Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 140 years


Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
Top 10

Manitoba History No. 89

No. 89

Fall Field Trip 2019
Field Trip

War Memorials in Manitoba
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old

Abandoned Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: Robert Watson (1853-1929)

Click to enlarge

Robert Watson
Click to enlarge

MP (1882-1887), MP (1887-1891), MP (1891-1892), MLA (1892-1895), MLA (1896-1899), Senator.

Born at Elora, Ontario on 29 April 1853, son of George and Elizabeth Watson of Edinburgh, Scotland, who came to Canada in 1847. A millwright by trade, he came to Manitoba in 1876, built mills at Portage la Prairie and Stonewall. He was President of the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Coal Company and the Central Electric Company. On 15 July 1880, he married Isabel Brown (?-?), daughter of Duncan Brown of Lobo, Ontario and they had six children. He was a member of the Portage la Prairie town council for two years. He was elected to the House of Commons for Marquette in 1882, re-elected in 1887 and 1891, resigned in 1892 and was elected to the Manitoba Legislature for Portage la Prairie in 1892, taking on the portfolio of Public Works in the Greenway Government. Re-elected in 1896, he was defeated in the 1899 provincial general election, then was called to the Senate in January 1900. He died at Brandon on 19 May 1929 and was buried in the Portage Hillside Cemetery. His correspondence (1893-1900) is at the Archives of Manitoba.


The Canadian Album: Men of Canada or Success by Example, Vol. III, Bradley, Garretson & Co., Brantford, Ontario, 1894.

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.

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

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

The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 July 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS and

Back to top of page


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2019 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.