Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Hugh Clarke Fairfield (1877-1961)

Educator, businessman.

Born in London, England on 26 April 1877, the cousin of Sir William Worsley, he immigrated to Canada in 1887 with his grandmother Mrs. Holmes Coote (widow of Dr. Holmes Coote). He lived in the Minnedosa area where he married Elizabeth McNaught Thomson (1885-1968) at Minnedosa on 30 July 1902. The couple had eight children: Lorimer Carlton “Laurie” Fairfield (1903-1975), Finlay Robert Fairfield (1904-1950), Hugh John Fairfield (1905-?), Ian Munroe Fairfield (1908-1965), George Clark Fairfield, James Fairfield, Annie Fraser Fairfield (1909-?, wife of C. M. Thomas), and Lily Margaret Fairfield (c1919-1986, wife of George William Luckhurst). A teacher, he served as Principal of several rural schools, including Holmfield School (1906-1907), Beausejour School (1909-1910), Strathclair School (1915-1918), and taught at St. Andrews School (1920-1921).

He left teaching in 1925 to establish the wool manufacturing firm of Fairfield & Sons, establishing a wool mill at Little Britain. Along with his sons Laurie, Hugh, Finlay, and Ian, their business was incorporated on 2 February 1928, and was the first of its kind in Western Canada, turning 20,000 pounds of wool into yarn in its first year of operation. He was President of the Astronomical Society, advisory board member of the Manitoba Museum, and active within the Brotherhood of Christians and Jews.

He died at his residence on 23 September 1961 and was buried in Little Britain Cemetery.


1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Manitoba’s wool industry is young but an inspiring promise of future growth,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 17 July 1926, page 5.

“From sheep to socks in Manitoba,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 17 July 1926, page 5.

“Engagements [Lily Margaret Fairfield], Winnipeg Tribune, 4 April 1942, page 11.

“$20,000 museum grant proposed,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 December 1949, page 5.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 25 September 1961, page 23.

Obituary [Ian Munroe Fairfield], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 January 1965, page 22.

Obituary [Elizabeth M. Fairfield], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 September 1968, page 38.

Death registrations [Lorimer Carlton Fairfield], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Lily Margaret Luckhurst], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 June 1986, page 58.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), Fairfield & Sons Limited, Archives of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 8 May 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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