Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: George E. Cole (1857-1952)


Born at Yorkshire, England on 14 December 1857, he came to Canada at the age of 16 and found employment as a railway laborer. After helping lay the tracks to Whitemouth, he settled in Cypress River where he worked as a harness-maker for over 50 years. He retired in 1945 and moved into the Oddfellows home in 1947.

He joined the Oddfellows in Paisley, County Bruce, Ontario on 29 January 1878. Seventy-two years later his record of membership was commemorated when he received a jewel at a dinner held at the Oddfellows Home, Charleswood. He was a charter member of the Neepawa Lodge, No. 16, and a member of the Masonic Order in Cypress River.

He had one son, John, a stepson, H. C. Couzens and three daughters, Charlotte, Mary and Ida. On 13 December 1952, he died at Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg. He was reputedly the oldest member of the IOOF in Canada at the time of his death. He was buried in Cypress River.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Pioneer harness-maker holds Oddfellow membership record,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 February 1950. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 131]

“IOOF veteran George Cole dies aged 94,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 December 1952, page 19.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden.

Page revised: 21 August 2010

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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