Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Harvey Tolton (1898-1987)

Farmer, community worker, businessman.

Born on the family farm near Oak Lake on 19 February 1898, son of Henry R. Tolton and Elizabeth Ann Stevens, he attended the Manitoba Agricultural College, where he was the gold medallist. He began breeding shorthorn cattle and Yorkshire pigs in the 1920s, as well as growing registered seed grain. He was the youngest farmer to receive the Master Farmer Award, which he won in 1934, and he won the world championship for registered oat seed and the world championship for field crops for three consecutive years at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. He was active in his community, as a councillor of the Rural Municipality of Woodworth and a member of the local school board, and was President of the Oak Lake Agricultural Society. He moved to Brandon in 1948 where he was a member of the Brandon University Board of Governors for over 30 years. In recognition of his community service, he received a Manitoba Good Citizenship Award (1973) and an honorary doctorate from Brandon University (1976). He was inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame. He died at his Brandon home on 29 July 1987 and was buried in the Rosewood Memorial Gardens.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 August 1987, page 28.

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 June 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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