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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Billy Hughes Lake Monument (Albina Way, Winnipeg)

A Winnipeg monument commemorates William “Billy” Hughes (1871-1964), a local resident from 1905 to 1964 and owner of the Lilyfield Dairy. The present site of the artificial lake, formerly the property on which he resided and operated a dairy farm, is named Billy Hughes Lake in his honour. A monument and plaque were erected by the Tyndall Park Community Association and Castlewood Homes in July 1979.

Born at Seeley’s Bay, Ontario on 5 May 1871, Hughes left home at the age of 14 to join the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), working in railway construction for several years before moving West to Manitoba. He settled at Winnipeg and worked at the Ogilvie Flour Mills, Northwest Dairy, and Manitoba Dairy School before rejoining the CPR as a carpenter. On 24 January 1901, he married Rosa Maria Dyson Lester (1876-1940) at Winnipeg and they had nine children: Elizabeth Margaret Hughes (1901-?, wife of Thomas Matheson Sutherland), Ellen Stella “Birdie” Hughes (1903-?, wife of Ernest Victor “Ernie” Bellow), Robert “Bert” Hughes (1906-1992), Violet Hughes (1908-1999, wife of Charles Walter Lohr), Hazel Hughes (1910-?, wife of Robert A. Wingrove), William John “Jack” Hughes (1913-1989), Kathleen Sarah “Kay” Hughes (1915-2011, wife of Ted Knecht), Grace Hughes (b1918, wife of Walter Klimpke), and Edward “Ted” Hughes (1921-?).

He ran a dairy farm (c1896-1905) on Salter Avenue, between Bannerman and Atlantic avenues, before moving to this site in 1905 (then in the RM of Rosser). The Hughes children attended Little Mountain School and the family residence was a community central point, hosting church services until a nearby community hall was constructed in 1911 (since demolished), across the road from present-day Stanley Knowles School. Here, the dairy farm was named for the undeveloped prairies and the many lilies found in the fields. He operated the Lilyfield Dairy (1905-1942) before retiring and selling the herd in 1943, though he continued farming for several years before retiring fully. He was a member of the Dairymens’ Association and Orange Lodge No. 2483.

Hughes died at the Misericordia Hospital on 27 September 1964 and was buried in Brookside Cemetery. In tribute to his community involvement, over 120 vehicles joined in his funeral procession.

Billy Hughes Commemorative Monument

Billy Hughes Commemorative Monument with lake in background (October 2014)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Site Location (lat/long): N49.94101, W97.20403
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

1901 Canada Census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Rosa Maria Dyson Hughes], Winnipeg Free Press, 8 April 1940, page 2.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 September 1964, page 25.

“Memorial to Billy Hughes,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 September 1979, page 48.

Obituary [Robert Hughes], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 March 1992, page B20.

The First Hundred Years, 1893-1993 by the Rosser Municipality Centennial History Book Committee.

Obituary [Violet Lohr], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 September 1999, page C9.

Obituary [Kathleen Knecht], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 2011, page B13.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 14 November 2014

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


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