Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Clarke McKinnell (1873-1939)

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William Clarke McKinnell
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Farmer, merchant, MLA (1921-1922), MLA (1923-1927), MLA (1927-1932), MLA (1933-1936).

Born at Northampton, England on 29 September 1873, son of William McKinnell and Catherine Perkins, he was educated at Northampton Grammar School, and Bedford Modern School. He came to Melita in 1892 to engage in farming. He remained there until 1902 when he moved to a farm near Teulon. Four years later, he opened a general store at Teulon which he operated until 1922. He was a member of the Teulon Consolidated School Board for 15 years.

In 1920, he contested the Rockwood constituency in the Manitoba Legislature and was elected by a single vote on a recount. His margin of victory increased substantially in the 1922, 1927, and 1932 elections until he was defeated in 1936. While in office, he was Chair of the select standing committee on municipal affairs and, when the Winnipeg Suburban Municipal Board was created in 1925, he was appointed Chair until its discontinuance. He also served as Deputy Speaker. After stepping down from provincial politics, he became supervisor of municipalities including, at the time of his death, St. Boniface, St. James, St. Vital, Transcona, and West Kildonan.

On 30 January 1901, he married Christina Margaret Wood of Teulon, daughter of Archibald S. Wood, with whom he had five daughters: Catherine Margaret McKinnell (1902-?, wife of F. B. Kirkwood), Mary Elizabeth McKinnell (1904-?), Islay McKinnell (1909-?), Joyce McKinnell (1912-?), and Marjorie McKinnell (?-?). He was a member of the Kiwanis.

He died suddenly at his Winnipeg home, 120 Canora Street, on 27 October 1939. He was buried in the Windsor Cemetery.


Birth registration, Northamptonshire County, FreeBMD.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1916 Canada census, Ancestry.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“McKinnell dies suddenly,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 October 1939, page 1.

“W. C. McKinnell, suburbs’ finance supervisor, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 October 1939, page 17.

Western Municipal News, November 1939, page 309.

We thank Skip McKinnell for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 July 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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