Memorable Manitobans: John Richard “Jack” Simplot (1909-2008)
Born at Dubuque, Iowa in 1909, he grew up along the Snake River in Idaho. In the 1930s he started J. R. Simplot Company’s Minerals and Chemicals Group, which became the largest phosphate and fertilizer company in western North America. Between 1965 and 1966, Simplot Canada Limited established a fertilizer manufacturing plant at Brandon. He also set up retail fertilizer operations in Manitoba, known as “Simplot Soilbuilders.” His involvement in the potato industry resulted in the Simplot Food Division, which is one of the largest potato processing organizations in the world. Simplot’s processing plants at Carberry (1962) and Portage la Prairie have also helped to build Manitoba’s potato industry. He was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt (1966) and the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame (2003). He died at Boise, Idaho on 25 May 2008.
“City hits Simplot jackpot,” Brandon Sun, 21 May 1965, page 1.
“J. R. Simplot dead at 99,” Brandon Sun, 28 May 2008, page 4.
We thank Greg Sigurdson for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Angela Graham and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 27 May 2019
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