Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Hugh S. Donaldson (1829-1904)

Soldier, businessman.

He came to Minnesota in his early youth from Montreal. During the Indian massacre of 1862 he commanded a company of frontiersmen at Pembina to protect the settlement and prevent the Indians from invading Canadian territory. He received a captaincy from the American government, and also acted as postmaster at Pembina. He was a member of the Minnesota State Legislature in 1862 and 1863. In 1864 Donaldson came to Fort Garry and set up a stationery and fancy goods business in which venture he continued for some 20 years. In 1871, he married Margaret Harriott Rowand, widow of John Rowand. Donaldson was a founding member of the Manitoba Historical Society, in 1879. He retired and continued to live in Winnipeg until 1903 when he moved to Whitby, Ontario. He died there in May 1904. The town of Donaldson in Minnesota was named for him.


“An estimable lady gone,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 September 1893.

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 August 2013

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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