Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Eli Edwin Spencer (1896-1988)


Born at Morden on 18 March 1896, son of Walter Hunter Spencer (1859-1937) and Hannah Maria Seale (?-?), he was educated at the Morden Public and High Schools, and the Manitoba Law School. In October 1915, he interrupted his legal studies to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CAMC) and went overseas in February 1916. In France, he was attached to the 10th Field Ambulance. After his return to Canada, he articled in law to Arnold Wienholt Bowen at Morden and was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1921. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1933 and served as a Bencher (1929-1946) and Life Bencher (1946-1988) for the Law Society of Manitoba.

On 5 July 1926, he married Grace Esther Thompson (?-1966) at Chance Harbour, New Brunswick. He served on the executive of the Provincial Command of the Great War Veterans Association and was elected President of the Provincial Command in 1924. He was a member of the Masons (Belmont Lodge No. 13), IOOF (Junior Warden, Nelson Lodge No. 9), and Knights of Pythias (Stanley Lodge No. 16).

He is believed to have died in 1988.


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

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

“20 barristers elected benchers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 1946, page 3.

We thank Vernalyn Heale for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 June 2020

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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