Memorable Manitobans: Arthur Sullivan (1881-1957)

Lawyer, businessman.

Born at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on 3 September 1881, son of Sir William Wilfred Sullivan and Lady Sullivan (Trevaglini), he was educated at St. Dunstan’s College at Charlottetown and St. Mary’s College at Montreal. He articled in law with Lord Cave at London, England and was called to the PEI Bar in 1904. He came to Manitoba in 1905 and was called to the Manitoba Bar later than year. At first, he practiced law with the firm of MacDonald, Haggard, Sullivan & Tarr but, after 1913, he practised alone. In 1915, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and went overseas as Lieutenant of the 43rd Battalion. He was promoted in France to Lieutenant-Colonel and returned to Canada in 1919, his hair having turned snow white while serving in the military.

He continued the practice of law at Winnipeg and rose to become Senior Partner in the firm of Sullivan and Turner. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1933. He was also a member of the boards for such companies as Shea’s Brewery (Chairman), John Labatt’s (Director), Portage Mutual Insurance (Director), and Brewery Products Limited (President).

On 9 October 1907, he married Mary Fraser Moffat (1884-1975), daughter of Alexander Moffat, at Winnipeg. They had two daughters, Nancy Fraser Sullivan (1918-?, wife of Louis Varipati) and Patricia M. Sullivan (1922-1945), and lived at 90 Roslyn Road. His recreations included golf, shooting, fishing, tennis, and racquets. He was a member of the Law Society of Manitoba, Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, Motor Country Club, and served as President of the Greater Winnipeg Conservative Association and a Director of the North American Wildlife Foundation. In 1922, he was a Conservative candidate in the provincial general election but did not receive enough votes to be elected. He owned 380 acres of land in the Libau Marsh where he hunted waterfowl and built a substantial lodge, where he entertained numerous prominent guests through the years, including British wildlife artist Peter Scott. He later sold the lodge and property to a descendant of Frederick L. Maytag, the washing machine inventor, and the land eventually returned to government ownership. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba (1952).

He died at his Winnipeg home, 197 Kingsway Avenue, on 21 October 1957 and was buried in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens. His honorary pallbearers were Douglas L. Campbell, P. J. Montague, Charles S. Tupper, Hugh H. Saunderson, Isaac Pitblado, W. R. Clubb, N. C. Carmichael, W. J. Cunningham, Charles A. Tanner, Gerald H. Giffin, Frank Wagner, John K. Murdoch, Ralph D. Baker, H. W. Webster, D. A. B. Murray, Bruce H. Richardson, John P. Labatt, F. J. Turner, R. P. Schlingerman, J. H. Moore, T. H. Thorpe, and Albert Hochbaum.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

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

“Engagement notices,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 December 1943, page 12.

“Patricia M. Sullivan,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 February 1945, page 3.

“Prominent businessman dies at 77,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 October 1957, page 24.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 October 1957, page 36.

Death registration [Mary Fraser Sullivan], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Mary Fraser Sullivan], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 April 1975, page 44.

“Lieut.-Col. Arthur Sullivan,” p. 856-860, The East Side of the Red: A Centennial Project of the Rural Municipality of St. Clements, 1884-1984 by St. Clements Historical Committee, 1984. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.S23 Eas]

We thank Jim Anderson, Gary Anderson, and Glen Suggett for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 November 2019

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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