Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Herbert Riley (1885-1960)

Businessman, municipal official.

Born at Winnipeg on 1 September 1885, son of Robert T. Riley and Harriet Murgatroyd (1844-1902), he worked in the claims department of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and later for the Great West Life Assurance Company at Halifax (Nova Scotia), Grand Forks (North Dakota), and Winnipeg. His father organized the Northern Trust Company in 1903 and he joined the firm as an estates officer in 1907, rising to become President of the firm. When it was purchased by the Montreal Trust Company, he became Chairman of the Winnipeg advisory board. He was also a Director of the Canadian Indemnity Company, Canadian Fire Insurance Company, J. M. Sinclair Limited, Westeel Limited, and Dominion Canners. On 29 November 1911, he married Ivy Eleanor Collum (1888-?), daughter of S. J. Collum. They had four children: Eleanor Riley (wife of A. S. I. Palmour), Harold William Riley (1916-1947), C. S. Riley, and H. J. Riley, He was a member of the St. Charles Country Club (President in 1934-35) and the Manitoba Club. He served as Reeve of the Municipality of Fort Garry from 1924 to 1925. He died at Winnipeg on 15 October 1960 and was buried in St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Winnipeg businessman J. H. Riley dies at 75,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 October 1960, page 4.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 May 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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