Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Alva Burton Chapman (1863-1961)

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Alva Burton Chapman
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Physician, surgeon, pharmacist.

Born at Seeley’s Bay, Leeds County, Ontario on 27 June 1863, he worked in the timber industry until he enrolled in the Queen’s University Medical School, graduating in 1899. He practised medicine in Massachusetts then, in 1900, he returned to Canada. On his way to British Columbia he stopped to visit at Reston and remained to practise medicine there for the rest of his life, only retiring when he was 90 years old.

In May 1915, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CAMC) and went to France where he was attached to the No. 1 Canadian General Hospital at Etaples. In November 1915, he was a Medical Officer for the 16th Battalion, attached with the Third Field Ambulance. He was promoted to the rank of Major and received the Military Cross. He was wounded at Vimy, after which he became the Officer Commanding for the First Canadian Sanitary Section. He returned to Canada in March 1919.

He was married twice. His first wife Abigail died in 1938; his second wife Reita, married in 1954, survived him. He had no children. He was a member of the Canadian Medical Association, Manitoba Medical Association, Reston School Board, and the AF & AM.

He died at Reston on 12 May 1961 and was buried at Olivet, Ontario.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Chapman Drug Store (Reston, RM of Pipestone)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: County Clerk Building (Reston, RM of Pipestone)


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

Death registration [Abigail Chapman], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Pioneers of Manitoba by Robert Harvey (1970).

“Noted Reston doctor dies,” Brandon Sun, 13 May 1961, page 1.

“Dr. Alva Burton Chapman,” Brandon Sun, 16 May 1961, page 15.

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 December 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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