Memorable Manitobans: James William Armstrong (1860-1928)
Physician, MLA (1908-1910), MLA (1911-1914), MLA (1914-1915), MLA (1916-1920), MLA (1921-1922).
Born at Kingston, Nova Scotia on 14 January 1860, the second of five children born to James Armstrong and Elizabeth Pearce, he graduated from Acadia College. Coming to Manitoba in 1889, he taught school at the Brandon Collegiate for a year then studied at the Manitoba Medical College (MD 1893) and did postgraduate work in Edinburgh. He returned to Canada and practiced medicine at Gladstone, later became health officer for the Municipality of Gladstone.
He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature as a Liberal in 1907, and was re-elected in 1910, 1914, 1915, and 1920, serving in the Norris government as Provincial Secretary (1915-1922), Minister of Health, and Municipal Commissioner (1915-1922).
On 6 April 1897, he married Mary Campbell (1869-1969, daughter of Joseph Campbell) of Winchester, Ontario. They had three children: Pearce Campbell Armstrong (1898-1972), Flora Stewart Armstrong (1902-1982, wife of Alfred McLaren “Clare” Stevens, mother of Rosemary Malaher), and Ida Manning Armstrong. He was a member of the Norwood Golf Club and a keen motorist.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 344 Yale Avenue, on 26 February 1928 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. He is commemorated by the Rural Municipality of Armstrong in Manitoba. His extensive papers are held at the Archives of Manitoba.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1915.
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
“Dr. J. W. Armstrong, former M.L.A., dies,” undated newspaper clipping. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]
Obituary [Mary Armstrong], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 May 1969, page 32.
Obituary [Flora S. Stevens], Winnipeg Free Press, 8 July 1982, page 50.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 December 2021