Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: William Archibald “Bill” Cumming (1911-1999)

Click to enlarge

William Archibald Cumming
Click to enlarge


Born at Teulon on 18 March 1911, son of Hugh Duncan Cumming and Olive Lyle Archibald (1882-1935), he graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1932. After that, he worked for both the Manitoba and Federal Departments of Agriculture before becoming manager at a nursery at Dropmore in 1945. In 1955, he rejoined the staff of the Morden Research Station, where he was head of the ornamentals and fruit crops program until retirement in 1976.

He was a leader in the field of prairie horticulture and developed many ornamentals, shrubs, and fruit trees, including the Kelsey Crabapple, Manitoba's centennial tree. He received many honours, awards and life memberships from horticulture associations in North America, including the Stevenson Award from the Manitoba Horticultural Association (1974), and an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba (1971).

He was married twice, first on 7 November 1936 to Phyllis Emiline Cottingham (1913-1944) at St. Andrews. His second marriage, in 1946, was to Jean Audrey Cottingham (1922-2012). He had a son and four daughters.

He died at Winnipeg on 26 July 1999.


Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 July 1999, page 36.

Obituary [Jean Audrey Cumming], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 September 2012.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Kris Keen and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 21 April 2021

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.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.