Memorable Manitobans: Samuel Spink (1850-1916)
Born at Kettleby, King Township, Ontario on 29 July 1850, when seventeen years old he entered the employ of the Whitevale Mills Company where he served as a miller’s apprentice. As a journeyman he worked for several of the largest mills in Canada and the United States. With his brother, James, he carried on a milling business at Alliston, Ontario until his brother’s death. In 1881 he made his first trip to Winnipeg as a passenger on the steamer City of Winnipeg, which caught fire and was burned at the docks in Duluth. Spink was fortunate enough to escape with his coat containing his wallet.
He resided for a year at Portage la Prairie and in 1882 moved to Winnipeg where he set up the first grain commission business in the Canadian west. When the Winnipeg Grain and Produce Exchange was organized in 1887, he was a member of its first council and succeeded Daniel McMillan as President in 1889. At the time of his death he was Chairman of the Western Grain Standards Board. He served as license commissioner for a number of years.
He married Agnes Ann Maguinnis (1856-1925) and they had eight children, including two sons who died in infancy and six daughters: Florence Berthea Mae Spink (1884-1958; Mrs. Manley Bowles, mother of Richard Spink Bowles), Pearl Alma Maud Spink (1886-1962, wife of Harry Cecil McWilliams), Olive Gertrude Spink (1888-1965, wife of Norman Percival Greer), Mildred Muriel Spink (1891-1941), Myrtle Agnes Spink (1894-1985), and Gladys Lillian Spink (1898-1991). He was a Methodist, and had been on the boards of Zion Methodist Church, Fort Rouge Methodist Church, Grace Methodist Church, and Broadway Methodist Church.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Steve Kirkland, Susan Bracken, and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 20 June 2020