Memorable Manitobans: David Anthony Keizer (1857-1942)
Civil engineer, architect.
Born at Upper LaHave, Nova Scotia on 22 February 1857, he came to western Canada in 1881 as an assistant to surveyor Thomas Drummond. Based at Winnipeg, he advocated for development of the resources in southeastern Manitoba. He formed the Lac du Bonnet Mining, Developing, and Manufacturing Company in 1898 and the Manitoba Water Power Electrical Company in 1904. He urged the Winnipeg city council to build a hydroelectric generating station at Silver Falls on the Winnipeg River, but was rejected in favour of a site at Pointe du Bois. In 1901, he incorporated the Keizer Brick Machine and Manufacturing Company to market a machine that he claimed could make 24 different types of ornamental and regular bricks at a rate of 20 million bricks in 100 days.
He had a long-standing connection to George Lake, starting in 1910 when he supervised the construction of a large log building there as a clubhouse for the Manitoba Hunting and Fishing Club. It was destroyed by a forest fire in the late 1920s. He built a personal cottage on George Lake but, despite several applications for a homestead grant, was unable to secure one.
On 28 August 1884, he married Mary Jane “Mamie” Linklater (1865-1948) at Winnipeg and they had seven children: Ethel Elizabeth Keizer (1885-1930), Florence Vaughan Keizer (1889-1966), Frances Clegg Keizer (1891-1892), Frederick Clegg Linklater Keizer (1891-1892), Carl Theodoric Whitcomb Keizer (1893-1954), Otto Willard Armstrong Keizer (1897-1965), and Aubrey Prescott White Keizer (1901-1968).
He died at Winnipeg on 25 June 1942 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.
Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:
Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Obituary [Mary J. Keizer], Winnipeg Tribune, 26 April 1948, page 25.
Obituary [Aubrey Prescott Keizer], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Manitoba Brick: A History of Brick Manufacturing in Manitoba, 1860-1990. Appendix 1: Winnipeg & St. Boniface Operations by Randy Rostecki and David Butterfield.
Simply Old Man Keizer by Jennifer Strassel, Stories From the Wild, 3 March 2020.
We thank Jim Astwood, Jerry Keizer, and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 December 2021