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Memorable Manitobans: John McLean (1851-1928)

Methodist missionary, writer.

Born at Kilmarnock, Scotland, he came to Canada in 1873 and was educated at Victoria University (BA 1882, MA 1887) and Illinois Wesleyan University (PhD 1888). He served as a missionary to the Blood Indians in Alberta and held various charges in the West until he retired from the ministry in 1911. In 1895 he was president of the Manitoba and North West Conference of the Methodist Church. He founded the McLean Mission in Winnipeg, and from 1921 to 1928 was librarian of Wesley College. He wrote extensively on the Indians of the Northwest, publishing books such as The Indians, Their Manners and Customs (1889), Canadian Savage Folk: The Native Tribes of Canada (1896), and The Warden of the Plains and Other Stories (1896). He also wrote many biographies of prominent Methodist pioneer churchmen in the West, and as “Robin Rustler” contributed children’s fiction to many periodicals. He was an ardent opponent of the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919. His diary and extensive papers are in the Victoria University Archives, Toronto.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 April 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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