Memorable Manitobans: Robert James Whitla (1846-1905)
Born in County Monaghan, Ireland, on 22 April 1846, the son of Robert Whitla and Ann Williams. After spending some years in New York and in Eastern Canada he came to Winnipeg in 1879 and established a dry goods business on Main Street. In 1882 he formed a partnership with D. K. Elliott in wholesale trade. Although Conservative, he opposed his party on the question of disallowance in the 1880s and later in the matter of separate schools. He served as a Captain in the 90th Regiment during the 1885 North West Rebellion.
In 1874, he married Eleanor Kathleen Wright in Ireland. They had two daughters: Kathleen Mary Whitla (b 1875, wife of John Crichton Green-Armytage) and Norah Anne Whitla (b 1888, wife of Stanley Crawford Richards, mother of Robert W. Richards). He was a charter member of the YMCA and a founder of Wesley College. He was an Orangeman and a founding member of the St. Charles Country Club. He served as President of the Winnipeg Board of Trade.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 16 September 2014
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