Memorable Manitobans: Johnson Douglass (1863-1944)
Born at Port Hope, Ontario on 3 March 1863, son of William Douglass, he worked as a clerk in a grocery, crockery, glassware and provision store for three years then moved to Winnipeg in March 1882, becoming a timekeeper for a cosntruction crew building a bridge across the Assiniboine River from Grand Valley to Brandon. He then worked as a rodman for an engineering party working on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway west of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Afterwards he returned to Winnipeg and found work with the stationery form of Wilson Brothers.
When the wholesale stationery firm of O’Laughlin Brothers & Company merged with Parsons, Bell & Company, he joined the new company as a foreman. He later purchased the printing department of the firm and added a ruling and bookbinding department, operating it as Douglass Printing & Bookbinding Company at 121 Princess Street, Winnipeg. He merged this company with McIntyre Brothers, taking on J. F. McIntyre as a business partner in the renamed Douglass-McIntyre Printing & Binding Company. He retired from the business in 1910 and sold it to E. N. Riley, after which the company continued as the Douglass Printing & Bookbinding Company.
On 22 March 1894, he married Jessie Elizabeth Marshall (?-1957) of Toronto. They had four children: J. G. Marshall Douglass, William J. Douglass, Jean Elizabeth Douglass, and Constance Ethel Douglass. He served on the Winnipeg School Board from 1910 to 1912, during which term he laid the cornerstone for Principal Sparling School. He was a member of the IOOF, the Masons, and Knox Presbyterian Church.
He died at Winnipeg on 12 March 1944 and was buried in the Old Kildonan Cemetery.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
Obituary [J. E. Douglass], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 August 1957, page 15.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 20 May 2018