Memorable Manitobans: Edwin Henry Bennest (1875-1971)
Born at Wyoming, Ontario in May 1875, son of George Francis Bennest and Emma Eliza Hoskin, brother of Fred C. Bennest, he was educated at the Wyoming Public School before coming to Manitoba with his family in 1889 and settling at Brandon. His education continued at the Brandon Academy and Wesley College (BA 1898). He articled in law to D. H. Cooper of Brandon then moved to Winnipeg in 1901 to article with Henry P. Grundy. He was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 1902 and joined the law firm of Campbell & Crawford that year. The firm later became known as Pitblado, Hoskin & Company. He was made a King’s Counsel in November 1925.
On 14 June 1905, he married Florence May Adams (1886-1956, sister-in-law of Robert Vollans) and they had three daughters: Phyllis Bennest (1907-?), Margaret Hoskin Bennest (1909-?, wife of Charles M. Counsell), and Cynthia Adams Bennest (1920-2013, wife of Frederick Stewart Burbidge). He was a member of the St. George’s Anglican Church, Manitoba Club (Honorary Life Member), St. Charles Country Club, and Masonic Fraternity (Past Worshipful Master of Northern Light Lodge). In 1925, he lived at 817 Grosvenor Avenue, Winnipeg.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 6-261 Wellington Crescent, on 14 November 1971 and was buried in the St. John’s Cemetery. His honorary pallbearers were Charles A. Campbell, H. E. W. Phair, Norman C. Carmichael, Arthur E. Johnston, Edward B. Pitblado, George E. Sharpe, Gordon Lawson, John A. Schimnowski, Donald C. Dingwall, Alan Sweatman, and W. D. Hurst.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Early city resident, Mrs. Bennest dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 June 1956, page 2.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 November 1971, page 36.
Learned Friends, Reiminiscences - Pitblado & Hoskin 1882-1974 by Anna Tillenius.
“Free Press Necrology Files,” Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 16, University of Manitoba Archives]
We thank Melanie Rose and John Burbidge for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 5 March 2017