Born at Melrose, Scotland on 30 September 1830, he worked as a builder and mason, designing and constructing farmhouses and churches across Scotland. In 1881, he came to Manitoba where he continued as a builder. He gradually moved into agricultural journalism and developed a connection with the Nor’West Farmer, becoming a member of the paper’s editorial staff by 1886 and serving as co-editor or editor until 1904. He wrote columns in the Manitoba Free Press starting in 1885. He was an ardent advocate of mixed farming, and was among the original promoters of the dairy association and for many years worked as its unpaid secretary.
He retired from his position in 1904 to visit his home in Scotland. When there he wrote a series of letters, which appeared in the Manitoba Free Press under the name of “A Scot abroad”, that encouraged Scots in Winnipeg to maintain their ties to the motherland. He returned to Winnipeg in 1905 and became directly associated with the Free Press.
He and wife Janet Deans (1832-1904) had seven children: James Waugh, Euphemia Jane Waugh (1862-1872), Margaret Waugh (1864-?), Richard Deans Waugh, William Waugh, Jessie Waugh Mathers, Agnes Burn (1872-1872), and John Calder Waugh.
He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 28 April 1908. The funeral was held in the St. John’s Anglican Cathedral and interment was made in its cemetery. He was so well regarded that the Nor’West Farmer organized a subscription for a portrait to be hung at the Manitoba Agricultural College. As of late 2023, it was hanging in a stairwell of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library.
Richard Waugh, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XIII, 1,078-79.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Death registration [Richard Waugh], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Fran Howard for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 30 October 2023
This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.
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