Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: George Waldron Prout (1878-c1980)

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George Waldron Prout
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Financial agent, MLA (1916-1920).

Born in Barbados on 5 June 1878, one of ten children of school teachers Joseph Benjamin Prout (1852-1940) and Mary Trotman Hutchinson (1854-1920), he was educated privately and emigrated to Manitoba in 1897, where he worked as a financial agent at Selkirk.

He stood for election in the provincial election of 1914, being defeated by Walter Humphries Montague, by three votes. In 1915, he was elected as a Liberal representative for the constituency of Kildonan-St. Andrews. Given that his mother was identified in the 1911 Canadian census as being of “Negro” ancestry, this would potentially make him the first Black MLA in Manitoba history. He ran in the 1920 and 1927 general elections but was defeated each time.

He was married twice, first on 18 April 1906 to Alice Maude Cober (1874-1907) with whom he had a daughter, Alice Marion Prout (1907-2010), and second on 2 September 1914 to Emma Evans McKinley (1882-1982), daughter of John DeWitt H. McKinley of Dresden, Ohio. They had a son, George Waldron Prout (1915-1915).

By the mid-1930s, he was living at Toronto, Ontario and working as a financial agent. Separated from his wife and daughter in 1937, and formally divorced in 1939, he lived at Toronto for the remainder of his life, possibly serving as a senior executive at Canada Packers.

He died at Toronto, Ontario around 1980.

Sources:

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1917.

Joseph Benjamin Prout, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Lawrence Prout.

Page revised: 8 November 2021

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