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Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Conley McRae (1862-1920)

Click to enlargeCarriage, implement and automobile dealer.

Born at Richmond, Ontario on 2 March 1862, son of Alexander McRae and Ann Jane Conley, brother of Winnipeg police chief John C. McRae, he apprenticed as a harness maker and worked as a journeyman at several places in Ontario and the USA before coming to Winnipeg in October 1887. He operated his own shop for making carriage tops and trimmings for three years then went into partnership with J. G. Harvey in the manufacture of carriages and agricultural implements. He bought out his partner in 1898.

In 1909, he became one of the first automobile dealers in Winnipeg and, three years later, he closed his carriage business and focused exclusively on cars, being the local agent for the Mitchell, National, and Waverly Electric lines. In 1912, he erected a large automobile garage on William Avenue in partnership with D. W. Griffith. He retired from the business around 1917.

On 27 September 1889, he married Maud Mary Boyce at Gananoque, Ontario. They had three children: Stella Mary McRae (b 1890), Claude Alexander McRae (b 1899), and Marguerite Boyce McRae (b 1909; daughter-in-law of John Stewart McDiarmid). He was a member of the Masons, the IOOF, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Winnipeg Board of Trade. He was influential in the establishment of the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition and served as one of its directors.

He died at Winnipeg on 29 June 1920 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

Sources:

1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

“Death of A. C. M’Rae; Pioneer Implement and Auto Dealer” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 June 1920, page 5.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

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

We thank Gordon McDiarmid for providing additional information used in this profile.

Page revised: 15 February 2010

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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