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Memorable Manitobans: John Christy Macnab (1856-1932)

Click to enlargeManufacturer.

Born at O’Brien’s Bridge, Limerick, Ireland on 8 October 1856, son of James and Jane Macnab, he was educated at public schools in Limerick. He came to Manitoba in 1881 and worked as a teamster during construction of the Manitoba and South Western Railway [the Glenboro branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway]. He later served as a bookkeeper with the Standard Oil Company at Winnipeg (1884) then was a commercial traveller for fifteen years. He started a business as a manufacturers’ agent in 1900. In 1907, in partnership with William Roberts, he established Macnab & Roberts Limited, a manufacturer of soda water fountain, bakers and confectioners’ supplies, located at 120 Lombard Street, Winnipeg. It employed 55 people and was the largest business of its kind in Winnipeg.

In 1889, he married Bessie Crotty (1858-?) of Ingersoll, Ontario. They had two sons and one daughter: James Macnab (b 1890), Margaret Crotty Macnab (b 1896, wife of A. G. Goulding), and Robert Stewart Macnab (1900). He was a member of Canadian Club, Winnipeg Lodging and Coffee House Association, and Holy Trinity Anglican Chuch. He died at Winnipeg on 17 October 1932 and was buried in St. John’s Cemetery.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“John Christy Macnab dies after 50 years’ provincial residence”, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 October 1932, page 3.

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 March 2010

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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