Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Clay (1906-1980)

Missionary, educator, author.

Born at Winnipeg on 25 July 1906, son of Henry C. Clay and Margaret Scott, he was educated in Washington state and Saskatchewan before entering Wesley College (BA, 1935). A United Church missionary, he taught at an Indigenous school at Nelson House (1925-1929). He joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1930, serving for some years as literary editor. During the Second World War, he worked in Ottawa in conservation programs, ran his own public relations firm, and wrote for radio and television. In 1956, he settled at Bewdley, Ontario where he opened the Clay Publishing Company to produce journals and books for the popular market. He published several books including Swampy Cree Legends (1938), Young Voyageur (1938), Fur Trade Apprentice (1940), So You Want a War Job (1942), Phantom Fur Thieves (1944), and Muskrat Men (1946). He died at Peterborough, Ontario in late September 1980. A collection of his papers are held at the University of Winnipeg Archives.

Sources:

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Former Free Press literary editor dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 1980, page 22.

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 September 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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