Memorable Manitobans: George Frederick Carruthers (1846-1918)
Born at Toronto, Ontario on 19 September 1846, the son of Frederick Fraser Carruthers (1816-1866) and Georgiana Barnes, he was educated at Upper Canada College and at the University of Toronto. He served with the militia during the Fenian Raids, 1866-1870, and held the Fenian Raid medal. After four years with the Grand Trunk Railway he came to Manitoba in 1871. He was first associated with Alexander Begg and later became joint editor and proprietor of the Manitoba Gazette. In 1874 he entered the fire insurance business and became managing director of the Canada West Fire Insurance Company, in partnership with Jeffry Hall Brock. He was a founding partner of the Standard Brick and Tile Company (1904).
He was Captain of the Winnipeg Infantry and in 1914 he organized the reserve militia Winnipeg Infantry regiment and was gazetted Lieutenant-Colonel in 1915. He was a member of the Winnipeg City Council for a number of years, and during his term of office saw the passing of the Public Parks Act in the Manitoba Legislature in 1892. He was a President of the Manitoba Rifle Association, President of the Winnipeg Board of Trade, a founder of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board, and a life governor of the Winnipeg General Hospital. He was instrumental in setting up the first Parks Board the following year and purchasing four parks.
He was married to Harriet Jane Chambers (1850-1929), with whom he had five children: Georgiana Sophia Carruthers (1874-1932, wife of Edmund Wallis Ridley Beal), Edith Augusta Carruthers (1875-1964, wife of Walter Percy Over), Francis F. Carruthers (1878-1879), Beatrice L. Carruthers (1881-?), and Lillian L. Carruthers (1883-?). They also raised a nephew, Francis Frederick Carruthers, as part of their family. Carruthers was a member of the Manitoba Club, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Western Canada Military Institute Society, and AF & AM (32°). His recreations included boating, fishing, and shooting.
He died at Winnipeg on 23 June 1918 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery. He is commemorated by Carruthers Avenue in Winnipeg.
1901 and 1911 Canada censes, 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.
“G. F. Carruthers, here since ’71, dies at home,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 June 1918, page 8.
“Col. G. F. Carruthers answers last call,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 June 1918, page 1.
Death registration [Harriet Jane Carruthers], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
We thank Georgiana Beal and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 October 2022