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Memorable Manitobans: George Turner Orton (1837-1901)

Click to enlargePhysician.

Born at Guelph, Ontario on 19 January 1837, son of Dr. Henry Orton, he was educated at the Guelph Grammar School and by a private tutor at Berlin, Ontario. He then pursued medical studies at the College of Surgeons (Dublin) then the University of St. Andrew’s (Scotland), from which he graduated MD in 1860. He was subsequently elected a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, England.

In 1861, he began a medical practice at Fergus, Ontario where he also served as surgeon of the 30th Battalion, Wellington Rifles. He was a councilor and reeve of Fergus. In 1874, he was elected MP for Centre Wellington, being reelected until 1883 when he moved to Winnipeg, entering into medical partnership with Dr. Brett and transferred from the 30th Battalion to the 90th Winnipeg Rifles. He served in the Northwest Rebellion under Middleton and was present at the Battles of Fish Creek and Batoche.

In 1884-85, Orton was Medical Superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and subsequently coroner for British Columbia, and Medical Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Manitoba.

He married Ann Farmer of Sutton, England, with whom he had two children.

His Winnipeg residence was designed by architect George Browne.

He died on 14 November 1901, at Winnipeg.

More information:

John M. Egan, A Railway Officer in Winnipeg, 1882-1886: An account of Canadian Pacific’s first years in the Manitoba capital by Omer Lavallee
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 33, 1976-77 Season


The Canadian Album: Men of Canada or Success by Example, Vol. III, Bradley, Garretson & Company, Brantford, Ontario, 1894.

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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