Memorable Manitobans: John Alexander Beattie (1860-1933)
Born in Wellington County, Ontario on 21 June 1860, son of George Beattie and Margaret Grassick, his ancestors came to Canada from Scotland in 1835 and settled in Wellington County, Ontario. After teaching school in Ontario, in 1882 he moved to North Dakota where he continued teaching, later going to Maple Creek, North West Territories (now Saskatchewan). He graduated from College in 1900 and was ordained into the Presbyterian faith. He ministered at Binscarth Presbyterian Church (1900-1906) and Chalmers Presbyterian Church (1906-1913) and was a Special Agent of school consolidation for the Manitoba Department of Education (1913-1914).
In August 1914, he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and went to Valcartier, Quebec with the Fort Garry Horse. He served at the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station in France before returning on leave to Canada in 1916. He was in England with the Canadian Ordnance Depot at Ashford, Kent and rose to the rank of Major in September 1918. He returned to Canada after the First World War and was posted to a Union Church at Austin in December 1920. He served as Moderator of the Rock Lake Presbytery.
He was married twice, first to Ginevra Martin (?-1915) who subsequently drowned when the Germans torpedoed the SS Lusitania. He later married Sadie A. Elliott (?-?) and they had one son. He was a member of the Masons, serving as Master of the Midlothian Lodge No. 90 at Miami and District Deputy Grand Master, District No. 2. He was also a member of the R.A.M., Stour Lodge, Ashford, Kent.
He died in a military hospital at Toronto, Ontario on 12 February 1933.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Wartime “Padre” dies in Toronto,” Calgary Albertan, 14 February 1933, page 2.
Rev John Alexander Beattie, FindAGrave.
We thank Darryl Toews for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 April 2023