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 western Canada 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, in 1905, 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 Rundle McLachlan (1911-1969), George Sinclair McLachlan (1916-?), William Howard McLachlan (1917-?), and Donald Wilbur “Bill” McLachlan (1919-?). 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 and was buried in the Virden Cemetery.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Birth registrations [John Rundle McLachlan, George Sinclair McLachlan, William Howard McLachlan, Donald Wilbur McLachlan], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
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.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 November 2022