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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.