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.
Andrew Douglas Rankin was a dry goods merchant who arrived in Brandon in 1891. By 1892, he had established the business A.D. Rankin & Co. In later years, Rankin was a partner in the department store Doig, Rankin & Robertson. He served as director of the Brandon Fire Insurance Company, as vice-president of the Brandon Board of Trade, as a School Board Trustee, and as director of the YMCA. Before moving to Brandon, Rankin lived in Calgary where he served as a lieutenant during the North West Rebellion. In 1910 he was a Lieutenant-Colonel in command of the 99th Regiment. Rankin lived at 436-6th Street for three years.
D. A. Reesor was born in York Ontario. He moved to Brandon in the early 1880s, and established his jewelry business here in 1882. He was an active member of the community, being a member of the Brandon Hospital Board, the Masonic Order, and the Methodist Church. Politically, he was a Liberal. He was also an active business man: as of 1905, nobody had owned more property on Rosser Ave. than he had.
D. A. Reesor was an alderman in 1896. He also ran for the mayoralty, losing to Ezekial Evans. By 1901 he had established the D.A. Reesor Block on the north side of Rosser Ave. between 8th and 9th streets. The Reesor Block was damaged by fire in the same year. He subsequently relocated to the facing building. Reesor’s holdings on 9th Street, which were owned in partnership with Charles Adams, were acquired by the Clement brothers in 1904. D.A. Reesor continued to own and operate his jewelry business until at least 1938. D.A. Reesor died in 1940.
Reid, James Robert
J.R. Reid School was named after local educator James Robert Reid. Reid was born in Ontario in 1882. He taught in Ontario and Saskatchewan before moving to Manitoba in 1918. He lived in Swan River for several years, working at the Reid Brothers hardware store and as a teacher. In 1924, he also served as Swan River’s mayor before moving to Brandon that same year.
In Brandon, Reid accepted a job teaching at the Brandon Collegiate Institute. He served as principal of the school from 1927 until his retirement in 1949. In 1942, he also worked as a school inspector.
Reid was an active member of the teaching community, serving for four years on the advisory board of the Manitoba Department of Education, as Past President and Life Member of the Brandon Teachers Society, and on the board of directors at Brandon College. Reid died in 1966.
Rosser, General T.L.
In May 1881, General T.L. Rosser, American Civil War veteran and engineer for the Canadian Pacific Railway, selected a site on the south side of the Assiniboine River two miles west of the recently established Grand Valley settlement, as a division point on the new railway. Here would be located the first city of the northwest, summoned into being by the CPR, as a transportation and trading centre for the expanding agricutural hinterland that surrounded it. On October 11, 1881 the first Canadian Pacific passenger train clattered across the Assiniboine and, by May 30, 1882, the "Wonder City of the Northwest", the city of Brandon, was a reality in fact and in law.