Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Arthur Franklin Nesbitt (1875-1958)

Carpenter, architect.

Born at St. Stephen, New Brunswick on 2 June 1875, son of Jellison Hall Nesbitt and Esther Elizabeth Faloon, he worked as a carpenter in New Brunswick before coming to Manitoba around 1904. He worked as a builder and architect at Hamiota and Shoal Lake. He also served as the Town Assessor for Hamiota in 1907. On 2 September 1896, he married Ellen “Nellie” Wilson (c1879-1928) and they had five children: Ethel Ruth Nesbitt (1897-?), Harold Everette Nesbitt (1899-1972), Nellie Marguerite Nesbitt (1901-?), Alan Lawson Nesbitt (1904-?), and Frances Beryl Nesbitt (1906-?). Around August 1910, they moved to Kipling, Saskatchewan then to Edmonton, Alberta where he worked for a time with architect E. W. Morehouse. In December 1914, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, serving overseas to the end of the First World War. After his military discharge, he moved to Santa Monica, California with his brother and their families. After his wife’s death, he returned to Edmunston, New Brunswick where he married Alice Pelletier at St. Hilaire on 28 June 1930, with whom he had two further children: William "Bill Nesbitt and Jacqueline Nesbitt (wife of Jean-Marc Gauthier). He continued to work into his 80s, almost to the date of his death on 13 July 1958. He was buried at Montreal, Quebec.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:





James Armstrong House

RM of Rossburn



Sarahville School / Miniota School



Demolished (?)

Birtle Town Hall



Demolished (1990)

Shoal Lake United Church

Shoal Lake



Headingley School No. 9



Demolished (1963)


1901 and 1906 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“A. F. Nesbitt - building & contractor [Advertisement],” Hamiota Echo, 19 April 1906, page 5.

“Hamiota Town Council,” Hamiota Echo, 14 February 1907, page 1.

“Notice [Sarahville School],” Miniota Herald, 19 April 1907, page 5.

[Advertisement], Shoal Lake Star, 23 April 1908, page 8.

"A. F. Nesbitt - building & contractor [Advertisement],” Hamiota Echo, 7 May 1908, page 4.

“Tenders,” Shoal Lake Star, 15 April 1909, page 1.

"Local news [Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Nesbitt],” Hamiota Echo, 1 September 1910, page 8.

"Tuesday, Sept. 6, 1910 [The Hamiota Echo notes ...]," Birtle Eye Witness, 6 September 1910, page 16.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

Nesbitt family tree, Ancestry.

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.

We thank Brian Nesbitt, Yvon Moreault, Nathan Kramer, and Krista Debertin for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 January 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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