Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Edward Schwitzer (1870-1911)


Born at Ottawa, Ontario in April 1870, he was educated at the public school and Collegiate Institute there. He attended McGill University at Montreal, Quebec and graduated in 1891. He began working in general railway and municipal work, and land surveying. He was the town engineer for Kenora, Ontario in 1898 before being appointed Assistant Engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Kenora in 1899. He rose to Resident Engineer at Winnipeg (1901), Central Division Engineer (1903), Principal Assistant Engineer of western lines (1905), and Assistant Chief Engineer (1907) before being appointed Chief Engineer for the entire railway system in 1911. He designed its Spiral Tunnel in the Canadian Rockies. He and wife Eva Christina McNaughton (?-?) had three children: Edna Eva Schwitzer (1901-1999, wife of G. Solmundur Thorvaldson), Nora Schwitzer (1905-?), and Rupert Schwitzer (?-?). He was a member of the Institute of Civil Engineering, Canadian Society of Civil Engineering, and American Society of Civil Engineering. He died at Montreal, Quebec on 23 January 1911.


Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Schwitzer gets important job,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 December 1910, page 1.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

Obituary [Nora Jean Hansell], Winnipeg Free Press, 29 June 1997, page 22.

Obituary [Edna Eva Thorvaldson], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 1999, page 53.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 February 2019

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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