Memorable Manitobans: Edward Benson (1843-1904)
Born at Peterborough, Ontario on 22 April 1843, son of Colonel J. R. Benson and Catherine Lee (a cousin of American military general Robert E. Lee), brother of James L. Benson, he studied medicine at Louisville, Kentucky during the US Civil War. Later he went to New York’s Bellevue Hospital where he passed his final examinations before he was 21 years old. Returning to Canada, he received a Canadian medical diploma at Toronto, and practised at Peterborough and Lindsay, Ontario. He came to Winnipeg in 1874. In addition to private practice, he was city jail surgeon for 25 years, Coroner for Winnipeg, medical officer for the Deaf and Dumb Institute, and one of the founders of Winnipeg General Hospital.
In 1874, he married Annie Campbell (1843-1918) and they had three sons: John Robinson Benson (1876-1952), Edward Campbell Benson (1878-1960, and Henry Lorne “Harry” Benson (1879-1949). He was a member of the School Board for more than a decade. A Conservative, a Mason, an Odd Fellow, he was a member of the board of trustees of Grace Church from its inception. In 1877, he was a member of the First Convocation of the University of Manitoba.
He died at his Winnipeg home on 26 August 1904 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. He is commemorated by Benson Avenue in Winnipeg.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Dr. Benson called away,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 August 1904, page 11.
“Obituary,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1904, page 10.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
Death registration [Annie Benson], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Death registration [Harry Lorne Benson], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Death registration [John Robinson Benson], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Death registration [Edward Campbell Benson], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
We thank Dave Benson for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 4 February 2023