Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Edward Wade Darbey (1872-1922)


Born at St. Thomas, Ontario on 26 December 1872, son of Zachariah Wade Darbey and Letitia Brien, the family came to Winnipeg in 1887. He got a job with an “Indian curio dealer” then, in 1898, he purchased a taxidermy shop on Main Street in Winnipeg. In 1903, he brought three live bison to Winnipeg in an effort to re-establish this once-abundant prairie icon. In the years prior to the founding of the Natural History Society of Manitoba, in 1920, his premises was the gathering spot of local naturalists. He later served as Manitoba provincial taxidermist and his specimens were displayed in the Manitoba Legislature. He died at Winnipeg on 25 August 1922 following a lengthy illness.

See also:

Edward Darbey, Taxidermy, and the Last Buffaloes by James A. Burns
Manitoba History, Number 63, Spring 2010

Bison Conservation: The Canadian Story by Peter Lorenz Neufeld
Manitoba History, Number 24, Autumn 1992


Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Buffaloes arrive for River Park zoo,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 August 1903, page 3.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Taxidermist is dead following lengthy illness,” newspaper clipping. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B7]

Natural History Society of Manitoba, 21st Anniversary Bulletin, 1920 to 1941. Natural History Society of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 August 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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