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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Nelson (1830-1912)


Son of Irving Nelson of Annandale, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, he came to Canada in 1855 and found employment on railway construction work in Ontario. He took up homesteading in 1878 in the then unorganized municipality of Birtle. After the extension of Manitoba’s boundaries in 1881 he helped to organize the electoral districts of Shoal Lake and Russell. An unsuccessful Liberal candidate in the provincial elections of 1883 and 1886, he joined the Provincial Immigration Department and became an agent in the Maritime Provinces. Ill health forced him to resign his position in 1902 and he returned to Winnipeg, living in retirement until his death on 30 December 1912. He was a Royal Arch Mason and a prominent member of the St. Andrew’s Society. He was survived by his wife and seven children.


“Robert Nelson, an old-timer, expires,” Winnipeg Telegram, 31 December 1912. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B5]

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 October 2018

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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