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Memorable Manitobans: Gísli Ólafsson (1855-1909)

Click to enlargeProduce merchant.

Born at Thingeyjarsysla, Iceland on 1 June 1855, son of Ólafur Ólafsson and Rannveig Sveinbjarnardóttir, he attended the Modruvellir School in Northern Iceland and studied agricultural techniques in Scotland, acting as an advisor to Icelandic farmers prior to his emigration to Canada in 1886. After working on farms in Manitoba and Dakota Territory for three years, he moved to Winnipeg in September 1889 and started a flour, feed, grain and produce business, eventually employing 18 people and occupying a three-storey building at the corner of King and James Streets. In 1890 he married Elín Sigrídur Johnson of Iceland. They had a daughter, Alpha. He was a member of the Winnipeg Board of Trade and the Winnipeg Grain and Produce Exchange. He was a member of the Independent Order of Foresters. He died at Winnipeg on 8 August 1909.


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

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

We thank Nelson Gerrard for providing additional information used in this profile.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 February 2010.

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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