Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Joseph O’Connell Ryan (1841-1938)

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Joseph O’Connell Ryan
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Lawyer, MP (1874-1878), MP (1878-1882), judge.

Born at Dunville, Ontario on 18 December 1841, son of John Ryan and Amelia Clement, he attended Regiopolis College (Kingston). He married Mary Helena Macmanamin in September 1868. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1869 and to the Manitoba Bar in 1872. He was editor of the British American of Kingston in 1870. Coming to Manitoba, he practiced law at Portage la Prairie. He served as a Bencher for the Law Society of Manitoba from 1877 to 1880.

Ryan was a candidate at the federal general election for Marquette in 1874 but was defeated by Robert Cunningham. He was subsequently declared duly elected by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba on 25 August 1874. He stood again as a candidate for Marquette in the 1878 general election but retired before the election in favour of Sir John A. Macdonald. He was subsequently re-elected at a by-election on 30 November 1878 and sat until the dissolution of the Fourth Parliament. He was not a candidate in 1882, instead serving as a County Court Judge in the Central Judicial District of Manitoba from 5 July 1882 to 31 December 1916.

He died at Los Angeles, California on 26 July 1938.


The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.

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

Tread of the Pioneers, written and edited by Joseph H. Metcalfe and published by the Portage la Prairie and District Old Timers’ Association, 1932.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 February 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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