Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years


Memorable Manitobans: Paul Melsted Clemens (1870-1966)

Architect.

Born in Iceland in August 1870, he emigrated to Chicago in 1884 where he trained as an architect at the Armour Institute. He moved to Winnipeg in 1898 and worked with a large group of Icelandic settlers who, as contractors, craftsmen and labourers, worked cooperatively and used their native language on the work site. In early 1903, he was a member of the architectural and contracting firm of Johnson and Clemens, in partnership with Isak Johnson. By late 1903, he worked alone, specializing in the design of plain and undistinguished walk-up apartment blocks, many of which were built during the building boom in Winnipeg between 1908 and 1914. He remained in Winnipeg until 1921, then moved back to Chicago and continued to practice. He later lived at Norfolk, Virginia where he was a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

On 15 August 1905, he married Laufey G. Gudjonsdottir (1884-1980) at Winnipeg. They had five children: Paul Henry Clemens (1906-1968, husband of Mabel Reykdal), Thorkell George Clemens (1910-1919), Dorothy Gudrun Ingibjorg Clemens (1912-2004, wife of Vigus H. Johnson), John Christian Walter Clemens (1917-1984, husband of Mary Malkovich), and Lillian Alice Clemens (1919-1967, wife of Roy W. Carson).

He died at Excelsior Springs, Missouri on 14 October 1966 and was buried in the Ashern United Cemetery. The Archives of Manitoba has a small collection of his drawings for projects executed between 1905 to 1921.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Oddson House

Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg

1905

 

Pulford House

39 East Gate, Winnipeg

1907

 

St. James School No. 7

266 Linwood Street, Winnipeg

1907

Demolished (?)

Argyle Block

224 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg

1908

 

Cumberland Court

365 Cumberland Avenue, Winnipeg

1908

Demolished (?)

Winona Court

174 Nassau Street North, Winnipeg

1909

 

Dawson Court

432 Furby Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

Markland Court

706 Furby Street, Winnipeg

1910

Demolished (?)

Maulson House

111 Spence Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

Nova Villa Apartments

615 Sherbrook, Winnipeg

1910

 

Victoria Court

471 William Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Diana Court

583 Furby Street, Winnnipeg

1911

 

Harald Court

641-645 Westminster, Winnipeg

1911

 

Ramona Court

267 Pritchard Avenue, Winnipeg

1911

Demolished (?)

Waldorf Apartments

634 Broadway, Winnipeg

1911

 

Albermarle Apartments

64 Langside Street, Winnipeg

1911-1912

 

Asquith Court

720 Furby Street, Winnipeg

1912

Demolished (?)

Hyldegunn Block / Burris Block

686 Toronto Street, Winnipeg

1912

 

Emily Apartments

745 Winnipeg Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

Demolished (?)

Pandora Court

759 Winnipeg Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

Demolished (?)

Windsor Apartments

122 Langside Street, Winnipeg

1912

 

Harrow Apartments

183 Harrow Street, Winnipeg

1913

 

Hrefna Apartments / Sylvia Apartments / Verbena Apartments

768-770 Toronto Street, Winnipeg

1913

 

Moyse House

838 Wolseley Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Wilson House

834 Wolseley Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Ruth Apartments

510 Maryland Street, WInnipeg

1914

 

Minerva Court

290 Beverley Street, Winnipeg

1914

 

Hazelton Apartments

722 Maryland Street, Winnipeg

1914

Demolished (?)

Hampton Court (Cheltenham Court)

478-480 Langside Street, Winnipeg

1914

 

Hampson Court

43-47 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg

c1920

Destroyed by fire (1965)

Sources:

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Classified advertisement [Johnson and Clemens], Manitoba Free Press, 11 May 1903, page 12.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Large apartment block [Ramona Court],” Manitoba Free Press, 10 April 1911, page 13.

“Man dies as flames rip block,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 February 1965, page 1.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 October 1966, page 28.

Obituary [Paul Henry Clemens], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 October 1968, page 35.

Obituary [Laufey Clemens], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 September 1980, page 70.

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.

Winnipeg Buildings Index.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Lenore Clemens and Christian Cassidy for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 April 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017


Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at biographies@mhs.mb.ca

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.