Memorable Manitobans: William Frederick Stevenson (1824-1928)


Born at South Lambeth, England on 1 March 1824, he was considered to be, in 1925, Manitoba’s oldest male citizen.

On the occasion of his 101st birthday, in 1925, the Winnipeg Tribune said this:

“On the first of March, 1925, Mr. Stevenson passed his 101st birthday and despite his great age is hale and hearty and in full possession of his faculties. He possesses a memory that is of surprising keenness for events of long ago. It has been his habit of recent years to spend the summer on his farm at Hill View, Manitoba, and his winters with his son, S. [Sidney] S. Stevenson, of Winnipeg. On his recent birthday he attended divine service in the morning at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Fort Garry, and in the evening at St. Luke’s Church. Mr. Stevenson was born thirteen years before Queen Victoria came to the throne. He has lived under five rulers in Great Britain, George IV, William IV, Queen Victoria, Edward VII, and George V. No one looking at Mr. Stevenson would take him for more than seventy-five years of age. His eye is bright, his complexion pink and white and his attitude cheerful. His carriage is surprisingly erect, while a shock of fine snow-white hair sets off a beard and moustache still tinged with gray. Mr. Stevenson came to Winnipeg in 1883, the year after the boom, when the city was in the worst doldrums of its history. He was then fifty-nine years of age and Winnipeg’s population numbered 20,000 souls. Mr. Stevenson was brought to Canada by his parents when he was eight years of age. They settled in Ontario. Mr. Stevenson can tell good stories of bear-hunting and charcoal-burning in the hardwood bush of Ontario of that day. He is the sole surviving member of that family. Forty years ago an insurance company refused to insure his life on the ground that he was too old for them to carry the risk. Mr. Stevenson has spent the put summer on his farm where he has helped with the stooking as he has done for many years. During the winter of 1925 Mr. Stevenson was the guest of the Manitoba Legislature and addressed the assembled house, signed the guest book in a firm hand. A short speech of his was broadcasted from CKY at Winnipeg.”

He and wife Elizabeth Stevenson (1845-?) had several children, including Horace V. Stevenson, Cynthia C. Stevenson (1872-?), and Sidney Septimus Stevenson (1875-1971).

He died at Fort Garry on 21 January 1928 and was buried in the St. John's Cathedral Cemetery.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

Death registration [Frederick William Stevenson], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Deaths,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 January 1928, page 16.

Obituary [Sidney Septimus Stevenson], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 1971, page 37.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 December 2023

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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