Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Clarence Harold Franklin Orchard (1878-1956)


Born at Port Hoover, Ontario on 3 January 1878, son of Franklin Orchard and Sarah Ann Wilson, he moved with his family to Graysville in 1897. In 1912 he established his own farm, the Glenorchie Farm Nursery, six miles north of Miami. On this facility he crossbred new apple varieties, including “White Lake,” named for the site of his recreational cabin in the Whiteshell area of Manitoba. He bred several varieties of lilacs, four of which he named for his daughters, and a variety of barley. One of his peony propagations, which he named Captain Blood, was the darkest red variety known at the time. Two of his apple varieties were the Miami and the Glenorchie, and he was the first in Manitoba to grow the Melba apple. He exchanged information with breeder Frank Skinner and was a close friend of W. R. Leslie at the Morden Experimental Farm, where he contributed to the horticultural and floral culture programs. Products of his nursery were shipped to neighbouring provinces and states, and he was a member of the Canadian Seed Growers Association and an Honourary Life Member of the Manitoba Horticultural Association.

On 11 June 1903, he married Jeannie Anne Murray (1881-1964) in the RM of Dufferin. They had six children: Harold Murray Orchard (1904-1989), Charles Louis Orchard (1906-1992), Catherine Jean Orchard (1907-1994, wife of Grenville Swain), Laura Anne Orchard, Iona Orchard (1916-?), and Dorothy Orchard (1919-2008, wife of John Andrews). Active in the community, he supported local Boys and Girls clubs, judged at horticultural shows throughout the province, was a trustee for the Morton School District and Miami School District for 28 years, and served on the RM of Thompson municipal council. He was a member of the IOOF (Miami Lodge) and the Miami United Church.

He died at his home on 8 December 1956 and was buried in the Miami Cemetery that he had planted and tended for many years. He was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.


Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.

1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 December 1956, page 25.

“Harold Orchard, fruit farmer, buried,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 December 1956, page 32.

Obituary [Laura Anne Loyns], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 August 1983, page 41.

Obituary [Harold Murray Orchard], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 February 1989, page 22.

Obituary [Catherine Jean Swain], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 March 1994, page 50.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituary [Dorothy Andrews], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 April 2008.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Jeannie Baker and R. M. A. “Al” Loyns for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 January 2019

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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