Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Arthur Egbert Ham (1867-1931)

Businessman, civil servant, insurance executive.

Born at Napanee, Ontario on 23 March 1867, son of Ira Ham (1818-1881) and Almeda Haight (1827-1868), he worked as a clerk and, on 30 October 1888, married Catherine A. E. Pomeroy (1867-1960) at St. Anne’s Church in Toronto. They had six sons: Ira Egbert Ham (1891-1946), Earl Pomeroy Ham (1892-1934), Leslie Arthur Ham (1899-1968), Ralph Carl Ham, Alan Edgar Ham (1903-1971), and Hugh Percival Ham (1905-?).

In 1896, he moved to Winnipeg and became Manager (1898-1906, later also a Director) of the Imperial Dry Goods Company (IDGC). They resided at 178 Langside Street until moving into their new residence at 661 Broadway in 1903. It was at this residence where, on 12 March 1906 while the company was being closed down, that around 40 IDGC employees turned up to present him with a gold locket. Its front face was inscribed with his initials along with “From the Imperial Staff, 1906” on the reverse, in appreciation and tribute to his leadership.

His next residence was at 187 Balmoral Street, and he was appointed the first Inspector of Insurance (1906-1919, later Superintendent of Insurance & Fire Commission) for the provincial government. During this time, he was also a member of the mercantile partnership of Ham & Motherwell. Upon leaving his provincial post, he became an officer and Vice-President of the Master Builders Liability Insurance Company. Around 1912, they moved to 240 Ruby Street where he resided until his death. In 1923, he was an aldermanic candidate. He was a member of the All Saints Anglican Church and Masons (Scottish Rite, Past Deputy District Grand Master, Grand Master of Prince Rupert Lodge and Beaver Lodge).

He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 16 January 1931 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Winnipeg Orthopaedic Clinic / MacKinnon Orthopaedic Clinic / Howell Court (661 Broadway, Winnipeg)

Manitoba Business: Imperial Dry Goods Company


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

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

1911 & 1916 Canada censuses, Library and Archives Canada.

“The Imperial,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 January 1906, page 10.

“Insurance Inspector to be appointed,” Manitoba Free Press, 27 January 1906, page 14.

“Presentation to Mr. A. E. Ham,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 March 1906, page 23.

“Insurance Inspector,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 May 1906, page 11.

“Insurance Report,” Manitoba Free Press, 8 January 1907, page 15.

“Big insurance business done,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 June 1913, page 15.

“Large local wholesale house -- Ham & Motherwell, Ltd.” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 March 1915, page 21.

“To disseminate insurance data,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 September 1916, page 5.

“Arthur E. ham, resident here 34 years, dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 January 1931, page 3.

“Arthur E. Ham laid to rest at St. John’s,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 January 1931, page 2.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Ham family tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 8 March 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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