Memorable Manitobans: John Jackson (1887-1986)

Businessman, contractor, sportsman.

Born at Winnipeg on 29 March 1887, eldest son of Thomas Jackson and Eliza Edmondson (1862-1920), he attended Carlton School, Isbister School, and Mulvey School. He worked with his father and brother in Thomas Jackson and Sons, a building supply, fuel, and contracting business. In the 1960s, he retired as President of the company. He also organized other construction companies. In 1922, he and his brother James Jackson, along with partner Scott Fowler, organized the Nelson River Construction Company.

In the 1930s, they established Scott Jackson Construction. His son John, along with Frank M. Fowler (son of Scott Fowler), carried on the business of these companies. In 1946, he helped to organized Supercrete Limited to manufacture concrete products for the construction industry and served as an officer and director of the company into the early 1960s.

A talented athlete, in the early 1900s, he played professional baseball and hockey in Winnipeg and California. He was also an active curler and bowler, playing competitively through the 1920s. In 1914, his curling team won the international bonspiel “Gourley Rink Aggregate” that took place in Victoria and Seattle. He played hockey with the Canadians and bowled with his company team that won the 1939 Merchants Bowling Championship. He had a lifelong interest in horse racing, owning the world champion pacer “Winnipeg” with his brother and trainer William Flemming. They purchased the horse in 1926 at Portage la Prairie and raced successfully in Canada and the USA until it was sold to C. J. Baker of Illinois, under whose ownership it set a record time for a one-mile pace at the Kentucky State Fair.

An early supporter of the Winnipeg Football Club, he supported it financially from the early 1930s to 1970s, along with the Winnipeg Maroons Baseball Club and an amateur club, The Rosedale, that played in Winnipeg in the 1940s and 1950s. He and his brother hosted the Coal Hole, an open house for the sporting fraternity in the backroom of their company office at 370 Colony Street.

On 19 January 1910, he married Nell Bell Hollands Rae (1887-1977) at Winnipeg and they had five children: Myra Isabel “Myo” Jackson (1911-2005, wife of Albert Keith Moore), John Howard “Jackie” Jackson (1914-2009, husband of Virginia Alice “Ginny” Moore), William Thomas “Tom” Jackson (1917-1994, husband of Mary Ann “Toni” Fulton and Sally Glendora Morrow), Margaret Doreen “Peggy” Jackson (1922-2013, wife of Jack Alfred Seed), and Patricia Joyce “Patsy” Jackson (1924-1993, wife of Graeme Thomson Haig).

He died at Winnipeg on 7 January 1986 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. He was inducted posthumously (2004) into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame for his role as a builder of many sports.


Marriage registration [John Jackson, Nell Belle Rae Hollands], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Birth registrations [Myra Isabel Jackson, John Howard Jackson, Margaret Doreen Jackson], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Nell Rae Jackson], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 May 1977, page 59.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 January 1986, page 58.

Obituary [Patricia Joyce Jackson Haig], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 April 1993, page 42.

Obituary [Myra Moore], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 December 2005.

Obituary [Jack Alfred Seed], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 January 2013.

Obituary [Margaret Doreen Seed], Winnipeg Free Press, 17 August 2013.

We thank Julia McIlvride for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 November 2023

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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