Memorable Manitobans: Harvey Cathcart Simpson (1862-1928)
Born at Ashton, Ontario on 11 February 1862, son of Robert Simpson and Francis A. “Fanny” Cathcart, brother of Robert Mills Simpson and James Cathcart Simpson, brother-in-law of William Blackwood, he was educated at Ashton and Carlton Place, Ontario. He came to Manitoba with his parents in the early 1880s. For a few years he was in the newspaper business then, in 1885, he moved to Virden where he resided for 40 years. There he engaged in the real estate and grain business and, for a number of years, was a member of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange.
He was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature for Virden in a by-election held in January 1909, necessitated by the death of John Hume Agnew. Simpson served two terms, being re-elected in 1910 but defeated in 1914. During the First World War, he served overseas as a Captain in the 184th Battalion. On 31 May 1892, he married Rhodella Armstrong Irwin. They had four children: Fred Irwin Simpson (1893-1917), Edith Francis Simpson (1895-?), Olive Mary Simpson (1897-?), and Harriet Mills Simpson (1902-?). He was President of the local St. Andrew’s Society for many years and a Mason.
He died of heart disease at Vancouver, British Columbia on 29 January 1928. He was buried in Virden.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
Canadian Expeditionary Force, Attestation Papers, Library and Archives Canada.
Death registration, BC Vital Statistics.
“H. C. Simpson, ex-M.L.A. for Virden, is dead,” newspaper clipping dated 30 January 1928. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 January 2021