Memorable Manitobans: William Newman (1866-1952)
Civil engineer, building contractor.
Born at Tilbury West, Essex County, Ontario on 22 January 1866, one of ten children born to James Newman (1828-1901) and Mary Ann Hillier (?-?), he attended the Galt High School and the School of Practical Science at the University of Toronto, graduating from the latter in 1891 with a degree in civil engineering. He worked as a civil engineer at Windsor, being City Engineer from 1895 to 1905.
Sometime before 1906, he moved to Winnipeg although his family remained at Windsor. He established the construction firm of William Newman and Company that was responsible for grading the tramway from Lac du Bonnet and Pointe du Bois, building numerous bridges around rural Manitoba, and other work. In the early 1930s, he also managed the Western Construction Company.
On 8 October 1891, he married Lorana “Laura” Wilkinson (1869-1918, daughter of John James Wilkinson) at Leamington, Ontario and they had three children: Earl Clinton “Clint” Newman (1892-1972), Lena Clara “Clare” Newman (1895-1954, wife of C. Morrell), and William Harold Newman (1906-1993). He was a member of the Masons, IOF, and Canadian Society of Civil Engineers. For the final few years of his life, he lived at the Royal Albert Hotel.
He died at Winnipeg on 6 January 1952 and was buried at Leamington, Ontario.
Some of his construction works in Manitoba included:
Ontario birth registrations, Ancestry.
1901 and 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.
“William Newman Company gets first power contract,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 May 1907, page 16.
Death registration [Laura Newman], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Builders of Greater Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 June 1931, page 33.
“Congratulations,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 January 1949, page 20.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 January 1952, page 22.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
William Newman, Curriepedia.
We thank Michael Currie and Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 April 2023