Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Johnston Blanchard (1853-1928)


Born at Truro, Nova Scotia on 8 December 1853, son of James Fleming and Jessie Blanchard, he graduated from Edinburgh University in 1878, and came to Winnipeg in 1879. He married Janie Louisa Blanchard of Winnipeg in 1884, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. He was one of the founders of the Manitoba Medical College, in 1884. He served as medical advisor to the Canadian Pacific Railway from 1889 to 1905, and then as chief surgeon to 1914. He was president of the Canadian Medical Association in 1908-9 and was a founding member of the Manitoba Medical College. In 1911 he opened a private hospital at the corner of Donald and Broadway. He commanded No, Three Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in France from 1915, returning to Canada with impaired health. He never fully recovered. He was a founding member, in 1905, of the St. Charles Country Club, and a member of the Scientific Club of Winnipeg. In 1921 he was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Manitoba. He died at Winnipeg on 10 September 1928.


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.

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 May 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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