Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Donald McGregor Stephens (1903-1968)


Born at Reston on 17 November 1903, son of John Mortimer Stephens (1871-1962) and Rosa Haseltine McGregor (c1871-1952), he was educated locally and graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1931 with a degree in civil engineering. He joined the Manitoba Department of Mines and Natural Resources in 1933, serving as Deputy Minister from 1938 to 1951. In the 1950 flood, he organized an emergency flood-forecasting unit, and subsequently served on the Greater Winnipeg Dyking Board.

In 1951, he became Chairman and General Manager of the newly-created Manitoba Hydroelectric Board, continuing as General Manager after 1961 when he stepped down as Chairman. He was a member of the International Joint Commission, and from 1958 a member of the board of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. He was active in his profession, serving as President of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He was also active in United Way. He held an honorary doctorate from Clarkson College of Technology and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Manitoba (1966).

He died at Winnipeg on 2 April 1968 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens. He is commemorated by Stephens Lake in northern Manitoba.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Rosa Haseltine Stephens], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 April 1952, page 26.

Obituary [John M. Stephens], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 August 1962, page 35.

“Hydro chairman D. M. Stephens dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 April 1968.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 April 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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