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Memorable Manitobans: Levi Henry Erb (1842-1933)

Distiller.

Born at Preston, Ontario on 23 October 1842, he came to Winnipeg in 1873, over the Dawson Trail, and established Radiger & Erb, the first distillery in the city, in partnership with Edward Radiger, on a site that would later be occupied by Ogilvie Flour Mills. When the building was completed the next year, he sent for his family from Ontario. The business flourished, making various types of whisky until 1880 when the price of wheat rose markedly and they could not compete against outside liquor suppliers. He then went to work in the warehouse of A. G. B. Bannatyne, later working successively for the Hudson’s Bay Company, the A. Macdonald wholesale store, the J. H. Ashdown Hardware Company, Watrous Engine Works, and the Merrick-Anderson Company. In 1865, he married Mary Ann Hay (?-1929). They had a daughter, Lelia May Erb (?-?, wife of Frederick John Charles “Fred” Cox). He died at Winnipeg on 10 July 1933 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

Sources:

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“L. H. Erb, who arrived in Winnipeg sixty years ago, dies at age of 90 years,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 July 1933, page 1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 July 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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