Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William George Henderson (1881-1911)


Born at the family homestead near Moose Nose in the Rural Municipality of Springfield on 25 July 1881, son of Robert James Henderson (1852-1898) and Janet Fraser (1852-1935), he attended North Springfield School, graduated from Manitoba College with a BA degree, was considered for (though was not awarded) a Rhodes Scholarship, and attained his First Class teaching certificate (1905).

While attending Manitoba College, he began working in rural Manitoba schools, including at Millbrook School (pre-1906) and Virden School (1906), before moving from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg during the summer of 1907. He then taught mathematics at the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute (1907-1908) and worked at the Winnipeg Business College (1908).

In September 1908, he departed for Princeton University (New Jersey), having received a fellowship in mathematics. There, he attended postgraduate studies for two years and earned a gold medal in mathematics before returning to Winnipeg. He resumed his Collegiate duties for the Winnipeg School Board (1910-1911) and boarded at the 565 Arlington Street residence of Charles Robertson. He served as Secretary of the Manitoba Educational Association (1910-1911).

In early August 1911, he departed for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway resort at Minaki, Ontario. On 4 August 1911, he left his vacation residence for an early morning swim. His hosts heard cries for help but he drowned before they could arrive. His body was recovered later that day. Burial followed at the Old Kildonan Cemetery.


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1891 & 1906 Canada censes, Library and Archives Canada.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary [Robert James Henderson], Winnipeg Tribune, 16 April 1898, page 5.

“The successful candidates at the University examinations,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 May 1903, page 3.

“Proceedings of advisory board,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 January 1905, page 5.

“Examinations for teachers [W. G. Henderson, Virden],” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 June 1906, page 15.

“City and General [W. G. Henderson],” Manitoba Free Press, 29 July 1907, page 9.

“Presentations to Schofield,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 October 1907, page 5.

“Local news paragraphs [Received a fellowship],” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 May 1908, page 10.

“Collegiate teacher is drowned while bathing at Minaki,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 August 1911, page 1.

“W. G. Henderson drowns in lake,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 August 1911, page 18.

Death notice, Manitoba Free Press, 7 August 1911, page 13.

“Many pay tribute to late W. G. Henderson,” Manitoba Free Press, 8 August 1911, page 5.

“Recommend site for new school,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 August 1911, page 5.

Obituary [Mrs. Janet Henderson], Winnipeg Tribune, 5 July 1935, page 6.

Springfield, 1st Rural Municipality in Manitoba, 1873-1973, Dugald Women’s Institute.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 27 December 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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