Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Gunn (1842-1922)

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Robert Gunn
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Born in the Parish of Kildonan (later East Kildonan) on 29 September 1842, one of at least four children born to John Gunn and Ann Sutherland, he inherited the family farmstead and worked there until 1870. In 1867, he married Barbara McKay (?-1900) and they had ten children: Ann Elspeth Gunn (1869-1931, wife of John Hugh Sutherland), John William Gunn (1870-1936), Isabella Mary Gunn (1873-1949, wife of John A. Matheson), Ebenezer Sutherland Gunn (1875-1934), Jeremiah Donald Gunn (1880-1960), Margaret Beatrice Gunn (1882-1945, wife of William Frederick Brownbridge), Henrietta Georgina “Georgie” Gunn (1885-1954), Selkirk Douglas Gunn (1887-1976), and Alexander James Gunn (1892-1945).

The family moved to the Rural Municipality of Springfield, in the northern part of what would be Transcona, and operated a large farm of 320 acres in the area north of Kildare Avenue, east of Day Street, and south of what would become known as Gunn Road. It the site of the original South Springfield School He was active in the local community, served as the Postmaster of the Montavista Post Office (1888-1898) and serving on the local school board (Secretary-Treasurer) and municipal council (1875-1876, 1878, and 1898-1899). He sold his land assets in 1907 and commissioned architect Eldred Dodsworth Tuttle and contractor Peter McCalman to build a residence at 165 Johnson Avenue in Elmwood area of Winnipeg. He was a member of the Masons and the Presbyterian Church. After his move to Elmwood, he served as honorary president of the Elmwood Curling Club.

He died at his Winnipeg residence, 165 Johnson Avenue, on 9 September 1922 and was buried in the Old Kildonan Cemetery.


Manitoba 1870 census, Ancestry.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

“Wedding at Springfield [Ann E. Gunn - J. H. Sutherland],” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 22 October 1898, page 3.

“A Springfield wedding [Matheson-Gunn nuptials ...],” Manitoba Free Press, 27 November 1902, page 9.

“Option for $100,000,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 February 1907, page 1.

“Building and real estate,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 July 1907, page 31.

“80 years old yesterday,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 September 1922, page 6.

“Descendant of early Settlers passes away,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 November 1922, page 3.

“Born here in 1842; is dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 November 1922, page 15.

Death notice [Ann Elspath Sutherland], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 February 1931, pages 3 & 14.

Death notice [Eb. S. Gunn], Winnipeg Tribune, 8 January 1934, page 14.

“E. S. Gunn buried in Old Kildonan Cemetery,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 January 1934, page 7.

Engagements [Margaret Beatrice Gunn - F. W. Brownbridge], Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1936, page 6.

“Beatrice Gunn and F. W. Brownbridge plight troth at quiet home ceremony,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 September 1936, page 11.

Death notice [John William Gunn], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 December 1936, page 18.

“John H. Sutherland, pioneer, succumbs,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 January 1939, page 2.

Death notice [Margaret B. Brownbridge], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 April 1945 page 18.

Obituary [Alexander James Gunn], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 1945, page 4.

Obituary [John A. Matheson], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 1948, page 9.

“Mrs. J. A. Matheson funeral rites held,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 January 1949, page 8.

“Selkirk Settlers’ descendant dies in 70th year,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 July 1954, page 9.

Obituary [Frederick William Brownbridge], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 November 1965, page 28.

Obituary [Selkirk Douglas Gunn], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 April 1976, page 42.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 December 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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