Memorable Manitobans: James McKay (1862-1931)
Not to be confused with politician James McKay (1828-1879).
Born at Fort Ellice on 12 July 1862, son of William McKay (1819-1884) and Mary Cook, grandson of John Richards McKay, he was educated at St. John’s College and the University of Manitoba. In 1882, he joined the law firm of Bain, Blanchard and Mulock at Winnipeg and was called to the Manitoba Bar four years later. During the 1885 North West Rebellion, he served as a private in the 90th Regiment. He practiced law for a brief time at Winnipeg then moved to Prince Albert, North West Territories [now Saskatchewan].
He served as a Crown Prosecutor of Saskatchewan (1888-1897) and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1891. In 1914, he became a judge of the Supreme Court of Saskatchewan and, when it was abolished in 1918, he moved to the Court of King’s Bench. In October 1921, he joined the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. He received an honorary degree from the University of Manitoba in October 1927.
He died at Toronto, Ontario on 1 December 1931 and was buried at Regina, Saskatchewan.
“Over 500 graduates at dinner and dance,” Manitoba Free Press, 8 October 1927, page 9.
Ontario death registration, Ancestry.
“Mr. Justice M’Kay, Saskatchewan, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 December 1931, page 2.
The Honourable James McKay, Gentleman, Jurist and Pioneer by J. R. Bothwell
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 8 June 2023