President, Alberta Grain Company; director, Standard Trust Company; Great West Permanent Loan Company; Bank of Toronto; first vice-president, Foley Brothers & Larson Company; also Interested in Northern Crown Bank; Great West Life Insurance Company; Canadian Fire Insurance Company; President of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange, 1890, 1897.

Bawlf sold out to Peavy Company of Minneapolis in 1909 then founded the N. Bawlf Grain Company and, in 1912, became President of the Alberta Pacific Grain Company of Calgary. He was one of the first traders to ship grain to Japan via Pacific ports. Bawlf held many directorships of Canadian corporations. A devout Catholic, he opposed the Manitoba School Act of 1890 and lobbied in Ottawa for more Anglo-Catholic senators.

In 1877, he married Katherine Madden. They had nine children: Edward John Bawlf, William Richard Bawlf, Mary Julia Evelyn Bawlf (1885-1889), Josephine Helen Bawlf (1887-1977), Frederick Leo Bawlf (1890-1964), Kathleen Esther Bawlf (1895-1938), Louis Drummond Bawlf (1896-1966), David Leland Bawlf (1899-1918), and Clarence Nicholas Bawlf.

He was a member of the Manitoba Club and St. Charles Country Club. Recreation: horses. Address: 11 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg. In 1910 he was listed by the Winnipeg Telegram as one of Winnipeg’s 19 millionaires.

He died at Winnipeg on 26 December 1914.

See also:

Bawlf House by Lillian Gibbons
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 23, Number 1, Autumn 1977

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bawlf Block / House of Comoy (150 Princess Street, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Utility Building / Bawlf Grain Exchange II (164 Princess Street, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Grain Exchange Building (156-160 Princess Street, Winnipeg)

Nicholas Bawlf, 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, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 August 2013

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