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Memorable Manitobans: John Melhuish (1866-1947)


Born at Devonshire, England on 10 May 1866, he came to Canada with his parents in 1874 and settled at Toronto, Ontario. The family later moved to Mount Forest, Ontario. He came to Manitoba in 1885 and, in 1891, married Victoria Dodds (?-1939) of Virden. They had a son and two daughters.

His career as a fireman began in 1884 when he accompanied his father, a member of the hook and ladder company at Mount Forest. While living in Manitoba, he was one of the original volunteers with the Brandon Fire Department. In 1891, he left Brandon to work as a firefighter at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Returning to Brandon in 1895, he resumed service with the Fire Department, rising to Captain in 1902. He went to Saskatoon in 1908 to organize a fire department there, being recalled to Brandon six months later to become chief of the recently organized Department of 15 paid firemen and six volunteers. He held this position until retirement in March 1932.

He died in Winnipeg on 1 April 1947.


“John Melhuish, former Brandon fire chief, dies”, Winnipeg Tribune, 1 April 1947. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 November 2010

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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