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Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Alexander Osborne (1861-1948)

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Joseph Alexander Osborne
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Editor, publisher.

Born near Bowmanville, Ontario in 1861, he was educated at the Bowmanville Collegiate Institute and came to Winnipeg at the time of the 1881 building boom, joining his uncle David Ede in the real estate business. In 1885, he joined the editorial staff of the Winnipeg Daily Times under Amos Rowe. When the paper merged with the Morning Call, he resigned to become Assistant City Tax Collector in Winnipeg. During his work with the city government, he contributed to local dailies and magazines, and edited and published the Western Workman, the official publication of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He also initiated the Manitoban Magazine, which he edited for two years.

In 1894, he became Business Manager and City Editor of the Brandon Daily Sun under William James White. When the Brandon paper was sold, Osborne went to Rat Portage [now Kenora, Ontario] where he operated the Rat Portage News in partnership with E. A. Chapman. He later moved to Fort Frances, Ontario where he bought the Rainy Lake Herald, then published at Rainy Lake City, and moved its plant to Fort Frances to produce the Fort Frances Times.

In March 1900, he purchased the Brandon Daily Sun and became its Editor and Manager. He later sold the paper to a consortium led by Joseph Blyth Whitehead. He was an early proponent of the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson’s Bay Railway. By 1905, he was back at Fort Frances, Ontario where he served as Mayor and a member of the town council (1907-1910, 1912-1913). He later went to Williamsburg, Virginia where he was editor of the Williamsburg Gazette.

He and wife Amelia Hadskis (?-?) had a son, Hugh Stanley Osborne (1889-1953) born at Winnipeg, as well as another son, Alexander Osborne (?-?) and six daughters: Margaret Osborne, Marion Osborne, Mildred Osborne, Esther Osborne, Winifred Osborne, and Betty Osborne.

He died at Newport News, Virginia on 25 July 1948.

Sources:

Birth registration [Hugh Stanley Osborne], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“The editors of the provincial liberal press,” Manitoba Free Press, 13 December 1901, page 10.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Joseph Alexander Osborne, founder of the Times, succumbs on Sunday,” Fort Frances Times and Rainy Lake Herald, 1948.

Hugh Stanley Osborne, FindAGrave.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 December 2021

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