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Manitoba History No. 89

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Memorable Manitobans: William F. Lee (1853-1919)

Building contractor.

Born in South Wales on 10 November 1853, he emigrated to Canada in 1878 and lived at Regina, NWT [now Saskatchewan] for a time before moving to Winnipeg in 1882. He was responsible for building several prominent Winnipeg buildings, including the Union Bank Building, the post office building, the Steele Block, the YMCA, and the Hudson’s Bay Company store. He also laid the city’s first water system.

He was married twice, first to Emily Frances (1859-1910) and second to Agnes Whittaker. He had four children: Samuel (b 1879), Rose Hannah (b 1885, wife of Robert James Gunn), William (b 1890), and Bertha (b 1892). He was a member of the IOOF. He suffered poor health for the last few years of her life and moved to California in 1915.

He died at Pasadena, California in March 1919.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Pioneer Builder of Winnipeg is Dead in South” Newspaper clipping dated 12 March 1919. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B7]

Page revised: 24 February 2009

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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