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Memorable Manitobans: Herbert Bell Rugh (1879-1924)

Click to enlargeArchitect.

Born at Cedar Rapids, Iowa on 16 May 1879, son of George S. Rugh (1856-1923), in 1898 he served with US forces in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, after which he trained at the Armor Institute of Technology in Chicago. He practiced as an architect in Chicago for four year before coming to Winnipeg in early 1904. He and his wife, Mae Lillian White of Cedar Rapids, had a child in late 1906. They became members of the Winnipeg elite for, when Mrs. Rugh held an open house in May 1907, her visitors included such prominent Winnipeg families as Bawlf, Patterson, Pitblado, and Stovel.

In late 1911, he joined his architectural practice to the Montreal firm of Ross and MacFarlane, with him as manager of the firm’s Winnipeg office, located on the ninth floor of the Union Bank Building. In November 1912, his wife successfully petitioned the federal parliament for a divorce, citing her husband’s adultery.

A few months after the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He went overseas from June 1915 to May 1919, serving as Captain of the 44th Battalion, as well as company commander and quartermaster. He served at La Coulette, Lens, Passchendaele, Somme, Vimy Ridge, and Ypres. His letters and sketches sent home were published locally. He was the only man of his battalion to return from the war unscathed, everyone else having been “killed or maimed”.

Returning home to Iowa in 1920, he married Alice Slocum (1893-1929) of Cedar Rapids with whom he had two children, George (b c1922) and Alice (b c1924). In July 1924, he was killed in an automobile accident a few miles east of Dubuque, Iowa. His widow took employment as an insurance agent. She and their two children were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in November 1929, shortly after the stock market crash.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Clarence Day Shepard Residence

10 Avonherst, Winnipeg

1905

 

Bonniveens Apartment Block

Spence Street, Winnipeg

1906

 

A. H. Pulford Block

Donald Street, Winnipeg

1906

 

Fairchild Building / Warehouse

110-120 Princess Avenue, Winnipeg

1907

 

John Suckling Residence

27 Harvard Avenue, Winnipeg

1906

 

Edwin H. Bissett Residence

11 Harvard Avenue, Winnipeg

1906

 

Elisha F. Hutchings Residence

424 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1906

 

George W. Erb Residence

412 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1906

 

Matthew A. Parker Residence

100 Harvard Avenue, Winnipeg

1907

 

E. H. Heath Residence

83 Kingsway Avenue, Winnipeg

1907

 

J. Y. Reid Residence

329 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1908

 

L. McNeil Residence

Gertrude Avenue, Winnipeg

1908

 

Mrs. F. E. Stephens Residence

Yale Avenue, Winnipeg

1908

 

Alvin K. Godfrey Residence

Kingsway Avenue, Winnipeg

1908

 

Young Women’s Christian Association Building

cor Ellice Avenue & Vaughan Street, Winnipeg

1908

 

Inglis Building / North West Commercial Traveller’s Building

291 Garry Street, Winnipeg

remodelled c1914

 

E. H. Heath Residence

83 Kingsway Avenue, Winnipeg

1907-1908

 

Hugh F. Osler Residence

485 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1909

 

George F. Robinson Residence

47 Harvard Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

 

Winnipeg Isolation Hospital

Winnipeg

1911

 

Sources:

Classified ad, Manitoba Free Press, 28 July 1904, page 14.

“Syndicate to build a home,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 November 1905, page 11.

“The New Pulford Block,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 March 1906, page 3.

“Winnipeg’s progress has been substantial,” Manitoba Free Press, 21 November 1908, page 29.

Classified ad, Manitoba Free Press, 21 November 1912, page 18.

Divorce notice, Manitoba Free Press, 30 November 1912, page 2.

CEF attestation papers, Library and Archives Canada.

Rugh military record, Manitoba Free Press, 3 April 1920, page 6.

Obituary, Manitoba Free Press, 14 July 1924, page 6

“Three are victims of carbon monoxide gas: woman and two children die at Cedar Rapids; widow of former Winnipeg soldier,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 November 1929, page 1.

Crescentwood, A History by R. R. Rostecki, Winnipeg: Crescentwood Home Owners Association, 1993.

Linwood [Cedar Rapids] Cemetery Transcription, www.us-data.org/ia/linn/cemeteries/linnwoodcem.txt

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 April 2015

Memorable Manitobans

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