Memorable Manitobans: Alex W. Mitchell (1902-1996)
Born in New York City in 1902, he came to Winnipeg when his older brother Edward Mitchell had been travelling with a circus that went broke in the city. He stayed and sent for three of his siblings to join him, in 1916. The two brothers ran hay-and-feed stores, owned a grain elevator on Lombard Avenue, and were commodity traders on the Winnipeg Grain Exchange, as the Commonwealth Grain Company. He was a partner in the prominent Winnipeg jewellery firm of Mitchell-Copp.
In the mid-1920s, his brother got him started in real estate speculation and he bought a large amount of commercial real estate in the downtown area of the city. His family moved to California during the Great Depression but he returned to Winnipeg within two years. He then opened two dress shops and bought out the Hollinsworth chain in western Canada, later selling the 15 stores to the German company Mariposa. He also owned the Dayton Outfitting Company. He led opposition to development of Portage Place, predicting that it would reduce the traffic of people downtown.
On 4 May 1924, he married Sara Dancker (1903-1998) at Winnipeg and they had two daughters: Ruth Mitchell (wife of ? Copp) and Joan Mitchell. He served as President of the Glendale Golf and Country Club (1948).
He died at Winnipeg on 10 September 1996 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.
Marriage registration [Alex Mitchell, Laira Dansker], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Mitchell a key city figure,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 September 1996, page 14.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 September 1996, page 46.
Obituary [Sara Mitchell], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 January 1998, page 51.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 January 2023