Memorable Manitobans: William John Ward (1880-1971)
Farmer, businessman, MP (1922-1925), MP (1926), MP (1926-1930), MP (1936-1940), MP (1940-1945), MP (1949-1953).
Born near Owen Sound, Ontario on 26 October 1880, seventh of ten children of Charles Christopher Ward and Janet Mitchell, he attended school at Williamsford, Ontario then moved to Dauphin with his widowed mother in 1897. There he eventually became a farmer and insurance and real estate agent. He was Managing President of the United Farmers of Manitoba (1931-1932) and President of the Adanac Whale and Fish Products Limited (Churchill) in his later years.
On 15 December 1909, he married Annie Helen Fisher (1890-1953) at Dauphin. He was elected to the House of Commons for Dauphin in 1921, re-elected in 1925 and 1926, defeated in 1930 by James Langstaff Bowman, re-elected in 1935 and 1940, defeated in 1945 by Frederick Samuel Zaplitny, re-elected in 1949, and did not seek election in 1953. He was defeated in the 1957 election. He was a member of a group which advocated for the establishment of Riding Mountain National Park in western Manitoba. He introduced the “Remembrance Day Act” to commemorate Canada’s war dead but left the Parliament before it was enacted. In 1970, he was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society.
He died at Dauphin on 16 August 1971 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery. He is commemorated by the community of Ward.
Birth registration, Ancestry.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.
“Veteran Dauphin MP dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 August 1971.
We thank Barbara Lee Page for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 14 October 2022