Memorable Manitobans: Nettleton Whitby Kerr (1888-1963)
Born at Rapid City on 30 December 1888, son of Robert Kerr (1859-1918) and Clara Sibbald (1868-1957), uncle of John Cochrane Kerr, he came with his family to Brandon in 1890. After attending Brandon College, he joined the law firm of Coldwell, Coleman & Curran in 1912. By the time of his death, he was senior partner at the firm, then known as Kerr, Meighen and Haddad. He was made a King’s Counsel. He was also Chairman of the Anglo Canadian Oil Company and one of the organizers of a company that took over Manitoba Telephone’s CKX radio station, serving as a director and secretary of the firm.
He was married twice, first on 5 December 1911 to Ethel Margaret Fenwick (1889-1925) and second to Beatrice Marjorie Benson (1904-1979). He had no children. He was a Bencher (1927-1943) and Life Bencher (1943-1963) of the Law Society of Manitoba, was on the board for the Provincial Exhibition for 41 years, including two terms as President, and was a director of the Brandon General Hospital, Kiwanis Club, Brandon College, Manitoba Poultry Association, and Brandon Parks Board. He was active in the Conservative party and was touted as a challenger to Thomas Alexander Crerar in a 1930 federal by-election.
He died at Brandon on 17 July 1963 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.
Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“11 Manitoba barristers named K.C.’s,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 January 1930, page 1.
“Prominent Brandon man N. Whitby Kerr is dead,” Brandon Sun, 17 July 1963, page 1.
Obituary, Brandon Sun, 20 July 1963, page 11.
We thank Sandy Jasper for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 December 2021