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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Houston Smith (1875-1926)

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Robert Houston Smith
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School official.

Born at Goderich, Ontario on 21 April 1875, son of Henry Harvey Smith and Celestia Smith, he came to Winnipeg at a young age with his parents. In January 1893 he began working for the Winnipeg School Board as an assistant for Stewart Mulvey. On his boss’ resignation in October 1907, Smith succeeded him as Secretary-Treasurer of the Winnipeg School Board. He held the position until his death. He also served as Secretary of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board, business manager of the Western School Journal, Vice-President of the Winnipeg School Masters’ Club, and a member of the Manitoba Educational Association and the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association.

On 23 November 1899, he married Marie Wilhelmina V. “Mina” Robert (187?-1946) at La Broquerie and they had four daughters: Flora Bernice Aveline Smith (1901-?), Kathleen Smith (1903-1985, wife of James Hawkins), Audrey Miriam Smith (1908-1978, wife of James Stuart Morrison), and Roberta Helen Smith (1916-?, wife of R. V. Heinzelman). He was a charter member of the Canadian Club of Winnipeg, its honorary treasurer from 1906 to 1909 and honorary secretary from 1910 to 1919. Active in amateur sports, he was secretary of the Winnipeg Lacrosse Club and a charter member of the Civic Curling Club.

He died at his Winnipeg home on 29 August 1926 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery. He is commemorated by Robert H. Smith School in Winnipeg.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: River Heights School / Robert H. Smith School (315 Oak Street, Winnipeg)

Sources:

Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

“Death calls Robt. H. Smith, Secretary of School Board,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 August 1926, page 1. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]

Obituary [Miriam Morrison], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 1978, page 111.

Obituary [Kathleen Hawkins], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 August 1985, page 32.

Robert Houston Smith, FindAGrave.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 May 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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