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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Bell (1841-1917)


Born in Toronto Township, Upper Canada around 1841, he was appointed to the Geological Survey of Canada in 1856, later graduating from McGill University and studying at the University of Edinburgh. In 1869 he became a permanent member of the Geological Survey, rising to Acting Director in 1901. He surveyed extensively in the northern and the eastern Arctic, naming over 3,000 geological features across Canada. He was a fellow of the Geological Society of London, Royal Society of Canada (1882), and Royal Society of London (1897). In 1903 he became a companion of the Imperial Service Order, and he was awarded several distinguished medals. Officially retiring in 1908, he spent his last years mainly at his farm at Rathwell, where he died on 18 June 1917. He was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

Uncle of Charles N. Bell.

See also:

Robert Bell, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online


Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Dr. Robert Bell, noted geologist, dies at Rathwell,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 June 1917, page 9.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 April 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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