Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Charles Burns (1861-1933)

Telegrapher, grain merchant.

Born at Garafraxa, Ontario on 17 November 1861, son of William and Sarah Burns, he learned telegraphy as a youth and, after coming to Manitoba in 1879, worked as a line end telegrapher with the Canadian Pacific Railway, posted in a portable box car depot successively at Rat Portage (now Kenora), Stonewall, and Dewinton (now Carberry). In 1882, he was posted at Elkhorn, and later at Pilot Mound for ten years. He left the railway in 1894 to take up farming. He moved to Oak Lake in 1896 and remained there to his death. During the last 20 years of his life, he worked in the grain business, first on his own account and later in partnership with ? Watson. On 16 July 1884, he married Isabelle MacLeod (1863-1932), daughter of John MacLeod at Elkhorn, and they had three children: Agnes Ethel Burns (1886-?, wife of Charles W. M. Brown), Charles William Burns (1890-?), and Edna Torney Burns (1894-1975). He died at Oak Lake on 3 August 1933 and was buried in the Oak Lake Cemetery.


Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Early resident of Manitoba dies, aged 72,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 August 1933, page 9.

Death registration [Edna Torney Burns], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 November 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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