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Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Robert Welch (1873-1961)

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Alexander Robert Welch
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Merchant, farmer, MLA (1929-1932), MLA (1933-1936), MLA (1937-1940), MLA (1941-1945).

Born at Brechin, Scotland on 15 July 1873, son of James Welch and Mary Ann Ingram, he was educated at the Stratford public and collegiate schools. He came to Canada in 1874 and arrived in Manitoba in March 1893 where he found work on a farm near Minto. The next year he started a shoe store at Boissevain. In 1898, he started the Welch’s Mens Wear store. He took semi-retirement in 1925 and concentrated on his farming interests near Boissevain.

On 25 November 1896, he married Elizabeth Hester Graham (?-1950), daughter of James Graham, of Minto. They had five children: James Alexander Welch (1897-?), Mildred Hester Welch (1900-?, wife of Eric B. Gowler of Boissevain), Marjory Belle Welch (1905-1928), Dorothy Alice Welch (1909-?, wife of R. M. Frame), and Graham E. Welch (?-1957). He served as Mayor of Boissevain (1905-1906), Chairman of the Boissevain School Board (1916-1929), and President of the Conservative Association of Turtle Mountain (1916-1929). He was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature at a by-election in June 1929, the vacancy being caused by death of the sitting member, Richard Gardiner Willis. He was re-elected in 1932, 1936, and 1941. He served as Minister Without Portfolio (1940-1945) in the Bracken government.

He died at the Brandon General Hospital on 6 May 1961 and was buried in Boissevain Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Welch Block (412 South Railway Street, Boissevain)

MHS Centennial Business: Pringle’s Men’s Wear / Welch’s Men’s Furnishings (Boissevain)


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

The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1934.

“Under The Golden Boy, Manitoba’s M.L.A.s,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 March 1943. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 126]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 May 1961, page 33.

“Alexander Robert Welch,” Brandon Sun, 16 May 1961, page 15.

“Tribute to former MLA,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 February 1962, page 12.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 July 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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