Manitoba Historical Society
Search
MHS website:
 


Past Lane
News


Upcoming
Events


LG Award
Nominations


War
Memorials
in Manitoba


Manitoba
History

No. 76


Digitized
Local History
Books


Memorable
Manitobans


Historic Sites
of Manitoba


Questions on
Manitoba
History

Memorable Manitobans: Seymour James Farmer (1878-1951)

Click to enlarge

S. J. Farmer
Click to enlarge

Accountant, Mayor of Winnipeg (1923-1924), MLA (1923-1927), MLA (1927-1932), MLA (1933-1936), MLA (1937-1940), MLA (1941-1945), MLA (1946-1949).

Born at Cardiff, Wales on 20 June 1878, son of Seymour Farmer and Bessie Alexander Sander, he was educated at Cardiff. He came to Canada in 1900. For ten years, he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway as a clerk in rural Manitoba. He quit the job to operated a bookstore at Brandon.

He was employed at the Winnipeg Grain Exchange from 1913 to 1927, clerking at the International Elevator Corporation in 1919. He supported direct legislation, a single tax, and was an ardent pacifist. Farmer was active in the founding of the Labour Church in 1918, and was chairman of the Dominion Labour Party in Manitoba that same year. In 1917, he ran unsuccessfully for election to the House of Commons against G. W. Allan.

Farmer was one of the founders of the Independent Labour Party in 1921 and, four years later, he founded the Weekly News, a pro-labour newspaper that became the official organ of the ILP. He was elected Mayor of Winnipeg (1922-1923) and later a member of the Winnipeg City Council. He was subsequently a CCF MLA and was leader of the Manitoba CCF from 1935 to 1949. He was Minister of Labour in the coalition government during the Second World War, resigning in 1942 when John Bracken became national leader of the Conservative Party. He won six elections as an ILP and CCF candidate, the last in 1945.

On 9 May 1901, he married Lydia Gwendoline Ashton at Winnipeg, with whom he had two daughters and four sons.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 683 Fisher Avenue, on 16 January 1951 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

Sources:

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Ex-CCF leader dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 January 1951. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 January 1951, page 23.

Times of Trouble: Labour Quiescence in Winnipeg 1920-1929 by David Edward Hall, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1983, page 72.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 June 2014

Memorable Manitobans Memorable Manitobans

A collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2013


Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at biographies@mhs.mb.ca

Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  |  Sources  |  Acknowledgements

Support the MHS and

Back to top of page

   
 

 
To report an error on the above page,
please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home | Terms & Conditions | FAQ | Contact Us
Privacy Policy | Donations Policy
Website © 1998-2014 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.