Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Chantler McDougall (1842-1917)

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John C. McDougall
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Born at Owen Sound, Ontario, on 27 December 1842, eldest son of Reverend George Millward McDougall and Elizabeth Chantler. He was married twice, first to Abigail Steinhauer in 1864, and second to Elizabeth Boyd in 1872. He received his early education at Indian missionary schools at Newash and Alderville, where he learned the Ojibway language, and at Garden River on Lake Huron. He attended Victoria College, Cobourg, Canada West, from 1857 to 1860, but at his father’s request joined him at the Rossville Mission near Norway House in 1860. Here he taught school, learned the Cree Language, and travelled throughout what is now northern Manitoba.

McDougall entered the ministry in 1866 and was ordained in the Methodist Church in 1874. In addition to his missionary work he rendered valuable services to the Crown at various times, particularly as a diplomat and commissioner after the rebellions of 1869-1870 and 1885, and in connection with the making of treaties with the Indians. He was superannuated in 1906 and he died at Calgary, Alberta on 15 January 1917. He was survived by eight children.

Author of George Millward McDougall (Toronto, 1888), Forest, Lake and Prairie (Toronto, 1895), Saddle, Sled and Snowshoe (Toronto, 1896), Pathfinding on Plain and Prairie (Toronto, 1898), White Buffalo (Calgary, 1908), In the Days of the Red River Rebellion (Toronto, 1911), and On Western Trails in the Early Seventies (Toronto, 1911).

See also:

Mission among the Buffalo by J. E. Nix (1960).

John Chantler McDougall, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XIV, 695-97.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

We thank James Kostuchuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 April 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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