Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Clarkson Scoble (1840-1900)
Soldier, civil engineer.
Born at Kingsbridge, Devonshire, England on 12 June 1840, son of John and Mary Anne Scoble, he received his education at private schools in England and Canada and at the University of Toronto where he studied civil engineering from 1857 to 1860. In December 1866 he married Georgiana Sophia, the daughter of F. F. Carruthers of Toronto, and they had six children.
His military career began in 1861 at the time of the Trent affair, when he joined the volunteer militia. He became staff adjutant and town Mayor of Toronto in 1866, and was Brigadier-Major and inspector of drill sheds at Toronto from 1866 to 1870. He was appointed a Lieutenant-Colonel in 1871. He served as secretary of the Ontario Rifle Association from 1869 to 1874 and as commander of the Second District Engineer (Field) Company from 1875 to 1881. He became Brigadier-Major and district quarter-master in Winnipeg in April 1885 and in 1889 was awarded a medal for service in the North-West Rebellion.
As an engineer he compiled a series of maps for the Ontario Government. He was employed on the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway, and, in 1880, on the Canadian Pacific Railway, and was engineer for Growski and Macpherson in the construction of the International Bridge at Fort Erie. He was employed in a number of capacities for the Ontario Government, serving at various times as Deputy Inspector of Asylums and Prisons, Assistant Provincial Secretary, special Commissioner to London and Paris with reference to the Ontario boundary.
He organized the Ontario School of Agriculture and was in charge of the Engineering and Sanitary Works of Ontario public institutions, 1872-77. He moved to Winnipeg in 1881. In 1884 he was secretary of the special committee of the Legislature to enquire into the feasibility of a Hudson Bay Railway. In his later years he devoted himself almost exclusively to this project, and made trips to the Bay in 1895 and 1899. He was editor of the Nor’Wester (1894-1895) and managing editor of the Great West Publishing Company (1898-1899).
Author of Canadian Volunteers’ Hand-Book for Field Service (1868) and the writer of a number of articles on military engineering, Imperial and Colonial Defence and the Hudson Bay Railway.
Prior to his death on 26 October 1900, he was elected to the Winnipeg Parks Board. He was buried at St. John’s Cemetery. His papers are in the Archives of Manitoba.
His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 22 December 2015