Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Westropp Brereton (1830-1911)

Police officer, magistrate.

Born at Dublin, Ireland in 1830, son of David and Margaret Brereton, he worked as a police officer at Kerry, Ireland before emigrating to Canada with his wife and family in 1876. Stopping initially at Montreal, they moved to Toronto in 1877 then to Chicago, Illinois in 1878 and Winnipeg in April 1879 where Brereton became Dominion Police Commissioner and Magistrate at Rat Portage [now Kenora, Ontario]. He owned property in southeastern Manitoba, in what is now the Whiteshell Provincial Park, that backed onto the right-of-way for the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is said that he served as a supply officer for the railway during its construction through Manitoba. While there, his wife left him and was granted a divorce; he later remarried. Brereton remained on his property in the Whiteshell until he moved to Kenora in 1903, where he died in 1911. He is commemorated by Brereton Lake in southeastern Manitoba.


Geographic Names of Manitoba, Manitoba Conservation, 2000.

Captain James Westropp Brereton.

This page was prepared by Faye Brereton-Goodwin and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 October 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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