Memorable Manitobans: John Hanbury (1855-1928)
Building contractor, manufacturer, lumberman.
Born at Markdale, Ontario on 12 June 1855, son of William Hanbury and Jane Whitby, brother of William Hanbury, he left home at the age of 10 years, farmed for five years then learned the trade of plasterer, mason, and bricklayer. He later went into the contracting business. He moved to Brandon in January 1882 and resumed his the contracting business, being responsible for construction of many notable buildings.
He continued this work until 1892 when he began the Hanbury Manufacturing Company, specializing in doors, windows, and other house fixtures. In 1898 he purchased the assets of the Assiniboine Lumber Company, including a saw mill at Brandon and timber-cutting rights in the Duck Mountains. At one point, he employed two hundred men, and established mills at Cranbrook, Elko, and Van Couser, BC. In 1901, he organized the Manitoba Hardware & Lumber Company, with himself as President, head office at Brandon, and branches at Hamiota, Miniota, Virden, and Reston.
He was married twice, first on 10 February 1880 to Martha Miles (1860-1898) of Osprey, Ontario. They had eight children: Martha Hanbury (1880-?, wife of Alexander B. Fleming), Edgar John Hanbury (?-?), George Richmond Hanbury (?-?), Wilfred Hanbury (1887-?), Ella May Hanbury (1889-1907), Lawrence Martin Hanbury (1893-?), Mary Victoria Hanbury (1896-?), and Edith Hanbury (1898-?). On 5 September 1899, he married Minnie Isbister (1876-?). He was a Mason, a member of the Brandon Board of Trade, Brandon Hospital Board, and served on the Brandon City Council (1886, 1890-1892, 1899-1900). His Brandon home, built around 1908 at the corner of Fifth Street and Lorne Avenue, was described at the time as being the finest frame house in Manitoba.
He moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1910. He died at Point Grey on 3 April 1928.
Some of his construction work in Manitoba included:
Ontario marriage registration, Ancestry.
Birth registrations [Wilford Hanbury, Lawrence Martin Hanbury, Mary Victoria Hanbury, Edith Hanbury], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Marriage registration [Martha Miles Hanbury, Alexander Fleming], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
“Hanbury House,” Brandon Sun, 30 June 1967.
“40 Years Ago Today,” Brandon Sun, 4 April 1968.
Death registration, BC Vital Statistics.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 June 2023