Memorable Manitobans: Edward Henry George Gunson Hay (1840-1918)
Born at Hull, Yorkshire on 11 March 1840, son of William Hay and Susanna Gunson, he left home at the age of 13, followed the machinist’s trade for a few years, and in 1858 went to New York. In 1861, at the outbreak of the American Civil War, he was at Memphis, Tennessee. Not wanting to be embroiled in war, he went north and arrived at Georgetown (Moorhead, Minnesota) where he helped in construction of the steamer International on the Red River.
In 1863 he moved to Fort Garry and built his own mill in St. Andrew’s, where he continued operations until 1881. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Lisgar in the 1872 and 1874 federal general elections. He was a member of the Manitoba Legislature for St. Andrew’s South (Liberal) in the first assembly of 1870. He was defeated in the December 1874 and December 1878 general elections, but was re-elected in 1879 as member for St. Clements. He moved to Portage la Prairie, erecting a foundry, which he operated until 1893. He was a candidate in the 1883 provincial general election but came in a distant third place. In 1889 he was made Police Magistrate and in 1900 he was appointed Clerk of Works at St. Andrew’s Lock by the Dominion Government. He was one of the founders of the Winnipeg Board of Trade, in 1873.
Hay retired in 1911 and died at Lockport on 25 November 1918. He was buried in the St. Andrew’s-on-the-Red Anglican Cemetery. He is commemorated by Hay Street in Winnipeg. His papers and correspondence are in the Archives of Manitoba.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 June 2019
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