Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John William Johnston (1871-1930)

Railwayman, civil servant.

Born at Wingham, Ontario on 8 November 1871, son of J. E. Johnston and ELizabeth Lawrie, his father came to Manitoba in 1877 and founded the Anglo-American Hotel at Emerson in the spring of 1878. He operated the hotel until 1882 when he moved his family to North Dakota, remaining there until 1890, moving to Ballingham, Washington until 1893, then back to Cavalier, North Dakota until 1897 when they moved to Dauphin. John Johnston was educated at Emerson and North Dakota, quitting school at the age of 15 to work on his father’s farm. When he came to Dauphin in 1897 he got a job as a cashier with the Canadian Northern Railway. In 1903 he was promoted to an agent. He became secretary-treasurer for the Town of Dauphin in 1905.

On 1 March 1897 he married Josephine Ault (?-?) at Cavalier, North Dakota. They had five children: Lee A. Johnston, Ruby M. Johnston, Beryl L. Johnston, John N. Johnston, and Vine B. Johnston. He was a member of the Masons, Knights Templar, IOOF, Knights of Pythias, Dauphin Club, Dauphin Automobile Club, and Presbyterian church.

He died at his Dauphin home on 23 June 1930 and was buried in the Dauphin Riverside Cemetery.


The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Death of J. W. Johnston,” Dauphin Herald and Press, 26 June 1930, page 1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 April 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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