Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: William Chrest (1886-1963)

Click to enlarge

William Chrest
Click to enlarge


Born in Greece in 1886, he emigrated to Canada and arrived at Brandon in 1910. A shoe maker by trade, he opened a shoe shop and also sold peanuts, popcorn and other confections from a specially designed vehicle. In 1933, he purchased what was known as the Fraser Block, where he opened a dry cleaning and shoe repair business called Chrest Dry Cleaners, with his three sons. The business would continue until 1976. He and wife Ellen had six children: Norman William Chrest (1911-1977), Christopher “Chris” Chrest (1917-2009), Esther Chrest (1918-1928), Mary Chrest (1919-2004, wife of R. J. Vandale), Irene Chrest (1921-2008, wife of E. Vernon Basrub and Bert E. McVay), and Nicholas “Nick” Chrest (1925-2013). An active member of the community, he belonged to the Rotary Club, Brandon Elks Club, Moose Lodge, and Orange Lodge. He died at his Brandon home, 460 Eleventh Street, on 18 June 1963 and was buried in the Rosewood Memorial Gardens.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Fraser Block / Chrest Block (1031 Rosser Avenue, Brandon)

William Chrest selling popcorn and peanuts on the streets of Brandon (circa 1921)
Source: Chrest family.

William Chrest and the staff of his dry cleaning business (circa 1954)
Source: Chrest family.


“Wm. Chrest dies at 77,” Brandon Sun, 19 June 1963, page 1.

Brandon Municipal Cemetery transcriptions.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Karen Chrest for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 December 2017

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.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.