Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William John Creelman (1872-?)

Shoe merchant.

Born at Durham, Ontario on 2 December 1872, son of William Creelman and Annie Duthie, he was educated in Durham and Georgetown, quitting school at the age of 14 to work in the firm of McLeod and Anderson at Georgetown. He moved to Toronto in the 1890s where he worked until 1897 when he came to Manitoba to take a job in the clothing department of the firm of Wilson and Rankin at Brandon. A year later, he started his own shoe business in partnership with R. R. Dowling.

His military service started with the Queens Own Rifles of Toronto. He joined the 99th Manitoba Rangers when it was first organized in Brandon, serving as Quartermaster and Acting Captain). He was in command of “A” Company at the outbreak of the First World War and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915. He was a Major with the 79th Battalion went he went overseas in March 1916, serving at Ypres, Somme, and the Regina Trench where he was wounded and invalided to Canada.

On 3 June 1902, he married Etta I. Laidlaw, sister of C. W. Laidlaw, at Brandon. They had four children: Hubert Duthie Creelman, Edward Evan Creelman, Helen Irene Creelman, and a second daughter. The family lived at 322 Fifteenth Street, Brandon. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, Masons, Brotherhood of American Yeomen, Retail Merchants Association, Brandon Athletic Club, and the Brandon Board of Trade.


The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Attestation Papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 November 2011

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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