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Memorable Manitobans: William Wilson (1852-1922)


Born in County Cavan, Ireland on 17 March 1852, son of Andrew Wilson and Elizabeth Thompson, the family emigrated to the United States in 1862 but the father died the day after their arrival in New York. The family then moved to Montreal and subsequently to Leeds County, Ontario, eventually settling in Gatineau, Quebec. He began to learn the blacksmith trade at the age of 14 years. By 1879 he was a journeyman and moved west, leaving his family at Gatineau until the following year when they joined him at Rat Portage (now Kenora, Ontario), where he worked for the Keewatin Milling Company. Two years later, he moved to Brandon, Manitoba and started a blacksmith shop, one of the first in western Canada.

In 1873, he married Mary Anne McCann (1849-?) of Hinks, Ontario. They had eight children: Lizzie Wilson, Andrew Elswood Wilson, Maud Wilson, Fanny May Wilson (b 1881), William Maxwell Wilson (b 1882), Frederick Thomas Wilson (b 1884), Robert Edward Wilson (b 1886), and Ottawa Belle Wilson (b 1889). He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

He died in the RM of Odanah on 30 May 1922.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

We thank John Mott and Rod Wilson for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 June 2012

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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