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Memorable Manitobans: James Woodsworth (1843-1917)


Born at Toronto, Ontario on 3 May 1843, he was ordained a Methodist minister in 1868. After working for 14 years in Toronto, he was transferred to Manitoba in 1882, coming first to Portage la Prairie. He moved to Brandon in 1885 and, two years later, was made Superintendent of Western Missions with responsibility for recruiting clerics from eastern Canada and Great Britain to a territory including most of western Canada. He was active, along with James Aikins, J. H. Ashdown, and Thomas Ryan, in the establishment of Methodist colleges in western Canada. He retired in 1915 but remained active in church work.

In 1868, he married Esther Josephine Shaver (c1847-1925) at Etobicoke, Ontario. They had six children: James Shaver Woodsworth, Richard Bruce Woodsworth (1877-1943), Joseph F. Woodsworth (1880-?), Mary Josephine Woodsworth (1882-1977), Frederick Harold Woodsworth (1883-?), and Edith Annie Woodsworth (1887-1957, wife of Arthur Osborne Rose).

He died at his Winnipeg home, 60 Maryland Street, on 26 January 1917 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. His memoirs were published posthumously as Thirty Years in the Canadian North-West (1917).

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: James Shaver Woodsworth House (60 Maryland Street, Winnipeg)


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Dr. Woodsworth is called by death,” Manitoba Free Press, 27 January 1917, page 40.

“Dr. Woodsworth, aged 73, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 January 1917, page 10.

“Rev. J. Woodsworth buried; scores of old-timers present,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 January 1917, page 11.

“R. B. Woodsworth dies on Sunday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 March 1943, page 13.

Obituary [Mrs. Arthur Rose], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 March 1957, page 41.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 November 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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