Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Arthur Cowperthwaite (1874-1949)

Educator, author.

Born in New Brunswick in January 1874, he was educated in his native province and at Harvard University (MA). He taught in New Brunswick and the state of Maryland before coming to Winnipeg in 1913 to teach English at the Central High School. Following positions at Isaac Brock School and the Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, he was appointed to the staff of the Winnipeg Normal School in 1932 and became its Principal three years later. He retired in June 1938 at which time he moved to Toronto, Ontario.

During his career, he collaborated with E. K. Marshall to compile a two-volume anthology of English verse called Treasury of Verse. He also authored two English grammar textbooks, which were picked up in several provinces. For his efforts, he was given an honorary degree of doctor of literature from the University of New Brunswick in 1933. In Winnipeg, he was involved in Anglican Church work and acted as a warden of the Holy Trinity Church. He was also president of the Maritime Provinces Association and the Winnipeg Schoolmasters’ Club. He and his wife Emily shared one son, Charles Cowperthwaite.

He died at Toronto, Ontario on 13 November 1949.


1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Dr. Cowperthwaite new normal head,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 April 1935, page 9.

“Former Winnipeg educator dies in east after illness,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 November 1949. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 125]

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 October 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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