Memorable Manitobans: George Henry Stewart (1874-1947)
Businessman, community activist.
Born in Wellington County, Ontario on 14 October 1874, son of David Stewart of Dundee, Scotland and Effie MacMillan of Bowmore, Islay, Scotland, he was associated with Winnipeg’s women’s retail clothing business and known for his church and community work. He came to Winnipeg in 1895 after working in the dry goods industry in Toronto as a youth. From here he worked as a travelling salesman for the firm of Stobart and Sons later becoming European buyer and director. In 1915, he organized Hollinsworth & Company and served as the President and Managing Director of the firm until July 1947. He was also President of Martin & Company and a Director of Archibald Martin Motors Limited.
His community involvement included a two-year term as President of the Winnipeg Board of Trade (1941-1943). He also served as Chairman of the Community Chest and Director of the Executive Committee for the Canadian Red Cross (Manitoba Division). His commitment to youth education was demonstrated in his work with the Manitoba Boys’ Work Board where he served as President and Lieutenant Governor of its first parliament. In these roles, he was responsible for implementing inter-denominational projects. He also served as President of the National Boys’ Work Board.
In addition to being the first President of the Religious Education Council and Honorary President and Chairman of the Finance Committee, Stewart took on a prominent international role as an active member of the Church of Christ. He served as President of the World Convention of the Churches of Christ at Toronto in 1947. More locally, he worked with the Laymen’s Association and the evangelist Thomas B. Rees to organize the Christ for Winnipeg Mission.
In 1902, he married Nellie Agnes Westerfield (1879-1968) of St. Louis, Missouri and they had two children: Lillian Constance Stewart (1904-1912) and Rev. George Hayden Alexander Stewart (1907-1998, husband of Norma Lillian Arnold). The family lived at 966 Dorchester Avenue, Winnipeg from 1912 to his death. He was a member of the Carleton Club, Southwood Golf Club, Canadian Club, Rotary Club, YMCA, and Business Men’s Club.
He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 25 December 1947 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.
Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Marriage ceremony is pretty event at Church of Christ,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 October 1933, page 6.
“George H. Stewart, 73, city businessman, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1947. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, p. 2]
“G. H. Stewart, business head, churchman, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 January 1948, page 1.
Death registrations [Nellie Agnes Stewart, George Hayden Alexander Stewart], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden.
Page revised: 5 December 2020