Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Wesley Handscomb (1867-1906)


Born at Dover, England in 1867, the son of Aquilla Barber Handscomb and Harriet Wesley (1834-1893), he moved to Winnipeg in 1879 and joined the Winnipeg Times, and later was employed by the Manitoba Free Press. In 1887, he was elected the first Secretary of the Winnipeg Press Club. He worked for a time as a newspaperman in the United States and on returning to Winnipeg he became editor and proprietor of Town Topics. On 15 March 1883, he married Anna Pratt (1865-1945, later married to William Forbes Perkins) of Clinton, Ontario and they had one daughter, Sybil Wesley Handscomb (c1884-1945, wife of George R. Ryan). Possessed of a fine tenor voice, he sang in Winnipeg and also on the musical stage in the United States. He was one of Winnipeg’s first playwrights, authoring a play entitled “Boom Times” in the early 1880s. He died of diptheria at Winnipeg on 2 June 1906 and was buried in the St. James Cemetery.


Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Chas. W. Handscomb answers the final call,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 June 1906, page 19.

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 21 November 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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