Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Pearson (1865-1940)

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William Pearson
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Farmer, land developer.

Born at Manchester, England on 20 March 1865, son of Charles and Mary Pearson, he was educated in England then came to Manitoba in 1883 and engaged as stock breeder and farmer near St. Francois Xavier, establishing one of the first creameries in western Canada.

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William Pearson
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On 17 October 1888, he married Margaret Eleanor Morison (1867-1940) at St. Francois Xavier. They had six children: Evelyn Mowbray Pearson (1889-1926, wife of Lancelot S. Page), Arthur Maurice Pearson (1890-1976), Agnes Dorothy Pearson (1892-1945, mother of Hugh James Pearson Allan), James Morison Pearson (1894-1911), Gertrude Margaret Pearson (1896-?), and Winnifred Irene Pearson (1907-?).

He moved to Winnipeg in 1898, where he lived with his family at 221 Wellington Crescent, and he went into the real estate business. He developed the Qu’Appelle and Last Mountain Lake areas of Saskatchewan, and the Wildwood residential subdivision of Fort Garry. He became associated with Edward Brown in 1903 and, three years later, they formed the William Pearson Company Limited with Pearson as its President and Brown as Vice-President.

He was a member of the Central Emigration Board, Settlers’ Information League, Winnipeg Real Estate Exchange, and the Winnipeg Industrial & Development Bureau. He cooperated in organizing the Central Canada Chamber of Mines, Agricultural Banks of Canada, Young Liberal Club, Canadian-American Immigration Association, Town Planning Commission, and Social Welfare Commission.

He helped to organize, with Robert Aitken, John Henry Richard Bond, and Ella Cora Hind, the Winnipeg Garden Club. He also helped to organize the Fort Rouge Bowling Club and was a charter member of the Carleton Club. He was Chairman of the Winnipeg Board of Trade and a member of the AF & AM (Prince Rupert’s Lodge No. 1), Canadian Club of Winnipeg, and St. Luke’s Anglican Church.

He died at Winnipeg on 3 October 1940 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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 Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

“William Pearson dies; was real estate pioneer,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 October 1940. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 98]

“Death climaxes careers of many notable people in course of 1940”, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1941, page 1.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Doug Allan, Barbara Allan, and Shawn Fay for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 October 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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