Memorable Manitobans: Douglas Colin Cameron (1854-1921)
Lumber merchant, Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba (1911-1916).
Born at Hawkesbury, Prescott County, Ontario on 18 June 1854, son of Colin Cameron and Annie McClaren, he was educated at the high school of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. He farmed in Ontario from 1871 to 1880. In the latter year, he moved to Winnipeg and engaged in various occupations until the Fall of 1883 when he formed the lumber business of Cameron & Company, later known as Cameron & Kennedy. In 1892, it was incorporated as the Ontario & Western Lumber Company, being renamed as the Rat Portage Lumber Company. He served as its General Manager from 1892 and president from 1894. He was also heavily involved in the forest industry in British Columbia.
Other business interests included the Presidency of the Maple Leaf Milling Company, and directorships of the Northern Crown Bank, Manitoba Bridge and Iron Works, and the Gas Traction Company. In 1910 he was listed by the Winnipeg Telegram as one of Winnipeg’s 19 millionaires.
In 1880, he married Margaret Cameron Ferguson (1857-?) of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. They had three children: Evelyn Cameron (1885-?, wife of Homer Dixon), Douglas Lorne Cameron (1888-?), and James Leslie Fergus Cameron (1896-?). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, and Lakewood Country Club. He served as President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg from 1906 to 1908. He was made a knight commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1913. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel with the 79th Highlanders. He was a keen horseman, his stables winning many honours at horse shows. In 1911, he lived at 65 Roslyn Road, Winnipeg.
A Liberal, he represented Fort William and Lake of the Woods in the Ontario provincial legislature from 1902 to 1905 but was subsequently defeated in the provincial and 1908 federal elections. He was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba in 1911 and served until 1916. His letter-book for the years 1911 and 1912 is at the Archives of Manitoba.
He died at Toronto, Ontario on 27 November 1921 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
“Sir Douglas Cameron dies suddenly while on visit to Toronto,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 November 1921, page 2.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
We thank Elspeth Mary DeGrow for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 August 2020