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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Tod “Tommy” Wilson (1884-1968)


Born at Lanarkshire, Scotland on 20 January 1884, he took an engineering course in Scotland and articled with a firm in Edinburgh before coming to Canada as a young man. In 1907, he began working for the Manitoba Public Works Department and was transferred to the Good Roads Board in 1913. In December 1915, he enlisted with the 222nd Infantry Battalion and served in France with the 44th Battalion. Wounded overseas, he received his military discharge in October 1918.

When the highway system was retooled by the government in 1926, Wilson was appointed a construction engineer and served at one time as district engineer of the Good Roads Board at Dauphin. Following several promotions, he became the province’s Chief Engineer in November 1936, being responsible for establishment of the trunk road system. He retired in July 1949. Following his retirement, for five years he was supervisory engineer representing the federal government during construction of the Manitoba portion of the Trans-Canada Highway.

On 15 June 1921, he married Bernice Alma Walker (1894-1979) at Dauphin and they subsequently had two daughters. He was a member of the Masons (Vermillion Lodge, Prince Rupert Lodge), Westminster United Church, and Granite Curling Club.

He died at the Grace Hospital on 14 September 1968 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.


Attestation paper, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Road chief retires; built trunk system,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 July 1949. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 116]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 September 1968, page 28.

Obituary [Bernice Alma Wilson], Winnipeg Free Press, 29 May 1979, page 48.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 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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