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The history of Brandon is full of interesting people who have helped to shape the city as we know it today. Use the links below to explore the names from Brandon's past.


Ferguson, Alexander

Alexander Ferguson was the president of Brandon Brewing Company Ltd. In 1911 he purchased the property at 1608 Lorne Ave.


Fitton, George

George Fitton was born in England in 1875. He arrived in Brandon in 1905. George Fitton served as a trustee for the Brandon School Division for forty-one years, making him one of the longest-serving employees in the division’s history. He acted as chairman of the Board from 1921 to 1923, and again from 1932 to 1956. Fitton passed away in 1957, and George Fitton School was named in his memory.


Fleming, John William

John W. Fleming was born on Febuary 25th, 1868, in Stanley, New Brunswick. He graduated from the College of Pharmacy in Toronto in 1889, and joined his father Alexander Sr. in running the family pharmacy in Brandon. In 1892, John married Anna E.Matheson. John was voted in as an alderman sometime in the 1890s, but resigned in 1900 due to the city's collapsing finances.
Fleming became the uncontested Chief Magistrate in 1904. He served as the first head of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities in 1905, and was also known as a patron of the Operatic Society of Brandon, which was formed in 1905.
John Fleming was voted mayor of Brandon in 1905, winning 75% of the vote. His strong majority was credited by the Brandon Sun as being due to his “cultivation of the working man’s vote” (i.e. Labour vote), as early as 1903.
During his time as mayor, Fleming attempted to have the city's growing electrical needs provided for by the Great Western Power and Manufacturing Company of Ontario. However he was unable to secure their services, as city council balked at the company's prices. Later in the year, a small explosion at Brandon Electric caused a city wide black-out. In 1906, he succeeded S. E. Clement as Brandon’s Chief Magistrate, and thus did not continue as mayor.
After Clifford Sifton's resignation in 1907, Fleming ran as the Liberal candidate in the federal election. Despite his apparent local popularity, he lost the election. He blamed it on the fact that he was an ex-mayor, saying it had been impossible not to make enemies.

In 1910, while serving as an alderman, he resigned along with Alderman Whillier and Mayor Adolph, protesting the way in which the city council handled the awarding of new gas and electric contracts.

In 1911 Fleming was again elected as mayor. In 1913, he inaugurated Brandon’s first street car service, and insisted that more money needed to be spent to enlarge it, to ensure that “Brandon would forsake village ideas”. 1913 also saw the Dominion Fair held in Brandon, which was a success in every way, except financially. It’s final cost, which was to be paid by the city, was proving to be very unpopular, and lead to Fleming's resignation.

After the Liberals returned to power in 1915, John Fleming was appointed the Clerk of Legislative Assembly. Fleming lived in Brandon until his death on November 10th, 1928.


Fleming, Alexander

Alexander Fleming was Brandon’s first physician and druggist. He was born in Scotland in 1841 and was educated at the Glasgow University of Medicine and at Harvard before moving to New Brunswick in 1863. In 1881, Fleming and his family moved to Brandon, where he established his medical practice. He was proprietor of Apothecaries Hall, a frame building on Rosser Avenue which served as the city’s first drug store. In 1888, Fleming had a handsome new residence built at 707 Louise Avenue. Fleming remained a prominent member of the community throughout his life, serving as chairman of Brandon’s first school board; as president of the Manitoba and Northwest Farmers Union; and on the original board and staff of the Brandon General Hospital, which opened in 1891. Alexander Fleming died on November 26, 1897, and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery. He is commemorated by Fleming School.


Foster, J.R.

Born in Smith Falls, Ontario, John Russell Foster was Brandon’s Police Chief from 1891 to 1892. He resigned in 1892 to start a private detective agency in Winnipeg, which remained in business until 1938. Renowned as a detective, Foster returned to Brandon to aid the police investigation into the sensational murder of Mary Lane. Working with Chief James Kirkcaldy, Foster obtained a confession from Hilda Blake, and she was ultimately hung for her crime.


Fotheringham, Ed

Ed Fotheringham was a prominent Brandon businessman. He won the mayoralty in 1931, becoming the first man to defeat Harry Cater in 10 years. During Fotheringham's term, he was opposed to the awarding of a National “Passenger Carrying Privilege” to a Winnipeg bus company. He argued (and was proven right) that it signaled the beginning of the end for the passenger rail service. Fotheringham had wished to retire in 1932, but was urged to remain on for an additional term to avoid the expense of an election in the face of the young depression. He did however retire in 1933.


Fraser, Alexander C.

Alexander Fraser was born in Renfrew County, Ontario in 1845. In 1881, he moved to Brandon where he opened his successful dry goods store, A. C. Fraser & Co., in 1883. The year 1883 also saw his election to city council. In 1885, Fraser was appointed president of the newly formed Board of Trade and succeeded to the mayoralty in 1887, as the previous mayor, Charles Adams, retired. Fraser served as mayor of Brandon from 1887-89, and 1901-02. During his time as mayor, Fraser accomplished many noteworthy things for Brandon. He issued contracts for Brandon’s first sidewalks; reformed its fire fighting facilities after a downtown fire on Feb. 13th 1889 “turned midnight into day”; and saw Brandon’s first electrical lights come on on Feb. 19th of the same year.
He was also a known Liberal, and was elected as the M.P. for Brandon North in 1896. The Liberal party lost Brandon North in the 1900 election. Fraser was criticized by A. E. Phelp, Clifford Sifton's lawyer, for “alienating the general public” from the Liberal party. Fraser was again the subject of controversy after the 1903 federal election, in which the Liberals again failed to capture Brandon. Another prominent local Liberal family were the Clements, whom Fraser had sold land to prior to the election. The Clements were alleged to have lost $6000 on the deal, and blamed Fraser personally. Compounding this, Fraser openly opposed the appointment of local business man Harry Clark to a minor federal position, for allegedly failing to support him in the 1903 election. As a result of all of this, Clifford Sifton was advised to avoid any public appearances with Fraser.
In 1911, Fraser sold his dry goods business to Isiah R. Strome. It subsequently became Doig & Robertson Ltd. In 1912 he was chosen to be manager/director of the new Brandon News, a Liberal publication meant to rival the decidedly conservative Brandon Sun.
The Liberals remained out of power until 1915. By this time, Fraser was no longer a candidate for the head of the local Liberal party, but was still a staunch supporter of the Liberals and was rewarded in 1915 when the Liberals returned to power. He was appointed police magistrate, replacing Conservative W.H. Bates.
Fraser was still serving as police magistrate in 1920, when the first real influx of automobiles arrived in Brandon. Fraser maintained an attitude of very little lenience with drivers who broke the law, and the result was a significant increase in city revenues from fines levied by Fraser. He subsequently received a raise from city council. In 1925, he presided over the case of Mr. & Mrs. Tomink and Robertson, a “gang” of thieves, who were charged with thirty-three counts of theft. They were all sentenced to time at Stony Mountain Prison. Fraser remained police magistrate until 1933.
During A.C. Fraser’s life in Brandon he was associated with the Masonic Order and the Presbyterian church. He died in 1944.


Fulcher, Edmund

Edmund Fulcher was a prominent builder and contractor who was responsible for the construction of many homes on 22nd Street, including his own residence at 404 22nd Street. As a young man, Fulcher was employed as a bricklayer. He made the Brandon Daily Sun in 1908 after falling from the scaffolding during the construction of the Brandon Armoury. Fulcher also served as leader of the Brandon Socialist Party.

The history of Brandon is full of interesting people who have helped to shape the city as we know it today. Use the links below to explore the names from Brandon's past.


Edmison, J.H.

J.H. Edmison was born in Ontario in 1873 to a Presbyterian minister. He practiced medicine in Dunrea before moving to Brandon in 1908. He was, by most accounts, a popular member of the professional community. In 1922, and again in 1927, he won the provincial election as the Liberal-Conservative coalition candidate.


Elliott, William Alexander

William Alexander Elliott was born in Wingham, Ontario in 1866. His work and educational endeavours took him to England, Chicago, New York, and Montana before he settled in Brandon in 1899. Elliott set up practice as an architect and quickly became one of the city’s finest. His commissions included the Bank of Montreal building the Brandon Collegiate Institute (now New Era School), the Central Fire Hall, Victoria Methodist Church, St. Matthew’s Anglican Cathedral, Clark Hall, and the Former Christie Residence. Elliott also played a role in the designing of the Brandon Hospital for thee Insane. In 1913, he was appointed chief inspector of the Manitoba Legislative Building. Regarding municipal politics, Elliott was a staunch Conservative. He and his wife, Hester, had eight children. The large family was a musically talented one; “The Elliott Family Orchestra” played across both Canada and the United States.


Evans, John R.C.

John R.C. Evans was born in Nanaimo, B.C. in 1891. He attended high school and college in Brandon before pursuing his PhD at the University of Chicago. After completing his degree, Evans returned to Brandon to become a geology professor at the Brandon College. He was appointed president of the Brandon College in 1938 and would hold the position until his death in 1959. The campus’ Evans Theatre is named in honour of the former president.

The history of Brandon is full of interesting people who have helped to shape the city as we know it today. Use the links below to explore the names from Brandon's past.


Calvert, Frank

Frank Calvert was a merchant in the men’s clothing business. He co-owned the business McDonald & Calvert with partner John A. McDonald as early as 1900. Calvert retired from the business in 1911. He was elected as an alderman in the same year, but was forced, along with numerous other aldermen, to resign because he did not live in the ward that he was elected to represent. Shortly after, he and his wife Nellie moved to Victoria, B.C.


Carmichael, A.E.

Arthur E. Carmichael was the manager of The Hanbury Hardware Co. Ltd. from approximately 1907 to 1911. He was the original owner of 440 14th Street. The house was built for $3,000.


Carrothers, Dr. Eldon T.

Dr. Eldon T. Carrothers, a local dentist, bought the house at 440 14th Street from A.E. Carmichael. It has remained in the Carrothers family for three generations.


Cater, Harry

Harry Cater was an active businessman and politician. He was born in England in 1869 and arrived in Brandon in 1889, where he established the Brandon Pump and Windmill Company. Cater soon became active in the community, serving as aldermen for four years before being elected mayor in 1915. Cater went on to serve two additional terms as mayor, for a total of three terms served between 1915 and 1937. He remains the longest-serving mayor in Brandon’s history. Cater passed away in 1945.


Christie, Ernest Lisle

Ernest Christie was the founder of the stationary and school supply business that still bears his name. The business was opened in 1885. It has been said that prior to 1920, virtually every school textbook in western Canada passed through Christie’s shop. A member of the Masonic fraternity, as well as St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Christie was the first resident in Brandon to import and own an automobile. Christie succumbed to a short illness in 1934.


Chubb, F.J.

Frederick J. Chubb was an architect and builder who constructed many of Brandon’s early commercial blocks during the city’s building boom of 1892. Chubb is credited with the construction of the Syndicate, Laplont, Daly & Coldwell, Halpin, and MacDonald blocks, as well as with several residences. He moved to Ontario in 1895.


Clement, D.E.

David Clement was a successful Brandon businessman, served as city alderman, and was a staunch Liberal. He was the younger brother of Judge S.E. Clement, Brandon’s Liberal M.L.A. from 1915 to 1920. David Clement was a graduated pharmacist and established Clement's Drug Store in Brandon in 1901. He also went on the establish the Clement Block, a commercial block in Brandon, along with his brother. David was very active on local organizations, being affiliated with the Board of Trade, the First Methodist Church, The Provincial Exhibition Board, The Good Roads Association, The Shooting Club, and The Golf and Country Club.
David Clement ran against (and lost to) Harry Cater in the 1928 civic election. He ran again in 1932, as one of four candidates, but was bested by George Dinsdale.
He was chosen as the Liberal candidate for the 1931 provincial election, and seemed ready to follow in his brother’s footsteps. However David did not enjoy the full support of Brandon Liberals that year, as they were split between the “coalitionist” Liberals (those in favor of a Liberal/Progressive coalition), and the “straight” Liberals, (those who opposed it.) Clement was a coalitionist. Unable to unify Brandon’s Liberals, the “straight” Liberals nominated Harry Cater to run as an independent Liberal. The result was the Conservatives winning Brandon, despite the Liberals' winning the election. David Clement died in 1938.


Clement, S.E.

S. E. Clement first came to Brandon with his father’s family in 1882. He became a lawyer in 1895. During his time in Brandon he served on the Brandon General Hospital Board, the Brandon School Board from 1898 to 1904, and was a prominent member of the First Methodist Church. He served as an alderman from 1905 to 1906, and was elected as Mayor of Brandon in 1907, from which he retired in 1908. In 1914 he ran in the Federal election as the Liberal candidate, losing. However another election followed quickly in 1915, which he won. During his time in Cabinet, he openly supported the “temperance movement”, which was in effect a scaled down prohibition plan. He was defeated in the 1920 election by the Labour Party. By 1927, he had been appointed County Court Judge. Clement was still living in Brandon as of 1938.


Coldwell, G.R.

G.R. Coldwell was born in Western Canada's Durham County in 1858. He graduated from the University of Toronto before coming to Brandon in 1884 to practice law. He served as an alderman for 20 years in Brandon from 1888 to 1908. During his time as an alderman he was against taxes on horses, vehicles, banks, lumber, and also against any significant aid for Brandon Collegiate. He established the Brandon Opera House Company along with Mayor Flemming in 1906. In 1908 he became involved in provincial politics, and served as M.L.A. for the Conservatives until 1915. Coldwell was also appointed as minister of education in 1908. During his time in Brandon he was known as a devout Anglican. He died in 1924.


Condell, T.

A. T. Condell came to Brandon in 1904 as a private doctor. He had previously been a physician for the C.P.R. He sold his practice in Brandon in 1906, but remained in Brandon until at least 1908. In approximately 1913 he became the district coroner. Condell died in 1943.


Cowan, Flora

Flora Cowan was a model citizen, dedicating herself to public service. In 1953, she was appointed Dean of Women at Brandon University. In 1954, Flora stood for election as city alderman and became the second woman to hold this office. She remained on City Council for 16 years. Flora proposed the idea of Fairview Home, a senior citizens’ care home, and was the first chairperson of its Board of Directors. She held this position for over twenty years. Flora Cowan Hall at Brandon University is named in her honour.


Cumberland, T.D.

T. D. Cumberland became a judge in Brandon in 1892. He remained as such until late 1929, when he retired (early) and moved to B.C.

The history of Brandon is full of interesting people who have helped to shape the city as we know it today. Use the links below to explore the names from Brandon's past.


Daly, Thomas Mayne

Thomas Mayne Daly was born in Stratford, Ontario in 1852, and arrived in Brandon in 1881, setting up practice as Brandon’s first lawyer. In 1882, he was elected as Brandon’s first mayor. He was elected again in 1884. During these terms, Daly actively promoted the development of the young city. Daly became a member of the Manitoba Legislature in 1887, representing Selkirk. In 1892, Daly became the first federal Cabinet Minister from Manitoba when he was appointed as Minister of the Interior and Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs. As a firm advocate of western settlement, Daly introduced the North West Immigration Act in 1893. He retired from federal politics in 1896. In 1908, he ran for Brandon MP as a member of the Conservative party, but was defeated by Liberal candidate Clifford Sifton. Daly was appointed Canada’s first juvenile court judge in 1909. He died in Winnipeg in 1911.


Darrach, Sarah Persis Johnson

Sarah Persis Johnson was born in Ireland in 1886 and arrived in Manitoba with her family in 1898. In 1908, she entered the nursing program at the Brandon General Hospital. She completed her postgraduate training in Chicago before returning to Brandon to become the hospital’s Assistant Matron. When WWI broke out in 1914, Sarah travelled overseas where she worked in field hospitals in France and war hospitals in England. She was recognized for her service when she received both the First and Second Classes of the Royal Red Cross. The former was bestowed upon her by the Prince of Wales in 1919.

Upon returning to Brandon, she resumed work at the Brandon General Hospital, this time as Fourth Superintendent. In 1920, she married Robert Darrach. Together, the couple operated a camp for disadvantaged children at Lake Clementi for more than ten years. Sarah received the Order of the British Empire in 1934 for her outstanding community service work.

From 1939 to 1953, Darrach served as Dean of Women at Brandon College. She is now commemorated by Darrach Hall at the university.

In 1967, Darrach was awarded the Centennial Medal. She passed away in 1974. The city’s Darrach Avenue was named in her honour.


Dinsdale, George

George Dinsdale’s first political experience came in 1918 when he was voted in as city councilor. In 1920, he was elected Mayor. During his mayoral term, Dinsdale advocated high cost additions to City Hall. Dinsdale won the 1932 provincial election for Brandon as a member of the Conservative party. He was nominated in the federal election of 1938, but was ineligible due to a contract that his company held, and then due to poor health. His death on September 21, 1943 caused a provincial by-election.


Doig, George F.

Originally from Toronto, George F. Doig, along with John M. Robertson, purchased the mercantile holdings of Isaiah R. Strome in 1906. On January 17, 1916, with the company now referred to as Doig, Rankin & Robertson, it was burned to the ground in a fire that claimed the lives of four employees. The firm subsequently relocated to Tenth Street, and was renamed Doig and Robertson. In 1926, this partnership finally ended, and it simply became known as “The Doig Store”.


Donaldson, J. "Cam"

J. Donaldson was born in Brandon in 1891, a member of what was considered an early pioneering family. He spent his younger years working across Canada for companies such as Burns and the Hudson Bay Company. He returned to Brandon in 1936 and reopened the failed family meat business. In 1937 he purchased the Brandon Creamery Ltd. packing plant, which became the Brandon Packers warehouse in 1940. By 1949, it was one of Brandon’s largest businesses, employing 165+ people, and contributing $4 million annually to the local economy. During his time in Brandon Donaldson served as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, the Brandon General Hospital Board of Directors, and was President of the Provincial Exhibition Board. In 1949 he ran in the provincial election as the Progressive Conservative candidate, winning easily. He retired two years later, saying that he was personally unrewarded by politics.


Dorsey, William

William Dorsey moved to Manitoba from Tecumseh County, Ontario in 1883. He was a successful
farmer in the Methven area for nearly twenty-five years before moving to Brandon as director of the Wawanesa Insurance Co.’s Brandon branch. Previously, Dorsey had been selected as the
company’s first president. William Dorsey passed away in 1911.

The history of Brandon is full of interesting people who have helped to shape the city as we know it today. Use the links below to explore the names from Brandon's past.


Beaubier, David W.

D.W. Beaubier was born in approximately 1865, and lived his youth in Perth County, Ontario. In 1882, he moved to Souris and worked as a farmer and as a C.P.R. trainman. Prior to WWI he moved to Brandon. During the war he fought overseas and became a Colonel. After the war he returned to Brandon and became the owner of the popular Cecil hotel. He ran in the 1926 federal election as the Conservative candidate, losing. He did however run again in 1930, winning it. During his time in Ottawa, he was known as a “backbencher”. However, he was the only Manitoba Conservative to be re-elected in 1935, as most were “defeated” by the depression economy. He died in 1938.


Beaubier, Lucy

Lucy Eleanor Beaubier was born in Brandon in 1894. After qualifying as a teacher, she moved to Sonnenfeldt, Saskatchewan, accepting a teaching position there. In 1918, the Spanish Flu epidemic swept through Saskatchewan and claimed thousands of victims. As a precaution, all public buildings were shut down. With her school being closed, Beaubier volunteered as a nurse and tirelessly set up every sick room in the district as well as doing house-to-house checks. Inevitably, she came down with the flu herself and soon died. Eleanor was brought back to Brandon and buried. In 1927, after the arrival of the CPR, the Sonnenfeldt town fathers elected to change the name of the village to Beaubier.


Bigelow, Dr. Wilfred Abram

Born in Kingsport, Nova Scotia in 1878, a leg injury sustained while playing football forced Wilfred Bigelow to change his plans for a career at sea. Bigelow moved to Winnipeg in 1897 where he started out sweeping floors and tending fires for $3 a week at a local doctor’s office. After graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1903, Bigelow moved to Brandon and established Canada’s first medical clinic in the Clement Block in 1913. Both of his sons went on to become doctors as well, with his son Dr. William Bigelow becoming one of Canada’s top heart specialists and a pioneer of pacemaker implants. Bigelow was also an avid fisherman and game bird hunter.


Blake, Emily Hilda

Emily Hilda Blake committed one of the most terrible crimes in Brandon’s history and subsequently became the only woman ever to be hanged in Manitoba. She was born in England in 1878, orphaned at a young age, and came to Canada as a home child in 1888. Home children were British orphans that were sent to Canada to work as farm hands and domestic servants. In 1898, she began working as a maidservant for Robert and Mary Lane, of 333 10th Street. One year later, on July 5, 1899, Hilda shot and killed Mary Lane. Although she fabricated an elaborate tale to cover up her crime, the 21-year old was accused and charged for the murder of her mistress. She was sentenced to death by hanging, and was hanged at the Brandon Court House on December 27, 1899. She remains the only woman ever to be hanged in Manitoba, and one of only two women to be hanged in all of Canada.


Brigden, Beatrice

Beatrice Brigden was a social and political activist who attended Brandon College and spent much of her adult life in Brandon. A socialist and feminist, Brigden’s work with the Methodist Church took her across the country to speak about women’s issues. She also worked for the Brandon School Division, teaching classes for children with special needs. Brigden was a fervent supporter of the labour movement during the postwar labour crisis. In 1919, she and Reverend A.E. Smith left the Methodist Church to organize the Peoples’ Church, a labour church modeled after one that had been established in Winnipeg. Brigden was politically active, running in both provincial and federal elections. She belonged to the Independent Labour Party and was a founding member of the CCF Party (now the NDP) when it formed. Brigden organized the Manitoba Women’s Model Parliament and was a member of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. She was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal in 1970, and her good citizenship earned her a Manitoba Golden Boy Award. Brigden died in Winnipeg in 1977.


Brock, J.A.

J. A. Brock was appointed as one of the city's first aldermen in 1882. He was also the owner of one of Brandon's earliest businesses, the J.A. Brock Nursery.


Brockie, George

Born in Paisley, Ontario, George Brockie trained in the funeral business in Toronto before coming to Brandon. From 1906 to 1908, Brockie was the assistant in running Vincent & Macpherson Funeral and Undertakers. By 1916, he was running his own undertaking business, George Brockie & Co. In 1921, he owned Brockie Funeral, located in the Alexandra block. On March 10th of that year, the block was damaged by a small fire and Brockie later relocated to 8th Street. The business is still in existence today under the name Brockie Donovan but was sold to the Lumbard family in 1979.


Brodie, John R.

John R. Brodie was a successful businessman with ventures throughout Western Canada. Born in Quebec in 1879, one of Brodie’s first business ventures was a silver mine in Cobalt, Ontario. In 1902, he moved to Brandon where he established a grain brokerage business. Brodie’s best known business venture was the Great West Coal Co. Ltd., which he founded in 1912. The company was founded in Winnipeg and had collieries in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. Brodie was also a member of the Manitoba Board of Trade.

Brodie lived in Brandon until approximately 1925. Upon his death in 1962, Brodie bequeathed $250,000 to Brandon University with the expressed intent of furthering science education. The John R. Brodie Science Centre opened in his name in 1972.


Brothers, Bell

The Bell Brothers were by far the most prominent building contractors in early Brandon. William Bell, the principal partner in the business, moved to Brandon in 1882. His work spanned four decades. The Bell Brothers were noted for their use of high quality materials and fine worksmanship. They constructed both public and private buildings and at one time employed over forty workers.


Burchill, William

Born in County Grey, Ontario, William Burchill moved to Brandon in 1882 and was a resident for more than fifty years. William became one of the first butchers in the city and developed close relationships with many of the cattlemen which gave him an advantage in obtaining the best stock. He was the founder of Burchill & Howey, a meat market located on Rosser Avenue. William was a member of First United Church. He died after a somewhat lengthy illness in 1934.


Burchill, Jason

Jason Burchill was a butcher who first arrived in Brandon in 1884. In his early career, Burchill was employed at the meat market in the Burchill & Howey Block, which was co-owned by his brother, William John Burchill, and his cousin John Howey. By 1888, Jason had opened his own business. His butcher shop was located in the J. Burchill Block at 719 Rosser Avenue, which was erected in 1911. Burchill was also a prominent member of the Brandon community and served on city council for two years. Jason Burchill passed away in 1937 and is buried in the Brandon Cemetery.

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