Memorable Manitobans: Samuel Larcombe (1852-1937)
Born in Axminister, Devonshire, England on 9 April 1852, he came to Birtle in 1889, renting a farm that he later bought. A gifted gardener, he attempted to prove that every vegetable grown in England could be produced in Manitoba, employing intensive cultivation and hybridization in the process. He entered competitions in Eastern Canada after 1903, under the auspices of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Just before the First World War, he began growing grains, in 1917 producing a rust-resistant strain that he called “Axminster.” At a 1917 international exhibition in Peoria, Illinois, he won the world’s championship for his wheat (gaining 99 out of 100 marks in the judging) as well as 26 other prizes, and became one of Manitoba’s many “Wheat Kings.” At Kansas City in 1919 he showed 382 different varieties of vegetables. He was a Farmer candidate in the 1920 provincial general election but was defeated by George Malcolm.
He died at Birtle on 20 October 1937 and was buried in the Birtle Cemetery. He was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Pioneers of Manitoba, by Robert Harvey, pages 21-23.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 10 April 2018