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Manitoba
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No. 74


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Memorable Manitobans: Albert Clements Killam (1849-1908)

Click to enlargeLawyer, MLA (1883-1886), judge.

He was born at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on 18 September 1849, the son of George Killamand grandson of Thomas Killam. He married Minnie Whyte of Windsor. He was educated at the University of Toronto, (B.A., silver medalist in mathematics and in modern languages, and Prince of Wales prize (1872).

After being called to the Bar in 1877, he first practised at Windsor, Ontario, and moved to Manitoba in 1879. He was elected Liberal member to the House of Commons from South Winnipeg in 1883. He served as a Bencher for the Law Society of Manitoba from 1882 to 1885.

He was appointed to the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench early in 1885. One of his first cases was the appeal of Louis Riel, which led to a concurrence in the judgment against the Métis leader. In 1890 he upheld the provincial government in its effort to establish a single public school system, a decision ultimately upheld by the Privy Council. He was elevated to chief justice in 1899. In 1903 he was promoted to the Supreme Court—the first judge appointed to the Court from the West. In 1905, he left the Bench to become first Chief Commissioner of the Board of Railway Commissioners. He was a founding member of the Manitoba Historical Society, in 1879, and President of the Manitoba Club from 1900 to 1902.

His residence in Winnipeg was designed in 1893 by architect Charles H. Wheeler.

Killam died in Ottawa, March 1908.

More information:

Albert Clements Killam, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XIII, 542-44.

Sources:

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Page revised: 22 January 2010

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