Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Henry “Harry” Stephens (1865-1934)

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Henry Stephens
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Hotelier, brick manufacturer.

Born at Guelph, Ontario on 11 March 1865, son of James and Susan Stephens, he was educated at the county schools of Ontario. He began a farming career near Wiarton, Ontario then came west in 1889 in the employ of the Lake of the Woods Milling Company, working as a millwright at Keewatin, Ontario until 1898 when he moved to Manitoba. He operated the Stephens Brick Company between 1899 and about 1908, and served as Western Vice-President of the Canadian Brickmakers’ Association. During the First World War, he farmed 1100 acres and later ran a dairy farm and raised thoroughbred Holstein cattle. He developed a variety of sweet clover and was the proprietor of the Portage Hotel at Portage la Prairie.

On 24 March 1896, he married Lillian C. Porter at Winnipeg and they had seven children: Bertha Georgina Stephens (1897-?, wife of John Gilbert Bertrand), Arthur Milton Stephens (1900-?), Victor Henry Stephens (1902-?), Albert Lorne Stephens (1904-?), Harold Porter Stephens (1907-1915), Lillian Stephens (1909-1998, wife of Mr. Allison), and Edward James Stephens (1913-1956). He was a member of the AF & AM (32nd degree), Shriners, Elks, Kiwanis, Portage Parks Board, IOOF, Conservative party, Christian Science Church, and Portage Board of Trade.

He died at Portage la Prairie on 27 December 1934.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Portage Hotel (Saskatchewan Avenue, Portage la Prairie)

MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Portage Brick Yards


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Henry Stephens, of Portage la Prairie, dies after illness,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 December 1934, page 6.

“H. Stephens, ex-hotelman in Portage, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 December 1934, page 9.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 May 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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