Memorable Manitobans: Norman Leslie Turnbull (1900-1986)
Farmer, miller, MLA (1937-1940), MLA (1941-1945), MLA (1946-1949).
Born on the family farm in the RM of Ellice on 24 August 1900, only son of James Norman Robert Turnbull (1867-1943) and Cecilia Scarth (1857-1937), he was educated at Balmerino School, Binscarth School, St. Johns College, and the Manitoba Agricultural College. He farmed near Binscarth and the Atkinson farm near Hamiota, and also worked for G. W. Spearman at the Hamiota Flour Mill during the 1930s.
He was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature for the Hamiota constituency at the general election in July 1936, a member of the Social Credit party (and later as an Independent). He was re-elected in 1941 and 1945, but did not stand for re-election in 1949. From November 1940 to February 1946, he was a Minister Without Portfolio in the Bracken and Garson governments. He returned to farming after his retirement from politics. He moved to Hamiota in 1985.
On 26 June 1926, he married Ellen Grace Atkinson (1905-1999, daughter of Arthur Atkinson of Hamiota) and they had six children: Robert Orison “Bob” Turnbull, Connie Turnbull (wife of Derry Ashcroft), Ida May Turnbull (wife of Bill Deller), and Jessie Hope Turnbull (wife of Jack Woodhouse), Leslie Turnbull (wife of Dennis Wrightson), and Heather Turnbull (wife of Gordon Thurston). He was a member of the United Church of Canada.
He died at Hamiota on 12 January 1986 and was buried in the Binscarth Cemetery.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1938.
“Under the Golden Boy, Manitoba’s M.L.A.s,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 March 1943. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 130]
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 January 1986, page 50.
Obituary [Ellen Grace Turnbull], Brandon Sun, 20 May 1999, page 18.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 November 2022