Memorable Manitobans: Oddur Olafson (1888-1972)
Businessman, MLA (1937-1940).
Born at Riverton on 25 February 1888, son of Olafur Oddson and Kristbjorg Antoniusardottir, he was educated at the Riverton Public School and spent his early adult years working as a carpenter at Vancouver and coastal villages of British Columbia. Returning to Manitoba, he worked in fishing and freighting on Lake Winnipeg. He later founded the Olafson Transportation Company at Winnipeg, Lake Winnipeg Fur Farms, Monarch Construction Company, and Falcon Construction Company.
In 1936, he was elected to the Legislature for the Rupertsland constituency, serving a single term, not being a candidate in the 1941 general election and defeated in the 1945 general election.
On 6 July 1916, he married schoolteacher Nellie Angelina “Lina” Bowman (1893-1984, daughter of Thomas Bowman of Gunton) and they had five children: Pauline Marie Olafson (1916-1994, wife of Harold McCabe), Carl George Olafson (1918-?), Leslie Howard Olafson (1920-2013), Alda Clarice Olafson (1922-?, wife of Arthur Wiggins), and Raymond Albert Olafson (1925-?). The family lived at 953 Dorchester Avenue, Winnipeg. He was a member of the Masons (Lisgar Lodge) and Shriners. He and his wife lived in retirement at Riverton.
He died at Selkirk on 16 December 1972 and was buried in the Riverton Community Cemetery.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1938.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 December 1972, page 30.
Obituary [Lina Olafson], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 November 1984, page 58.
“Oddur and Lina Olafson,” Icelandic River Saga by Nelson S. Gerrard, 1985, pages 785-786.
Obituary [Pauline Marie McCabe], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 1994, page 49.
Obituary [Leslie Howard Olafson], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 June 2013.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 January 2021