Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Alfred Laird (1873-1908)

Educator, merchant.

Born in Scotland on 27 July 1873, he immigrated to Canada in 1891 and became an school teacher. He taught in rural Manitoba, including at Poplar Park School (1896-1897), Craigilea School / Belmont School (1898-1900), Ninga School (1900-1903, Principal), and Hilton School (1904-?). While in Belmont, he was involved with the local Presbyterian Church and led the congregation’s choir, and after moving from Ninga, also opened a general store at Hilton. On 26 September 1900, he married Mary Gibson (1877-1965, remarried to John Hartland Patterson) in the Rural Municipality of Argyle and they had three children: Mary Eliza Bessie Laird (1902-1981, wife of Francis Earl Palmer), James William Thomas Laird (1903-1906), and Alfred Gibson Laird (1907-1982). By 1906, he had moved to Lipton, Saskatchewan where he again managed a general store. His health declined in 1907 and he died at Nanaimo, British Columbia on 20 September 1908.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Birth and death registration, Saskatchewan Vital Statistics.

Marriage and death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

1901, 1906, & 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

“The famine fund [Manitoba school children, Poplar Park School],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 13 March 1897, page 7.

“Belmont,” Glenboro Gazette, 22 July 1898, page 8.

“Local [At the annual school meeting ...],” Belmont Star, 8 December 1899, page 2.

“Belmont [Mr. Jas. A. Laird],” Manitoba Free Press, 2 October 1900, page 6.

“Belmont [Mr. Laird],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 4 October 1900, page 6.

“Local [Mr. J. A. Laird ...],” Baldur Gazette, 11 October 1900, page 8.

“Local and general [Mr. Jas. A. Laird ...],” Belmont Eye, 27 December 1902, page 8.

“Local and general [Mr. Jas. A. Laird ...],” Belmont Eye, 10 January 1903, page 2.

“Locals [Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Gibson ...],” Belmont News, 1 July 1903, page 11.

“Locals [Mr. Jas. A. Laird ...],” Belmont News, 27 January 1904, page 12.

“Locals [It is with deep regret ...],” Belmont News, 24 September 1908, page 10.

Graham Black Brookfield Palmer (2011) family tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 27 October 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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