Memorable Manitobans: Roy Lyon Worthington (1871-1941)
Building contractor, estimator.
Born at Rochester, Minnesota on 15 October 1871, he came to Winnipeg around 1891 and worked as an estimator and contractor, independently and for the Kelly Brothers, the latter of which he was a charter member (1915) of its federal incorporation.
On 7 February 1900, he married Eliza Tomkinson (?-?) at Winnipeg and had five children: Louise Maude Worthington (1900-?, wife of Eric Munro Gordon), Roy Edward Worthington (1902-?), John Albert Worthington (1905-?), Edward Arthur Worthington (1907-?), and Ruth Marian Worthington (1913-?). In 1905, the family moved into 41 Fawcett Avenue, a residence of his own design and construction. He also served 24 years, including as Adjutant, with the 90th Regiment, Winnipeg Rifles.
His work for the Kelly Brothers was interrupted by military service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, from enlistment in October 1916 until discharge in April 2018 with the rank of Major, on surplus and medical disability grounds, due to wounds suffered during 2½ months in France. During this period, and pursuant to a settlement resulting from the Crown's civil suit against the Kelly Brothers, he stepped aside from his appraisal role with the company in March 1917. He later returned to the Kelly Brothers in some undetermined role.
In 1924, he and his family moved to Chicago, Illinois where he was Secretary-Treasurer of the Brown and Gold Club of Chicago, an alumni association of University of Manitoba graduates who had moved there.
He is believed to have died on 18 January 1941.
Some of his works in Manitoba included:
1901 and 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.
1921 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.
Birth registrations [Louise Maude Worthington, Roy Edward Worthington, John Worthington, Edward Worthington, Ruth Marian Worthington], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Marriage registrations [Roy Lyon Worthington and Eliza Tonkinson [sic], Louise Maude Worthington and Eric Munro Gordon], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 2095/1905, City of Winnipeg Archives.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 204/1909, City of Winnipeg Archives.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1782/1911, City of Winnipeg Archives.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
“The 90th at home,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 January 1906, page 9.
“90th Parade,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 April 1906, page 3.
“Kelly stiocks to U.S. as firm in Canada expands,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 11 September 1915, page 5.
“Papers were burned by Maurice Kelly,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 November 1915, page 5.
“Kelly's son speaks of missing cheques,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 December 1915, page 4.
“Says overpayment on dormitory roof,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 January 1917, page 15.
“Calls 96,000 overcharge absurd,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 9 January 1917, page 1.
“Kelly over-paid $21,000 on $6,000 steel roof job,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 23 February 1917, page 11.
“Hits estimator in fraud charge,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 7 March 1917, page 8.
“Worthington not to appraise for Kelly,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 26 March 1917, page 10.
“Major R. L. Worthington reported severely wound,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 1 October 1917, page 1.
“Major Worthington severely wounded,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 2 October 1917, page 2.
Obituary [William Tomkinson], Winnipeg Tribune, 27 February 1924, page 16.
“Manitobans unite in south,” The Manitoban, 6 November 1924, page 2.
“University Notes [Since so many graduates ...],” Manitoba Free Press, 7 November 1924, page 4.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.
We thank Gordon Goldsborough for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 16 February 2023