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Memorable Manitobans: Sidney Till Handscomb (1868-1926)

Click to enlargeCustoms broker.

Born at London, England on 30 June 1868, son of Aquilla Barber Handscomb and Harriet Wesley, he emigrated to Canada with his family in 1870. They settled at Haliburton, Ontario but, a year later, moved to Port Hope. Coming to Winnipeg in 1882, he attended public school then took a job as a clerk in the customs brokerage house of J. H. Emslie. After several years with this firm, he worked for a similar business belonging to Mr. Burn and Thomas H. Verner then, upon Burn's retirement in October 1891, he joined as a partner, becoming Verner and Handscomb. He eventually bought out his partner and operated the business under the name of S. T. Handscomb & Company.

He married Mary Teressa Pratt (?-1941) on 8 September 1897. They had two children: Earl Wesley Handscomb (b 1898), and Charles Harold Handscomb (b 1902). He was a member of the Masons (King Edward Preceptory, Knights Templar, Khartum Temple of the Mystic Shrine), a Past Grand Representative and Past Grand Patriarch of the IOOF. He was also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, COF, and Winnipeg Council of Commercial Travelers.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 529 Sprague Street, on 26 February 1926.


A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth registrations for Handscomb children, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Mary T. Handscomb], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 December 1941, page 4.

“S. T. Handscomb dies after brief illness,” Manitoba Free Press, 27 February 1926, page 1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 August 2013

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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