Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Alexander Bridgett (1867-1959)

Hardware merchant, municipal official.

Born near Owen Sound, Ontario on 29 September 1867, son of William and Alicia Bridgett, he apprenticed for four years in the hardware business with the firm of R. P. Butchart & Brothers at Owen Sound. He arrived in Manitoba in 1889 and, two years later, arrived in Pipestone where he established a hardware store. He sold out three years later and moved to Virden where he worked for J. A. Shoenau, resigning in April 1898 to take charge of the W. Wyatt Lumber Company. In December 1903, the company was incorporated with Bridgett as director and manager, and six branch stores were subsequently established. He was a partner in the farm land realty company of Simpson & Bridgett, a director of the Virden Brick & Tile Company, and a shareholder in the Oak Lake shooting grounds.

On 25 October 1899, he married Rhoda Ellen Richardson (1871-1943) of Winnipeg and they had three children: Helen Elizabeth “Bessie” Bridgett (1901-1991), Mabel Gertrude Bridgett (1903-?, wife of James Brian Smyth), and William Frederick “Fred” Bridgett (1907-1986). He was a member of the Masons and IOOF. He served on the Virden city council and was elected Mayor of Virden in 1912. He attended the founding 1905 Brandon meeting of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities. He served as President of the Virden Board of Trade and Virden Agricultural Association.

He died at Virden on 17 September 1959 and was buried in the Virden Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Virden Gas Works Building / Bridgett Building (250 Nelson Street West, Virden)

Sources:

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

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

“Former Virden Mayor, W. A. Bridgett dies at 92,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 September 1959, page 7.

Obituary [William Frederick Bridgett], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 January 1987, page 52.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 January 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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