Memorable Manitobans: Andrew Knox Dysart (1875-1952)
Born at Cocagne, New Brunswick on 15 November 1875, one of six sons of Andrew Knox Dysart and Henriette Miriam Cutler, brother of Arthur L. Dysart and Harrison Dysart, he was educated at local public schools and at St. Joseph’s College (St. Joseph, NB, BA Arts 1900; M.A. honoris causa, 1935). He worked as a journalist for the Roman Catholic weekly newspaper New Freeman, at St. Joseph. Early in 1901 he entered the Boston University Law School and, the next year, transferred to Harvard University from which he graduated with a law degree in 1904. He then spent a year at Oxford University, returning to New Brunswick in 1905.
He moved to Winnipeg in 1905 and was called to the Manitoba Bar. Initially, he had his own law practice but, in March 1907, he went into partnership with G. A. S. Potts. In 1909, after practicing with D. Newton and Wamyss for a short time, he started the firm of Dysart and Dysart, which continued to his death. He was appointed to the Court of King’s Bench in October 1921. Among the more famous cases he tried was the murder charges against Earle “The Strangler” Nelson. He was elevated to the Manitoba Court of Appeal in 1947. He also served on several Royal Commissions, as Chairman of the Board of the University of Manitoba (1934), and its Chancellor from 1944 to 1952. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1944.
On 25 September 1908, he married Clare Helen Forrester (?-1918), daughter of Charles Forrester, at Winnipeg. They had three children: Andrew Knox Dysart, Forrester Dysart, and Cecelia Dysart.
He died suddenly at Moncton, New Brunswick on 24 July 1952. He is commemorated by Dysart Road in Winnipeg.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Justice Dysart dies suddenly in 77th year,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 July 1952, page 1.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 14 Octoer 2014
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