Memorable Manitobans: George Ashdown (1851-1939)
Hardware merchant, municipal official, MLA (1903-1907).
Born at Etobicoke, Ontario on 8 April 1851, son of William Ashdown (1819-1903) and Jane Waitling (1820-1902), he came to Winnipeg in 1872 and worked in the hardware store of his brother, James Henry Ashdown. He moved to Morden in 1891 to open his own hardware business, which he operated for the next 20 years.
During this time he was acclaimed to the Manitoba Legislature in a 1906 by-election, replacing the recently deceased John Henry Ruddell, but was defeated in the 1907 general election. He also served two terms as the Mayor of Morden (1900-1901, 1904) and was President of the Morden Curling Club (1895-1896).
He was married to Annie Maria Richardson (1852-1936). They had four daughters: Margaret Etta Ashdown (1876-1940), Jane Mary Alice Ashdown (1878-1938, wife of Charles S. McKay), Emma Louise Ashdown (1880-1941, wife of William McCulloch), and Georgie Ethel Ashdown (1883-1984, wife of Albert L. Benson). The family lived at 120 Juno Street in Winnipeg before moving to Morden.
He retired from business in 1911 and, for a short time, engaged in real estate at Winnipeg before working for six years as the manager of the J. H. Ashdown retail store, stepping down in 1920. He was a Mason and an adherent of the Anglican church.
He died at Winnipeg on 14 May 1939 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.
“New member for Morden,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 May 1906, page 1.
Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Morden marriage,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 January 1904, page 8.
Obituary, Western Municipal News, May 1939, page 125.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“G. Ashdown, 85, pioneer, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 April 1939. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]
“Ashdown funeral is held today,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 May 1939.
Obituary [M. Etta Ashdown], Winnipeg Tribune, 15 October 1940, page 5.
“In the matter of the estate of Margaret Etta Ashdown,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 April 1941, page 29.
Obituary [Emma Louise McCulloch], Winnipeg Tribune, 8 August 1941, page 18.
Obituary [Georgie Ethel Benson], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 July 1984, page 38.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
We thank Rick Mutton for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 October 2022