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Memorable Manitobans: Roderick McKenzie [Mackenzie] (1850-1925)

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Roderick McKenzie
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Farmer, farm leader, publisher.

Born at Ashfield, Ontario on 3 March 1850, son of Scotch immigrants Colin Mackenzie [McKenzie] and Ann McLean, he taught school while in his teens then worked for six years as a druggist. He came to Manitoba in 1877, joining a friend near Gladstone where a flour mill had been erected. He then worked on railway construction between Winnipeg and Emerson for a time, working under Charles Whitehead.

In 1892 he settled on a farm six miles north of Brandon. He served as the first Secretary of the United Farmers of Manitoba from 1903 to 1916, when he became Secretary of the Canadian Council of Agriculture. He moved to Winnipeg in 1908 to become Editor of the Grain Growers Guide, the official journal of the Manitoba Grain Growers Association. He was later President of the Public Press Printing Company, which published the Guide.

He was married twice, first to Janet McDonald of Lucknow, Ontario, in 1876. They had six children: Hugh K. McKenzie, Donald G. McKenzie, M. Lorne McKenzie, Colin A. McKenzie, Ada McKenzie, and Elizabeth McKenzie. His second marriage took place on 25 September 1916.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 535 Newman Street, on 27 January 1925.He is a member of the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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.

United Farmers of Manitoba, 25th Anniversary Year Book and Annual Convention Program, Portage la Prairie, 10-13 January 1928.

“Farmers’ leader dies at age of 75 years”, Manitoba Free Press, 28 January 1925, page 4. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]

We thank Grace Jacobs for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 February 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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