Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Donald Robert Campbell MacLean (1885-1931)

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Donald Robert Campbell MacLean
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Born at Glasgow, Scotland on 6 December 1885, one of ten children born to grain merchant John R. MacLean (1853-1913) and Alexina Isabel Campbell (1863-?), brother of John MacLean, George C. MacLean, and Isabel MacLean Hunt, in 1889 he came to Winnipeg with his family. He graduated from the Manitoba Law School in 1913. He practiced law on his own until the First World War, when he enlisted and served in France as a Captain. His sister Isabel articled in his firm and managed it while he served in the military. On returning to Winnipeg, he formed the law firm of MacLean and MacLean with his brother John.

On 16 September 1914, he married Emily Ada Ferris (1891-1960). They had five children: Donalda May MacLean (1916-?, wife of W. L. Robinson), Alexina Emily MacLean (c1918-?, wife of W. N. Donald), William F. MacLean (c1919-?), Patricia Maude MacLean (1925-2015, wife of Peter C. Swanlund), and Daphne MacLean (?-?, wife of W. J. Thomson). Active in local politics, he served as Secretary of the Manitoba Liberal Association for many years. He was a member of St. Andrew’s United Church and the AF & AM (Prince Rupert Lodge No. 1).

He died at St. Boniface on 15 March 1931 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary [John MacLean], Winnipeg Tribune, 11 April 1913, page 8.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“D. R. C. MacLean dies, victim of pneumonia,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 March 1931, page 1.

“Alex Emily MacLean and W. N. Donald are married in vesper hour service,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 November 1941, page 9.

“Mother’s tea honor for Patricia MacLean,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 September 1952, page 15.

“St. Andrew’s is scene Swanlund – MacLean bridal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 1952, page 16.

“City woman first QC in Manitoba,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1953.

“Mrs. D. MacLean, well known in musical circles,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 April 1960. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B12, page 6]

Obituary [Patricia Maude Swanlund], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 December 2015.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 July 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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