Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Frederick Leslie Newman (1859-1942)

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Frederick Leslie Newman
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Wholesale merchant, municipal official.

Born at Merrickville, Ontario on 25 June 1859, son of Thomas Newman and Sarah Maitland, he was educated at Merrickville, Perth and Brantford, Ontario. He began work as a school teacher, immigrating to Manitoba in 1881 and finding work the next year constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway until its completion in 1883. He was in charge of the train that brought the party out from Vancouver to Craigellachie, where the last spike was driven by Lord Strathcona (Sir Donald Smith) on 7 November 1885. Later, he was engaged in construction work in the building of the Crow’s Nest Pass and Columbia Western Railways. He was in Roseland during its early boom days. He returned to Portage la Prairie in 1888 and went into a wholesale grocery and liquor business with his brother, Thomas Alexander Newman. He was also Vice-President of the Western Radiator Company.

He was married twice, first to Catherine Louise Paterson (?-?), second to Emma Loie Merril (1858-1914) of Prescott, Ontario with whom he had a daughter, Gratia Julia Newman (1890-1969, wife of F. W. S. Sparling). He served as Mayor of Portage la Prairie (1892-1893) and Vice-President and President (1911) of the Portage la Prairie Board of Trade. He was active in the Masons, being a Member of the Assiniboine Lodge, AF & AM No. 7, Past Master of Keystone Chapter No. 2, a Shriner of Khartoum Temple, Life Member of the Albert Edward Preceptory, Knight Templar, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, and Grand Z of the Grand Chapter of Manitoba.

He died at Portage la Prairie on 9 January 1942 and was buried in the St. Mary’s La Prairie Anglican Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Newman Block (246 Saskatchewan Avenue East, Portage la Prairie)


A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

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

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Western Municipal News, January 1942, page 7.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank James Kostuchuk and Diane Van Aert for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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