Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Emslie (1846-1907)


Born in Scotland on 27 February 1846, he emigrated to Canada in 1854 and resided at Hamilton, Ontario. He came west in 1870 with the Wolseley Expedition, later remaining in Manitoba and, when the customs service was organized at Winnipeg, took employment there as an accountant. He later worked for some 25 years for the Ashdown Hardware Company, rising to the position of head accountant. He served as secretary-treasurer of the J. H. Ashdown Company Limited.

He was an active member of Knox Presbyterian Church for over 35 years, serving on its board of managers, board of trustees, and choir leader. He also held several positions with the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg, including treasurer and president (1882-1883). He served on the Winnipeg Board of School. He had one daughter, Grace Emslie (b Manitoba, 1878) who taught in the Winnipeg public school system.

Late in his life, in poor health, he moved to Bermuda around December 1906. Finding no improvement there, he was returning home to Winnipeg when he died at St. John, New Brunswick on 29 April 1907. He is commemorated by Emslie Street in Winnipeg.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“John Emslie died in St. John”, Manitoba Free Press, 1 May 1907, page 12.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 October 2011

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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