Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David Wesley “Wes” Griffith (1879-1943)

Automobile dealer.

Born at Hagersville, Ontario on 26 July 1879, son of carriage manufacturer John Clancy Griffith and Sarah McIsaac, of Welsh descent, he was educated at Hagarsville public and high schools, quitting to work for two or three years in his father’s plant. He came to western Canada in 1897, settling first at Rat Portage [now Kenora, Ontario] and for a time partnered with his brother Benjamin C. Griffith in a general store.

He moved to Winnipeg in 1907 and went into the tailoring and fur business, then operated a hotel at Lanigan, Saskatchewan from 1910 to 1913. He returned to Winnipeg and went into partnership with Alexander Conley McRae in an automobile dealership, at a time when there were few automobiles in Manitoba. He remained with the firm of McRae and Griffith for 30 years.

On 1 January 1908, he married Emily Lorette Girling (c1885-1954) at Winnipeg. They had no children. He was a member of the Winnipeg Board of Trade, Motor Trades Association (President), Retail Merchants’ Association, Carleton Club, Kiwanis Club, AF & AM (Lanigan Lodge, Fort Garry Lodge), Khartum Shrine, Granite Curling Club (President, 1924-1925), Manitoba Curling Association (President, 1925-1926), Elmhurst Golf and Country Club (Governor), and St. Georges’ Anglican Church. He was an avid duck shooter.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 870 Wellington Crescent, on 23 September 1943 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

Sources:

Birth registration, Ancestry.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“D. W. Griffith, pioneer motor dealer, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 September 1943, page 3.

Obituary [Mrs. D. W. Griffith), Winnipeg Tribune, 22 April 1954, page 12.

We thank Keith Jones and Rick Mutton for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 April 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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