Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Donald McLeod Telford (1845-1929)

Click to enlargeCustoms appraiser, community leader.

Born at Wick, Scotland on 12 November 1845, he was educated at public schools of Thurso, Scotland. He commenced a career in mercantile business at Thurso, in 1860, then emigrated to London, Ontario in 1867. He moved to Winnipeg in 1881 and entered the service of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was appointed local treasurer of the CPR in 1882 and was transferred to Montreal in 1890. On returning later to Winnipeg, he was appointed Provincial Manager of Provincial Life Insurance Company. In 1898, he entered the Dominion Customs service, being appointed customs appraiser in 1901. He resigned in 1921 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident, that required him to walk with canes.

In 1872, he married Margaret Stephen of Aberlour, Banffshire, Scotland at Hamilton, Ontario. They five children: Alice Anna Telford (b 1887), George S. Telford, Katherine Muriel Telford (wife of E. A. James), Mrs. John L. Gunn, and Winifred Telford. He was a member of the AF & AM, St. Andrew’s (President), Highland Society (President), Caithness Society (Honorary President), and the Presbyterian Church. In 1911, he lived at 135 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg.

He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 29 April 1929. His body was returned to Winnipeg for burial in Elmwood Cemetery.


Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“Telford retired from service by age limit”, Manitoba Free Press, 9 September 1921, page 8.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“D. M’Leod Telford dies in Vancouver”, Manitoba Free Press, 30 April 1929, page 4.

Obituary, Manitoba Free Press, 2 May 1929, page 10.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 27 April 2010

Memorable Manitobans

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