Memorable Manitobans: William Randolph Cottingham (1884-1948)
Educator, lawyer, civil servant.
Born at Rapid City on 29 March 1884, son of William Cottingham and Emeline Sargent, he spent his youth on his father’s farm at Boissevain and, following a public school education, he taught at East Lynne School (1904-1905), Eunola School (1906-1907), Crystal City School (1908-1909), Caranton School, and Durban School before coming to Winnipeg where he graduated from Wesley College (BA 1910). For two years he taught English and History at Luxton School before attending the University of Manitoba where he received an MA degree in 1914 and LLB in 1915.
He was appointed Assistant Deputy Attorney-General of Manitoba in 1918, serving until 1923. He was appointed to the Department of Legislative Counsel on its founding in 1924. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1925. With Robert Fletcher, from 1926 to 1927 he served on the Fletcher-Cottingham Commission of Inquiry into operation of the Home of the Friendless. He was appointed Chairman of the Manitoba Municipal and Public Utility Board at its inception in 1928.
He was married to Muriel Hartley Brown (1889-1954, daughter of Corydon Partlow Brown). They had no children. At the time of his death, he lived at 220 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg.
He died on 11 April 1948 while vacationing at Victoria, British Columbia.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
“W. R. Cottingham, 64, dies at Victoria,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 April 1948.
“Former city pianist dies in New York,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 February 1954, page 13.
Beckoning Hills Revisited: Ours is a Goodly Heritage, Morton-Boissevain, 1881-1981 by Boissevain History Committee, c1981, pages 156, 160.
We thank Nathan Kramer and Len Kaminski for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 August 2022