Memorable Manitobans: William Bethel (1874-1953)
Hotelier, businessman, municipal official.
Born in August 1874, he married Phoebe Jane Wilson Shaw (1877-1936, daughter of William Robert Shaw) at Winnipeg on 18 February 1903 and had six children: Caroline Margaret Phoebe “Cora” Bethel (1904-1985, wife of Hector W. T. McFarlane), William Robert Samuel Bethel (1905-1992), Leonard Frederick Wilson Bethel (1907-1992), Clarence Henry Shaw Bethel (1912-?), George Edley Bethel (1917-1935), and John Elvin Bethel (1921-2013). He owned and operated the King Edward Hotel in Beausejour, as well as a farm equipment dealership, and Bethel Brothers Livery Stable along with this brother David Bethel. He later owned the community’s first Ford dealership. He was an inaugural member of the village’s council as well as Mayor of Beausejour (1938), prior to which he was Reeve of Brokenhead (1919). Later in his life he resided in Winnipeg. He died at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital on 30 November 1953 and was buried in the Beausejour Cemetery.
1911 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
They Stopped at a Good Place: A History of the Beausejour, Brokenhead, Garson and Tyndall Area of Manitoba - 1875-1981 by the Beausejour-Brokenhead Historical Committee, 1982.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 December 1953, page 29.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Jane Inkster for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 15 November 2016
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