Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Alexander McLachlan (1869-1947)


Born at London, Ontario on 13 November 1869, son of John Alexander McLachlan and Sarah Kemp, he was educated at London Public and High Schools. The family came to Manitoba in 1882, where he learned the printing trade and worked at Regina, North West Territories [now Saskatchewan] and Pipestone. He later came to Virden and, after some years, started the Empire newspaper. In partnership with Colin S. McClelland, he issued that journal until 1907, when they purchased the plant of the Advance which they merged with their own under the name of Empire-Advance. The Advance was established in 1885, making it one of the first weeklies established in Manitoba. From 1912 to 1946, he was secretary-manager of the Empire Publishing Company.

On 8 June 1910, he married Mamie Louise Grundy (1887-?) at Virden, with whom he subsequently had four sons: John Ronald McLachlan, D. Wilbur McLachlan, G. Sinclair McLachlan, and W. Howard McLachlan. He was a member and director of the Canadian Weekly Newspaper Association and President of the Manitoba Weekly Newspaper Association. He was a member of the Virden Board of Trade, Virden town council, Virden School Board, AF & AM, IOOF, and St. Paul’s Methodist (later United) Church. He served as secretary of the Virden Golf Club for some years.

He died at his Virden home on 19 November 1947.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Empire Publishing Building (Virden)

MHS Centennial Business: Virden Empire-Advance


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

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

“Newspaper official dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 November 1947, page 31.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 July 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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