Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Ewen Matthews (1869-1950)

Insurance agent, MP (1936-1940), MP (1940-1945), MP (1945-1949), MP (1949-1953).

Born at Albany, Prince Edward Island on 17 August 1869, son of Donald Matthews and Flora MacMillan, he was educated at Prince of Wales College (Charlottetown) after which he taught school at Charlottetown, served as a Charlottetown alderman, and became a journalist. In 1911, he became an underwriter for the North American Life Insurance Company at Brandon. In 1897, he married Deborah Lowther, with whom he had a son and two daughters. He was President of the Brandon Board of Trade (1923) and Vice-President (1925). He was also active with the Brandon Kiwanis Club and the Brandon Curling Club. In 1935, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Canadian Parliament, being defeated by D. W. Beaubier. When Beaubier died suddenly while in office, Matthews was elected to replace him in November 1938, being re-elected in 1940, 1945, and 1949. He died at Brandon, while still a Member, on 24 November 1950. He was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.

“Liberal M.P. for Brandon, J. E. Matthews, 81, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 November 1950, page 4.

“J. E. Matthews funeral at Brandon on Tuesday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 November 1950, page 31.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 March 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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