Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Spalding (1886-1954)

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John Spalding
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Municipal official.

Born at Arborath, Forfarshire, Scotland on 20 February 1886, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Spalding, he was educated in Arborath then articled in the Dundee law office of Edward Cowan for six years. He immigrated to Canada in 1906 and took up a farmstead near Birtle and also worked with the firm of Wilson & Glenn, barristers of Russell. In 1916, he moved to Miniota and took over the duties of notary public and conveyancer from D. A. F. Dickson, who had been killed in the First World War.

In 1920, he became the Secretary-Treasurer to the Rural Municipality of Miniota and held this office until 1948. He also served as Secretary of the village of Miniota (26 years), Secretary of the Miniota Agricultural Society, Secretary-Treasurer of the Miniota Municipal School Board, Secretary of the Curling Club, President of the Tennis Club, Secretary of the Sports Committee of the Memorial Fund and of the Rink Committee, a Member of the AF & AM, Past Master of Miniota Lodge, No. 102, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Miniota United Church (25 years). He was Miniota postmaster for 16 years, Returning Officer for the Marquette federal constituency, and an early member of the Manitoba Municipal Secretary-Treasurers Association, in whose ranks he was later made an honorary member. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities from 1931 to 1948. In the mid-1930s, he served on the Finlayson Drainage Commission and, in 1936, was a Liberal-Progressive candidate for the Hamiota constituency in the provincial general election. Late in his life, he was appointed to the Municipal and Public Utility Board of Manitoba, of which he was Acting Chairman at the time of his death.

On 10 November 1909, he married Lottie Ethel Midwinter (1887-1964) and they had five children: Norman Irvine Spalding (1910-1964), Dorothy Dacre Spalding (1912-1981, wife of Aubrey Cunningham), Edwin John Midwinter Spalding (1913-1973), William George Spalding (1920-1993), and Douglas Spalding (1921-?).

He died in Winnipeg on 16 July 1954, after a brief illness and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Obituary, Western Municipal News, August 1954, page 227.

Obituary [Dorothy Dacre Cunningham], Winnipeg Free Press, 17 July 1981, page 56.

Obituary [William George Spalding], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 1993, page 36.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 June 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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