Memorable Manitobans: Augustus Breathwaite “Gus” Stovel (1864-1921)
Born at Mount Forest, Ontario on 17 November 1864, he and his brothers John Stovel, Chester D. Stovel, and Henry C. Stovel learned the printing business on the Mount Forest Confederate. They came to Winnipeg in the 1885 and, in 1889, founded the Stovel Printing Company, which became a major Winnipeg printer.
The first home of the Stovel plant was in the old Spencer block on Portage Avenue. Increasing business soon made larger quarters necessary; accordingly, the offices and factory were moved to a new building on the corner of McDermot and Arthur Streets. Operations were continued here until in May 1916 when the plant was destroyed by fire. Their new building on Bannatyne Avenue extended from Dagmar to Ellen Streets, with a floor space of 84,000 feet or 110 times greater than that of the original shop on Portage Avenue. The firm published the Nor’West Farmer, Western Home Monthly, Motor in Canada and other periodicals.
He and wife Emma Florence Pelette (1867-1946) had five children: Gordon Augustus Stovel, Everett Franklin Stovel (1896-1952), Florence Eileen Stovel (1901-1989, wife of Herman Christoffer Olsen), Norman Carey Stovel (1903-1937), and Helen Marguerite Stovel (1911-1995, wife of Henry Benning Monk). His Winnipeg residence was designed by architect Victor William Horwood.
He died at Hot Springs, Virginia on 26 March 1921. His body was returned to Winnipeg for burial in the Elmwood Cemetery.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“A. B. Stovel to be buried here on Wednesday,” undated newspaper clipping. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B7]
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Leslie Sprange and Geoff Stovel for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 January 2023