Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Hance Shanks (1858-1932)

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Robert Hance Shanks
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Born at Belleville, Ontario on 29 August 1858, son of Thomas and Grace Shanks he came to Manitoba in 1881 and, soon after, became an accountant with the law firm of Archibald and Hall, eventually spending about 50 years there. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Valuation and Revision for the City of Winnipeg, and Secretary for the University of Manitoba Land Board.

On 10 June 1890, he married Maria Ptolemy (1866-1928), sister of W. J. Ptolemy, at Winnipeg. They had four children: Gordon Lane Shanks (1891-?), Jessie Eleanor Shanks (1893-?, wife of Harry Keough), Edith Grace Shanks (1897-?, wife of Bruce Abel), and Robert Arthur Shanks (1899-?). He was a member of the IOOF (Past Grand Master), COF (Past District High Chief Ranger), AOUW, and the Canadian Club of Winnipeg. Mrs. Shanks was Past-President of the Rebekah Assembly of Manitoba in 1917 and Vice-President of the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies, 1925-26. The family lived at 351 Assiniboine Avenue, Winnipeg.

He died at Winnipeg on 24 April 1932 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Robert H. Shanks, prominent citizen of Winnipeg, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 April 1932, page 3.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

We thank Ross Keough for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 November 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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