Memorable Manitobans: James Moncrieff Wellwood (1847-1892)
Born at Hamilton, Ontario in 1847, he attended school at Gananoque, took an arts course at McGill University, then theology at the Presbyterian college in Montreal. He was ordained and given charge of a church at Cote de Neige at Montreal. In poor health, he took a leave of absence, met and married his wife at Gananoque, then toured Europe with her. On their return to Montreal, he was persuaded to move west, where missionaries were in short supply. Arriving at the site of Tanner’s Crossing, Manitoba (later renamed Minnedosa), he set up a homestead then returned for his family. He was later put in charge of the Brandon Normal School, along with William Albert McIntyre. Having taken a course in meteorology while a student at McGill, he set up a small weather station at Minnedosa and transmitted records from it to the government at Ottawa.
On 2 June 1874, he married Sarah Jane Mitchell (1847-1932) and they had five daughters: Jean M. Wellwood (1876-1901), Narcissa Wellwood (1878-?, wife of Robert S. Beall), Winnifred Sarah Wellwood (1879-1970, wife of David W. Yuill), Jessie Wellwood (1881-?), and Helen Wellwood (1883-1949).
Suffering a relapse of poor health in 1886, he resigned his charge and, until his death, spent winters in the United States. He took a medical degree at the New Orleans Medical College, and he practiced medicine in California until his death in 1892. His body was returned in Manitoba for burial in the Minnedosa Cemetery. The town of Wellwood is named for him.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers of Manitoba by Robert Harvey (1970).
Our First Century: 1884-1984 by Melita-Arthur History Committee, 1983, page 802.
Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 23 July 2018
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