Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James M. “Jim” Shaver (1876-1948)

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James M. Shaver
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Cleric, social worker.

Born at Cornwall, Ontario in 1876, he attended Morrisburg Collegiate Institute and graduated from Queen’s University at Kingston. He taught for two years at Bouck’s Hill, Ontario before entering the Methodist Church ministry in July 1889, serving as a probationer at Fox Bay, Anticosti Island, and was ordained in 1901 at Pemboke, Ontario by General Superintendent of the Methodist Church of Canada, Dr. A. Carman.

He completed his probationary service at Agnes (Gow Lake Megantre), Quebec in 1902. While a pastor at Portsmouth, he studies Arts and was known on the Cataraque circuit. In 1910, he graduated from theological studies at Victoria College in Toronto and founded the “University Settlement” before returning to a pastoral charge at Eaton’s Corners for one year. In 1912, he moved to Fort William [Thunder Bay], where he founded Wayside House and was Superintendent of the Wesley Institute (1912-1921).

He moved to Winnipeg in 1921 and succeeded J. S. Woodsworth as Superintendent of the All Peoples’ Mission (1921-1941). The family lived in the manse next door to the Mission. He received a Doctorate of Divinity from United College in 1936 and was a life-long social worker with the United Church.

In 1910, he married Elizabeth Catherine Asselstine (c1884-1949) and had two sons, both of whom became clerics: William H. Shaver and Michael John Victor “Jack” Shaver. His last residence was in the Kirkfield Park neighbourhood. He was President of the United Empire Loyalists (Winnipeg Branch) and Honourary President at the time of his death.

He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 13 June 1948 and was buried in Assiniboine Memorial Park Cemetery. He is commemorated by the Dr. Jim Shaver Memorial Park.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Dr. Jim Shaver Memorial Park (44 Barber Street, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Woodsworth House (464 Stella Avenue, Winnipeg)


“Prominent mission worker arrives,” Manitoba Free Press, 13 August 1921, page 35.

“New Canadian problem successfully attacked by North End Missions,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 February 1922, page 27.

“Rev W.H. Shaver goes to Ottawa,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 June 1945, page 3.

“Dr. J. M. Shaver, life-long social worker dies at 72,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 1948, page 4.

“Rev. J. Shaver, mission worker, dies in hospital,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 June 1948, page 26.

Death notice, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 1948, page 21.

“Dr. J. M. Shaver memorial held,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 June 1948, page 2.

“Widow of cleric, Mrs. Shaver dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 June 1949, page 8.

“Mrs. James Shaver,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 June 1949, page 38.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 21 March 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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