Memorable Manitobans: Malcolm Solomon Joseph McMurachy (1878-1960)
Born in York County, Ontario on 16 March 1878, he came to Shoal Lake with his family in 1882. While harvesting his farm near Strathclair in 1930, he found two heads of rust-free wheat in his crop and saved some of the seed. Using them as breeding stock, by 1935 he developed a rust-resistant wheat that would help lead to the development of the Selkirk seed variety. He supplied seed to the scientific community in that year. In 1954 he received an award from the Canadian government for his contribution.
On 18 March 1914, he married Margaret Jane “Jennie” Delmage (?-1980) at Minnedosa and they had five children: Archibald McMurachy, Allen Solomon David McMurachy (1923-1944), Helen McMurachy, Stanley McMurachy, and Lewis McMurachy.
He died at Hamiota on 24 May 1960. He was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Wheat rust fighter, McMurachy, dies at 82,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 May 1960. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B12, page 22]
“‘Father’ of famous Selkirk Wheat dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 May 1960. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B12, page 22]
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
We thank Eleanor McMurchy for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 February 2021