Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Russell (1860-1913)


Born at Eglington, Ontario on 12 February 1860, his childhood was spent on his father’s farm. In 1882, he came to Manitoba and began working for the Canadian Pacific Railway, rising to become manager at Gretna and Portage la Prairie. He then went into private banking in Mennonite communities of southern Manitoba. The Bank of Hamilton bought his interests in 1894 and retained him as manager. A year later, after establishing branches at Winkler and Plum Coulee, he was promoted to the position of inspector and organizer of new branches, based at the head office in Hamilton, Ontario. He left the bank in 1907 and founded the Western Trust Company at Winnipeg, retiring from the business in 1910 due to ill health. After a year of recuperation, he assisted in the formation of the Equitable Trust Company of Winnipeg, holding the position of Secretary-Treasurer at his death. He was also a director of the Winnipeg Investment Company, Investors Limited of Winnipeg, Cardiff Limited (Alberta), and Sovereign Life Assurance Company. On 5 March 1902, he married Mary Armstrong Parker (1869-1950) of Haldimand, Ontario and they subsequently had two children in Winnipeg: John William “Jack” Russell (b 1903) and Helen Jean Russell (b 1905). He was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church and served on its Board of Managers. He died of pneumonia at his Winnipeg home at 922 Crescent Road on 2 March 1913 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.


1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Ontario marriage registration, Ancestry.

“William Russell, old-timer, dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 March 1913, page 8.

“Pioneer banker dies in Winnipeg,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 March 1913, page 24.

“Mrs. William Russell,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 April 1950, page 26.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 December 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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