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Memorable Manitobans: Herbert Irving Stevenson (1878-1943)


Born at Richibucto, New Brunswick on 17 July 1878, son of John Stevenson, he enlisted as a private in the Royal Canadian Dragoons and served in the Boer War in South Africa, earning the Queen’s medal with five clasps. On his return he worked as a naval architect at Baltimore, Maryland then came to western Canada in 1903, first working on a farm west of Brandon then managing the Brandon Laundry, later working for the Hanbury Lumber Company in lumbering operations in the Duck Mountains.

On 18 September 1909 he married Mary Bernice Donaldson at Brandon. They had four daughters and two sons. He was a member of the AF & AM (Assiniboine Lodge) and the Scientific Club of Winnipeg. He was a Director of the Dominion Envelope and Cartons Limited.

In 1912 he began working for the Dominion Forestry Service and devoted the rest of his life to forestry. During the First World War he went overseas in command of the First Canadian Mounted Rifles, transferring to the Fort Garry Horse. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and two bars for distinguished conduct in the field. On his return to Canada he resumed his forestry duties and eventually rose to be director of the department in Manitoba. When the federal government transferred natural resources to the province in 1930 he was appointed provincial director, a post he occupied until retirement in June 1942. He was soon brought out of retirement by the government and anticipated carrying on to the end of the Second World War.

He died at Winnipeg on 1 September 1943 and was buried in Brandon Cemetery.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

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

“Col. H. I. Stevenson succumbs suddenly”, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 September 1943. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 137]

We thank Christopher Stevenson for providing additional information for this profile.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 June 2010

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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