Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John James Codville (1851-1915)

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John James Codville
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Wholesale grocer.

Born at Quebec City, Quebec on 19 November 1851, son of Hilary Codville and Mary Ann Robinson, in 1873 he invested an inheritance from his deceased father in a partnership in a new wholesale grocery firm of Thompson, Codville and Company.

In 1881, acting on the business opportunities opened up in the frontier city of Winnipeg with the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Codville transferred the base of operations of his company there. Business flourished and eventually branches were opened across the prairies, in Brandon, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, and Calgary. In 1906, he took on William Georgeson as a partner and the firm was renamed the Codville-Georgeson Company. After Georgeson’s departure in 1907, the firm was known as Codville and Company, with Codville as President, Henry Bruce Gordon as Vice-President, and Arthur William Chapman as Secretary-Treasurer.

In 1887, he married Edith Anna Corrine MacDonnell (1859-1936) and they had two children: Francis Hiliary MacDonnell Codville (1889-1970) and Maude Edith Crawford MacDonnell Codville (1892-?). The family lived at 237 Kennedy Street. He was a founding member of the St. Charles Country Club, in 1905, and an active member of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. Sometime before 1914, the Codville family moved to Ottawa, into a new home on Daly Street that stands today.

Codville died aboard a train in England, on 8 October 1915.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sures Building / Thompson-Codville Building (246 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lyon Block / Aikins Block / Bate Block (221 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ashdown Warehouse (167 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg)

Sources:

John James Codville, Ernest Benjamin Gillis Family History.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

“Drops dead on train,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 October 1915, page 1.

Death registrations [Edith Anna Codville, Francis Hiliary MacDonnell Codville], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

We thank Pam Murray for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 October 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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