Memorable Manitobans: Alexander McIntosh (1889-1982)
Born on the family farm in Lancaster Township, Ontario on 4 September 1889, he came to western Canada on a “Harvest Excursion” train of 1907-08 and, for that winter, worked in Transcona, Manitoba. For the next four years he worked for a lumber and navigation company in the Caribou District of British Columbia and for three more years for the Edmonton, Dunvegan and British Columbia Railway where his uncle, J. D. McArthur, had contracts to build the railways. He then joined the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP), was stationed in the Peace River country and, during the First World War, served overseas with the RNWMP. On his return to Canada he homesteaded at Rio Grand in the Grand Prairie region of Alberta.
In 1923 he arrived in the Lac du Bonnet area to work as a carpenter’s helper for McArthur. He worked for a while at Beaconia and the Manitoba Paper Company mill site in Pine Falls during its construction. However, he spent most of the next five years in charge of a sawmill at Great Falls. By 1925 he had acquired 2,000 acres of land from McArthur and an additional 42 square miles of forest along the Winnipeg River north of Lac du Bonnet. He continued to farm, operate sawmills and cut pulpwood. He cut and delivered up to 10,000 cords of pulpwood a year to the Pine Falls mill. During the Second World War, as many as 200 men were employed running his saw and planing mills, operating his local lumberyard, and cutting and hauling pulpwood to the mill.
McIntosh subdivided some of his land for the development of residential lots in Lac du Bonnet. He often sold lots on credit and loaned lumber and bricks to buyers to build their homes. He retired in 1950, having passed his farming and other enterprises on to his son, Ramsay.
He died on 18 February 1982. He is commemorated by a plaque and McIntosh Street in the Town of Lac du Bonnet.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 February 1982, page 53.
McIntosh Commemorative Plaque, Town of Lac du Bonnet.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 October 2012
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