Memorable Manitobans: Robert Blackwood Whidden Graham (1870-1951)
Born at Brookfield, Nova Scotia on 3 December 1870, son of James and Lois Graham, he was educated at Brookfield public schools, Pictou Academy, and Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia). He was called to Nova Scotia Bar in 1893. He came to Manitoba in 1897 and settled at Killarney where he worked for six years as a store clerk. In 1903 he moved to Winnipeg to take a position as an accountant in the Department of the Attorney General. He was called to Manitoba Bar in 1906.
In 1908, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Attorney General and, three years later, he became Deputy Attorney General, succeeding George Patterson. He resigned in 1913 to return to private law practice. In December of that year, he was appointed Crown Prosecutor for the Winnipeg Police Court, succeeding Elias R. Levinson. He was eventually made a King's Counsel. In 1929, he was elevated to the bench, replacing Hugh John Macdonald and was replaced as Crown Prosecutor by Andrew Allison Moffat. He served as President of the Law Society of Manitoba from 1935 to 1937. After fifteen years as police magistrate, he retired in December 1944 and became counsel to the Winnipeg Board of Police Commissioners. During retirement, he occasionally stood in for Winnipeg magistrate Maris Henry Garton and St. Boniface magistrate Henri Lacerte.
In 1910, he married Louisa Ramwell (1881-1970) of Bolton, Lancashire, England and they had two sons, William Hugh Graham (1912-?) and Robert Bruce Graham (1917-?). A member of the Adanac Club and Conservative party, he lived in #412 Broadway Court, Winnipeg.
He died at Winnipeg on 12 June 1951 and was buried in the St. John's Cathedral Cemetery.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
“Former magistrate, R. B. Graham, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1951. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10]
Obituary [Louisa Graham], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 September 1970, page 28.
The Law Society of Manitoba, 1877-1977, edited by Cameron Harvey, Peguis Publishers Limited, 1977, pages 243-245.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 23 April 2021