Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Howard (1877-1955)

Municipal official, musician.

Born in England on 20 May 1877, son of H. H. Howard, he came to Manitoba with his family when he was a year old, in 1878. Arriving at the Red River Settlement, they purchased provisions then headed west, settling first at Rapid City and later at Rivers.

He married Ella Louisa Julyan. They had four children: Charles Frederick Howard (b 1904), Elizabeth Hildagarde Howard (b 1907), Clarence Howard (b 1911), and a third son born after 1911.

He served as a councillor for the Rural Municipality of Daly. In this capacity he attended the 1905 founding meeting in Brandon of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities. When the town of Rivers was incorporated in 1910, he became its secretary-treasurer, a position that he held until 1920. The family later moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and formed an orchestra consisting of himself, his wife, and three sons. They gained Canada-wide fame as The Farmer Fiddlers and performed on CBC radio. One of his sons later played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and another played with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

Howard returned to Winnipeg, where he was living in the late 1940s. He died on 10 August 1955.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Early memories of Indians stand pioneer’s hair on end”, Winnipeg Tribune, 12 May 1949.

We thank the staff of the Rivers Banner for providing additional information used in this profile.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 May 2011

Memorable Manitobans

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