Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Robert Leonard (1869-1942)
Pharmacist, businessman, municipal official.
Born at Goderich, Ontario on 8 May 1869, son of Peter Leonard and Helen Hamilton, in early life he moved to Wroxeter where he lived until the age of 13 when he came to Winnipeg. He completed his education at the Winnipeg Collegiate then, in 1885, he went into the drug business as an employee of A. W. Bleasdell and Company. In 1890 he purchased a pharmacy at Stonewall, where he lived for some time and served on the Stonewall School Board and was a member of the Masons. For several years he was on the examining board and council, and served as President of the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association.
In 1910 he partnered with W. J. “Chester” McLaughlin to create Leonard and McLaughlin Motors, one of Winnipeg’s oldest car dealerships, on Carlton Street. They were soon the Western Canadian distributors for Cadillac, Nash, and Dodge vehicles and, in 1927, built a new showroom at 541 Portage Avenue (now the CBC Manitoba Building). In March 1939, he and McLaughlin’s son sold the company to a Vancouver businessmen and both retired to British Columbia. On 17 September 1913, he married Christena Ann McLeod (?-?), daughter of John McLeod and Catherine McCrae, at Winnipeg. They had a daughter, Helen Isabel Leonard (b 1916, wife of J. M. Carswell). He served on the Winnipeg city council from 1922 to 1929. He also served as a trustee of the sinking fund from 1930 to 1938, and a citizen member of the municipal hospital commission from 1930 to 1933. He was a member of the Masons, Manitoba Club, Motor Country Club, and Carleton Club.
He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 2 December 1942. His body was returned to Manitoba for burial in the Old Kildonan Cemetery.
Brother-in-law of Frank Lindsay.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1921 Canada census, Ancestry.
“A. R. Leonard dies at coast on Wednesday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 December 1942, page 4.
“A. R. Leonard, ex-alderman, dies at coast,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 December 1942, page 13.
Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
We thank Christine McKee for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 31 March 2017
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