Memorable Manitobans: George Kelso (1898-1983)
Born at Russell on 30 September 1898, son of James Kelso (1873-1961) and Priscilla Robbins (1873-1965), he attended Asessippi School and, after his family moved to Rossburn, also Rossburn School. At Rossburn, he had his first experience in the creamery business. After attending the University of Manitoba to take a diploma course in Agriculture, he moved to Russell (in 1924) where he began working as a buttermaker with Smellie Brothers and Company. He received many ribbons and trophies for his work, becoming known as the “King Champion Buttermaker” of Canada. On 27 March 1923, he married teacher Olive M. Irwin (1899-1967) and they had two daughters: Betty Kelso (1924-?, wife of Harold Keast) and Phyllis Margaret Kelso (1926-2011, wife of Nestor Mudry). After ten years at Smellie Brothers, he suggested that the firm establish a creamery at Roblin, for which he prepared a design and scouted a location. They accepted his proposal and, after the creamery was constructed by 1934, he and his family moved there. He managed the Roblin Creamery until 1944 when he became manager of all five creameries owned by the company, at Shoal Lake, Russell, Roblin, Rossburn, and MacNutt (Saskatchewan). He retired in 1960, when the creameries were sold to the Manitoba Dairy and Poultry Co-op (Manco). Active in the community, he served as a councillor (1941-1945) and Mayor (1946-1947) of Roblin and Chairman of the local War Finance Committee during the Second World War. He moved to Haney, British Columbia in 1968 where he married Alice Gertrude Lundy Thom (1905-1988). They moved back to Roblin in mid-1982. He died at Roblin on 24 May 1983 and was buried in the Roblin Cemetery.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Obituary [George Kelso], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 May 1983, page 35.
Shell River Municipality Century One: 1884-1984, Volume 2 by Roblin History Book Committee, 1986, pages 776-778.
Obituary [Alice Gertrude Kelso], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 July 1988, page 41.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 October 2019
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