Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David Sutherland Michell (1865-1957)

Educator, diplomat, farmer.

Born at Cohinoor, India on 22 July 1865, son of George Belton Michell (1835-1908) and Mary Gunning Babington (1841-1911), he immigrated to Canada from England in 1883, and settled with his parents near Birtle where he farmed from 1883 to 1897. In 1897, he began teaching at Brandon and Carman. Though without any formal high school or college education, he became a Principal at Selkirk School for five years (c1910-c1915), having attained his latter-year education through private study alone. He moved to East Kildonan, where he became Principal of Lord Wolseley School (1915-1918).

Though deemed ineligible for military service in the officer corps due to his age, he left Winnipeg in March 1918 to serve a British Vice-Consul at Para, Brazil. By 1920, he had returned to Winnipeg and was Principal at Polson School (1919-1927).

He was twice married, first to Eleanor Maud Michell (1871-1916) with whom he had nine children: Humphrey George B. Michell (1894-1960), Caroline G. Michell (1897-1953), Rev David Charles Henry Michell (1900-1993), Eleanor Gurney Michell (1902-1994, wife of John Duncan Dunbar-Abbott), Mary Babington Michell (1904-1972, wife of William H. Higham), Gwendoline M. Michell (1905-?), Henry John Gurney Michell (1907-1913), Evangeline “Eva” Michell (c1906-?, wife of Herbert B. Adams), and John Sutherland Michell (1916-?). After her passing, he married Charlotte Griffiths Hunter (1857-1946) at Winnipeg on 6 August 1917.

In 1927, he held the pulpit of a small Anglican church in the East Kildonan area, during which time he suffered an illness. He departed Manitoba for the more temperate climate of British Columbia where he died at Kamloops on 13 May 1957 and was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery at Vancouver.


1911 and 1916 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.

Death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Going to Brazil,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 March 1918, page 6.

“Teachers seek to stop flood of evil books,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 9 October 1925, page 1.

“Dunbar-Abbott - Michell,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 June 1926, page 8.

“Springtime bride,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 May 1930, page 12.

“Social and personal [Adams - Michell],” Manitoba Free Press, 15 September 1930, page 8.

“D. S. Michell, former Manitoba teacher dies, 91,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 May 1957, page 8.

Abbott family tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 4 April 2017

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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