Memorable Manitobans: John William Fleming (1868-1928)
Pharmacist, Mayor of Brandon (1905-1906, 1911-1913).
Born on a farm near Stanley, New Brunswick on 25 February 1868, son of Alexander Fleming, he moved with his family to Sackville, New Brunswick where he recieved his primary education at the Wesleyan seminary. He subsequently attended Mount Allison University. In 1881, when Brandon was still a tent city, his family moved west and located there. His father opened the first drug store, of which J. W. Fleming was manager until 1903, when he took over the business. In 1909 he was a founding member of the Manitoba Association of Optometrists.
Fleming served the city of Brandon as alderman for ward 1 during the years 1895 to 1899 during which times he chaired several committees. In 1905, he was elected Mayor by a large majority, serving until 1906. He was a Liberal candidate for the Brandon City consituency in the 1907 provincial general election. He served a second term as Mayor of Brandon from 1911 to 1913. He served as Clerk of the Manitoba Legislature from 1915 to 1919, and from 1925 to 1928. He was a member of the Civil Service Commission of Manitoba from 1918. He helped to organize, and was the first President of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities, later appointed its Honorary President.
On 6 September 1892, he married Annie Elizabeth Matheson (1870-1947, daughter of Gilbert Matheson and Ann Sutherland). They had no children. He was a member of the Brandon Club, Brandon Golf Club, Polo and Lacrosse Clubs, and Canadian Club. He lived at 338 Victoria Avenue, Brandon.
He died while travelling between Wawanesa and Brandon on 10 November 1928 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.
“Mayors of Manitoba,” [Manitoba Free Press, 10 January 1906], Manitoba Biographical Scrapbook B3, page 19, Manitoba Legislative Library.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
Death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“John W. Fleming, clerk of house, dies suddenly,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 November 1928, page 3.
We thank Chris Macdonald and Sandy Jasper for providing assistance information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 21 January 2021