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Memorable Manitobans: John Taylor (1834-1925)

Click to enlargeFarmer, MLA (1875-1878), MLA (1878-79).

Born at St. Paul’s Parish, son of James Taylor, an Orkneyman, chief fisherman of the Hudson’s Bay Company and of his wife Mary Inkster. He was educated at Parish Schools of St. Paul’s at College under Bishop Anderson. In the year of the high water, 1852, Mr. Taylor went to teach a Mission school at Oxford House at a salary of thirty pounds a year; taught afterwards at Norway House; in 1855 was appointed by Bishop Anderson to the charge of the Parish School at Headingley; in 1856 he bought his first land, a six-chain lot fronting on the Assiniboine River at Headingley; his neighbor here was Deholmme Sayer, son of William Sayer, the historic leader of the free trade riot in the settlement in 1845.

Taylor was elected a member of the First Legislature of Manitoba, and a member of the Executive Council, that curious senatorial body of early men which voted itself out of existence in 1876. He was elected at the head of the poll in 1874 and again in 1878; was taken into the Cabinet of the Honorable John Norquay as Minister of Agriculture. One of his early opponents was Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona). He was a school trustee for thirty years; secretary-treasurer of the school he taught in as a lad. Justice of the Peace. Farmed 1700 acres.

Taylor passed away on 3 March 1925 at his home in Headingley. He is commemorated by John Taylor Collegiate in Winnipeg and a commemorative monument in Headingley.

Sources:

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 September 2010

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