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Memorable Manitobans: Augustus Leach Searle (1863-1955)

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Augustus Leach Searle
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Grain merchant.

Born at Lyons, New York on 20 March 1863, son of Seth C. Searle and Rosabella Leach, the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where the father ran a milling business. After leaving school at the age of 15, he worked in a mill then, in 1882, moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and began working as a grain buyer. He later moved to Mapleton, North Dakota and continued in the grain business until 1889 when he returned to Minneapolis and took a job with A. J. Sawyer and Company. In 1893, he became Superintendent of the Monarch Elevator Company. He became Vice-President and General Manager of the Globe Elevator Company, and executive positions in several grain companies in the US and Canada, including the National Elevator Company, Searle Grain Company, Saskatchewan Elevator Company, Home Grain Company, Port Arthur Elevator Company, Liberty Grain Company, and Security Elevator Company. He was also a Director of F. H. Peavy and Company.

On 14 April 1882, he married Elizabeth Frances Finkler (?-1912) of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They had three children: Rosabelle Searle (1883-1953, wife of Norman L. Leach), Florence May Searle (1886-1944, wife of James M. Gilchrist), and Stewart A. Searle. Following the death of his first wife, he married Helen S. Gardner (?-1942) on 14 February 1914. He adopted her two daughters, Katherine (wife of Harold H. Tearse) and Evelyn (wife of George S. Appleyard). He was a member of the Manitoba Club and several clubs in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He died at Minneapolis, Minnesota on 1 February 1955.

See also:

The Searle Grain Company and Manitoba Handweaving, A Program of Imaginative Philanthropy by Janet A. Hoskins
Manitoba History, Number 6, Fall 1983

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Van Horne Farm / Searle Farm (RM of St. Clements)


History of Minneapolis, Gateway to the Northwest. Chicago-Minneapolis: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1923.

“Searle grain founder dies at 91,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 February 1955, page 39.

Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Hal Tearse for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 January 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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