Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Stewart (1881-1941)

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James Stewart
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Born at Kincardine, Scotland on 11 December 1881, he came to Canada as a child and was schooled at Fort William [now Thunder Bay], Ontario.

He moved to Winnipeg in 1906 and worked for the Western Elevator Company. From 1919 to 1921, he served as Commissioner of the first Wheat Board. He was later President of the James Stewart Grain Corporation, Board Chairman of Federal Grain Limited, President of the Maple Leaf Milling Company (1922-1930), and a founding Director of the Western Grain Company (1929). He was also a Director of the Canadian National Railways, Bank of Montreal, Stewart Grain Company, Alberta Pacific Grain Company, and Vancouver Terminal Elevator Company. His firm Stewart and Grant constructed the Slave Falls Generating Station for Winnipeg Hydro (1928) and the railway from The Pas to Hudson Bay.

On 24 February 1915, he married Helen Kathleen Rooney (c1887-?), daughter of John J. Rooney, at Winnipeg. They had seven children: Ewen Stewart (1916-?), Isabel Stewart (1917-?, wife of Douglas Thomson Martin), Douglas Stewart (1919-?), Shirley Helen Stewart (1920-1995, wife of Daniel Sprague), James Stewart (?-?), Kathleen Stewart, and Catherine Stewart. He was a member of the St. Charles Country Club, Motor Country Club, Manitoba Club, Carleton Club, and First Presbyterian Church.

He died at the Misericordia Hospital on 1 December 1941 and was buried in the Old Kildonan Cemetery. A collection of his papers are held at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.


Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

“James Stewart, leading grain man, is dead,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 December 1941, page 7.

Obituary [Shirley Helen Sprague], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 August 1995, page 28.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 August 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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