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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Rutherford (1833-1912)


Born in the Glenmorris district of Ontario on 1 October 1833, son of William and Mary Rutherford, he left school at the age of 14 and apprenticed as a carpenter and cabinet maker at Galt, Ontario. From 1853 to 1857, he followed his trade at Detroit, Michigan then returned to Ontario until 1871 when he came to Winnipeg with his business partner Alexander Brown. They established a lumber and planing mill, initially called Pioneer Planing Mills, later Brown and Rutherford. They also built a saw mill at Fisher River, Lake Winnipeg, and operated it for a number of years. Rutherford built the first Knox Church in Winnipeg. He was married to Susan Bertha Lillie of Dundas, Ontario. They had three children: Frederick J. Rutherford, William T. Rutherford, and Mary Rutherford. He died at Winnipeg on 22 June 1912 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

See also:

MHS Centennial Business: Brown & Rutherford Company Limited


A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

“Thomas Rutherford, Winnipeg pioneer, died on Saturday,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 June 1912, page 28.

“Thos. Rutherford has passed away,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 June 1912, page 11.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 June 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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