Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Arthur Henry Whitcher (1840-1931)

Civil engineer, surveyor, public servant.

Born at Sherbrook, Quebec on 10 April 1840, he worked in the Dominion Land Titles office at Winnipeg from 1872 to 1890, working as a surveyor then inspector of surveys. In 1881, he became the Land Agent for the office. The McColl-Whitcher Report of 1885 examined how to handle the issue of Indians and Metis who owned river lots in the St. Peter’s area and wanted to sell them privately. During his residence in Winnipeg, he was a director of the Winnipeg General Hospital and a founder of the Manitoba Historical Society.

In 1890, he transferred to Ottawa to take a position in the Department of the Interior, and was the first Secretary for the Geographic Board of Canada (predecessor of the Geographical Names Board of Canada) from 1897 to retirement in 1916.

He died at his Ottawa home, 317 Frank Street, on 7 March 1931.


“An old-timer leaving,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 September 1890, page 6.

“A. H. Whitcher in Ottawa,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 October 1890, page 8.

“A. H. Whitcher is dead at 91 years,” Ottawa Citizen, 7 March 1931.

This profile was prepared by Christian Cassidy and Gordon Goldsborough.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 July 2013

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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