Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Fletcher Mitchell (1862-1943)

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John Fletcher Mitchell
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Publisher, photographer, MLA (1908-1910).

Born near Colborne, Ontario on 12 October 1862, son of Samuel Mitchell and Esther L. Sweet, he was educated at the public schools and commercial college. He came to Winnipeg and followed the trade of mechanical engineer and photographer. In 1901, he sold his photography studio to Frederick G. Burgess and henceforth specialized in selling photographic supplies. By 1925, he was President of the Winnipeg Printing and Engraving Company.

He served as a Winnipeg City Alderman for four years, chairing the finance committee, and was acting Mayor during 1900. He ran for the mayoralty in the December 1902 and December 1903 municipal elections but was defeated each time. Elected as a provincial representative for North Winnipeg in the 1907 general election, he introduced and carried through the Workman’s Compensation Act. In 1912 he assisted in organizing the 106th Winnipeg Light Infantry and was Quartermaster until his appointment as Honorary Colonel of the Regiment succeeding Major General Benson KCB, the former Honorary Colonel. At the outbreak of the First World War, he accompanied the regiment to Valcartier and was first Quartermaster of the 10th Battalion.

On 29 January 1890, he married Sarah Anne Hannah Mitchell (1869-1942, daughter of John R. Mitchell of Omemee, Ontario) and they had four children: Jared Carl Mitchell (1894-1917), Lillian Mitchell (1896-1911), Ada Maud Mitchell (1899-1911), and Samuel John “Jack” Mitchell (1905-1966). He was a member of the Masons (Master of Ionic Lodge, Master of King Edward Lodge, Grand and Veteran, St. John’s Lodge) and IOOF. In 1907, he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature for the Winnipeg North constituency and served a single term, being defeated in the 1910 general election by S. Hart Green.

He died at the Misericordia Hospital on 6 October 1943 and was buried in the St. James Cemetery.


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

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Classified advertisement, Winnipeg Tribune, 23 September 1901, page 7.

“J. F. Mitchell,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 January 1902, page 10.

Obituary [Ada Maud Mitchell], Manitoba Free Press, 25 January 1911, page 15.

Obituary [Lillian Mitchell], Winnipeg Tribune, 13 February 1911, page 5.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“Capt. Jared C. Mitchell,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 September 1917, page 1.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Birthday today,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 October 1937, page 11.

“Mrs. J. F. Mitchell, here 56 years, dies at 73,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 December 1942, page 3.

“Col. J. Mitchell, former M.L.A., alderman, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 October 1943. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 138]

Obituary [Samuel John Mitchell], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 1966, page 28.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 July 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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