Memorable Manitobans: Isaiah Root Strome (1851-1942)
Born in Blenheim Township, Ontario on 7 October 1851, son of John Root Strome and Nancy “Annie” Rosenberger, he worked on his family farm in the summer and attended school in the winter. At the age of 18 years he left home and spent two years working as a clerk in a fruit store at Galt, Ontario. He worked in a general store at harrison, Ontario from 1876 to 1881 when he came to Winnipeg. He worked for a year in the wholesale dry goods firm of Stobart, Sons & Company then he formed a business partnership with A. Kennedy and purchased the book store of H. S. Donaldson & Brother. He sold his interest to his partner in 1883 and purchase the dry goods business of Logan & Henderson at Portage la Prairie. He operated the business for two years under the name of Strome & Henderson.
He bought out his partner then, in 1886, he moved to Brandon and established the dry goods business of Strome & Whitelaw. He bought the dry goods firm of Paisley, Miller & Carscaden and dissolved his own business. In 1890 he established the Brandon Electric Light Company and was its President as of 1897. The company operated a hydroelectric dam on the Little Saskatchewan River that provided power to businesses and homes in Brandon. He owned the resort area of Lake Clementi south of Brandon, and he established branches of his dry goods business at Rapid City and Wapella (Saskatchewan). In 1911, he purchased the Fraser dry goods firm, later selling the enterprise to Doig and Robertson. He then sold menswear.
In 1882, he married Mary Isobel Peffers (1859-1937) of Glenallan, Ontario. They had five children: Jessie Dunbar Strome (1884-1960), Bertha Maude Strome (1886-1968), Ivan Roy Strome (1889-1953), Charles Merle Strome (1892-1919), and Velma Ruth Strome (1897-1972). He served as a Brandon city alderman for nine years and chair of its finance committee. He was a member of the Brandon Board of Trade.
He died at Brandon on 20 July 1942 and was buried in Brandon Cemetery.
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Isaih R. Strome, Brandon old-timer, dies in 91st year,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 July 1942, page 13.
We thank Jean Blackburn for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 14 October 2017