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Memorable Manitobans: Walter Gorham (1868-1952)

Municipal official, educator, businessman.

Born at Erith, Kent, England on 8 February 1868, he arrived at Beulah in 1892 and took up farming. He moved to Winnipeg in 1894 where he graduated from Central Collegiate and Central Normal School. On 30 August 1895, he married Edith Marion Potter (1867-1949) at the St. John’s Cathedral and they had six children: Edith Frances Gorham (1896-?, wife of Alexander “Alex” McLachlan), Walter Edward Gorham (1899-?), Delta Selina Gorham (1902-1998, wife of Oliver Borden “O. B.” Laird), Pauline Elizabeth Gorham (1906-1985, wife of Elmer Hamilton Laird), Amy Augusta Gorham (1909-2002), and Evelyn Ruth Gorham (1913-1994, wife of Byron Eugene Buss).

His taught at North Springfield School (1896-1898), Birds Hill School (1900-1904, and a substitute in 1927), and Central St. Paul School (1916-1923), the last at which he worked alongside his wife and served as Principal (1920-1923). He served as Superintendent of the Children’s Aid Society (1899) in Winnipeg, operated a general store (seven years) at Birds Hill, and was Clerk of the Roseneath Camp (1904-?). He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Rural Municipality of St. Paul (1911-1915) and Rural Municipality of East St. Paul (1916-1943), with his daughter Amy succeeding him in that position, herself serving 1946-1973. He was a member of the Masons (Northern Lights Lodge), British & Foreign Bible Society, a charter member (1904) of Woodmen of the World, and a member of St. Catherine’s Anglican Church, where in 1897 he was appointed Lay Reader of Diocese of Rupert’s Land by Archbishop Robert Machray.

He died at Detroit, Michigan on 24 June 1952 and his body was returned to Manitoba for burial in the Sunnyside Cemetery. He is commemorated by Gorham Street in East St. Paul.

Sources:

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 & 1911 Canada Census, Automated Genealogy.

1916, 1921, & 1926 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.

“North Springfield,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 28 December 1898, page 4.

“The holiday at Birds Hill,” Manitiba Free Press, 27 December 1900, page 6.

“Tenders for grading,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 March 1912, page 8.

“Anniversary at St. Catherines,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 November 1940, page 18.

“Oficial [sic] honored,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 January 1941, page 18.

“Bird’s Hill man is plant engineer,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 February 1943, page 13.

“Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gorham to mark golden wedding day,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1945, page 4.

Death notice [Edith Marion Gorham], Winnipeg Tribune, 27 December 1949, page 18.

“St. Paul School best in province, Miller declares,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 January 1952, page 34.

“W. Gorham, social worker, dies at 84,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 June 1952, page 8.

Winnipeg estate file #45517, Walter Gorham, Archives of Manitoba.

“RM of Ritchot council notes,” Steinbach Carillon, 4 July 1973, Section 2 page 8.

Obituary [Elmer Hamilton Laird], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 June 1985, page 37.

Obituary [Pauline Laird], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 December 1985, page 22.

“Heritage - East St. Paul celebrates 75th,” Selkirk Journal, 18 June 1991, page 11.

Obituary [Oliver Borden Laird], Winnipeg Free Press, 29 September 1993, page 20.

Obituary [Evelyn Ruth Buss], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 May 1994, page 45.

Obituary [Delta Laird], Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1998, page D8.

Obituary [Amy A. Gorham], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 September 2002, page C10.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 21 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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