Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Wilbert Alexander Robertson (1881-1940)

Pharmacist, optician.

Born at Margaret on 16 August 1881, sixth of eight children of Francis Robertson and Mary Grace Robertson, his childhood was spent at Manitou. After graduating from the Manitou High School, he attended the Manitoba College of Pharmacy from 1904 to 1905. With financial help from his mother, he established a pharmacy at Elgin. In 1940, he sold it and moved to Brandon, buying the Hilton Drug Store at 738 Rosser Avenue and renaming it Robertson’s Drug Store. He later combined the business with an optometric practice after having trained at the American College of Optometry (Detroit), Ophthalmic College of Toronto, and in Winnipeg. The pharmacy was purchased and operated by his son Jack after his death.

On 9 September 1908, he married Margaret Hanys Davies (1888-1969). They had six children: Margaret Doris Robertson (1909-1982, wife of Robert B. Alexander), Willa Grace Robertson (1912-1995, wife of Wilfrid D. Davies), Irma Anne Robertson (1912-1964, wife of Charles A. Campbell), John Francis Evans “Jack” Robertson (1914-1973, husband of E. Jean Patterson, son-in-law of Alexander B. Patterson), Marion Robertson (1920-1999, wife of D. Seyward Smith), and Bert Robertson (?-?). The family lived at 226 Seventh Street and later at 1631 Lorne Avenue in Brandon.

He was a member of St. Paul’s United Church, Canadian Order of Foresters, Loyal Order of Moose, Royal Templars, Manitoba Association of Optometrists (Vice-President), Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Brandon Retail Merchants Association, Brandon School Board, Masons (Tweed Lodge No. 113), Rotary Club (President), and Kiwanis Club. He was an ardent sportsman playing hockey, curling, golf, lawn bowling, and competitive tennis. During his youth, he was table-tennis champion of Manitoba.

He died on a tennis court at Brandon on 16 June 1940 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.


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

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

“W. Robertson, pharmacist of Brandon, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 June 1940, page 13.

“Brandon druggist dies Sunday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 June 1940, page 2.

Obituary, Brandon Sun, 20 June 1940, page 10.

Obituary [Margaret Doris Alexander], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 March 1982, page 57.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Sandy Robertson and Jack Robertson for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 July 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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