Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Aldéric Marion (1864-1954)
Merchant, municipal official.
Born at St. Damien de Brandon, Quebec on 14 December 1864, son of Zoel Marion and Philomene Desilets, he came to Manitoba in April 1882 aboard a Red River stern wheeler and, after farming for a few years, he took a job as a bookkeeper with a brickmaking business with a Mr. Lamontagne, the oldest such works in the province. He was the company bookkeeper for seven years, later its manager. On the death of Mr. Lamontagne, Marion administered his estate and later purchased the business (1905). Marion ran the business with his father and, later, with his son Paul, a former alderman in St. Boniface.
Marion was associated with numerous educational and civic affairs, being a member of the St. Boniface Council for seventeen years, Chairman of the Winnipeg and St. Boniface Harbor Commission, President of the St. Jean Baptiste Society, and President of the St. Boniface Board of Trade. He was an alderman of the City of St. Boniface from 1907 until 1922, active in the Union of Manitoba Municipalities and its President in 1919 and 1920. He was the senior of the Past Presidents who received honorary members’ certificates at the Golden Jubilee celebration in November 1953. He was a trustee (1904-1911) and Chairman (1911-1954) of the St. Boniface School Division. He was a founder of the Association d’Education des Canadiens Francais, a member of the executive of the Manitoba School Trustees Association since 1918 and twice its President (1924-1926) and a member of the Advisory Board on Education since 1928. He was honorary president of the St. Boniface Progressive Conservative Association and the Chamber of Commerce and active in the Knights of Columbus, St. Boniface Native Sons and Cercle Ouvrier.
In 1895, he married Marie Couture (1866-1939), with whom he had eight children: Joseph Marion (1898-?), Irene Marion (1899-?), Rosario Marion (1900-?), Annette Marion (1902-?), Marie Jeanne Marion (1904-?), Marie Anna Marion, L. Paul Marion (1907-?, father of Joseph Paul Marion), and Berthe Marion (1908-2001, wife of Ulric Belanger).
Honored by civic, provincial and ecclesiastical authorities for his community service, Marion was awarded the Medaille d’Or of the French Republic and a King George VI medal in 1939. He was created a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory in 1947 by Pope Pius XII and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba in 1951.
Marion died on 4 February 1954 at the age of 89 following a traffic accident. At the time of his death, he lived at 145 Dumoulin Street. He was buried in the St. Boniface Cathedral Cemetery.
Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 and 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Street mishap fatal to Dr. J. A. Marion,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 February 1954, page 1.
“Pontifical mass Monday morning for Dr. Marion,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 February 1954, page 36.
Western Municipal News, March 1954, page 69.
Obituary [Berthe Marion Belanger], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 2001, page C8.
We thank Suzanne Marion and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 March 2023