Memorable Manitobans: Andrew “Andy” Forsythe (1874-1956)
Born at Peterborough, Ontario on 3 April 1874, he came to Manitoba in 1895 and worked for a time in railway construction. He then homesteaded near Melita before becoming a grain buyer at Carberry until 1909 when he started a lumber and grain business at High Bluff. His Forsythe Elevator Company eventually built and operated numerous elevators in southern Manitoba. His was one of the first grain companies west of Winnipeg to use grain-drying equipment, and introducing a fairer method for determining dockage. He successfully challenged the Canadian Pacific Railway over its blockage of highway rights-of-way, resulting in revised railway practices that are still in place today. He later operated the A. Forsythe Coal Company at Portage la Prairie.
On 29 October 1902, he married Maude Emma Clarke (1879-1963) at Carberry and they had five children. He was a member of the Manitoba Grain Exchange and a Director of the Portage General Hospital, to which he donated coal to help heat the facility during financially-difficult times during the Great Depression. He demonstrated to local municipal officials that a road to Delta Beach was feasible, by driving them in his own car through Delta Marsh.
He died at Portage la Prairie on 22 January 1956 and was buried in the Portage Hillside Cemetery. He was added posthumously to the Roll of Honour of the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
1901 and 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Prominent grainman, A. Forsythe dies,” Portage la Prairie Leader, 26 January 1956, page 1.
Portage la Prairie: 1870-1970 by Anne Collier.
Nomination text, Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank John Everitt for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 January 2022