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Memorable Manitobans: Arthur Willey (1850-1907)

Pioneer, cleric.

He was born near Port Hope, Ontario on 23 September 1850, the son of Robert and Maria Willey. He married Louisa Goff of Kansas on 18 March 1880, and they had nine children. He was educated in Port Hope and at seventeen joined the army. In 1869 he began work on the survey of the Canadian Pacific Railroad between Winnipeg and Port Arthur. After his marriage in 1880 he settled on a farm in Randolph, Kansas, but in 1889 came to homestead in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba. In 1894 the family moved to the Bitter Root Valley in Montana, where Willey completed a course in theology. The Willey family returned to Gilbert Plains in 1898 and moved to Ethelbert in 1900 when he was appointed by the Methodist Conference as lay preacher to the English-speaking population. While in this area he built two churches. In 1905 he was moved to Dauphin to take charge of the rural appointments in the district.

Willey died in Dauphin on 13 March 1907.


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

Page revised: 30 December 2008

Memorable Manitobans

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