Memorable Manitobans: Edmund Amos Struthers (1855-1935)
Surveyor, community activist.
Born near St. Johns, Quebec on 22 January 1855, he moved as a child to Wisconsin where he was educated at Fort Atkinson. In 1872 he accompanied his uncle, a Dominion Land Surveyor, to Manitoba to help him in laying out the Hudson’s Bay Company Reserve in the Red River Settlement. Two years later he took up a homestead at the present site of Winnipeg Beach, but he spent the bulk of his time doing government surveys around Lake Winnipeg and the Lake of the Woods. In the spring of 1882, he joined the Canadian Pacific Railway in charge of topographical surveys of potential routes between Winnipeg and Moose Jaw. He later took charge of the railway immigration bureau.
During his employment with the CPR, he became acquainted with T. J. Barnardo who was attempting to establish a training farm for destitute children in Manitoba. In the late 1880s, Struthers moved to Russell, Manitoba where he purchased 10,000 acres for Dr. Barnardo’s Home and also constructed an office and distributing home at Winnipeg. Thousands of girls and boys were processed through the facility during the years that Struthers was affiliated with it. He retired and returned to Winnipeg around 1910.
In 1884 he married Mary Ellen Vaughan (1856-?), daughter of surveyor Amos Hawley Vaughan. They had six children: Millicent Vaughan Struthers (b 1886), Mary Vaughan Struthers (b 1889), Robert Alexander Struthers (b 1890), Russell B. Struthers (b 1891), Gordon Bruce Struthers (b 1893), and Miriam Struthers (b ?). He was a member of the Masons (Assiniboine Lodge No. 114), YMCA, and the Anglican Church. He served as honorary secretary-treasurer of Havergal College.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 75 Bannerman Avenue, on 10 October 1935 and was buried in St. John’s Cemetery.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“E. Struthers, former official of Barnardo Home at Russell, dies”, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 October 1935, page 8.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 October 1935, page 4.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 November 2012