Memorable Manitobans: Walter Humphries Montague (1857-1915)
Physician, MLA (1913-1914), MLA (1914-1915).
Born in Adelaide Township, Middlesex County, Ontario on 21 November 1857, son of Joseph and Rhoda Montague, brother of John W. Montague, he was educated at public schools, high schools, and Woodstock College (Woodstock, Ontario). He studied medicine at the University of Toronto and received his MD from Victoria College, Cobourg in 1882. He practised medicine at Dunnville, Ontario until 1900. In 1890 he was elected Member of Parliament for Haldimand. Re-elected in 1891, he was appointed Secretary of State, then Minister of Agriculture in 1895. Re-elected in 1896, he was defeated in the 1900 general elections.
In 1908, he moved to Winnipeg where he worked as a financial agent. He was elected MLA for Kildonan in a 1913 by-election and was re-elected by three votes in 1914. He served as Minister of Public Works in the Roblin government, which involved him in the scandal over the construction of the Legislative Building. He was not a candidate in the 1915 general election.
On 19 March 1879, he married Barbara Ellen Angeline “Angie” Furry (1855-1945, daughter of Elias A. Furry of Dunnville, Ontario) and they had four children: John Percival “Price” Montague, Furry Ferguson “Ray” Montague, Pearl Rhoda Montague (1890-1939, wife of James L. Crossen), and Blanche Emily Montague (1893-?, wife of Clarence Nicholas “Choney” Bawlf). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, Hamilton Club (Hamilton, Ontario), and Rideau Club (Ottawa). He was a keen golfer.
He died at the Royal Alexandra Hotel on 13 November 1915 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
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.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide 1915, Internet Archive.
Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Dr. Montague dies; apoplexy is said to be cause,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 November 1915, page 5.
“Mrs. J. Crossen dies in hospital,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 January 1939, page 5.
“Mrs. A. Montague, 90, dies here,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 September 1945, page 5.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 7 April 2022