Memorable Manitobans: John William Gunn (1865-1946)
Farmer, municipal official.
Born in Kildonan in 1865, son of Jeremiah Gunn (1837-1903) and Jane Gunn (1838-1901), a descendent of the Selkirk Settlers, during the 1885 North West Rebellion, he served in the 91st Battalion of the Winnipeg Light Infantry. He resided in North Transcona since 1877. He was the first to cross the Louise Bridge with a horse and buggy upon its opening to vehicular traffic, and the first automobile owner in Transcona.
Elected to South Springfield School Board (later Transcona School Board) in 1895, he served 40 years as a trustee, and was its Secretary from 1896 to 1905. He donated land for construction of the first school in Transcona. In 1912, he was a member of the inaugural municipal council for the Town of Transcona, on which he served for 20 years. He helped to construct Knox Presbyterian Church and served as a member of its board and session until his death. He was a member of the Masons (Transcona Lodge No. 123).
On 21 May 1902, he married Annie Stevenson (1878-1971). They had six daughters: Sarah Jean Fedeluk (1903-1979, wife of Michael Fedeluk), Grace “Annie” Cable (1905-2001, wife of Thomas Alfred Cable), Winnifred Victoria Read (1907-1949, wife of Thomas William Read), Reita Alexandria Walberg (1910-1974, wife of Harry P. Walberg), Louise Hopwood (1912-1995, wife of Walter Hopwood), and Beatrice “Bea” Smith (1914-1993, wife of John M. Smith).
He died at Transcona on 29 January 1946 and was buried in the Old Kildonan Cemetery. He is commemorated by John W. Gunn Middle School.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
School division half-yearly attendance reports, Archives of Manitoba.
“Transcona news,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 June 1945, page 8.
“Transcona still pressing for postal service,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 1946, page 3.
“Transcona pioneer John William Gunn buried Saturday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 February 1946, page 3.
Winnipeg Estate file #35428, John William Gunn, Archives of Manitoba.
Transcona, On the Horizon of a Great Future, Golden Jubilee, 1911-1961. Manitoba Legislative Library, F5649.T73 Tra.
Obituary [Winnifred Victoria Read], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 January 1949, page 24.
Obituary [Annie Gunn], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 1971, page 25.
Obituary [Reita Walberg], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 February 1974, page 27.
Obituary [Jean Fedeluk], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 March 1979, page 41.
Obituary [Beatrice Willena Smith], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 January 1993, page C7.
Obituary [Louise Hopwood], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 July 1995, page C6.
Obituary [Grace Cable], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 June 2001, page B4.
Gunn family trees, Ancestry.
1870 Manitoba Census, Library and Archives of Canada.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 May 2015