Memorable Manitobans: Endre Johanssen Cleven (1874-1916)
Photographer, musician, immigration official.
Born at Skudenes, Norway on 8 May 1874, he immigrated to North America in 1891, settling at Inwood, Iowa then New York City where he studied music. He moved to Winnipeg in 1903 and became a key figure in the city’s Norwegian community. He worked as a photographer with a studio at 363 York (1905) and 367 Main (1906-1909) and was a musician in the orchestra at the Walker Theatre. In 1912, he became employed by the Dominion Immigration Office to coordinate Canada’s Scandinavian resettlement program, targeting mainly those who had already settled in the United States. On 9 June 1904, he married Margit “Margaret” Hoines (?-1965) and had at least five children: Euare Cleven (1906-?), Harald Cleven (1910-?), Olf Cleven (1912-?), Odvar Cleven (1916-?) and Lilian Cleven (?-?). The family lived at 412 Toronto Street. During the First World War, Lt. Col A. G. Fonseca appointed Cleven as quartermaster of the newly-created 197th Overseas Battalion, nicknamed the Vikings of Canada. On 3 July 1916, the two men were traveling from Winnipeg to Camp Hughes when their car overturned. Cleven was thrown from the vehicle and killed. He was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
“Captain Cleven is killed in auto accident,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 July 1916, page 1.
Winnipeg Business Tax Rolls, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“Farewell to 412 Toronto Street,” West End Dumplings.
Page revised: 20 June 2017
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