Memorable Manitobans: Robert Dennis Richardson (1854-1946)
Born at Toronto, Ontario on 16 April 1854, second son of James Henry Richardson and Mary Matheson Skirving, he graduated from Upper Canada College in 1872 and entered the stationery business with the firm of James Campbell & Son of Toronto. He came to Winnipeg in the spring of 1878 and erected a store at the corner of Main and McDermot, opposite the post office. In partnership with Silas R. Parsons, he organized the first stationery business in the west, dealing in the manufacture of blank books and stationery supplies. He later worked with his brother, Charles Skirving Richardson.
On 18 June 1880, he married Dora Louisa Freer (1857-1891) of Montreal at Holy Trinity Church in Winnipeg, officiated by O. Fortin. They had a son, James Freer Richardson (1884-1919). He remarried on 27 June 1899, to Isabella E. G. MacNutt (?-?) of London, England. They had a son, Robert Edward “Rex” Richardson (1902-?). He was a founding member, in 1879, of the Manitoba Historical Society. He was the first secretary of the YMCA in 1879, which he jointly organized with J. A. M. Aikins. He also helped to organize Scripture Union, an international Christian ministry organization, in Winnipeg. Returning to Toronto in 1914, he devoted most of his time to the Union and he eventually became honorary general secretary of its Canadian Division.
Second cousin of John Stoughton Dennis.
He died at Toronto, Ontario on 12 January 1946.
“Married, Richardson-Freer,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 June 1880, page 4.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
“Former Winnipeg officer is dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 December 1919, page 5.
“Former Winnipegger, R. D. Richardson, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 January 1946, page 3.
We thank Holly Adams and Darryl Toews for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 November 2022