Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John E. Smith (1849-1919)

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John E. Smith
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Born in Clark Township, Ontario on 12 July 1849, son of Rutherford Smith and Mary Rutherford, after finishing school he clerked in a mercantile store for five years then, from 1869 to 1872, he taught school in Huron County. From 1872 to 1881 he operated a general store at Brussels and, in the spring of 1881, came to Manitoba. He arrived at Brandon before the Canadian Pacific Railway and bought 240 acres of land at Bird’s Hill. After a short return to Ontario, he was in Winnipeg during the winter of 1881, selling real estate. He came back to Brandon in the spring of 1882 and established “Beresford Farm” where the village of Beresford was later situated. In 1892 he established the Smithfield Stock Farm and became one of the province’s largest farmers. He later moved into Brandon where he built a grand residence on Louise Avenue and the John E. Smith Block at 1015 Rosser Avenue.

In 1878, he married Margaret Ann Hunter (1857-1912) of London, Ontario. They had five children: Archibald William Hunter “Archie” Smith (1879-1939), John Edgerton Hunter Smith (1881-1950), Stella Smith (1885-?, wife of Dr. Darling), Beatrice Smith (1890-?, wife of Robert Corrigall), and Laura Smith (1893-?, wife of Dr. Bigelow). After his wife’s death, he remarried to Elizabeth Ross (?-?). He was a member of the Independent Order of Foresters, Canadian Order of Foresters, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

He died at Brandon on 24 November 1919 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery. His pallbearers were W. Burchill, A. Collins, James S. Gibson, M. McKenzie, A. B. McLeod, and D. Shirriff.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Smith House (1036 Louise Avenue, Brandon)


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

Death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Death of well known resident John E. Smith,” Brandon Sun, 24 November 1919, page 1.

Obituary, Brandon Sun, 28 November 1919, page 3.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 November 2017

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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