Memorable Manitobans: Hugh Farquharson Osler (1881-1943)
Broker and financial agent.
Born at Toronto, Ontario on 17 November 1881, son of Sir Edmund B. Osler and Annie F. Osler, he was educated at Trinity College School (Port Hope) and the Royal Military College at Kingston. He came to Winnipeg in April 1903, and was connected with the investment firm of Osler, Hammond & Nanton for the rest of his life. He was also President of the Manitoba Cartage Company and the Calgary and Edmonton Land Corporation Limited. He was a director of the Great-West Life Assurance Company, North Star Oil Limited, Calgary and Edmonton Land Company, and the Winnipeg Better Business Bureau. In 1939, he was appointed a member of the Canadian committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and went overseas with 43rd Battalion (Canadian Highlanders) in 1915, serving in England and France until the Armistice. He was Major of the 2nd Command 79th Regiment; 2nd in Command, 43rd Battalion (Canadian Expeditionary Force, Cameron Highlanders of Canada) December 1914 to July 1916; in command 174th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) August 1916 to April 1917; command 1st Depot Manitoba Regiment, September 1917.
On 20 November 1907 he married Kathleen Harty of Kingston, Ontario. They had four sons: William Edmund Osler (b 1908), John Harty Osler (1915-2005), Edmund Boyd Osler, and Gordon Peter Osler. His home at 485 Wellington Crescent in Winnipeg, where he lived from 1909, was designed by architect Herbert B. Rugh. After the First World War, he and his wife moved to a larger home at 221 Roslyn Road, previously owned by John Galt. After his wife’s death, he married Embree McBride of Winnipeg, in 1931. With her, he had a fifth son, Alan Embree Osler (b 1933). Osler was a member of the Manitoba Club, York Club (Toronto), St. Charles Country Club, Winnipeg Winter Club, Lakewood Country Club, and Pine Ridge Golf Club. He was a founding director of the Lakeside Fresh Air Camp for Children on Lake Winnipeg and, in 1929, one of the initial benefactors of the Ravenscourt School.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Lt.-Col. Osler, financies, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 December 1943, page 1.
Crescentwood: A History by R. R. Rostecki, Crescentwood Home Owners Association, 1993.
We thank Benjamin Hugh Osler and E. James Arnett for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 September 2014
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