Manitoba Business: Oldfield, Kirby and Gardner / Oldfield, Kirby and Esau / The Standard Insurance

This Winnipeg-based firm was founded in 1881 by John Henry Oldfield to specialize in real estate and insurance brokerage, property management, mortgage lending, and investment advising. It became known as Oldfield, Kirby and Gardner with the addition of William Hicks Gardner (1899) and Walter Thomas Kirby (1905) as partners.

In 1909, the company moved into a newly-built office block at 234 Portage Avenue and helped to develop that street as a major commercial area of the city.

Some employees of the company who were killed during service in the First World War were commemorated at a 61st Battalion concert held at the Walker Theatre on 13-14 December 1915, or in a 144th Battalion military vaudeville held at the Winnipeg Theatre on 9-11 March 1916.

The securities and real estate divisions of the company were sold in the early 1960s. In 1989, it became Oldfield, Kirby and Esau with the purchase of the Winnipeg operations of Dale and Company, catalyzed by Dale executive George Esau. Merged with The Standard Insurance in 2015, the company was renamed as The Standard Insurance in 2020.

First World War Casualties





Birth Date

Death Date

Roland Edwards
[Next of Kin]


Lord Strathcona's Horse


20 July 1892

1 April 1918

Kenneth Rees Habershon


12th Brigade, The Rifle Brigade, British Army



12 February 1916

Herbert Lionel Oldfield
[Next of Kin]

Financial Clerk

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


3 October 1894

6 April 1918

Struan George Robertson
[Next of Kin, St. Lukes Anglican]


Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry


10 July 1887

8 May 1915

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Oldfield, Kirby and Gardner Building / The White House (234 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

Memorable Manitobans: John Henry Oldfield (1857-1924)

Memorable Manitobans: Walter Thomas Kirby (1858-1936)

Memorable Manitobans: William Hicks Gardner (1875-1951)


We thank Darryl Toews for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 December 2023