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Memorable Manitobans: John C. McRae (1858-1921)

Police officer.

Born at Richmond, Ontario, brother of Alexander Conley McRae, he came to Winnipeg in 1880 and joined the Winnipeg police force in 1882, becoming Chief of Police in 1887 and serving in the position over 20 years. He was a big man, over six feet tall, with a steely gray moustache. He advocated regulated prostitution and unwillingly conducted a series of raids on Winnipeg brothels in 1904. He continued to thwart the vice reformers through the early years of the century before retiring in 1911. He died at his Winnipeg home, 181 Montrose Street, on 19 July 1921 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.


Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Ex-Chief McRae dies after long illness”, Manitoba Free Press, 19 July 1922, page 1. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B7]

“Splendid funeral for late ex-chief McRae”, Manitoba Free Press, 22 July 1922, page 8.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 April 2012

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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