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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Hosmer McNaughton (1861-1932)

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Charles Hosmer McNaughton
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Born at Hemmingford, Quebec on 1 February 1861, son of Peter McNaughton (1820-1874) and Amelia Corbin (1829-1869), he was educated at Lacolle Academy in Lacolle, Quebec. He arrived a pioneer at Manitoba in 1883. He homesteaded near what would be Deloraine but after a few years relocated to Winnipeg, taking with him knowledge of farming and agriculture that would serve future enterprises and investments. He soon acquainted himself with James Stewart Nicholson and joined in the ice business. Together, they established the original partnership of the Arctic Ice Company, building it into one of the largest in Canada.

Following Nicholson’s death in 1898, he continued as Managing Director and Vice-President of Arctic Ice until his death. On 1 August 1910, he launched the SS Amelia Mac, the first all-steel vessel launched on the Red River. The tug, christened by and named for his daughter, was used to transport ice from storage locations to distribution points along the river network in Winnipeg. His investments and enterprises were not limited to Winnipeg and surrounding vicinity, as they spanned all the way to the Rockies, including lumber, railroads, mines, and other industries native to Canada.

On 7 September 1887, he married Margaret Ellen “Maggie” Cairns (1860-1932) at Montreal, Quebec and they had two children: Amelia Barbara McNaughton (1888-1931) and Frederick Clarence McNaughton. He was a member of the Winnipeg Board of Trade, Motor Country Club, Carleton Club, Rotary Club, IOOF , United Workmen, Winnipeg Employers’ Association, and several other civic and community organizations. He was a managing board member of the Augustine United Church and remained a life-long Liberal. Though captain of industry in Winnipeg, he loved the outdoors. His recreations included horses, fishing, and life on the water’s edge, notably at his country residence by Lake Florence, at Winnitoba near the Ontario boundary.

Following several weeks of illness, subsequent surgery two days prior, and incomplete recovery therefrom, he died at his Winnipeg residence, 249 Waverly Avenue, on 27 May 1932 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. A testament to his business finesse, he left an estate then valued at approximately $140,000.


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Rush of ice in river plays havoc with big boats,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 April 1913, page 8.

Who's Who and Why, Volumes 6 and 7, 1915-1916, page 695.

“Veteran of early days in Winnipeg succumbs Friday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 May 1932, page 5.

“Deaths and funerals [Margaret Ellen McNaughton],” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 September 1932, page 5.

“Estate estimated at $139,949 left my C. McNaughton,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 1932, page 15.

“Looking backwards,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 October 1932, page 1.

“Open waters,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 1938, page 5.

“First steel vessel on the lake,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 August 1963, page 20.

FindAGrave, Elmwood Cemetery.

Race-Mackey families tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 2 November 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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