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Memorable Manitobans: William Morton (1884-1958)

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William Morton
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Farmer, MLA (1927-1932), MLA (1933-1936), MLA (1937-1940), MLA (1941-1945), MLA (1946-1949), MLA (1950-1953), MLA (1954-1957).

Born at Gladstone on 3 July 1884, son of Thomas L. Morton and Mary Honora Cory (1857-1940), brother of J. K. Morton, he was educated at St. John’s College where he was a champion athlete. He served 14 years on the Westbourne council, four as councillor and ten as Reeve of Westbourne, before his election as MLA in 1927. Re-elected or acclaimed in 1932, 1936, 1941, 1945, 1949, and 1953, he held ministerial portfolios of Municipal Affairs (1939-1948), Public Utilities (1944-1953), Power Commissioner (1948-1953), Public Works (1950-1955), and Minister Without Portfolio (1955-1958). He declined to succeed Stuart Garson as Premier in 1948.

On 7 December 1907, he married Mary Mathilda Manwaring (1887-1959) of Birtle, sister of Frank Manwaring. They had six children: William Lewis Morton, Margaret Morton (wife of Brock Fahrni), Dorothy Morton (wife of Kartjan Johnson), Francis Lionel Morton, Henry Morton, and Honora Morton (wife of George Phillips).

He died at Winnipeg on 28 January 1958 and was buried in the Gladstone Cemetery. He is commemorated by William Morton Collegiate in Gladstone. There are papers at the Archives of Manitoba.


The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1929.

“Hon. William L. Morton, cabinet minister, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 January 1958, page 4.

Western Municipal News, March 1958, page 89.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank William Morton for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 September 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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