Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Delbert Eustis Symons (c1886-1948)

Trapper, prospector, trader.

Born in Roosie, St. Lawrence County, New York, he settled in Flin Flon at Phantom Lake resort in 1942 after a long career as a trapper, prospector and trader in the Canadian north. In 1910, he went to Big River Saskatchewan and later journeyed to such northern locations as Ile la Cross, Rabbit River, Brochet and Windy River where he opened the settlement’s first trading post. He was also said to be the first white man to cross Island Lake after Samuel Hearne.

During his career, he found employment with the Revillon Freres trading company where served as inspector of trading posts for 18 years. He was also employed by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company (1935-1942) before becoming the foreman at Phantom Lake resort. Symons was known by local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the north for his colourful personality and friendly manner.

He and his wife shared two children, Jean and Audrey. Symons was a member of the Masonic Lodge. He died at age 62 on 2 February 1948 in his home at Phantom Lake.


“Famed north trapper dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 February 1948. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 7]

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden.

Page revised: 12 June 2010

Memorable Manitobans

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