Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: William Arthur Irish (1872-1941)

Click to enlarge

William Arthur Irish
Click to enlarge

Building contractor.

Born at Yarker, Ontario on 17 September 1872, son of George and Catherine Irish, he came to Manitoba with his parents in the early 1890s and worked at Carberry and Virden before coming to Winnipeg where he operated a contracting business in partnership with his brother-in-law John Alexander Saul. They also operated a brickworks at Virden in the 1890s. He was later President of the W. A. Irish & Company, President of the Builders’ Mutual Supply Company, President of the Western Savings and Loan Association, and a Director of the Equitable Trust Company.

On 28 January 1922, he married Mary Edith Fares (1890-1980, daughter of William Henry Fares) at Winnipeg and they had three children: William C. “Bill” Irish (1922-2015), Elizabeth Irish, and Gwendoline Joyce “Gwen” Irish (wife of James Eno Pompilio). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Motor Country Club, and Southwood Golf Club. In 1930, he was involved in a bitter dispute over the will of his friend Alexander Macdonald.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 755 Wellington Crescent, on 1 November 1941 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. His pallbearers were J. S. Currie, N. Brewer, E. D. Pratt, G. Dummert, H. S. Stidston, and R. Pollock. His honorary pallbearers were Clarence Day Shepard, Robert Dunbar Guy, Edwin Henry Bennest, A. J. Brown, W. McLandress, W. Griffith, and H. Darling.

Some of his construction works in Manitoba included:





Blue Ribbon Building (Anne Building)

87 King Street (88 Arthur Street), Winnipeg



Parkhill House

182 Spence Street, Winnipeg



Ideal Bedding Building

288 Princess Street, Winnipeg


Demolished (2017)

Ivanhoe Court

277 Balmoral Street, Winnipeg



Linda Vista Apartments / Birchmont Apartments

171 Vaughan Street, Winnipeg


Demolished (?)

Spera House (move)

2 Middle Gate, Winnipeg



Safeway Store

893 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg



Scarsdale Apartments

71 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg




1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Who's Who and Why, Volumes 6 and 7, 1915-1916, page 661.

Marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Whereabouts of Irish and Forlong unknown,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 February 1930, page 17.

“W. A. Irish, contractor, dies aged 69,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 November 1941, page 6.

“W. A. Irish leaves $229,101 estate,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 January 1942, page 2.

Death registration [James Eno Pompilio], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Mary Edith Irish], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 1980, page 49.

John Hamilton Parkhill, 182 Spence Street by Murray Peterson, Peterson Projects, February 2009.

Obituary [William C. Irish], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 April 2015.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 October 2021

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.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.