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Memorable Manitobans: William Alexander Elliott (1866-1957)

Architect.

Born at Wingham, Ontario on 18 August 1866, son of John Elliott and Annie Irwin, he was educated at local schools and at Degolia, Pennsylvania, leaving school at the age of 15 to work for three years on the family farm. In 1886, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean to London, England in charge of a shipment of cattle, returning the next year to apprentice as a carpenter at Auburn, Ontario. He moved to Toronto in early 1889 then on to Chicago the next year. He worked for the Chicago Edison Light Company from 1891 to 1893 installing electric light equipment. While there he took a course in architecture at the Chicago Polytechnic Institute. Ill health compelled him to return to Canada.

In 1894 he went to New York City, taking a three-year course in architecture from the Pallace School of Architecture. He then opened an architectural practice at Anaconda, Montana, staying there until 1899 when he moved to Brandon and continued to work as an architect. A few years later, he opened a branch office at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In April 1913, he was appointed an inspector for the new Legislative Building being constructed in Winnipeg.

On 9 November 1898, he married Hester Eldridge at Anaconda, Montana. They had eight children: Egbert Eldridge Elliott (b 1899), Louis John Elliott (b 1901), William Harris Elliott (b 1902), Allegra Elliott (b 1903), Stanley Henderson Elliott (b 1904), James Alexander Elliott (b 1906), Justice Henderson Elliott (b 1909), and Myrtle Elliott. During the winter the family resided at 116 Eleventh Street, Brandon and in the summer they lived at the corner of Fourth Street and Richmond Avenue. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was active in conservative politics in Brandon. He performed throughout Canada and the USA in an orchestra, with his wife and children, called “The Elliott Family Orchestra.”

He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 2 April 1957 and was buried there.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Hillview Church

Oak Lake

1902

 

Rapid City School

Rapid City

1902

 

Bank of Montreal

Rosser Avenue, Brandon

1903

 

First Baptist Church

1037 Lorne Avenue, Brandon

1903-1904

 

Brookdale School No. 1299

Brookdale, RM of North Cypress

1904

 

Park School / West Ward School

Lorne Avenue, Brandon

1904-1905

 

Baldur School No. 667

Baldur, RM of Argyle

1905

 

Hamilton Bank

Neepawa

1905

 

Merchants Bank

Napinka, RM of Brenda

1905

 

Melita School No. 440

41 Ash Street, Melita

1905

 

Christie House

404 Thirteenth Street, Brandon

1905

 

Clark Hall (Brandon University)

Eighteenth Street, Brandon

1906

 

Empire Brewing Company Bottling House and Warehouse

First Street, Brandon

1906

 

IOOF Hall

Rapid City

1906

 

Johnson House

446 Seventh Street, Brandon

1906

 

Brandon Collegiate Institute

Louise Avenue, Brandon

1906-1907

 

Oak River School No. 253

Oak River, RM of Blanshard

1906-1907

Destroyed by fire (1908)

Brandon Winter Fair Buildings

Eleventh Street, Brandon

1907

 

Souris Methodist Church

Souris

1907-1908

 

Brandon Court House

1104 Princess Avenue, Brandon

1908-1910

 

Rivers Consolidated School No. 1484

Rivers

1909-1910

 

Victoria Avenue Methodist Church

Fifteenth Street, Brandon

1909-1910

 

Cecil Hotel

Tenth Street, Brandon

1910

 

Sinclair School No. 1051

Sinclair, RM of Pipestone

1910

Demolished

Trafalgar Hotel

Belmont, RM of Strathcona

1910

 

Elkhorn School No. 366

Elkhorn

1910

Demolished

Central Fire Hall

637 Princess Avenue, Brandon

1911

 

Newdale School No. 431

Newdale, RM of Harrison

1911

Demolished

St. Matthew’s Anglican Cathedral

Thirteenth Street, Brandon

1912-1913

 

Virden Municipal Building and Auditorium

Virden

1911-1912

 

Pipestone Municipal Building

Reston, RM of Pipestone

1917

 

Rounthwaite School No. 1067

Rounthwaite, RM of Oakland

?

 

Burchill and Howey Block

908 Rosser Avenue, Brandon

?

 

Sources:

Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.

We thank Charmeyn Sinclaire and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 July 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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