Memorable Manitobans: Albert Gale Parker Smellie (1862-1936)
Born at Fergus, Ontario on 9 November 1862, son of the Reverend George Smellie (1811-1896), he came to Manitoba in 1881 as a member of a survey party at Lake Winnipeg. Three years later, he took up a farm near Binscarth then, in 1887, he formed a partnership with John Brown in the general retail firm of Brown, Smellie and Company. They expanded their business to Russell in 1890. Smellie moved to Russell in 1897 and purchased Brown’s share, partnering with his brother Thomas S. T. Smellie (1849-1925) in the firm of Smellie Brothers and Company. He bought the Shoal Lake Creamery Company in 1903, formed the Russell Creamery in 1916, purchased the McNutt Creamery in 1926, and organized the Roblin Creamery in 1934, operating all under the umbrella of the Smellie Brothers’ Creameries Limited.
He married Catherine Eliza Hogg (1866-1949), daughter of Rev. John Hogg of Winnipeg, and had seven children: Elizabeth Mary Smellie (1894-1965), Albert George Smellie (1895-1974, father of Robert Gordon Smellie), John Brown “Jack” Smellie (1897-1924), Robert Charles Smellie, Catherine Isabelle Smellie (1900-?, wife of T. H. Moffitt), Margaret Donald “Dona” Smellie (1901-1985), and Thomas Hogg Smellie (1909-1982). He was a member of the Russell municipal council at intervals since the town’s incorporation in 1907, postmaster (1897-1913), and President of the Russell Board of Trade. He was an Elder of the Knox Presbyterian (later United) Church for some years.
He died at his Russell home on 31 December 1936 and was buried in the Russell Cemetery.
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Leader in business and community life at Russell is dead,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1937, page 2.
“Funeral of Russell old timer is held,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 January 1937, page 17.
Obituary [Thomas Smellie], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 February 1982, page 42.
Obituary [Margaret Donald Smellie], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 April 1985, page 54.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 October 2020