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No. 85

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Memorable Manitobans: William Robertson Wood (1874-1947)

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William Robertson Wood
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Cleric, MLA (1916-1920).

Born on 6 July 1874, at Veira, Orkney, Scotland, son of William Wood and Margaret Robertson. He came to Canada in 1887, and was educated at the Port Elgin (Ontario) High School and Knox College (Toronto), graduating from the latter in 1904. He served as a Presbyterian minister at Dunbarton, Ontario from 1904 to 1908, at Claremont, Ontario from 1908 to 1913, and at Franklin, Manitoba from 1903 to 1916.

On 22 June 1904, he married Margaret W. Workman, daughter of Andrew Workman, of Rothsay, Ontario. They had one daughter: Rhoda Wood (b 1906). He opposed J. H. Howden in the Beautiful Plains constituency in 1914, and was defeated by 32 votes. He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature at the 1915 general election. He served as Secretary of the United Farmers of Manitoba, resigning in 1925 to become Chairman and Director of the Manitoba Prohibition Alliance.

He became Principal of the Ahousat Indian School on Vancouver Island in 1928, and later was Principal of the Indian School at Portage la Prairie. In June 1943, he was appointed chaplain of the Stony Mountain Penitentiary, retiring in June 1946 to return to ministerial work at various places in Manitoba.

He died at Portage la Prairie on 11 December 1947 as a result of fall sustained at Poplar Point.


The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1917.

“Rev. W. R. Wood, former M.L.A., dies after fall,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 December 1947. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 May 2017

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