Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Cameron Dryden (1893-1951)

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John Cameron Dryden
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Farmer, MLA (1941-1945), MLA (1946-1949).

Born at Ste. Agathe on 3 February 1893, son of Andrew Dryden and Margaret Dryden, he was educated at the Manitoba Agricultural College (BSA). He went overseas during the First World War as a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers (1915-1918) then returned to the family farm.

He served for ten years on the local municipal council. He was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature at the 1941 general election, re-elected in 1945, and held the portfolios of Minister of Education and Provincial Treasurer (1948-1950). He was defeated in 1949 by Harry Shewman.

On 30 June 1919, he married Luella Mary Kemp (1898-1986, daughter of Robert Kemp of Winnipeg) and they had four children: Richard Douglas “Dick” Dryden (1921-2010), Joan Dryden (wife of Ken McLeod), Wilma Dryden (wife of Peter Curd), and Donna Margaret Dryden (1933-2003, wife of Ed Teillet).

He died at Winnipeg on 15 October 1951 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.


Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1926 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.

The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1943.

“Under The Golden Boy, Manitoba’s M.L.A.s,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 March 1943. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 129]

“Ex-cabinet minister dies at 53,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 October 1951. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10]

Obituary [Luella Mary Dryden], Winnipeg Free Press, 31 May 1986, page 22.

Obituary [Donna Margaret Teillet], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 May 2003.

Obituary [Richard Douglas Dryden], Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2010.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

We thank Oliver Bernuetz for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 January 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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