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Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Henry Hughes (1857-1917)

Lumber merchant, Mayor of Brandon (1914).

Born on 14 April 1857 at London, Ontario, a son of Joseph C. Hughes and Jane McAndless, brother of Anthony James Hughes and Thomas Alfred Martin Hughes. His father farmed in Middlesex County until 1903 then retired to Brandon. Hughes was educated at Middlesex County and the Toronto Normal School (1874). He taught school in 1875, then went into business as a general merchant at Iderton. He moved to Brandon in 1882, joining in partnership with T. H. Patrick of Souris in a lumber business, operating yards at Brandon and Souris. The partnership dissolved in 1886, and Hughes went on to establish mills at Rainy River, Ontario. He disposed of his mills in 1901 and established a wholesale and retail lumber business in Brandon on 10th Street, between Rosser and Princess Street. He also owned most of the property between 10th and 11th Streets, Rosser and Princess. He erected a brick block on 10th Street, as well as the Strathcona Block. He employed over 40 men to manufacture sash doors and builders' supplies.

In 1883, he married Anna Maria Hughes of Middlesex County (near Strathroy), daughter of Thomas Hughes of Metcalfe, Middlesex County and a sister-in-law of Lewis Arnett. They had five children: Alma Hughes (b 1885), Maggie May Hughes (b 1887; attending Alma College, St. Thomas, Ontario, 1906), Percy Cooper Hughes (b 1889), Harley Moody Hughes (b 1892), and Ruth Alida Hughes (b 1894). Hughes served as a Brandon city alderman for four years, chairman of the Board of Public Works, and Mayor of Brandon in 1914.

He died at Brandon on 5 August 1917, following a prolonged illness.


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

“Brandon ex-mayor dead,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 August 1917, page 1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 September 2014

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