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Memorable Manitobans: Gordon William Wood (1884-1985)

Professor, agriculturalist.

Born at Lachute, Quebec on 5 August 1884, son of Christina and Robert Wood, he enrolled at McDonald College when it first opened in 1907. Associated with McGill University, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the College. He later obtained his Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin where he studied animal nutrition, biological chemistry, and animal genetics during the 1925-1926 term.

Following his graduation from McDonald College, he was appointed as the first agricultural representative in Quebec in 1911. In July 1913, he was contacted by Dr. William John Black, then President of the Manitoba Agricultural College, and accepted a position as lecturer under Prof. Walter H. Peters. After a one-year leave of absence in 1915, during which time he was a county agent in the United States, he returned to the College as assistant to the head of the Animal Science Department, Prof. F. S. Jacobs. In 1917, Wood was promoted to this position, which he held until his retirement in 1949. After 32 years as head of the Animal Science Department, he retired as Professor Emeritus.

A charter member of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, he was well liked by students and influential in many of the careers of the province’s agriculturalists. His career highlights include organizing the first exhibit of western Canadian swine to enter the United States after the First World War and the sheep entries from the Manitoba Agricultural College that won the champion Oxford flock award at the Toronto Winter Fair in 1931.

He and his wife Mary Green, whom he married in 1916, shared two children: R. Greg Wood and Ruth Wood. He died at a hospital in Grimsby, Ontario on 5 July 1985.


1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Pioneer animal scientist retires,” Winnipeg Tribune, July 1949. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 118]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 July 1985, page 43.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden.

Page revised: 17 August 2010

Memorable Manitobans

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