Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Watson Hartford Boyd (1860-?)

Police officer.

Born at Aurora, Ontario on 5 October 1860, son of James W. and Rachel Boyd, he was educated at Owen Sound then apprenticed as a pharmacist there. In 1882 he came to Winnipeg and passed an examination from the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association, then spending seven years as a pharmacist. In 1888 he settled at Griswold and opened a furniture business which he operated for three years. He was then appointed provincial constable at Griswold, later moving to Brandon to partner with John R. Foster in the Manitoba Detective Agency. He went to Yukon in the employ of the federal government, as Chief of the Secret Service Department under J. D. McGregor. In 1902 he returned to Brandon and joined the police department, being appointed Chief of Police in 1905. He was dismissed from the post in 1912, along with most of his officers, when an investigation showed they had been negligent in their duties regarding gambling and prostitution.

On 28 November 1885 he married Elizabeth Barne Kent, daughter of Edward B. Kent, of Winnipeg. They had six children: Henry G. Boyd (b 1886), John W. Boyd (b 1888), Grace Boyd (1891), Clifford K. Boyd (b 1894), Dorothea K. Boyd, and Kathleen Margar Boyd (b 1905). He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, the IOOF, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

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

“Crime and vice haven’t been strangers,” Brandon Sun, 29 June 2007, page 24.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 February 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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