Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Edwin Lee Byington (1852-1891)


Born at Ogdensburg, New York on 20 August 1852, the son of Samuel Lee Byington (?-1855) and Cynthia Johnson (c1825-?), he spent time at Hope, Ontario with his mother around 1861. He earned a MA degree prior to applying for the position of first Principal of Central Normal School (1882-1884), then the only Normal School in Manitoba at the time. His application was accepted in August 1882, and he took up lodgings at 35 Dagmar Street. During his tenure here, he was an Officer of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association (1883-?) and the IOOF (1884, Minnrehaha Lodge No. 7).

After leaving the position around February 1884, he departed for Omaha, Nebraska. On 29 July 1885, he married Helene Maud Cleghorn (1861-1907) in Ontario and the couple moved shortly thereafter to the United States. They had two children: Spring Dell Byington (1886-1971), who became a well-known Hollywood actress, and Helene Kimball Byington (1890-1979, wife of Mr. Sherwin). By January 1886, he had accepted a position as School Inspector at Colorado Springs, Colorado and worked with former Winnipeg teacher J. D Hunt (then promoted to high school science master).

He died at Colorado Springs in 1891 and was buried at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.


1861 Canada censes, Library and Archives Canada.

1900 US Census, FamilySearch.

Ontario marriage registrations, Ancestry.

“A Provincial Normal School,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 24 June 1882, page 4.

“School Board,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 16 August 1882, page 5.

“The City Schools,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 29 November 1882, page 8.

“The Central School,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 7 February 1883, page 8.

“The City Teachers,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 17 February 1883, page 8.

“City and Province [Grand Master C. D. Anderson ...],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 10 January 1884, page 4.

“The Normal School,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 23 January 1884, page 4.

“School Board,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 13 February 1884, page 4.

“Personal [Mr. E. L. Byington],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 9 April 1884, page 4.

“Mr. J. D. Hunt,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 23 January 1886, page 4.

“Coroner will investigate,” Daily Arkansas Democrat, 15 April 1907, page 4.

“Spring Byington dies at 84,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1971, page 7.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Colorado, FindAGrave.

EntireFamily [Alexander Stansbery] family tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 7 April 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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