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Memorable Manitobans: John Caswell Davis (1888-1953)

Engineer, Senator.

Born at Montreal, Quebec in 1888, he was educated at Loyola College (Montreal), Laval University, and McGill University, receiving degrees in Arts and Mechanical Engineering. He founded the firm of J. C. Davis Limited, which sold fire sprinklers.

In 1916 he married Priscilla Guilbault of St. Boniface. He was a member of the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba, the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers, the National Fire Protection Association, Canadian Association of Politics and Economics, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Historical Society, Le Cercle Ouvrier St. Joseph, Winnipeg Rotary Club, Manitoba Club, Winnipeg Winter Club, Motor Country Club, Winnipeg Sketch Club (President) and St. Boniface Kiwanis Club. He served on the Board of Governors of the St. Boniface Hospital, and on the executive of the Greater Winnipeg Coordinating Board and the Metropolitan Planning Commission. From 1940 to 1946 he was on the advisory board of the Department of War Services, for which he received the Order of the British Empire (1946).

He served as President of the Manitoba Liberal Association from 1928 to 1936 and later acted as the party’s chief organizer in Manitoba. He was appointed to the Canadian Senate in January 1949 to fill the vacancy left by the death of J. P. Molloy.

He died at Winnipeg on 25 October 1953 and was buried in the St. Boniface Basilica Cemetery.


“Man. Senator J. C. Davis dies at 65,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 October 1953, page 12.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 March 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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