Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Reid (1860-1939)

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Alexander Reid
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Grain merchant.

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Alexander Reid
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Born at Greenock, Scotland on 2 September 1860, son of Alexander Reid and Sarah L. Grieve, he worked for a grain merchant in Edinburgh until emigrating to Manitoba in April 1880. He was one of the organizers of the town of Millford, where he operated a general store until 1887, when he entered the grain business as a buyer and shipper at Glenboro and Wawanesa. In 1890 he erected a grain elevator at Stockton. He was a candidate for the South Brandon constituency in the 1892 provincial general election but was roundly defeated.

He came to Winnipeg in 1896 and started erecting a line of elevators under the name of the Canada Northwest Elevator Company. Two years later, he went into partnership with Thomas B. Baker of Moose Jaw, the firm becoming Baker & Reid. The following year they organized the Western Elevator Company, with Reid as President and General Manager, and operating 42 elevators along the lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1904, Reid, along with other grain merchants Samuel Peck Clark, John Love, William Henry McWilliams, and William Wallace McMillan, formed the North-West Grain Dealers’ Association. He was also a sometime business partner of John C. Gage.

On 20 December 1888, he married Edith Mary Houghton (1862-1941), of Birkenhead, England, at Brandon. They subsequently had three sons: Archibald Cumberland Reid, Leonard Alexander Reid, and Raymond Charlton Reid (1895-1913) and, as of 1912, lived at 23 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg. He was a member of the Winnipeg Grain and Producers Exchange and the Canadian Order of Foresters. A keen yachtsman, he sailed his yacht on Lake Winnipeg as far as Norway House. He took an active part in yachting on Lake of the Woods at Kenora. He was also an active golfer and a member of the Manitoba Club. He was a life governor of the Winnipeg General Hospital.

In the early 1920s, he retired to Northwood, England, returning to Winnipeg each summer. In failing health toward the end of the his life, in 1938 he remained at Winnipeg and died here on 16 November 1939. He was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Reid House / Weir House (23 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg)


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

“Alexander Reid, pioneer grain trader, is dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 November 1939. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

“Mrs. Alex Reid dies at home,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 May 1941, page 13.

Obituary [Leonard Alexander Reid], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 August 1970, page 36.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 November 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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