Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 138 years

 


MHS
Events


Spring
Field Trip:
Military
History


Fall
Field Trip:
Ukrainian
Settlement


Manitoba
History

No. 83


This Old
Grain
Elevator


Abandoned
Manitoba


War
Memorials
in Manitoba


Digitized
Local History
Books


Memorable
Manitobans


Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: Finlay C. J. McLeod (c1833-1913)

Cleric.

He was born on the Island of Lewis, The Hebrides, Scotland, and as a young man came with his parents and several brothers and sisters by sailing ship to Canada, among the many victims of The Clearances of that time (1863).

He continued his education in Canada, graduating from McGill in Montreal and Knox Presbyterian College in Toronto. He joined the gangs of men constructing the CPR transcontinental railway, living in the boxcars with the men and doing his best to make life better for them as their theological leader and minister. He wintered with them at the end of steel in Oak Lake during the winter of 1881/82. From a manuscript in his handwriting found in his home after his death, it appears he left Oak Lake (Flat Creek) in March 1882 and went to live for short periods, at least, on the banks of Gopher Creek just east of the present site of Virden, Manitoba, where the advance gang spent the winter near a bridge they were preparing to build over Gopher Creek ahead of the steel-laying gang.

Mr. McLeod stayed with the CPR track-laying gang as far as Moose Jaw, then left them to labor as a missionary to the aboriginal peoples of British Columbia for 25 years on behalf of the Presbyterian church. Then he retired from active ministry and took as a homestead the NW ¼ 20-10-25 WPM in the Assiniboine River valley east of Virden. While living on his homestead and starting the necessary improvements to obtain title to same, he travelled about the surrounding country, visiting the early settlers, sometimes selling books to eke out his living expenses, frequently walking the five miles to Virden to conduct church services and weddings, etc. He died, at the age of 80, on the 10th of August 1913 at the back door of Virden Presbyterian Church where he was to have conducted a wedding service that afternoon, having walked there from his valley home.

His gravestone in the Virden Cemetery relates that he conducted the first church service held in Virden, in 1882.

Sources:

Biographical note by his grandniece, Miss Ruth E. Welch, Rivers, Manitoba (Secretary, River Valley Historical Society), Manitoba Pageant, Volume 22, No. 1, Autumn 1976.

Page revised: 25 October 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017


Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at biographies@mhs.mb.ca

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS and

Back to top of page

   


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2017 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.