Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: William Joseph “Bill” Johnston (1917-2004)

Lawyer, civil servant.

Born near Dominion City in 1917, son of William R. Johnston, he attended St. Jean High School then studied at the University of Manitoba (BA 1937) and four years later received a law degree from the Manitoba Law School. He articled in law with the firm of Coulter and Proctor and, for his final two years, with E. H. Crawford. After being called to the Manitoba Bar, he worked for a short time for the International Harvester Company. He served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War then became an attorney in the Manitoba Attorney General’s Department (1946-1954), rising to the position of Senior Crown Counsel in 1947. Made a Queen’s Counsel in 1953, he served as Deputy Provincial Secretary (1954-1958), Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs (1958-1960), Chairman of the Manitoba Municipal Board (1960-?), and Chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board. On 7 November 1942, he married Dorothy E. Hall (1918-1997) at Winnipeg. They had no children. He helped D. C. M. Kyle to establish the Winnipeg Maroons hockey club and the Greater Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association. He was a member of the Granite Curling Club and Southwood Golf and Country Club. He died at Winnipeg on 3 October 2004.


“Dorothy Hall is bride of W. J. Johnston,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 November 1942, page 9.

“City woman first QC in Manitoba,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1953.

“Johnston to head municipal board,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 December 1960, page 3.

“Safety council 25 years old,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 November 1970, page 66.

Obituary [Jane Hudson Hall], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 July 1981, page 48.

Obituary [Dorothy E. Johnston], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 January 1997, page 29.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 6 October 2004.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 March 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.