Memorable Manitobans: Howard Alexander Dangerfield (1871-1932)
Real estate agent.
His grandfather Samuel arrived in North America from England in the 1830s, first settling in New York state. Shortly thereafter, Samuel and his family emigrated to Oxford Mills, Ontario. Howard was born there to Samuel’s son George, and his wife Mary, on 27 August 1871. Although in England the family had been shopkeepers, they evidently had an appreciation for land. In Ontario they became farmers. By the 1850s, as Eastern Canada became increasingly settled and land more scarce, family members began to move to the American frontier as Canada’s was not yet available. The lure of free homesteads drew an uncle to Iowa, a sister to Illinois, cousins and uncles to Minnesota. Even his grandfather re-packed his bags and moved to North Dakota in the 1860s.
Dangerfield came to Winnipeg from Ontario in 1902 and began a career as a real estate agent, initially in the firm of Dangerfield and Doolittle, later on his own when partner Doolittle departed for Chicago. On 7 January 1909, he was married to Olive Maude Welsh (1883-1951, who later re-married to Robert M. Work), of Winnipeg. They had four children: Anna Marie Dangerfield (1910-?, wife of J. Mathieson), Beula H. Dangerfield (1913-1959), Ruth Dangerfield (1920-1934), and Robert Alexander Dangerfield (1920-1932). He was a member of Westminster United Church.
He dabbled in stocks, particularly oil and mineral companies. His commissions were usually taken in the form of shares. He was an active Liberal and was involved in Sifton’s efforts to bring settlers to the prairies. Evidently he was a successful land speculator and accumulated a substantial portfolio of Winnipeg and Manitoba real estate. Unfortunately, most of his wealth was tied up in land, and the post-First World War era was not what he or most others expected. In the land depression that took hold immediately after the war, he was forced to gradually sell all his holdings for taxes.
When he died at his Winnipeg residence, 152 Walnut Street, on 29 December 1932, all that remained of his once-extensive real estate holdings was the family home. He was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
1921 Canada census, Ancestry.
Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Pioneer city realty man dies, aged 61,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 December 1932, page 5.
“Work – Dangerfield,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 October 1944, page 6.
Obituary [Olive Maude Work], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 September 1951, page 27.
We thank Howard Mathieson, grandson of H. A. Dangerfield, for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 10 December 2017
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