Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Thomas Blundell Persse (1861-1927)


Born at Limerick, Ireland on 22 May 1861, son of Richard Mathew Persse and Eliza Blundell, brother of Robert G. Persse, he came to Canada in 1872 and was educated at public schools and the Toronto Normal School. He worked as a clerk for the Grand Trunk Railway at Toronto from 1878 to 1882 when he moved to Manitoba and took work as an agent of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1884, he began working as a commission and manufacturing broker. The next year he went into partnership with James Tees in the brokerage firm of Tees & Persse, with offices at 315 William Avenue, Winnipeg. He was also President of Tees & Persse of Alberta Limited, President of The Canada West Fire Insurance Company, a Director of The Home Bank of Canada and The Standard Trusts Company, and a Trustee of the Winnipeg General Hospital.

In 1887, he married Margaret Maria “Dolly” Bissett (1863-1934) at Quebec. They had five children: Marjorie Thorne Persse (1888-?, wife of Harold Dean Gooderham), Errol B. Persse (1890-1911), Victor Blundell Persse (1892-1948), Lorna Dorothy Persse (1896-1974, wife of Louis Joseph Hugh Redmond), and Kathleen Rhoda Persse (1899-1963, wife of Geoffrey Ernest Macdonald). He served as President of the Winnipeg Board of Trade in 1907 and 1908. He was a member of the Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, Pine Ridge Golf Club, Winnipeg Philatelic Society, Holy Trinity Church, Royal Yacht Club (Kenora), Granite Curling Club, Assiniboine Curling Club, and the AF & AM.

He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 17 November 1927 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery. At the time of his death, he lived at 66 Smith Street.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Tees and Persse Building (315 William Avenue, Winnipeg)


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“Harold Persse dies of quinzy,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 December 1911, page 1.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

“John B. Persse dies in General Hospital,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 November 1927. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]

Obituary [Lorna D. Redmond], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 April 1974, page 35.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Gail Konantz for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 December 2020

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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