Historic Sites of Manitoba: Knox Presbyterian Manse (580 First Avenue, Neepawa)

Link to:
Occupants | Photos & Maps | Sources

This two-storey wood frame house on First Avenue in Neepawa was thought to be built sometime between 1906 and 1910 by the Knox Presbyterian Church, serving as a manse, though the records are inconclusive.

In 1929, the building was purchased by Stuart Gordon Simpson (1887-1935) to be used as a funeral parlour and his family home. When Simpson died, the business was taken over by Jack White, and used until he moved the business to North Mountain Avenue in 1940. The next owners, Herbert Smith and William Hughes, also operated a funeral parlour in this building, and Hughes lived upstairs in a portion of the residence with his family. The remaining rooms were rented to Air Force personnel from the nearby base. It was sold in 1947 to Viola and Harold Knudson, at which point its use as a funeral home ceased.

Author Margaret Laurence is said to have used this house as inspiration for the funeral parlour in her 1966 book A Jest of God. Laurence’s uncle was Stuart Gordon Simpson (1887-1935), the first funerary owner.

The building is listed as historically significant by the Town of Neepawa and the Neepawa Heritage Committee.





Rev. R. Francis Hall


Rev. H. G. Crozier


Rev. C. H. Best


Rev. R. G. Stwart




Stuart Gordon Simpson (1887-1935)


Jack White (Dominion Manufacturers Limited)


Herbert H. Smith and William Hughes


Harold and Viola Knudson


Peggy and Grant Johnson

Photos & Coordinates

The former Knox Presbyterian Manse at Neepawa

The former Knox Presbyterian Manse at Neepawa (February 2020)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.224777, W99.46829
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Knox Presbyterian Church (396 First Street, Neepawa)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Knox Presbyterian Manse / Davidson House (281 Mill Street, Neepawa)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Davidson House (344 Main Street East, Neepawa)

Memorable Manitobans: James Henry Davidson (1862-1911)


We thank the Neepawa Heritage Advisory Committee for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by S. Goldsborough and George Penner.

Page revised: 1 July 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. The information is offered for historical interest only.

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

Inclusion in this collection does not confer special status or protection. Official heritage designation may only come from municipal, provincial, or federal governments. Some sites are on private property and permission to visit must be secured from the owner.

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

Send corrections and additions to this page
to the MHS Webmaster at webmaster@mhs.mb.ca.

Search Tips | Suggest an Historic Site | FAQ

Help us keep history alive!