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Memorable Manitobans: John Whyte (1850-1927)


Born at Belfast, Ireland on 8 August 1850, he came to Canada as an infant in 1851 and grew up at Greenoch, Ontario. He became a teacher and taught in the province for 22 years before moving to Manitoba. He settled at Rapid City by 1889, earned a second class teaching certificate (1891) and taught for an additional 22 years, including in the RM of Saskatchewan (c1893) and as Principal of Rapid City School (1897-1899). He retired from the classroom around 1911 and became Postmaster of Rapid City on 13 November 1911, a position he held until his death. For his contributions to education, he was given honourary life membership in the Manitoba Education Association. In 1916, he was a founding officer of the Rapid City Returned Soldiers Association [Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 49]. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and a Mason.

On 2 January 1877, he married Lucy Ann Stevens and they had five daughters: Lotty Whyte (1877-?, wife of David Lawrence McLean), Ethel Whyte (1879-1953, wife of Mr. J. R. Lowery), Mary Alice Mrytle Whyte, Mabel Whyte (1885-?), and Aleta Jean Whyte (1893-1982, wife of George Ernest Butchart). Myrtle and Aleta followed his footsteps into education, both teaching in the Winnipeg School Division.

He died at Rapid City on 5 March 1927. All school-age children grades three and up lined the road by his residence as the funeral procession headed to the local cemetery.


1891 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Certificates granted,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 2 December 1891, page 5.

“Indian famine fund has reached the $10,000 mark [Rapid School children per John Whyte, Principal],” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 February 1897, page 5.

“John Whyte, Rapid City pioneer, dies,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 March 1927, page 5.

“Butchart - Whyte,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 January 1948, page 9.

“Mrs. Ethel Lowery dies in Vancouver,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 February 1953, page 7.

Post Offices and Postmasters, Library and Archives Canada.

Rapid City and District - Our Past for the Future, Rapid City Historical Book Society, 1978.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 22 February 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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