Memorable Manitobans: Elias George Conklin (1845-1901)
MLA (1883-1886), Mayor of Winnipeg (1881).
Born at Keglanenear Paris, Brant County, Canada West (Ontario) in 1845, brother of James D. Conklin and uncle of John J. Conklin, his father was from New York State and his mother was a native of Scotland. He was educated at the Paris Grammar School. In 1873 he married Janet Scott of Dundas. They had five children. He served as Reeve of Forest, Ontario, 1873-1874, and came to western Canada in May 1874. With James Ross he operated a grist mill at Silver Heights, and later was appointed Assistant Paymaster with the Canadian Pacific Railway construction department. He was associated with Mr. Sutherland in building locks at Fort Frances, and in 1880 he formed, with Mark Fortune, the real estate agency of Conklin and Fortune.
He was a Winnipeg City Alderman (1877-1880) and was elected Mayor of the city in 1880. Retiring from municipal affairs, he ran in the general election of 1882 as a Liberal and was defeated. In 1883 he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature for Winnipeg North but was defeated in 1886. In 1890 he was appointed Clerk of the House, replacing Charles Aldborough Sadleir, a position he held until 1900.
He was organizer of the first rifle association in Manitoba, an early President of the St. Andrew’s Society (?-?), President of the Granite Curling Club (1882-1883, 1889-1890), President of the Manitoba Curling Association (1890-1891), and a veteran member of the Masonic order.
He died at his home in Winnipeg on 20 April 1901.
“Clerk of the house,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 January 1890, page 6.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
We thank Terry Webber and Rick Mutton for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 April 2022