Memorable Manitobans: William Anderson Martin (1893-1962)
School building commissioner, architect.
Born at Edinburgh, Scotland on 26 March 1893, he received architectural training at the University of Edinburgh before emigrating to Canada in 1913. He worked for the George Fuller Construction Company of New York, as a project consultant for the construction of the Fort Garry Hotel and Merchants’ Bank Building in Winnipeg, and was associated with John Danley Atchison.
During the First World War, he served overseas with the 184th Canadian Infantry Regiment. Returning to Winnipeg, he joined the teaching staff of the Winnipeg School Board as the Head of Architecture and Mechanical Drafting at Kelvin Technical High School (1920-1929, not to be confused with William Martin, who also taught at Kelvin during this time). In January, following the retirement of James Bertram Mitchell, he was appointed Building Commissioner until retiring in 1958, during which time he oversaw 75 school additions and new constructions.
A golfing enthusiast, he was a member of the Assiniboine Golf Club and Niakwa Country Club. Other involvements included President of the Winnipeg Burns Club (1952) and membership with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, King Edward Preceptory and Shrine, and AF & AM (Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 3). In 1922, he married Vivian Edna Martin (?-1978) and they had three sons: William Steward Arnold Martin, David Duncan Martin (1929-1979), and Ian Montgomery Martin (1929-1988).
His supervised construction projects include:
Birth notice [Martin twins], Manitoba Free Press, 6 July 1929, page 31.
“Tenders for fence,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 July 1929, page 11.
“Tomlin new director of school supplies,” Manitoba Free Press, 11 September 1929, page 12.
“New school in Glenwood to have eight large rooms,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 July 1930, page 24.
“Model of school for city shown [Photo caption, River Heights School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 February 1947, page 3.
Winnipeg School Days, 1871-1950 by W. G. Pearce. [University of Manitoba Libraries]
“Hazel Manning chooses evening ceremony to wed Ian M. Martin,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 October 1954, page 6.
[Photo caption, “Trustee lays cornerstone”], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 June 1956, page 14.
“Tender for school building [Daniel McIntyre School],” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 June 1957, page 38.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 April 1962, page 23.
Obituary [Vivian E. Martin], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 January 1978, page 34.
Obituary [David Duncan Martin], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 June 1979, page 48.
Obituary [Ian Montgomery Martin], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 1988, page 46.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Randy Rostecki and Robert Hill for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 22 October 2023