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.
MacDiarmid, Dr. Henry
Dr. Henry MacDiarmid purchased the Maley property in 1916, when Henry Fitzgibbon Maley lost his presidential position at the Brandon Brewing & Bottling Company when it was closed due to prohibition laws. The property remained in the MacDiarmid family for two generations.
Maley, Henry Fitzgibbon
Henry Fitzgibbon Maley established the Brandon Brewing and Bottling Company in 1902, alongside his brother Edward Maley and Alexander Ferguson. Maley served as president of the company until 1917, when prohibition spelled the end of the brewing business. Maley also served as city alderman and as director of the Brandon Baseball Club. He and his family were the original owners of 1605 Victoria Avenue, which they had built by W.H. Shillinglaw in 1912.
Marshall, William Richard
William Richard Marshall was a prominent Brandon architect during the city’s early days. Marshall was born in Scotland in 1854 before coming to Canada in 1879. He worked as an architect in Winnipeg before moving to Brandon in the late 1880s. Throughout his career, Marshall designed countless residential and commercial buildings. He quickly established himself as one of the city’s finest architects, designing such buildings as Brandon’s original City Hall, the Brandon General Hospital, and the Brandon Club.
Architect David Marshall was born and educated in Scotland before immigrating to Montreal in 1906, joining architectural firm Hogle & David. His work sent him to Manitoba to supervise the construction of several Merchants Bank buildings. By 1907, he had taken up practice in Brandon. Marshall became the partner of W.H. Shillinglaw in 1911. Shillinglaw & Marshall is credited with the designs of buildings such as Display Building II, Casa Maley, and Fleming School. After serving in the First World War, Marshall returned to Brandon in 1920 and established his own firm. Marshall’s independent works include the Brandon College Citizens Science Building, as well as the Curran and Crawford blocks. Marshall left Brandon for Chicago in 1927. It is possible that he later took up residence in New Zealand.
Frank Massin was a successful businessman who dealt in hides and furs. Massin was born in Prague in 1866 and immigrated to Iowa where he entered the hide and fur business. Massin established his company in Brandon when he moved here in 1910. The warehouse stood at 333-339 Rosser Avenue. Thanks to Massin’s business, Brandon became one of the most important fur trade centres in the West. Massin's immense wealth and success allowed him to construct a handsome residence at 463-13th St. After Massin’s death in 1956, his son Francis C. Massin continued to operate the family company until 1964.
Dr. J. S. Matheson moved to Brandon with his family when he was ten years old. As an adult, he was known as "Tenth Street Central School's gift to medical practice". In 1898 he traveled to Bozeman, Montana and married. He was re-elected as the President of the City Football League in March of 1912. In 1916 he accepted an Imperial Government position. He died in 1942.
Matheson, Robert M.
Robert M. Matheson was born in Woodstock, Ontario in 1868. He arrived in Brandon in 1884, where he established a successful law practice. In 1916, Matheson was honoured with an appointment to King’s Counsel. Later in his career, Matheson served as both city solicitor and crown prosecutor. In 1940, he was appointed city magistrate and juvenile court judge. He also served on the Brandon School Board. Matheson retired in 1944, one year prior to his death in 1945. Matheson is buried in the Brandon Cemetery.
John McBurnie was the first owner of the house at 262 13th Street. He was a gentleman lace merchant living in Montreal, and thus an absentee landlord.
In 1910, S. McClement built the duplexes at 247/251 16th Street for a cost of $3,000. The layout accommodated two families, but in more recent years it has been split into six or more apartments.
Edward McCoskrie was a successful architect, contractor, and engineer. He practiced in England for 25 years before arriving in Winnipeg. In 1882, McCoskrie moved to Brandon. Although he only remained in the city for two years, he is credited with the designs of several buildings, including the residence of Thomas M. Daly and the now-demolished St. Matthew’s Anglican Church. He moved to Calgary in 1884, and died in Victoria in 1893.
McDiarmid, John S.
Former mayor John S. McDiarmid was one of Brandon’s earliest settlers. McDiarmid was a physician who practiced out of his home at 641 Lorne Avenue. McDiarmid was elected mayor four times: in 1892, 1894, 1899, and 1900. In later years, he served as president of the Brandon Liberal Association. He died in Brandon in 1936 and is commemorated by McDiarmid Drive.
McDiarmid, Alfred Reginald
Alfred R. McDiarmid moved to Brandon with his parents in 1882, at the age of four years old. After being educated at Manitoba College, McDiarmid entered the lumber business with John Hanbury. He was then employed by the Rat Portage Lumber Company, moving to Kenora for a short time. Upon returning to Brandon, McDiarmid established the company McDiarmid & Clark. In addition to operating his lumber company, McDiarmid was the local manager of the Manitoba Liquors Commission and a member of the Brandon Board of Trade. He was elected mayor in 1919.
McDiarmid resided in Brandon until his death in 1944.
McDonald, John A.
John A. McDonald was one of Brandon's earliest pioneers. He came to Brandon in 1882, and worked for several people in town before entering into partnership with Frank Calvert in the men's furnishing business. In 1906, McDonald paid $6,000 for the house located at 318 11th Street.
James Duncan McGregor was born in Amherstburg, Ontario and came west to Brandon in 1877 to pioneer Aberdeen Angus cattle breeding. He quickly earned a reputation as an outstanding cattleman, winning several awards at the renowned Chicago Stock Shows. In 1908, McGregor and several associates conceived the idea of the Brandon Winter Fair. Under their direction, the Fair developed into one of Canada’s premier agricultural showcases. In 1929, McGregor was appointed as Manitoba’s Lieutenant-Governor. A lengthy illness caused J.D. to give up his position shortly before his death in 1935.
Stanley William McInnis arrived in Brandon in 1889 and set up practice as a dentist. By 1906, he was president of the Manitoba Dental Association as well as the first president of the Canadian Dental Association. McInnis was elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1899, serving three consecutive terms. In June of 1907 he was appointed Provincial Secretary and Minister of Municipal Affairs. McInnis passed away suddenly of appendicitis November 4th of the same year. Mayor S.E. Clement declared November 7th a public holiday so that all would have the opportunity to attend the funeral. West End Park was renamed Stanley Park in his memory.
After teaching in Rapid City, Samuel Joseph McKee and his family moved to Brandon in 1890, and subsequently lost three daughters to diphtheria that winter. In the following years he established the S.J. McKee Academy at the Fleming Block. Control was then given to the Manitoba Baptist Convention, which renamed it Brandon College. Mr. McKee taught mathematics at Brandon College, retiring in 1918. However, he stayed on as a board member until 1922. Considered the founding father of Brandon College, McKee dedicated his life to education.
A.S. McKenzie built the house at 318 11th Street in 1906 based on the design by Thomas Sullivan.
Francis Bethel McKenzie and bequeathed his seed buisness to his son, Albert (1870–1964), who renamed it A.E. McKenzie & Company in 1897. The Brandon business became the largest seed production and distribution business in Western Canada.
Born in Scotland, Joseph McLaren studied law and served in the Battalion of the Black Watch before moving to Brandon as a young man. He worked for the CPR and as a farm hand before deciding to pursue a career as a teacher. After finishing his education at the Normal School, McLaren became a physical education instructor. He also helped organize Brandon’s first Cadet and Girl Guides programs. McLaren joined the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, advancing to the rank of Major within three years. His battalion was one of the first to be sent overseas during the First World War. McLaren was killed in action at Ypres in April 1915, when the automobile he was in was hit by a shell. He was Brandon’s first citizen to be killed in WWI. He was commemorated by McLaren School, which was first located on 3rd Street. The second McLaren School was built in 1926 and now serves as the offices of the Brandon School Division.
McMillan, Archibald L.
Brandon’s first chief of police was Archibald L. McMillan. McMillan served on police forces in Chatham, Guelph, and Winnipeg before being appointed Chief Constable to Brandon’s first police force in July 1882. At that time, the force only had three members. Chief McMillan served until his death in 1885. On December 16 of that year, McMillan was examining a rifle in Smart’s Hardware Store when the rifle was accidentally discharged, shooting him in the abdomen. McMillan left behind a widow and one child.
Alex was born and raised on his father’s farm near Brandon. He was a graduate of the Brandon College Institute, and served overseas with the Royal Flying Corps during World War II. After the war he returned to the family farm, which his father had established in 1881. He became known internationally as a breeder of Yorkshire swine. During his lifetime, McPhail served as president of the Provincial Exhibition Board, vice-president of the Winter Fair Board, director of the Manitoba Livestock Association, and as a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings executive board and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Henry Meredith was born in Ireland in 1844. He immigrated to Canada in the 1870s and arrived in Brandon in 1883. He operated a general store in Brandon for ten years before establishing general agency and brokerage firm H. Meredith & Co. Meredith also served as director and, for two years, president of the Brandon General Hospital board. He owned over three thousand acres of farmland across western Manitoba and held stocks in various companies. Meredith passed away in 1917, leaving a $10,000 bequest to the YWCA for the construction of its new 11th Street building. In 2002, the building was renamed Meredith Place to commemorate its benefactor.
William Muir operated a grocery store on 6th street from 1888 to at least 1938. He died in 1946.
John Mutter lived in the house at 211 13th Street for over forty years. He was a partner in Mutter Brother's Grocery at 928 Rosser Ave. The house remains in the Mutter family.
George Mutter and his brother John owned and operated Mutter Bros. Grocery Store on Rosser Avenue for 72 years. The unique part about the store was the original furnishings that were used from the 1903 opening until the 1975 closing. The Mutter Store was the place to go for cheese. The brothers would import it from Ontario and age it in the store until the flavor was just right, shipping it to customers in all parts of Canada and the United States. A modified replica of the store is in existence at the Daly House Museum.