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No. 84

This Old


in Manitoba

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Memorable Manitobans: Samuel Larcombe (1851-1937)

Click to enlargeHorticulturalist.

Born in Axminister, Devonshire, England on 9 April 1851, he came to Birtle, Manitoba, in 1889, renting a farm he later bought. A gifted gardener, he attempted to prove that every vegetable grown in England could be produced in Manitoba, employing intensive cultivation and hybridization in the process. He entered competitions in Eastern Canada after 1903, under the auspices of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Just before World War One, he began growing grains, in 1917 producing a rust resistant strain he called “Axminster.” At a 1917 international exhibition in Peoria, Illinois, he won the world’s championship for his wheat (gaining 99 out of 100 marks in the judging) as well as 26 other prizes, and became one of Manitoba’s many “Wheat Kings.” At Kansas City in 1919 he showed 382 different varieties of vegetables.

He died at Birtle on 20 October 1937.

He is a member of the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Pioneers of Manitoba, by Robert Harvey, pages 21-23.

Page revised: 18 October 2008

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