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Memorable Manitobans: John A. Knott (1865-1947)

Click to enlargeWholesale fur merchant.

Born in Esquesing Township, Halton County, Ontario on 27 June 1865, son of Lewis H. and Martha Knott, he was educated at the Georgetown public school. He began his working life as a commercial traveller for W. H. Hovey & Son at Acton, Ontario, working there from 1882 to 1894. He then worked with Arthur Paquet of Quebec from 1894 to 1902, taking charge of the firm’s Winnipeg branch from 1902 to 1905. He then became President of the Winnipeg Fur Company, located at 181 Bannatyne Avenue.

In 1888, he married Emily E. Stephens of Woodstock, Ontario. They had two sons. He was a member of the Winnipeg Board of Trade and served as President of the Manitoba Branch of the Canadian Manufacturers Association in 1909. He was a member of the AF & AM and the Methodist Church. In 1911, he lived at 98 Stradbrooke Place, Winnipeg.

Active in provincial politics, he was a delegate to the 1919 Liberal convention in Ottawa that selected Mackenzie King as its national leader. He served as President of the Winnipeg Liberal Association and was an advisor to T. C. Norris. In 1920 he broke with Norris and headed a new party known as the “Knott Liberals” which split the Liberal vote and led to formation of a coalition government under John Bracken.

He died at Toronto, Ontario on 25 April 1947.


Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“Former Winnipegger John A. Knott dies in Toronto at 82”, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 April 1947. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 November 2010

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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