Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Gordon Smith (1902-1990)


Born at Carberry on 17 June 1902, eldest son of Sidney Thomas Smith and Emily Jordan Frogley (1881-1950), he was educated at Kelvin High School, followed in 1920 by two years of study at Princeton University, after which he returned to the University of Manitoba to study economics. His business career started in 1923, initially with his father’s firm of firm of Smith Murphy Company, later with the Reliance Grain Company. He was the General Sales Manager (1935-1937), Assistant Chief Commissioner (1939-1944), and Advisory Committee member (1946-1948) of the Canadian Wheat Board. He later returned to Reliance Grain until it ceased operation in 1950. He was a Vice-President and Director of the Monarch Life Assurance Company, and a Director of several companies, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Beaver Lumber Company, Canadian Indemnity Company, Federal Grain Limited, Hudson’s Bay Company, and United Canadian Shares Limited. With George H. Sellers and Ernest H. Moncrieff, he founded Standard Aero Engine Limited. He served on the boards of the Winnipeg General Hospital and the Health Sciences Centre, including terms as Presidents of both.

On 2 February 1925, he married Isabel Margaret McLellan (1904-1978) at Winnipeg and they had two children: Donald Gordon Smith and Nancy Smith (wife of Alan G. Howison). He was a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, Chairman of Riverbend School, Councillor for the Town of Tuxedo, and a founding member of the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature and Manitoba Centennial Corporation. In recognition of his community service, he received an honorary degree from the University of Manitoba (1959), a Centennial Medal from the Manitoba Historical Society (1970), and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977).

He died at London, Ontario on 8 April 1990.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Smith – McLellan,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 February 1925, page 16.

“These Manitobans will help plan centennial,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 1963, page 9.

Obituary [Isabel Margaret Smith], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 January 1978, page 248.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 1990, page 37.

We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 October 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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