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Memorable Manitobans: John William Winnett (1853-1905)


Born at Killaloe, Ireland in 1853, he came to Canada in his youth and received his education at London, Ontario. He was employed first by the London Furniture Company, coming to Winnipeg in 1874 and establishing a wholesale and retail furniture business. On 17 May 1876, he married Lydia Roe at London, Ontario. They had five daughters and two sons. In 1881 he built a furniture factory on Main Street that employed about forty men. The business was responsible for making the first wood blocks used in paving Winnipeg streets, in late 1884. Winnett later moved to Los Angeles, California where he established a large specialty furniture factory. He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 22 September 1905 while visiting his family. He was buried at Los Angeles.


Ontario marriage registration, Ancestry.

“Main Street pavement”, Manitoba Free Press, 8 October 1884, page 4.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Local notes”, Manitoba Free Press, 3 October 1905, page 10.

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

We thank Gael Huntley for providing additional information used in this profile.

Page revised: 1 December 2009

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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