Memorable Manitobans: William Arthur Irish (1872-1941)
Born at Yarker, Ontario on 17 September 1872, son of George W. Irish (1834-1912) and Catherine Irish, he came to Manitoba with his parents in the early 1890s and worked at Carberry and Virden before coming to Winnipeg where he operated a contracting business in partnership with his brother-in-law John Alexander Saul. They also operated a brickworks at Virden in the 1890s. He was later President of the W. A. Irish & Company, President of the Builders’ Mutual Supply Company, President of the Western Savings and Loan Association, and a Director of the Equitable Trust Company.
On 28 January 1922, he married Mary Edith Fares (1890-1980, daughter of William Henry Fares) at Winnipeg and they had three children: William C. “Bill” Irish (1922-2015), Elizabeth Irish, and Gwendoline Joyce “Gwen” Irish (wife of James Eno Pompilio). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Motor Country Club, and Southwood Golf Club. In 1930, he was involved in a bitter dispute over the will of his friend Alexander Macdonald.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 755 Wellington Crescent, on 1 November 1941 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. His pallbearers were J. S. Currie, N. Brewer, E. D. Pratt, G. Dummert, H. S. Stidston, and R. Pollock. His honorary pallbearers were Clarence Day Shepard, Robert Dunbar Guy, Edwin Henry Bennest, A. J. Brown, W. McLandress, W. Griffith, and H. Darling.
Some of his construction works in Manitoba included:
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Who's Who and Why, Volumes 6 and 7, 1915-1916, page 661.
Marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Beautiful residence on Dromore Street,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 May 1928, page 36.
“Safeway stores receive four building permits,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 July 1929, page 3.
“Whereabouts of Irish and Forlong unknown,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 February 1930, page 17.
“W. A. Irish, contractor, dies aged 69,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 November 1941, page 6.
“W. A. Irish leaves $229,101 estate,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 January 1942, page 2.
Death registration [James Eno Pompilio], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Obituary [Mary Edith Irish], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 1980, page 49.
John Hamilton Parkhill, 182 Spence Street by Murray Peterson, Peterson Projects, February 2009.
Obituary [William C. Irish], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 April 2015.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 March 2023