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Memorable Manitobans: Israel Merritt Ross (1842-1911)

Click to enlargeRailway contractor and financier.

He was born in the Maritimes, of Highland Scottish descent. He married Georgiana Long of United Empire Loyalist descent. He was educated in the public schools of his native province, and came to Winnipeg in 1879.

He was a machinist with the Intercolonial Railway, and later became a locomotive engineer on the Pembina branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was in charge of the first locomotive that crossed the Red River in Canadian territory. In the late 1870s and early ‘80s he was engaged in building the Canadian Pacific west of Winnipeg. On completion of the CPR he carried on railway construction in several northwestern states, returning to Winnipeg about 1896 to take up permanent residence.

Active in financial circles, he became director of several mortgage companies. For a number of years he was an official of the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition Association and, at the time of his death on 25 May 1911, was a director of the Winnipeg General Hospital. He was an active Mason.


“I. M. Ross succumbs; died at midnight”, Manitoba Free Press, 26 May 1911, page 24.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Page revised: 1 January 2010

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.

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