Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Thomas Alexander (1875-1943)

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William Thomas Alexander
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Born at Hamilton, Ontario on 13 November 1875, son of Mathew Alexander and Mary English, he was educated at Albert College (Belleville, Ontario). He was first employed with the Loan Company of Hamilton. He came to Winnipeg in 1896 and, in 1903, the Great West Permanent Loan Company was organized with him as President and General Manager. He was also Manager of the Imperial Canadian Trust Company and Managing Director of the Canadian National Fire Insurance Company, and General Manager of the Marlborough Hotel.

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William Thomas Alexander
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In the fall of 1927, the Great West Permanent Loan Company and the Imperial Canadian Trust Company went into liquidation and charges were laid against Alexander and his brother, F. H. Alexander, that they conspired to defraud the companies. After one of the longest court cases in Manitoba history, both men were found guilty and W. T. Alexander was sentenced to three years in Stony Mountain Penitentiary.

In 1897, he married Edith Beamer of Hamilton, with whom he had a son and a daughter. He was a member of the Carleton Club, Adanac Club, and AF & AM. Conservative. Methodist.

For the last ten years of his life, he lived at the Marlborough Hotel. He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 5 January 1943 and was buried at Stonewall.


Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Alexanders are given penitentiary terms,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 January 1929.

“W. T. Alexander dies Tuesday at age of 68,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 January 1943.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 July 2016

Memorable Manitobans

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