Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: James Tees (1854-1906)

Click to enlarge

James Tees
Click to enlarge

Businessman, choirmaster.

Born at Montreal on 13 November 1854, son of David Tees and Mary Curran, he left school at the age of eleven and became an apprenticed metal engraver. He was married in 1880 to Margaret Grace Smith of Montreal, and they had one son. In 1881 he was appointed manager of the Winnipeg office of the Canada Lead Works. He resigned in 1885 and became associated with John Persse as a commission and manufacturing broker. He was better known throughout Western Canada for his efforts on behalf of music than through his commercial reputation. While he was choirmaster of Grace Church for over ten years, the choir attained a reputation second to none in the West. He was also associated with the Winnipeg Operatic Society and the Winnipeg Oratorio Society. He organized and conducted the Male Voice Choir of Winnipeg, was a member of the Assiniboine Curling Club, President of the Rouer Bicycle Club, President of the Garry Lacrosse Club, and a member of the Gymnastic Committee of the Winnipeg YMCA and the St. Charles Country Club. He died at his Winnipeg home, 65 Edmonton Street, on 31 May 1906 and was buried in the St. John’s Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Tees and Persse Building (315 William Avenue, Winnipeg)


“The death of James Tees,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 June 1906, page 1.

“Funeral of late Jas. Tees,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 June 1906, page 9.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 March 2018

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.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.