Memorable Manitobans: William Robson (1864-1941)
Farmer, farm leader, MLA (1920-1922).
Born at Yorkshire, England on 3 October 1864, he came to Canada with his parents in 1867. He moved to Manitoba in 1889 on his honeymoon, settling at Deleau. He threshed 36,000 bushels of wheat in one year but he was an early exponent of mixed farming.
He was provincial director of the United Farmers of Manitoba and held positions in co-operative organizations, including the Presidency of Manitoba Cooperative Dairies. In the 1920 provincial general election, he was elected by a four-vote majority to the Manitoba Legislature, representing the Glenwood constituency. He turned down offers of the premiership and suggested John Bracken instead. He was later active in the formation of the Progressive Party of Manitoba.
He and wife Annie Gertrude Shanks (1869-1964) of Lloydtown, Ontario had six children: Arthur Thomas Herbert Robson (1890-?), Leslie Victor Robson, Earl Perry Robson (1896-1975), Annie Ada Elizabeth Robson (1897-?), William Samuel Robson (1899-?), and Sadie Augusta Robson (1902-?). He served for several years as councillor and then Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Sifton. He was, for 30 years, secretary-treasurer of Deleau School District and for 10 years secretary-treasurer of the Deleau Consolidated School District. He was superintendent of the Sunday school at Bethel Methodist Church in Deleau for 43 years.
He died on 29 July 1941 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Duluth, Minnesota. He was buried in the Hartney Cemetery.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1922.
Obituary, Western Municipal News, August 1941, page 219.
Obituary, Western Municipal News, November 1941, page 296.
“Funeral Saturday for William Robson,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 July 1941, page 8.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 August 1941, page 2.
“William Robson, of Deleau, buried,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 August 1941, page 10.
“Funeral Saturday for William Robson,” Winnipeg Free Press. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 105]
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 June 2022