Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Edward Brown (1865-1947)

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Edward Brown
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Businessman, MLA (1916-1920), MLA (1921-1922).

Born at Gresham, Bruce County, Ontario on 23 May 1865, son of Edward James Brown and Christina Fairbairn, brother of James Brown, he was educated at St. Catharines, Ontario. In 1882, he commenced business as a merchant, at Paisley, Ontario. He came to Portage la Prairie in 1888 where he served as Mayor for six years. He moved to Winnipeg in 1909 to open Edward Brown and Company, financial brokers, which he headed until 1942. He was also President of the Canada West Securities Corporation, President of the British Northwestern Fire Insurance Company, Vice-President of the William Pearson Company, and a Director of the Port Arthur Wagon Company.

In 1910 he was listed by the Winnipeg Telegram as one of Winnipeg’s 19 millionaires. Active in politics, he led the Manitoba Liberal Association from 1905 to 1915. Defeated in the 1903, 1907, and 1910 general elections, he was elected MLA for The Pas in 1915 and 1920, and was provincial treasurer from 1915 to 1922. On 26 January 1893, he married Esther Huston (1865-1938) of Portage la Prairie, with whom he had four children: Archibald Fairbairn Brown (1894-?), Wallace Edward Brown, Eleanor Brown (1900-?), and George Murray Brown (1905-1906). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, and Augustine United Church. He was a Life Governor of the Winnipeg General Hospital.

He died at Winnipeg on 8 February 1947 and was buried in the Portage Hillside Cemetery.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]

“Wife of former minister dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 June 1938, page 4.

“Free Press Necrology Files,” Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 16, University of Manitoba Archives]

“Ex-cabinet minister, Edward Brown, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 February 1947, page 1.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

We thank Dave Eagles for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 April 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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