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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Camsell (1876-1958)

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Charles Camsell
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Born at Fort Liard, North West Territories, son of J. S. Camsell and Sarah Foulds, he was educated at St. John’s College School and the University of Manitoba (BA. 1894) before continuing post-graduate studies at Queen’s, Harvard, and MIT. A geologist, he soon joined the Geological Survey, becoming deputy minister of mines from 1920 to 1935 and commissioner of the Northwest Territories from 1935 to 1946. He directed the Dominion Fuel Board for many years and served on the National Research Council from 1921 to 1936. He was president of the Royal Society of Canada in 1930, and founded the Canadian Geographical Society in 1929, serving as its president from 1929 to 1941. The University of Manitoba awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1936.

His autobiography Son of the North, which took the story to 1920, was published in 1954. It includes an interesting account of student life at St. John’s College.

He died at Ottawa, Ontario on 19 December 1958.


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

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 July 2013

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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