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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Glendenning “Glen” Hamilton (1873-1935)

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Thomas Glendennign Hamilton
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Physician, MLA (1916-1920), psychic researcher.

Born at Agincourt, Ontario on 27 November 1873, son of James Hamilton and Isabella Glendenning, he was brought to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan by his parents at age 10, moving to Winnipeg in 1891. He was educated at the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute and Manitoba Medical College. He practiced medicine in Winnipeg for many years.

On 26 November 1906, he married Lillian May Forrester (1880-1956) at Winnipeg. They had four children: Margaret Lillian Hamilton (1909-1986, wife of James Reynolds Bach), Glen Forrester Hamilton (1911-1988), James Drummond Hamilton (1915-1980), and Arthur Lamont Hamilton (1915-1919).

Hamilton served as a Winnipeg School Board trustee (1905-1915). Defeated as a candidate in the 1914 provincial general election, he was elected as the MLA for Elmwood in 1915, replacing Harry Don Mewhirter, and was active in reform legislation of the Norris government, including mother’s allowances. He stood for re-election in the 1920 general election but was defeated. He served as President of the University of Manitoba Alumni Association (1921) and President of the Manitoba Medical Association (1921-1922).

Around 1921, he began psychic research, and many visitors to the city, including Arthur Conan Doyle, attended his seances. His psychic research included attempts to photograph “ectoplasms” emanating out of mediums. He founded the Winnipeg Society for Psychic Research in 1931.

He died at Winnipeg on 7 April 1935 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. After his death, Hamilton’s son published the records of some of his experiments as Intention and Survival (1942). His extensive papers, including photographs from his experiments, are at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

See also:

Psychic Research in a Winnipeg Family: Reminiscences of Dr. Glen F. Hamilton by James B. Nickels
Manitoba History, Number 55, June 2007.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Adventures in Winnipeg by Michael W. Homer
Manitoba History, Number 25, Spring 1993

Thomas Glendenning Hamilton, Dictionary of Canadian Biography


Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 January 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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