Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Lonsdale Nelles (1849-1936)


Born in Haldimand County, Ontario on 19 June 1849, son of John Nelles and Catherine Matley, he quit school at the age of 15 to work on the family farm. He worked in gypsum mines for 15 mines then he purchased a threshing machine and operated in on a rented farm for three years. In 1888 he came to Manitoba and rented a farm while operating the threshing machine for two years. At that time he bought 160 acres near Brandon, eventually adding to his holdings until he owned 1,280 acres. He had one of the largest herds of horses in Manitoba, and he was interested in trotting, pacing, and racing horses. He also owned cattle and hogs. In September 1871, he married Mary J. Smith. They had three sons (George Nelles, Lonsdale Nelles, Frank Nelles) and two daughters (Mrs. W. H. Reed and Mrs. C. Frame). In 1932 Nelles, now widowed, retired from the farm to reside with his daughter, Mrs. Reed, at Wapella, Saskatchewan. He died there on 6 June 1936 and is buried at Brandon Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sandison House (RM of Elton)


The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

“Mrs. Lonsdale Nelles, Brandon, dies, aged 74”, Manitoba Free Press, 24 December 1926, page 15.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 June 1936.

This profile was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Christian Cassidy.

Page revised: 18 December 2012

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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