Physician and surgeon, community activist.
Born at the RM of St. Andrews on 30 August 1885, son of John James Bird and Margaret Peebles (1844-?), he taught at Ashfield School (1908) to put himself through the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, from which he graduated in 1913.
He set up a medical practice at Boissevain where he became renowned as a general practitioner, delivering more than 3,500 babies and often accepting pay in butter and eggs. He served as a coroner for the Province of Manitoba and Medical Health Officer for the Rural Municipality of Morton and health officer for 40 years. In 1935, Bird cancelled all debts owed to him by farmers.
He was a member of the Boissevain town council for many years, Mayor of Boissevain (1929-1939), and Liberal-Progressive candidate for the Turtle Mountain constituency in the 1932 and 1936 provincial general elections. He was the Returning Officer for the constituency in the 1941 election.
In 1915, he married Irene Bradley (?-?) of Ottawa, Ontario with whom he had two sons. He was given a Manitoba Good Citizenship Award in 1972.
He died at Boissevain on 30 June 1977 and was buried in the Boissevain and Morton Cemetery. He was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 July 1977, page 46.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 30 September 2023
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