Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William George Smith (1873-1943)

Educator, cleric, administrator.

Born at Newfoundland in March 1873, he immigrated to Canada and settled at Toronto, where he graduated in Arts from University of Toronto in 1899 and received a silver medal in Philosophy. He then pursued Theology and joined the university staff, later becoming an ordained Methodist cleric at Newfoundland and undertook a Dominion Government immigration survey, published later as “A Study in Canadian Immigration.”

He came to Winnipeg in 1921 and was a professor of Psychology and Social Science as well as Vice-Principal at Wesley College for one year, leaving to go on a lecture tour. He returned to Manitoba as the Principal of Darlingford School (1923-1924) and Tache High School / Norwood Collegiate Institute (1926-1929). In June 1929, he was appointed by the Manitoba government to be the Director of Child Welfare and held the post until leaving it without resigning in May 1932 on account of being “fed up and tired out trying to do the impossible.” He was President of the Central Council of Social Agencies (1929-1931) and he founded the Manitoba School of Social Science in 1930, serving as its Director (1930-1932).

On 26 August 1903, he married Ella Blanche Silver (1873-?) at York (now Toronto), Ontario and had three children: Arthur Allan Smith (1904-?), Oswald Smith, Miss Smith (wife of Courtland Linton), and Ella May Smith (1908-1986, wife of Alfred Carson Waldron). The family were long-time residents at 112 Lipton Street, Winnipeg.

He later moved to Calgary, Alberta where he died on 8 September 1943.


Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Prof. W. G. Smith new Director of Child Welfare,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 June 1929, page 10.

“City and district - Smith assumes office,” Manitoba Free Press, 25 June 1929, page 4.

“Winnipeg foundation’s credit two millions,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 April 1930, page 6.

“Tired out trying to do impossible, says Professor W. G. Smith,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 May 1932, page 1 and 5.

“Ten students are granted Social Science diplomas,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 October 1932, page 3.

“Prof. W. G. Smith, 69, dies in Calgary,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 September 1943, page 4.

Curry/Currey/Currie family tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 22 September 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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