Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Herbert Burns (1878-1964)

Merchant, MP (1930-1935).

Born at Stayner, Ontario on 27 February 1878, a son of William Burns and Eunice Randolph, brother of Edgar L. Burns, he came to Manitoba with his family in 1878. He attended elementary school at Portage la Prairie. He taught at Flee Island School in early life, was for a time in the City Comptrollers office at Winnipeg, operated a hardware business at Oakville (1902), coming to Portage la Prairie in 1907 where he opened a hardware business. He served as a city councillor in Portage la Prairie from 1919 to 1920, and Mayor from 1921 to 1930. He was elected to the House of Commons for the Portage la Prairie constituency in 1930, being defeated in 1935. He died at St. Boniface on 1 January 1964. He is commemorated by Burns Bay in Portage la Prairie.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.

We thank Grace Jacobs for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 October 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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