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Manitoba History No. 88
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This Old Elevator
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Historic Sites of Manitoba
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Memorable Manitobans: Norman Lawrence Leach (1876-1949)

Grain merchant.

Born at Toronto, Ontario on 7 August 1876, son of Alexander Leach and Isabel Ferguson, he was educated at Toronto. He was superintendent of the Moose Mountain Iron Mines at Sudbury, Ontario from 1906 to 1909. He commenced a career in the grain industry in 1909, when he joined the National Elevator Company at Winnipeg as its General Manager, remaining there until 1927 when he assumed a similar position at the Searle Grain Company. He was President of the firm from 1934 to 1947. In addition, he served as Vice-President of the Home Grain Company, Vice-President of the Northland Elevator Company, a director of the Grain Insurance and Guarantee Company, a director of the Royal Bank of Canada, and a member of the advisory board of the Royal Trust Company.

During the Second World War, he served as Chairman of the payroll savings division of the War Finance Committee, Chairman of the Winnipeg district of the Canadian war service fund drive and chairman of the Red Cross drive for Winnipeg. He also served as a director of the Manitoba Sugar Company and President of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange (1920-1921).

In 1904, he married Rosabelle Searle (1883-1953), daughter of Augustus L. Searle, at Minneapolis, Minnesota. They had one son, Augustus Searle Leach. He was a member of the Pine Ridge Golf Club, Manitoba Club, Lakewood Country Club and St. Charles Country Club. At the time of his death, he lived at 761 Wellington Crescent, the house having been designed around 1930 by local architect A. E. Cubbidge.

He died at Winnipeg on 31 October 1949 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

See also:

The Searle Grain Company and Manitoba Handweaving, A Program of Imaginative Philanthropy by Janet A. Hoskins
Manitoba History, Number 6, Fall 1983

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Van Horne Farm / Searle Farm (RM of St. Clements)

Sources:

“N. L. Leach, Searle Grain official, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 October 1949.

“Grain man leaves estate of $383,050,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 November 1949.

Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 June 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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