Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Walter Thomas Kirby (1858-1936)

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Walter Thomas Kirby
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Financial and insurance agent.

Born at Montreal, Quebec on 19 May 1858, son of Thomas and Sarah Kirby, he was educated the Montreal high school then, in 1877, worked as a clerk in the Merchants Bank at Ottawa. He came to Winnipeg in 1879 and served from 1882 to 1888 as Private Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to Lieutenant-Governor James Cox Aikins. He later went into partnership in an insurance business with Lansing M. Lewis. In 1905, he joined the firm of Oldfield and Gardner, which was henceforth known as Oldfield, Kirby and Gardner. He helped to reorganize the Winnipeg Stock Exchange in 1906 and served as its President from 1914 to 1915. He was given life membership in the Exchange in 1931, along with Robert Thomas Riley and William Sanford Evans.

In 1889, he married Edith Lascelles Gauthier (1862-?) of Singleton Park, England. They had two children: Walter Lennard Kirby (1891-?) and Shelagh Warrick Kirby (1903-?). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, Conservative party, and Anglican church. In 1911, the family lived at 52 Edmonton Street, Winnipeg.

He retired from business in December 1931 and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where he died on 17 July 1936.

See also:

Manitoba Business: Oldfield, Kirby and Gardner

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Oldfield, Kirby and Gardner Building (234 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Carlton Building (354 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Walter Kirby dies in B.C. at age of 78,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 July 1936.

The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 October 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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