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No. 84

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Memorable Manitobans: Archibald Esplen (1864-1933)

Click to enlargeFarmer, MLA (1923-1927).

Born at Port Elgin, Ontario on 29 January 1864, son of John Esplen and Sarah McLean, he came to Manitoba in 1882 and settled in the vicinity of Minnedosa, where he worked for a local farmer until 1885. During the North West Rebellion of 1885, he volunteered his services as a member of the Minnedosa Company. Returning to his job as a farmhand, the next year he took up 320 acres as a military grant in the vicinity of Dauphin and farmed there until his death.

On 3 August 1887, he married Mary Carmichael. They had seven children: Sarah (b 1887), William (b 1889), John (b 1891), Margaret (b 1893), Eveline (b 1896), Lillian M. (b 1898), and Archibald Jr. (b 1901). He was active in municipal affairs, serving as a councillor for the Rural Municipality of Dauphin for many years and reeve from 1910 to 1912 and again in 1922. Later that year he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature for the Dauphin constituency, serving until 1927. He was a member and director of the Dauphin Agricultural Society.

He died at his home near Dauphin on 12 June 1933.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

“A. Esplen, Former M.L.A. For Dauphin Dies On Monday” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 1933, page 5.

Page revised: 31 January 2010

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