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