Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Allen McKnight (1892-1975)


Born at Lethbridge, North West Territories (now Alberta) on 7 October 1892, one of six children of railway engineer John C. McKnight (1856-?) and Almira McKnight (1858-?), he came with his family to Winnipeg in 1898. He received a pharmacy degree from the University of Manitoba in 1914. He worked as a pharmacist for Eaton's until 1924 when he took over a drug store at the corner of Sherbrook and Westminster in Winnipeg, operating it until retirement in 1961. He also owned stores at Westminster and Arlington (?) and Academy and Ash (1932). He served as President of the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association (1940-1942) and Canadian Pharmaceutical Association (1940-1941). In 1935, he was made an Officer of the British Empire for bravery, for fighting off a pair of armed bandits who tried to rob his store. He retired in 1961. On 30 June 1920, he married Anna Evelyn Craig (1896-1976) at Winnipeg and they had two daughters: Patricia Ann McKnight (1929-1963, wife of Gordon Rosevear Cumming) and Shelagh Almira McKnight (1931-1997, wife of Richard H. Hooker). The family lived at 296 Montrose Street until 1968. He was a member of the Masons (Master, Prince Rupert Lodge), Khartum Shriners, and St. Luke's Anglican Church. He died at Winnipeg on 9 September 1975 and was buried in the Garry Memorial Park.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Four Winnipeg citizens are among western Canadians recognized by King George in New Year's honors,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1935, page 1.

“Cumming - McKnight bridal is candlelight ceremony,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 December 1952, page 17.

Obituary [Patricia Anne Cumming], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 July 1963, page 9.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 September 1975, page 31.

Obituary [Anna Evelyn McKnight], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 February 1976, page 31.

Obituary [Shelagh Almira McKnight Hooker], Winnipeg Free Press, 29 May 1997, page 60.

We thank Marianne Cumming for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 October 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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