Memorable Manitobans: John Moore Robinson (1855-1934)
Entrepreneur, MLA (1886-1888).
Born at Hustonville, Ontario on 30 December 1855, son of William Robinson and Maria Moore, he was educated at the Huston Common School (Lockport, New York), High School, and the St. Catharine’s Collegiate Institute. He taught school in Ontario for four years then moved to Manitoba in 1879, where he worked as editor of the Brandon Times, Portage la Prairie Tribune, and Portage la Prairie Review newspapers. He also taught school in Woodlands for two years, and served as Clerk of the Woodlands municipality. He then engaged in the real estate business in Portage la Prairie. He served as the Secretary for the Town of Portage la Prairie and the county Liberal-Conservative Association, and the Provincial Grand Master for the Manitoba Orange Association (1886-1888).
In June 1882, he married Eliza Catherine Lipsett (1858-1936, third daughter of Robert Lipsett of Meadow Lea, sister of Francis Wesley Lipsett) and they had eight children: William L. Robinson (1885-?), John D. Robinson (1886-?), Florence Gwendoline Robinson (1888-?), Robert Campbell Robinson (1889-?), Gladys Catherine Robinson (1894-?), Kathleen Marjorie Robinson (1895-?), Evangeline Dorothy Robinson (1897-?), and Candace M. Robinson (1899-?). He was elected as a presentative of the Woodlands constituency in the 1886 general election but was defeated in 1888. Two years later, he moved to the Okanagan Valley of central British Columbia. He was so impressed by the peaches grown on a ranch there that he founded the towns of Peachland, Summerland, and Naramata, and enticed hundreds of prairie families to settle in the region.
He died at Naramata, British Columbia on 23 February 1934. He is commemorated by Robinson Creek, near Naramata.
A Political Manual of the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories by J. P. Robertson, Winnipeg: Call Printing Company, 1887.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
John Alexander Gemmill (editor), The Canadian Parliamentary Companion, 1887. Canadiana.org.
1901 Canadian census, Automated Genealogy.
Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
British Columbia Place Names by G. P. V. Akrigg & Helen B. Akrigg, Sono Nis Press, 1986.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
John Moore Robinson, FindAGrave.
Eliza Catherine Lipsett Robinson, FindAGrave.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 16 June 2022