Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Alexander Forlong (1885-1956)

Businessman.

Born in the United States in 1885, after arriving in Winnipeg in 1901, he sold cigars then worked in the city assessor's department before starting a boot and shoe store on Portage Avenue in partnership with W. D. Balfour. He later operated the financial brokerage firms of John A. Forlong and Company, Capital Loan and Mortgage Corporation, and Equitable Trust Company, and the wholesale grocery firm of Macdonald's Consolidated Limited.

He was the central figure in a 1929 legal battle over the will of his father-in-law in which an appeal court found in his favour. A subsequent public protest by surrogate court Lewis St. George Stubbs led to his removal from the bench. Forlong moved to the United States in 1939 where he was board chairman of the Southern Brewing Company at Tampa, Florida.

He was married twice, first to Grace Anne Macdonald (1886-1936, daughter of Alexander “Sandy” Macdonald) with whom he had three children: Anne Forlong (?-?, wife of Robert C. Backus), Duncan Macdonald Forlong (1926-2015), and Barbara Jean Forlong (1928-1965, wife of William B. Graham). He later married Clara Jerme. The family had a summer residence on Lake of the Woods where he was an avid fisherman.

He died at St. Petersburg, Florida on 22 May 1956 and was buried there.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Forlong House (295 Dromore Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Rubin Block / Morley Apartments (270 Morley Avenue, Winnipeg)

Sources:

“A new firm,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 December 1904, page 5.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Beautiful residence on Dromore Street,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 May 1928, page 36.

“Barbara Jean Forlong showered with gifts,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 July 1949, page 12.

“Death in Florida recalls case of disputed will,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 May 1956, page 7.

“J. A. Forlong, formerly of city,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 May 1956, page 3.

Obituary, Winnipeg Tribune, 23 May 1956, page 25.

Death registration [Barbara Jean Graham], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Duncan Macdonald Forlong], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 April 2016.

We thank Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 November 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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