Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Alexander Carmichael (1848-1911)


Born at London, Ontario on 4 June 1848, son of Alexander Carmichael and Katherine MacNoughton, he attended school locally and became a school teacher at the same institution, with Saskatchewan Premier (1905-1916) Thomas Walter Scott (1867-1938) being one of his pupils. He earned degrees from the University of Toronto (Arts) and Princeton Theological Seminary (Theology) between 1872-1875, during the latter which he was a supply minister at the Presbyterian church at Manasses, Virginia. He married Cornelia Rowse (1848-1944) in 1876 and had six children: Katherine Virginia Carmichael (c1876-?, wife of Rev. John Kovach), John Alexander “Jack” Carmichael (1878-1957), George Milligan Carmichael (1880-?), Helen Mary Carmichael (1882-1972, wife of Herbert Meade Cherry), James Malcolm Carmichael, and Isobel Cornelia Carmichael (1887-1964, wife of Albert E. Esling).

They returned to Ontario in 1877, working as a Minister at Columbus and Brooklyn Church near Toronto until 1890, then moving to Regina, North West Territories (now Saskatchewan) to the pulpit of Knox Church. While posted there, he also undertook extensive home mission work in the Saskatchewan and Assiniboia areas. In 1902, he succeeded Dr. Robertson in appointment as Superintendent of Missions for Manitoba and Saskatchewan Synods. His work saw many days of travelling to small congregations throughout his jurisdiction, with the total of missions growing from 150 to over 400. He was granted two assistants in the spring of 1911 to help in execution of his work, though by that time the fatigue and demands of the position necessitated taking a several months leave. He did not return to full-time duties and was stricken with a severe bout of typhoid fever in October of that year. He was the first recipient of an Honourary Doctorate of Divinity (1902) from Manitoba College.

He died at his Winnipeg residence, 122 Tache Street [Bryce Avenue], on 11 November 1911 and was buried in the Old Kildonan Cemetery.


Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Honors for Rev. J. A. Carmichael,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 September 1902, page 4.

“Say farewell to alma matter [Dr. Carmichael now],” Manitoba Free Press, 17 September 1902, page 7.

“Mrs. J. A. Carmichael,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 November 1906, page 5.

“Presbyterians to pay good salaries,” Manitoba Free Press, 31 March 1911, page 24.

“Catholic register's strong attack on Dr. Carmichael on charge of proselytizing,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 May 1911, page 1.

“Rev. Dr. Carmichael died on Saturday,” Manitoba Free Press, 13 November 1911, page 2.

“Regret death of Dr. Carmichael in church circles,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 November 1911, page 2.

Obituary [Mrs. Cornelia Carmichael], Winnipeg Tribune, 27 October 1944, page 11.

Family2016(1) [JulesCarmichael] family tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 15 October 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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