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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Gilroy (1848-1905)

Click to enlargeInsurance broker, Mayor of Winnipeg (1895).

Born in Norfolk County, Ontario on 16 October 1848, and educated at the Simcoe Grammar School. He joined the Sun Life Assurance Company in 1872 and was for several years the Inspector of its Ontario agencies. In 1882 he became the manager of his company in Winnipeg and the North-West.

Politically, he was the unsuccessful opponent of Daniel Hunter McMillan in the provincial general elections of 1888 for the constituency of Centre Winnipeg. In 1891 he was elected a Winnipeg city alderman, serving as chairman of its Finance Committee in 1894 and trustee of the Winnipeg Sinking Fund. In 1894 he was elected Mayor of Winnipeg, serving a single one-year term. For some time he was treasurer of St. Paul’s Indian School, a director of Standard Trust Company and North West Fire Insurance Company of Canada, councillor on the Board of Trade, and secretary-treasurer of the fund for the Legislative Building’s Queen Victoria monument.

On 1 September 1892, he married Beatrice Groff (?-1935), the daughter of Henry Groff of Simcoe, Ontario. They had no children. He died at Winnipeg on 22 February 1905 and was buried at Simcoe, Ontario. In 1935, a bequest from the estate of his widow established the “Thomas and Beatrice Gilroy Trust for Charities Fund” at the Winnipeg Foundation.

Sources:

Marriage registration, Ancestry.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Ex-Mayor Gilroy called to rest”, Manitoba Free Press, 23 February 1905, page 1.

Minute Book No. 1 (1921-1943), 1 November 1935, Winnipeg Foundation. [Mrs. Gilroy died at San Diego, California on 16 August 1935.]

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 November 2010

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