Memorable Manitobans: Edwin Gardiner Dunn Freeman (1890-1973)
Born at Palatka, Putnam County, Florida on 11 March 1890, son of George Edwin Freeman and Elya Price Freeman, he graduated from the University of Toronto (BA), Knox College, and Columbia University (New York City) with a Bachelor of Divinity. On 17 January 1917, he married Minnie Ada Davis (1890-1969) at Waterloo, Ontario then went to Toronto as convenor and Pastor of St. Enoch Church (1918-1920).
He came to Winnipeg in 1920, as Pastor of the King Memorial United Church (1920-1929). During the last year of his tenure, he succeeded Rev. Dr. W. J. Aikens as Chairman (1929) of the Winnipeg Presbytery of the United Church of Canada. He was then Pastor (1930-1936) at St. Paul’s United Church in Port Arthur, Ontario and President (1936-?) of the Manitoba Conference of the United Church of Canada. In the early 1940s, he returned to Winnipeg as a Professor of Theology at United College, after which he became Dean of Theology (1946-1957). In addition to attaining an MA degree, he received an honourary Doctor of Divinity from Victoria University (1943) and United College (1958).
On 17 January 1917, he married Minnie Ada Davis (1890-1969) at Waterloo, Ontario and they had five children: Jean Margaret Freeman (1919-2014, wife of Ian James Harvey), George Edwin Freeman (1921-2017), John Price Freeman (1924-2018), Marjorie Davis Freeman (1924-1994, wife of Webb Cummings), and Rev. Lois Miriam Freeman (wife of Roy Wilson).
He died at the Grace Hospital on 20 March 1973.
Ontario birth and marriage registrations, Ancestry.
Canada 1926 census, FamilySearch.
“Rev. Freeman, Toronto, called as Pastor of King Memorial Church,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 September 1920, page 13.
“Rev. E. Freeman new Chairmen of Presbytery,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 September 1929, page 3.
“Receives call,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 December 1929, page 7.
“Heads churchmen,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 June 1936, page 5.
“Minister two carried on during severe years merit rest, United Pastors told,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 June 1936, page 18.
“Awarded degree,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 March 1943, page 3.
“Gives degrees to Ministers,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 October 1946, page 17.
Obituary [Minnie Ada Freeman], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 December 1969, page 33.
“Theology Deans,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 May 1971, page 31.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 1973, page 37.
Obituary [George Edwin Freeman], The Globe and Mail, 8 April 2017.
We thank Margaret Smith for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 14 June 2020
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