Memorable Manitobans: David Henry McFadden (1856-1935)
Veterinary surgeon, MLA (1892-1895), MLA (1896-1899), MLA (1900-1903), MLA (1903-1907), MLA (1911-1914), MLA (1914-1915), provincial secretary, municipal commissioner.
Born at Peterborough, Ontario on 17 February 1856, one of twelve children of Irish immigrants William McFadden and Alice Handbridge, he was educated at the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph. In 1880, he came to Emerson and began practicing as a veterinary surgeon. He was also manager of the Alexandra Realty Company.
On 12 October 1885, he married Emma Storey (1862-1947) of Drayton, North Dakota, with whom he had seven children: Sidney David McFadden (1887-1888), Edna Ida McFadden (1888-?, wife of Walter Ross Forrester), Gladys McFadden (1890-?, wife of George Ernest Miles), Mary Emma McFadden, William Johnston McFadden (1897-?), Allan Thomas McFadden (1898-?), and Bernice Louise McFadden (1904-1972, wife of I. P. McCoy). He was a member of the Masons, Independent Order of Foresters, and Orange Order, serving as Grand Master of the latter from 1900 to 1903.
He held at one time or other all the municipal offices in Emerson, including Mayor (1889-1890). He was elected MLA for Emerson in the 1892, 1896, 1899, 1900, and 1903 elections, and served as Provincial Secretary and Municipal Commissioner in the Roblin government until 1907, when he was unsuccessful in the general election. He was elected for Emerson in the 1910 general election and was re-elected in 1914. In 1917, he was implicated in a report by judge George Paterson over allegations of fraud in rural road building activities. He was defeated in the 1922 provincial general election.
He died at Emerson on 21 February 1935 and was buried in the Emerson Cemetery.
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
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.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1914.
“Critical roadbuilding of 1914 an orgy of fraud and theft,” Manitoba Free Press, 21 February 1917, page 1.
“Dr. H. D. M’Fadden dies at Emerson; burial Saturday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 February 1935, page 3.
Obituary, Western Municipal News, March 1935, page 90.
Obituary [George Ernest Miles], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 July 1961.
Obituary [Molly Basken], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 July 1970, page 27.
Obituary [Bernice Louise McCoy], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 October 1972, page 37.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 February 2023