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Manitoba Business: Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company

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Presidents | Vice-Presidents | Managers / Secretary-Treasurers | Photos | Sources

The Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company was incorporated by Letters Patent on 3 June 1899 under the Manitoba Joint Stock Companies Act. Its founding partnership comprised implement dealer Hodgson Wilberforce Hutchinson, manufacturer John Thomas Blundell Persse, wholesale merchant Robert Joseph Campbell, barrister James Fisher, and Stratford (Ontario) merchant Alfred J. McPherson. The initial capital stock was set at $25,000 and a headquarters was established in Winnipeg.

The firm specialized in the manufacture of functional and ornamental iron gates, posts, and fencing for commercial, industrial, agricultural, and residential properties, along with venues such as schools, parks, public buildings, and cemeteries. Around November 1904, the firm completed a 600-mile fencing contract for the Canadian Pacific Railway along track in Manitoba and the western Territories and won the Canadian Northern Railway contract for fencing the railway line between Virden and Hartney in May 1906. Within Winnipeg, larger contracts included ones from the Winnipeg School District and Winnipeg Parks Board. The company later branched out to include other types of ornamental and decorative metalwork, including vases, gages, benches, lawn furniture, safes, and fountains. In 1909, the MAWFC relocated from its quarters at 92 Princess Street to a two-storey factory building at N49.91169, W97.15938 (since demolished) along the north side of Beacon Street, between Higgins and Henry avenues. In 1911, the company increased its capital stock to $50,000.

Little is known about the company’s operations with the onset of the First World War, and to what degree the war’s demand on labour and resources impacted it. After July 1916, records suggest no paid advertising was taken out in any major Winnipeg newspaper. At the time of the Western Canada Fire Underwriters Association’s survey for their 1917 insurance plans editon, the company’s building was listed as without observed activity. By the early 1920s, the business no longer appeared in the Henderson directories. While advertising that their products would “last a lifetime,” they would not remain in business long enough to see that claim realized. It remained a paper entity until its charter was formally revoked on 2 September 1925.

Although most the company’s products have long since been replaced with newer and more modern solutions, the lifetime claim was not without merit, as instances where their fences have remained, they remain fully functional.

Presidents

Period

President

1899-c1917

Robert Joseph Campbell (1851-1925)

c1917-1925

?

Vice-Presidents

Period

Vice-Presndent

1899-c1917

Hodgson Wilberforce Hutchinson (1862-1949)

c1917-1925

?

Managers / Secretary-Treasurers

Period

Manager / Secretary-Treasurer

1899-c1900

C. A. E. McLea (?-?)

1900-c1917

Robert Gordon McKeag (1863-1944)

c1917-1925

?

Photos

Sylized letterhead drawing of the Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company quarters at 92 Princess, part of the later expanded Campbell Brothers & Wilson Warehouse

Sylized letterhead drawing of the Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company quarters at 92 Princess, part of the later expanded Campbell Brothers & Wilson Warehouse (Before 1909)
Source: 91M - Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

Former Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company at 92 Princess Street

Former Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company at 92 Princess Street (October 2021)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Special Design fence advertised in 1916

“Special Design” fence advertised in 1916 (1916)
Source: Advertisement, Winnipeg Tribune, 15 April 1916, page 11.

Special Design fence at the St. Norbert Roman Catholic Cemetery

“Special Design” fence at the St. Norbert Roman Catholic Cemetery (September 2017)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company crest

Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company crest (September 2017)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Sources:

“At a meeting of the shareholders [...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 12 June 1899, page 8.

“Don’t fence your farm [...],” Brandon Western Sun, 6 July 1899, page 31.

“Local news paragraphs,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 November 1904, page 19.

Advertisement, Manitoba Free Press, 2 September 1905, page 12.

“Local notes [The Anchor Wire Fence Co ...],” Manitoba Free Press, 28 May 1906, page 12.

“Where schools are scarce,” Manitoba Free Press, 13 September 1906, page 10.

“Warehouse flat and office to let,” Manitoba Free Press, 27 February 1909, page 30.

Personals [The Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Co.],” Canadian Farm Implements, March 1909, page 27. [Archive.org]

An up-to-date fence factory,” Canadian Farm Implements, May 1909, page 30. [Archive.org]

Advertisement, Manitoba Free Press, 5 June 1909, page 5.

Advertisement, Manitoba Free Press, 3 July 1909, page 3.

“Objects to C.N.R. delay,” Manitoba Free Press, 11 August 1909, page 9.

“Improvements in library system,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 September 1909, page 16.

Advertisement, Manitoba Free Press, 13 May 1912, page 10.

Advertisement, Manitoba Free Press, 17 June 1910, page 9.

Advertisement, Winnipeg Tribune, 15 April 1916, page 11.

Advertisement, Manitoba Free Press, 29 April 1916, page 16.

Advertisement, Winnipeg Tribune, 11 May 1916, page 19.

“Sues company for damages,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 July 1916, page 5.

Western Canada Fire Underwriters Association, H7 614.41 edc Series 2 - Volume 2 - Winnipeg - Folder 4 - Sheet 258, Archives of Manitoba.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 91M - Manitoba Anchor Wire Fence Company, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

“Robert McKeag dies at 81,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 October 1944, page 41.

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This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 31 October 2021

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