Memorable Manitobans: John Williams (1860-1931)
Farmer, MLA (1908-1910), MLA (1914-1915), MLA (1916-1920), MLA (1921-1922).
Born at Ysceifiog, Flintshire, Wales on 3 July 1860, he was educated at local common schools. He came to Canada in May 1881 and lived at Hamilton, Ontario for a year and a half. He came to Manitoba in 1882 and took up a homestead in the vicinity of Melita. He served as a Director of the Melita Farmers’ Elevator Company, and Reeve for the Rural Municipality of Arthur in 1906.
He stood for election to the Manitoba Legislature for the Arthur constituency several times, being unsuccessful in the 1903 general election and elected by three votes in 1907. Defeated at the 1910 general election by Amos Moore Lyle, he retook the seat at the 1914 election and was re-elected in 1915 and 1920. He served for a month in 1922 as Minister of Agriculture in the Norris government but was defeated at the general election in July 1922 and never ran provincially again. Unsuccesful as a Liberal candidate in the 1925 federal general election, in July 1928 he was appointed by the federal government as commissioner of immigration to Wales.
On 24 February 1892, he married Sarah Jane Clementine Rodgers (1861-1956) in the RM of Arthur. They had four children: Roger Williams (1893-?), John Maurice Williams (1895-?), Kitty Clementine Williams (1895-?), and Kendric Hambly Williams (1900-1986). He was a member of the Anglican church.
He died at his farm south of Melita on 2 March 1931 and was buried in the Melita Cemetery.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
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.
“John Williams, former farm minister, dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 March 1931, page 3.
“John Williams dies at his Melita home,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 March 1931.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
We thank Christy Henry for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 10 January 2023