Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Colwell (1853-1921)

Railwayman, civil servant.

Born at Bervie, Ontario on 4 September 1853, he came to Winnipeg in 1881 and became employed with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He remained with the CPR for 21 years, retiring as baggage master for Winnipeg. He then accepted a position as Land Titles Officer with the Manitoba government, which he held until his death.

He was a member of Pioneer Lodge 1307 of the Loyal Orange Lodge, which was organized in 1870 aboard the barge Jessie McKinney on the Red River. As an Orangeman, he served as master, district master, county master, provincial master and provincial grand chaplain for the Royal Black Knights of the British Commonwealth. He was also a member of the Royal Black Preceptory No. 865, the AF & AM Lodge No. 10, and the IOOF.

He died at Winnipeg on 13 September 1921.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“John Colwell, Pioneer, Dies” Newspaper clipping. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B7]

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Page revised: 10 February 2009

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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