Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William James Cooper (1860-1913)

Lawyer, civil servant.

Born at Walkerton, Ontario on 21 April 1860, his legal studies began at the Osgoode Hall in Toronto then continued under the Hon. Edward Blake. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1880 and came to Portage la Prairie in the spring of 1882. At first, he practiced alone, later as a partner in the firm of Cooper and Black, still later in Cooper and MacDonald, and with F. G. Taylor from 1900 to 1902. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1895 and served as a Bencher for the Law Society of Manitoba (1889-1904). He was a Conservative candidate for the Portage la Prairie constituency in the 1892 and 1896 provincial general elections. He was Registrar at the Portage la Prairie Land Titles Office from 1902 to 1909 then he returned to private law practice in partnership with Arthur Meighen. On 26 July 1883, he married Minerva Helen Sinclair Henderson (1861-?) at Walkerton, Ontario. They had no children. He served as Mayor of Portage la Prairie from 1895 to 1896, and from 1900 to 1902. He died at Portage la Prairie on 11 October 1913 and was buried in Hillside Cemetery. His pallbearers were Arthur Meighen, F. G. Taylor, T. A. Newman, J. P. Young, F. L. Newman, and G. Barrett.


Ontario marriage registration, Ancestry.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Many attend funeral,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 October 1913, page 17.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 August 2019

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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