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Memorable Manitobans: William Millar (1848-1908)

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William Millar
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Farmer, municipal official.

Born at Matilda, Dundas County, Ontario on 1 April 1848, one of twelve children of Ulster-Scots immigrants John Millar and Margaret Hegerty. In 1866, he was a volunteer in the Iroquois Garrison Artillery during the Fenian raids, serving at Prescott (March 1866 to July 1866), and Cornwall and Pigeon Hill (1870) with the rank of Sergeant. He came to Manitoba sometime between 1878 and 1880, and settled on a farm near present-day Boissevain.

He was married twice, first to Julia Jane Williams (c1860-1893) at Almonte, Ontario on 9 October 1878. They had six children: Henry Edward Millar (b 1880), Eva Millar (b 1883), Alma Ellen Millar (b 1884), Ethel Millar (b 1888), Anna Millar (b 1890), and an unnamed daughter (1893-1893). On 27 July 1904, he married Margaret Elizabeth Cameron at Brandon. He served as the first Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Morton, from 1891 to 1895, and again from 1899 to 1900. In 1896, he ran for a seat in the Manitoba Legislature but was defeated narrowly by incumbent John Hettle. In 1906, he served a one-year term as a councilor for the Town of Boissevain. He was founding President of the local branch of the United Grain Growers, a Director for the United Grain Growers Association, and a member of the IOOF and Loyal Orange Lodge.

He died of a heart attack at his Boissevain home on 2 February 1908 and was buried alongside his wives in the Boissevain Cemetery.


Ontario marriage registration, Ancestry.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Boissevain funeral,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 February 1908, page 1.

This page was prepared by Walter Millar and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 June 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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