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Memorable Manitobans: William Smith (1870-?)

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William Smith
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Born at Nottingham, England on 17 January 1870, son of Robert Brindly Smith and Fannie Walker, he attended the High Payment grammar school in Nottingham. In 1888, he emigrated to Manitoba and farmed near Griswold until December 1895 when he returned to England to represent an English engineering company. He brought a party of Scottish settlers to Manitoba in March 1899 then worked in the implement business for a year before coming to Winnipeg as an agent for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, moving later to the Great West Life Assurance Company, then the Prudential Life Insurance Company, and finally the Western Empire Life Assurance Company, where he was President and Managing Director. Incorporated in March 1911, the company operated between Winnipeg and Vancouver, with branch offices at Moose Jaw and Vancouver. He was also President of the Manitoba Stock and Bond Company, chairman of the board of the Western Empire Fire and Accident Insurance Company, and chairman of the board of the Ruperts Land and Trust Corporation of Winnipeg.

On 13 January 1892, he married Mary Wesley of Nottingham, England. They had seven children: William Wesley Brindly Smith, Edith Lois Smith, Lillian A. Smith, Ernest Albert Smith, Edmund Claude Smith, Robert Thornton Smith, and Gladys Elise Smith. He was a member of Adanac Club and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.


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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 September 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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