Memorable Manitobans: James Ferguson “Jim” Mills (1909-1996)
Born at Winnipeg on 17 April 1909, son of Walter Reginald Mills and Marion Ferguson, his childhood was spent at East Kildonan and St. Andrews. After graduation from the East Kildonan Collegiate in 1926, his involvement with the telecommunications industry began with a job installing switchboards with Siemens Brothers Limited. Four years later, he took specialized training in telephone engineering in England.
In 1936, he joined the Manitoba Telephone System as a switchboardman. He became Chief Engineer (1945) and Assistant General Manager (1948). He left the company in 1952 to serve as Vice-President and later President of Siemens Brothers but returned to MTS as General Manager in 1954. He became Chairman of the Board of Commissioners in 1962, serving until retirement in 1974 when he moved to Victoria, British Columbia. He returned to Winnipeg in 1991. In January 1996, an MTS building on Corydon Street in Winnipeg was named the J. F. Mills Building in his honour.
On 10 October 1936, he married Mona Ellen Griffiths (?-1993) at Winnipeg. They had three sons. He served as People’s Warden and Rector’s Warden of St. Aidans Anglican Church. He was Co-Chair of the United Way (1967) and was a member of the Centennial Citizens Campaign (Manitoba Centennial Corporation), Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts Executive, Carleton Club, Manitoba Club, Fellowship Club, St. Charles Golf and Country Club, and Winnipeg Winter Club.
He died at Winnipeg on 30 April 1996 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Mills – Griffiths,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 October 1936, page 9.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 May 1996, page 34.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 14 June 2022