Memorable Manitobans: William Henry Cross (1852-1928)
Born at L’Orignal, Prescott County, Ontario on 23 August 1852, son of John and Nancy Cross, he was educated at public schools then worked in the lumber and mercantile business at Upper Ottawa from 1868 to 1880. He came to Winnipeg in 1881 and worked in the land department of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1881-1887). In the latter year, he went into the real estate business in partnership with Henry Samuel Crotty, remaining there until 1902. In 1911, he was manager of the Land and Agricultural Company of Canada.
He was also a member of the advisory board of the Toronto General Trusts Company and La Compagnie Foncier de Manitoba; chairman of the advisory board of the Mortgage Company of Canada, and a director of the Great-West Life Assurance Company (1916-1928), Manitoba Bridge and Iron Works, and the Manitoba Rolling Mills Company. He served as one of the three trustees of the City of Winnipeg Sinking Fund.
In 1887, he married Clarissa Purvis (1858-1912) of Portage du Fort, Quebec and they had four children: Elwood Cross (1887-?), Clarissa Florence Cross (1889-?, wife of ? Gemmill), Elveen Cross (1891-?), and Russell Wilfred Cross (1892-1919). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Carleton Club, St. Charles Country Club, Ancient Order of Foresters, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Conservative party, and Methodist church. His recreation was yachting. In 1911, he lived at 275 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg.
He died at Winnipeg on 14 December 1928 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.
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.
“Mrs. W. H. Cross is drowned in lake,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 July 1912, page 1.
The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]
“Kerr dying, wife and Cross killed,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 July 1919, page 1.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“W. H. Cross, pioneer financier, is dead,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 December 1928, page 4.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 4 October 2022