Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: Robert Alexander “Alex” Purves (1887-1962)

Grain merchant.

Born at Brantford, Ontario on 30 May 1887, son of Robert Purves and Isabella Gattie, he attended school at Brockville. He came to Winnipeg in 1906 and became involved in the grain industry the following year. In partnership with Edward James, he founded the Inter-Ocean Grain Company in 1918 and was its President and General Manager from 1928 to his death. In 1953, he went into automobile sales, establishing Purves Motors Limited with himself as President. On 17 June 1925, he married Helen Kathleen McPherson (1903-1987, daughter of Peter McPherson) at Winnipeg and they had three sons: Robert Peter Purves, David Alexander Purves, and Ian Glen Purves. He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Winnipeg Winter Club, St. Charles Country Club, Masons (St. John’s Lodge), and Khartum Shriners. He died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 29 November 1962 and was buried in the Garry Memorial Park. His honorary pallbearers were Thomas William Grindley, Dr. A. C. Abbott, D. Clark, H. B. Boreham, J. J. Nolan, Justice A. M. Campbell, Dr. P. H. T. Thorlakson, H. Whittaker, Kenneth A. Powell, W. G. Rait, Dr. D. F. McIntyre, J. D. Bulgin, J. Harris, and C. G. Smith.

See also:

Manitoba Business: Inter-Ocean Grain Company


Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 November 1962, page 30.

Obituary [Helen Kathleen Purves], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 September 1987, page 40.

Grain: The Entrepreneurs by Charles W. Anderson, Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer, 1991.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 November 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.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.