Memorable Manitobans: Ernest Robert Workman (1881-1965)
Born at Heckston, Ontario on 1 May 1881, son of William John Workman and Margaret A. “Maggie” Tripp, he came to Winnipeg in 1903 and began working as an architect and building contractor. On 16 August 1906, he married Laura Theresa Curl (1888-1950) and they had at least three children before divorcing: Daphne Teresa Workman (1907-1989), Roy Eld Workman (1909-1909), and Roy Vernon Workman (1910-1996). His second wife was Frieda Martha Schwartz (?-1953).
In 1907, he was arrested at St. Paul, Minnesota on a charge of counterfeiting $20,000 in gold certificates that he intended to bring back to Winnipeg. The incident tarnished his professional reputation sufficiently that he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where he continued to work as an architect. By 1915, he was living at Victoria then moved to Chicago, Illinois sometime after 1920 where he died on 7 November 1965.
Some of his architectural and construction works in Manitoba included:
“Building operations,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 April 1907, page 7.
“Counterfeiting game of large proportion,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 November 1907, page 1.
“Claims arrest is a mistake,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 November 1907, page 1.
Earnest Robert Workman, FamilySearch.
Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 March 2022