Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Spence Gibson (1858-1933)

Farmer, blacksmith, homestead inspector.

Born in Burford, Ontario on 29 May 1858, son of Alexander Gibson, he learned the blacksmithing trade from his father and operated a shop at Paris, Ontario for two and a half years before moving to Brandon in 1882, where he opened a livery business. He furnished horses to the Canadian government during the 1885 North West Rebellion. From 1884 to 1891 he worked in partnership with George W. Fraser in a horse and carriage business, operating it solely after Fraser's departure to Vancouver, British Columbia. He farmed 960 acres near Brandon and one of his three farms was later incorporated into the southern part of the city. In 1897 he was appointed a homestead inspector by the federal government.

In 1884, he married Margaret Cynthia Mendell (?-?) of Belleville, Ontario. They had eight children: Roy Alexander Gibson (1885-?), Nora Gibson (1887-?), Jennie Gibson (?-?), James Glen Gibson (1889-?), Gladys Kathleen Gibson (1891-?), Lila Edith Gibson (?-?), Harry Mendell Gibson (1900-?), and Jack Albert Gibson (1902-?). He was a member of the United Order of Foresters and Ancient Order of United Workmen, and a founding member of the Brandon Turf Club. He served as Vice-President of the Western Agricultural and Arts Association, and President of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba (1906, 1914).

He died at Brandon on 20 July 1933 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.


A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“James S. Gibson, pioneer Brandon settler, is dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 July 1933.

Lawrence Stuckey Collection, S. J. McKee Archives, Brandon University.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 November 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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