Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Jackson Kilgour (1864-1951)

Boot and shoe merchant.

Born at Montreal, Quebec in 1864, son of Robert Kilgour and Margaret Jackson, the family came to Manitoba in 1867 and farmed in the Boyne district. He left home at the age of 10 and moved to Iowa where he did farm work during the summer and attended school in winter. He returned to Winnipeg in 1883, starting as a clerk with merchant Thomas Ryan. Within a few months, he had saved enough money to open his own retail shoe store in partnership with F. W. Rimer. He became sole proprietor after Rimer’s death, with the firm of Kilgour-Rimer growing to become on the largest companies in Winnipeg, by 1913 doing over a million dollars of business annually. They owned the Regal shoe stores at Winnipeg and Toronto, the Independent Rubber Company of Merritton, Ontario, and the Western Shoe Company of Berlin [Kitchener], Ontario. He retired from business in 1941.

He had five children: Ethel Maud Kilgour (b 1889, wife of G. R. Hanbury), James Peter Kilgour (b 1892), Francis Edward Kilgour (b 1897), Douglas Kilgour, and John Kilgour. In 1913, the family lived at 93 Harvard Avenue, Winnipeg. He was a member of the Masons (Ionic Lodge), Carleton Club, and Winnipeg Automobile Club.

He died at Winnipeg on 1 May 1951 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.


Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

“James Jackson Kilgour”, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 May 1951, page 13.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 May 2011

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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