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Memorable Manitobans: Archibald “Archie” McGillivray (1874-1936)

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Archibald McGillivray
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Born at Ripley, Ontario on 16 August 1874, son of Scottish immigrants Neil McGillivray and Christina McRae, he was educated at Ontario public schools then he went to Vancouver in 1890, working as a commissary clerk and timekeeper on the crew constructing the first bridge over the Fraser River, from Mission, BC to Sumas, Washington. He attended Whetham College (Vancouver) from 1892 to 1895. He was an instrument man on railroad work with the Nakusp and Slocan Railway, Revelstoke and Arrow Lake Railway, and branches of the Canadian Pacific Railway in West Kootenay. He did some mineral prospecting and mine development at West Kootenay, BC from 1896 to 1897. He was a mining engineer with the Cariboo Gold Field Mining Company from 1898 to 1899, a contracting engineer with the Canadian Northern Railways, Fort Frances to Port Arthur, from 1900 to 1901, and a locating and construction engineer on the Canadian Northern Railway lines in Manitoba from 1902 to 1904.

He worked as an engineer with the Manitoba Department of Public Works, in charge of Drainage Districts 5, 9, 11 and 17, including the construction of roads, bridges and drains, from 1904 to 1912. He was appointed Highway Commissioner for the Province in 1912, and assumed the duties of Chairman of the Good Roads Board upon the passing of the Good Roads Act in 1914. He oversaw construction of roads throughout the province and wrote several articles on highway improvement work for engineering, municipal and contracting journals. He was an Associate Member of the Engineering Institute of Canada, and a Member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba. At the time of his death, he was Deputy Minister of Public Works.

On 7 June 1896, he married Catherine Mabel Hodgins (1884-1971), with whom he had five children: Neil Hodgins McGillivray (1907-1988), Jean Catherine McGillivray (1908-?, wife of James C. Miller), Edward Hodgins McGillivray (1913-1985), Beth McGillivray (?-?), Ruth Christine McGillivray (1915-?, wife of William J. D. Cameron). He was a member of the Canadian Order of Foresters (Fort Osborne Lodge No. 22) and AF & AM (Prince Rupert Lodge No. 1).

He died at his Winnipeg home, 333 Yale Avenue, on 13 October 1936 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery. He is commemorated by McGillivray Boulevard in Winnipeg and McGillivray Falls in eastern Manitoba.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Trans-Canada Highway Monument (Eastern Manitoba)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Wawanesa Steel Truss Bridge (Souris River, Wawanesa, Municipality of Oakland-Wawanesa)


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

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

“Builders of Greater Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 June 1931, page 33.

“Men of Winnipeg in Diamond Jubilee Sketches,” Winnipeg Free Press, December 1934. [Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 8, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections]

“Pretty home wedding unites Jean Catherine McGillivray and James Collins Miller,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 February 1936, page 6.

“A. McGillivray, Deputy Minister of Works, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 October 1936, page 1.

Obituary, Western Municipal News, December 1936, page 362.

“Ruth Christine McGillivray and William J. D. Cameron wed in pretty home bridal,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 March 1941, page 9.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 June 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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