Sunday, December 8, 2019

765 - 775 Ellice Avenue - Westwood Apartments

© 2019, Christian Cassidy
Place: Westwood Apartments
Address: 765 - 775 Ellice Avenue
Opened: August 1956
Architect: Gerald A. Libling

August 18, 1956, Winnipeg Free Press

Ads pre-renting suites in the new Westwood Apartments began appearing in January 1956 with an estimated possession date of March 1. That date was likely pushed back as ads for immediate possession of suites did not appear until late August 1956.

The block boasted "ultra modern, large rooms" with individually controlled thermostats for each suite. Ads in 1959 included a "sun deck" (?) among its amenities. This would have been cutting edge in the West End which had dozens, if not hundreds, of 1910-era, three-storey walk-ups were its only source of multi-family housing.

Prior to the Westwood, this corner of Ellice and Simcoe was home to three houses. A May 1953 classified ad calls for the removal of a two-storey framed house at 765 Ellice by Arnovitch and Leipsic, who appear to have financed the building's development.

Architect Gerald A Libling, (also see), appeared on behalf of the owners at the rezoning hearing for the project in September 1955. The Westwood would have been on of his last independent projects as he and Mel Michener had just joined forces to create Libling Michener and Associates, known today as the L M Architectural Group. They would go on to design building such as St. Paul's High School and the Public Safety Building.


The first Henderson Directory listing for the building in 1957 notes that there are 33 suites, (numbers 1 through 34 without a number 13). Peter Jensen, who lived in suite 22, was the caretaker. His wife Nellie was a typist for the provincial Highway Safety Division and daughter Sheila was a stenographer at Western Purchasing Ltd.

Among the first round of tenants were: Lew Miles, manager of the Grand theatre and wife Isabelle, a stenographer at American Motors Ltd.; Mrs. J Thorgeirson, widow in suite 29; Harry Farquhar, an assistant foreman at CPR, and wife Cathleen in suite 30; Leta Hart, controller at Robinson Little and Co., in suite 12; Norman Little, a clerk at the Land Titles office, and wife Irene in suite 16; Carol Magnusson, a clerk at Eaton's; Kathleen Menzies, personnel manager at Zellers, in suite 28.

Another early resident of the block was city councilor Charles Spence and his mother, Florence. In 1961, police had the building under surveillance in order to catch Spence propositioning another man in what may have been a set-up to remove him from office.

The building appears to have had a quiet existence. No major fires or crimes associated with this address can be found in newspaper archives over the decades.

Related:

Westwood Apartments Sunrex Management Ltd.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

471 William Avenue - Victoria Court Apartments

© 2019, Christian Cassidy
Place: Victoria Court Apartments
Address: 417 William Avenue
Architect: Paul Melsted Clemens
Developer: Joseph Johnson

The 22-unit Victoria Court Apartments were constructed in 1910 for developer Joseph Johnson. Its architect was Paul Melsted Clemens.

Clemens and Johnson were part of a group of Icelanders that collaborated to design, finance and construct many dozen three-storey walk-up apartments in Winnipeg from the mid-1900s through the 19-teens.

Victoria Court's first "for rent" ads appear in local papers in October 1910. According to a 2003 city report the suites ranged from 500 square feet to 894 square feet and included fifteen one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom units.


The early years of Victoria Court appear to have been quiet ones. There are no major fires or crimes that made the local papers from this address.

Among the block's first residents was Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Prain in 1910. This would have been at the very start of his long and illustrious architectural career. The couple lost an infant son, three-month-old Fred Kennedy, during their time there. His funeral took place on Christmas Eve 1910.

In 1913, Victor Cumming of suite 34 lost his drivers licence, number 384, due to "drunkenness while driving a car". This was surely one of the province's first cases of a DUI.

Edward Ng lived in suite 20 with his parents in 1972. That year, the 17-year-old Gordon Bell High School student placed first out of 20,000 students in the ninth annual national mathematics test administered by the University of Waterloo.It was the first time a Manitoban took top honours.

November 27, 1918, Winnipeg Tribune

Another resident of the block was Albert Morley Atkinson, his wife Mary Mildred and their infant son of number 21. Atkinson, a clerk at Banfield's furniture store at 492 Main, was known for playing intermediate baseball and hockey with the Thistles Athletic Club.

Atkinson enlisted in 1915 and was shot in the arm in October 1917. He recovered in hospital though refused the surgery to remove the shrapnel from his arm. He went back into service with another unit, but, as predicted by his doctors, his arm got worse and he was medically discharged due to the limited use of his arm and transferred back to Winnipeg arriving around June 1918.

Like many soldiers he contracted "Spanish" Influenza and died November 10, 1918 at a special emergency room annex set up on Logan Avenue for flu cases. He was 30 years old.

October 7, 1930, Winnipeg Tribune

The building became vacant and boarded up in 2003. Three years later, a zoning application was approved to a group who wished to renovate the building. That work was completed in 2007.

Victoria Court again spiraled downwards in the 20-teens. In 2018 it was closed down again.

On December 4, 2019, fire broke out in the abandoned building.

Related:
More photos of Victoria Court Apartments
Mass Destruction: Meth dealers taking over apartments CTV News (2018)
Boarded up block a drug den CBC News (2019)
Fire breaks out in vacant building CTV News (2019)

Friday, October 25, 2019

260 Toronto Street - Hekla Block

© 2019, Christian Cassidy
Place: Hekla Block
Address: 260 Toronto Street
Constructed: 1911 - 1912
Architect: James Pinder West

The 21-unit Hekla Block was constructed in 1911 – 12 based on a design by South African James Pender West. He resided in Winnipeg for just three or four years and designed a handful of buildings in the city, most notably Hydro Substation No. 1 on King Street.

Construction magazine, April 1912

The Hekla one of dozens of three-storey walk-ups built in the West End around this time that were financed and constructed by Icelandic builders. Its design was noted in the April 1912 edition of Construction Magazine for its use of bay windows and side court yards to bring the most natural light and fresh air as possible into its suites.

The initial roster of heads of households in its suites show that it was a good, middle class building. they included:

- Percy Hand, solicitior for Dominion Express Co.
- T J Harrison, lecturer at the Agricultural College
- Alice Hunt, stenographer at Hitchings Paper Box Co who lived with her daughter, a stenographer at Acme Glove Works
- Edwin Lebourveau, CNR employee 
- Edith MacLean, teacher at Somerset School. MacLean came to Winnipeg from Wentworth, Nova Scotia around 1908 to be a school teacher. After a 30 year career, she retired in 1938 and died in 1941. 
- Louis Leipsic, insurance agent with office in Bon Accord Building. He would later join forces with his brother-in-law her in law A. H. Arnovitch to form Arnovitch and Leipsic, a well known insurance and real estate company that carried on for decades after their deaths.


Since 1990, the building has been owned and operated by the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation.

Two years of extremely dry summers, 2017 and 2018, caused a portion of the foundation to fail. Further inspection showed additional foundation problems. The decision was made to demolish the building, which got underway in 2018, to be replaced by a new affordable housing block.

Related:
More photos of the Hekla Block

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

541 Agnes Street - Private Dwelling

© 2019, Christian Cassidy
Google Street View, 2015
Place: Residence
Address: 541 Agnes Street (Map)
Constructed: 1905

This home was constructed in 1905 for Mr. and Mrs George Brooks. He was a barber at the Union Barber Shop in the Union Bank building on Main Street. The large shop, owned by Frederick Butson, employed around five barbers and a couple of shoe shiners.

The Brooks' happiness at the home was short-lived as in September 1905 their youngest son, Sherman, died at the age of one year and one month. They stayed here until 1908 before moving on to 496 Toronto Street.

The house then went through long series of short-term owners, including policeman Frederick White in 1909 and carpenter Alex Corrigan in 1913.


The next long-term owners were the Dunsheath family. Nathaniel and Elizabeth (nee Kane) came from Scotland around 1912 with their two young daughters.

In 1928, they moved here from their apartment at suite 1 of  the Glen Avon Apartments, 464 Spence Street. At the time, Nathaniel, known as "Nat", was a packer at the Marshall Wells factory and Elizabeth, 21, and Isabel, 20, were both machine operators at Monarch Overall.

Dunsheath circa 1896, (see below for source)

If you asked Nat what his occupation was he would have said soldier.

In 1900, back in Scotland, the nineteeen-year-old enlisted with the third Renfrew Volunteer Battalion. Two years later he was transferred to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and served in the Boer War.

When the First World War began, despite living in Winnipeg for nearly two years, he returned to Scotland to rejoin his old regiment. As a private he saw action on the front lines at the Somme and Vimy Ridge and was awarded the Military Medal for "devotion to duty and gallantry in the field" in 1918.

Nat returned to Winnipeg in 1921 and became prominent in a number of veterans organizations, most notably the Old Contemptibles. He also joined the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders and in 1923 reached the rank of Company Sergeant-Major (CSM), a position he held for over 20 years.

When the Second World War began he became the Garrison Sergeant-Major of Fort Osborne. By 1943, Dunsheath was 61 and one of Canada's oldest serving soldiers. In November of that year he was awarded the second clasp to the Canadian Efficiency medal for long service. On June 16, 1945, he became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Nat died at Deer Lodge Hospital on June 30, 1945 at the age of 63. This was just two weeks after receiving his MBE and two months before the end of the war. He is buried in Brookside Cemetery.
Nat Dunsheath visits Elizabeth at the CWAC quarters in Fort Osborne Barracks
March 10, 1943, Winnipeg Free Press

Both of the Dunsheath daughters also served in the armed forces in the Second World War. Elizabeth was a corporal in the Canadian Women's Army Corps. In march 1943 she went to Kitchener Ontario to the CWAC Training Centre and then was posted to Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Isabel was in the Women's Division, Royal Canadian Air Force. In the summer of 1943, she had reached the rank of Leading Airmwoman and was posted to No 3 Bombing and Gunnery School in Macdonald, Manitoba. One of her jobs was mending targets used for plane mounted machine guns.

She joked to a Miniota Herald reporter that the family all wanted to be posted overseas "... for we feel that with all our relatives over there we could practically field a Dunsheath regiment."


Mrs. Dunsheath was a long-time executive member of the
Ladies’ Orange Benevolent Association, often serving as president and hosting meetings of various lodges at the family home. She was also active in the Red Cross during wartime.

She remained at the home until 1953 and died on December 1, 1967.

541 Agnes after the fire

The next family to call 514 Agnes Street home were the Hoods: Adam, wife Margaret and daughters Margaret and Linda.

Adam Hood was born and raised in Winnipeg and got a job with the post office soon after leaving school. The family moved out to Fort Garry in the late 1960s.

In more recent years, the house was sold in 2009 and again in 2018. In May 2019, the owner received permission to demolish the house and build a tri-plex in its place. The home was boarded up and awaiting demolition when on the morning of September 9, 2019 its garage was set on fire damaging the home and a number of other homes and garages around it.

Related:
Nathaniel Dunsheath Canadian Virtual War Memorial
Fire on Agnes Street causes $70 k damage CTV Winnipeg
West End fire sends thick smoke through air Global

The ca. 1890s image of Dunsheath can be found in the Parks Canada document, Drab Serge and Khaki Drill.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

747 Wellington Avenue - Huddle House (R.I.P.)

© 2019, Christian Cassidy

Address:
747 Wellington Avenue
Place: Canadian Shoe Repair / Huddle House
Constructed: ca. 1923

The recently demolished 747 Wellington Avenue has been home to many neighbourhood services over its nearly century of existence. Initially, it featured a small retail space with a living quarters in the rear.

The building first appears in local street directories in 1923 as the Canadian Shoe Repair Shop. The store was owned by George H Gurr, nicknamed Pop, who also lived there with his Wife, Mabel and their four children, George Edgar, Leslie, Dorothy and Constance. The couple were born and raised in England but came separately to Canada before meeting.

Prior to 747 Wellington, the Gurrs lived in an apartment on Sherbrook Street and George was a warehouse man with CN Express, the courier service located in one of the present-day market buildings at the Forks.

The shop closed around 1930 and it became the Quality Shoe Repair under John Lyons. George Gurr worked various sales jobs, including for Modern Dairies and People's Credit Jewelers, before he and Mabel eventually retired to St. Vital.

In 1934, the building became the barber shop of Albert Cook and to Mary Robertson's Simcoe Hairdressing in 1941.


Thorun Johnson became the next resident in 1943. Born Thorun Sigurdson in Winnipeg in 1905, she grew up on a farm at Oakview, Manitoba. She married John Johnson in 1930 and the couple had three children; Kenneth, Barbara and Oddney. By the time she arrived here Thorun was either separated from her husband or widowed as she is listed as the head of the household.

Johnson was a tailor and fur finisher, (adding fur trim to coats). For over a decade she worked at The Fur Clinic on Kennedy Street and in the late 1950s moved on to Silverman Furs on Main Street. She also did sewing projects from the little shop at the front of the home.

Johnson's oldest daughter, Barbara, was a skater with the Greater Winnipeg Figure Skating Club. In 1946, she and three others locals were hired by the newly-established, American-based,"Ice Cycles". It was a touring show that featured trick skating, comedy skits, show girl routines and more traditional performances. Its cast included numerous past figure skating champions from around the world.

Barbara found herself in an embarrassing news story that made headlines around the United States in March 1947.

The Ice Cycles were playing for an extended period in New York City and Barbara caught the eye of ABC radio announcer Roger Krupp who was many years her senior. She spurned his advances and in March 1947 he shot himself at his office at Radio City in New York City in an apparent suicide attempt due to the rejection.

Krupp ended up with just a flesh wound and in some radio industry histories it is suggested that the gesture was more likely an attempt at melodrama than his own death. (See below for more information.)

February 7, 1950, Winnipeg Free Press

Johnson did find love with Kurt von Trostorff, a cast mate and former California figure skating champion. The two waited to get married until 1950 when Ice Cycles were in town to play a show at the Winnipeg Amphitheater. The ceremony took place on February 9 at First Lutheran Church.

Around 1954, the couple moved from Ice Cycles to a competing troupe called Ice Follies.

Johnson spent another four or so years with Ice Follies. She then settled at Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she died in 1974 at the age of 44. In her obituary she went by her maiden name and there is no mention of Trostorff who retired from skating in 1958 and became the Los Angeles Angels' equipment manager in 1962.

In 1962, Thorun moved in with daughter Oddny at a rented house at 266 Queen Street for a few years.

June 22, 1963, Winnipeg Free Press

The next incarnation for 747 Wellington was Huddle House restaurant. The hamburgers, nips and ice cream joint was opened in 1962 by, Louise De Leeuw. In June 1963 it was taken over by A. Prefontaine.

An application was made by R. Wlock in 1970 to convert the building into a coin operated laundromat named the Ole Wash Tub. It was managed by Mike Wolanyk, a retired farmer from Rossburn, until his death in 1981.


In 1981, both the laundromat and the adjacent house at 709 Simcoe were put up for sale as a single revenue property. They may have become joined in 1970 as the same year that the laundromat began operating the house on Simcoe Avenue began advertising itself as a boarding house run by Mrs. I Friesen.

The last newspaper mention of a business at this location was 1990 for Honest Ed's new and used goods. For more than a decade it had been storage for the adjacent house.

In the summer of 2019 renovations began on the house and yard which included the demolition of 747 Wellington.

Related:
Thorun Johnson obituary: December 12, 1996, Winnipeg Free Press


March 22, 1947, Joplin News Herald


Barbara Johnson obituary, November 30, 1974, Winnipeg Free Press

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ivy House - 495 Victor Street (R.I.P.)

© 2019, Christian Cassidy


 This "workers cottage" was constructed in 1905. It was 800 square feet with no basement. The first residents were a trio of loading bay workers, one of whom as employed by Eatons. In 1907, it was owned by John Evans, teamster.

In 1922, it was purchased by Cecil Frances Lloyd and his wife, Maud. For more about the poet and his tragic death here, see my West End Dumplings post.

The house was destroyed by fire in 2019.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

785 Dorchester Avenue - Panama Court

© 2019, Christian Cassidy
https://goo.gl/maps/Mw8Ji9Jp9zRqU3EN8

Place: Panama Court
Address: 785 Dorchester Avenue (Map)
Opened: July 1913
Architect: Hooper and Davis (John Hooper)
Contractor: Unknown

Panama Court was one of a number of upper-middle class apartment blocks constructed in the city between 1910 and 1913 as Winnipeg's middle class swelled during its greatest boom years.

Its developer, William W. Colledge, first appears in local street directories as a business partner of Thomas Sharpe in the contracting firm Sharpe and Colledge. By 1910, Colledge was working solo and in 1914 moved on to Vancouver.

The architect of Panama Court was John S. Hooper, the son of Manitoba's first Provincial Architect Samuel Hooper. The younger Hooper tended to work under his father's wing and there are only around ten building designs credited to him. Most are higher-end apartment blocks and all were designed in the couple of years after his father's death. (See below for more about John Hooper.)

The building's name was surely inspired by the Panama Canal which was in the news on almost a daily basis during its construction in 1912 - 1913.

Under construction, April 19, 1913, Winnipeg Free Press

Panama Court initially contained 26 units. These ranged from three room suites up to more generous six-room suites with quarters for maids or nannies.

The building was touted in rental ads as being "absolutely fireproof". This was because the walls, interior partitions and even the floors were constructed of tile rather than wood. Another selling feature was its access to fresh air owing to the fact that each suite had its own balcony.

The interiors were finished to a high standard with mahogany detail, fireplaces and refrigerators. It was also a "soft water building". (In the pre-Shoal Lake Aqueduct days the city's central water supply was drawn from a series of large wells. If one wanted soft water, it had to be treated after it reached the building and kept in a cistern located on-site.)

July 15, 1913, Winnipeg Free Press

The occupations of the heads of households of the first batch of Panama Court tenants shows what you might expect from a building of this stature.

They included: Frank Adams, general manager of Adams Bros. Harness Manufacturing Co.; Frederick Banks, an insurance inspector; Harold Brockwell, chief engineer for Manitoba Government Telephones; John Gage, vice president of International (grain) Elevator Co.; John Garland of the law firm Garland and Anderson; Leslie Head, a manager at Head and Shannon lumber yard; George Lawson, an accountant with S. T. Handscombe brokerage; Charles Kelly of Kelly and Sons Construction; Gordon A. Millar, assistant department manager at Eatons; John A Nelson, manager of The Traders real estate firm; and Robert Grant, assistant editor of the Farmers' Advocate newspaper. 

William Mallon was the building’s first live-in caretaker and lived in suite 10.

The building appears to have had a quiet existence. There are no newspaper stories about fires or major crimes taking place there. Even in wartime, though some residents served overseas they all appear to have survived. What it did have was countless wedding and baby showers, society teas, small recitals, etc.

Here are some of the more notable early tenants of Panama Court:

Charles B. Kelly

December 16, 1913, Winnipeg Tribune

Charles B. Kelly of the Thomas Kelly and Sons construction company was amongst the first tenants of Panama Court in suite 22. Though the firm had many great achievements during its existence it will always be remembered for the Legislature building scandal.

Kelly and Sons won the 1913 construction contract for the Legislature. It turns out that Thomas Kelly systematically overbilled the provincial government for the company's work and substituted inferior quality materials wherever possible. When this was discovered, construction was immediately halted.

Thomas Kelly fled to Chicago to avoid arrest but was captured and extradited back to Winnipeg to face trial. The Crown alleged that the total value of his fraud amounted to $1.2 million, (about $27 million in today's dollars.) Much of that money was funneled back to the ruling provincial Conservative party's coffers and to select government officials.

August 15, 1916, Winnipeg Free Press

Even under subpoena, Charles Kelly refused to produce any documents that would incriminate his father. This led to a raid on his suite on September 2, 1915 where police found an $802,000 contract said to be between Thomas Kelly and premier Rodmond Roblin.

In the end, the Roblin government fell due to the scandal and Thomas Kelly was sentenced to 2 1/2 years at Stoney Mountain, though he got out early for good behavior. The partially built Legislature's contract was re-awarded to a new company and construction was started almost from scratch due to the questionable quality of the foundation work.

It appears that Charles Kelly was not charged with any crime. He moved from Panama Court to an apartment at 19 Carlton Street the following year and died there of pneumonia in 1920 at the age of 33. (Perhaps a holdover from the "Spanish" influenza epidemic of 1918 - 1919?)

Annie McClung


Anne Elizabeth "Annie" McClung, a pioneer in Manitoba's earliest temperance and suffrage movements, lived at Panama Court from the time her husband died in 1916 until her death in 1926 at the age of 85. She resided with her daughter, Mrs. Percy Anderson, and family.

In 1890, McClung and her husband, Reverend James A. McClung, came from their native Ontario and soon settled in Manitou.

From the late 1890s through the 19-teens, McClung was a member of the executive, often president, of the Manitoba chapter of the Western Christian Temperance Union. She was made a lifetime honourary president in 1920.

An example of her commitment to helping women: McClung and her husband happened to be in San Fransisco at the time of its great earthquake in 1906. She did not, as one might expect, flee the city after the disaster. Instead, she stayed behind to work on behalf of women and children who were made homeless.

May 5, 1907, Winnipeg Free Press

In 1892, a young woman named Nellie Moodey came to Manitou to teach at the local school and lodged at the McClung house. She and McClung's eldest son, Wesley, fell in love and were soon married.

Nellie McClung would no doubt have met some of the leaders of the women's movement of the day, such as Dr. Amelia Yeomans, through her mother-in-law. Nellie also credits Annie McClung with prompting her to submit a short story to Colliers magazine in 1900. This became her first published work and launched a writing career that gave her a national voice.

Annie McClung's achievements are now little more than a footnote in her daughter-in-law's success, but to an earlier generation of Manitobans she was one of the most formidable forces of the province's early women's movement.

Marjorie Barrack-Beliveau
February 10, 1923, Winnipeg Tribune

Violinist Marjorie Barrack began making name for herself in 1910, around age fourteen, as one of the most promising young students of local music teacher Camille Couture. That year, she began appearing in regular recitals and small concerts around town.

In 1914, she spent the summer in Dresdin, Germany as a student of Leopold von Auer.

Barrack-Beliveau singned a deal in 1920 with the Orpheum Theatre chain to be part of a vaudeville show that toured their theatre circuit through Western Canada and the U.S.. Though vaudeville was waning as an entertainment form thanks to the growing popularity of film, Orpheum was trying to keep it alive by offering a
"more refined and artistic" level of entertainment.

The following year came another Orpheum tour. Barrack left in September 1921 on a 20-week engagement that took her as far south as Sacramento, California. The headliner for part of that tour was Helen Keller.  (The two kept in touch by letter.)


September 23, 1922, Winnipeg Tribune

Upon her return from the 1921 tour Barrack-Beliveau
settled into apartment 20 of Panama Court. She divided her time between local performances and teaching from her suite. In 1923, it appears she was off on another tour and stayed in the U.S. for an extended period.

For such a well known public figure little was written about Barrack-Beliveau's private life. She married Antoine Beliveau in Winnipeg in 1916 and may have married a second time in 1928, though kept Barrack-Beliveau as her stage name.

Every few years, Barrack-Beliveau appears back in the city, teaches for a while, then seems to disappear again. She likely died in 1971.


Albert V. Hodges

Panama Court's caretaker for much of the 1930s was Albert Hodges of suite 10.

Hodges was a veteran of the First World War and a member of the Old Contemptibles, a fraternal society of British soldiers who fought at Flanders in 1914. In fact, Hodges was long-time president of the small local chapter and his wife was chair of its Ladies' Auxiliary. Their suite was host to many teas, executive meetings and charity whist tournaments related to the organization.

In late July 1933, Hodges was on an outing with a fellow Old Contemptible, 47-year-old constable Henry Portman of the Winnipeg Police Department. The two were fishing near Seven Sisters Falls when Portman slipped off a rock and into the river.

Hodges, a strong swimmer, jumped into the water to save him. He almost drowned as the current washed him up onto the rocks. After gathering himself on shore Hodges tried a second rescue. This time, the current pulled the pants off his torso and he had to be rescued by an onlooker who held out a pole.

Portman drowned that afternoon, but Hodges was hailed as a hero for risking his life twice to try to save him.

Dr. M. Stuart Fraser
October 30, 1918, Winnipeg Tribune

Dr. McGillivray Stuart Fraser was a Brandon, Manitoba physician who became the first permanent staff member of the province's newly created board of health in 1916. He served as its secretary and the provincial epidemiologist.

One of Fraser's first acts was to establish a team of public health nurses to visit rural schools. The aim was to alleviate the needless suffering of children from diseases that could be prevented through a better understanding of good hygiene and sanitation. The program eventually fanned out across the province and was considered a Canadian public health first.

During the "Spanish" Influenza outbreak of 1918 - 19, Fraser provided daily press updates on the number of cases and deaths in the province. In October 1918, his department issued a proclamation ordering the province-wide closure of all gathering places - schools, theatres, halls and even churches - for a period of weeks until the epidemic waned.

Widowed in 1910, Fraser moved to suite 22 of Panama Court in 1923 and relocated to suite 11 in the early 1940s. He was made an Honourary Life Member of the Canadian Public Health Association after his retirement in 1931.

Fraser died October 26, 1949 at the age of 89 at Winnipeg General Hospital.

More about John Simpson Hooper:


John S. Hooper worked with his father in his architecture firms, but it seems that he preferred the challenges of the family business, Hooper Marble and Granite. The company had an important role in city's construction industry providing material for countless building facades, hallways, lobbies, monuments and gravestones.

In the 1907 street directory John Hooper is listed as the company's manager and when the Winnipeg Builders Exchange was created in 1910 he joined it a "marble contractor" rather than an architect.

Hooper was also a player in the city's building industry through a variety of organizations. He was an executive member of the Builder's Exchange into the early 1920s. He was also at times on the executive of the Winnipeg chapter of the Association of Building and Construction Industries and the Winnipeg Building Owners Association.

In the 1930s, Hooper seemed to drift from the family business and worked for other companies. In 1931, for instance, he was an architect with the CPR. In 1938 -39 he was a building inspector for construction company Northwood and Chivers. He also did a stint working as a city building inspector.

As for his personal life, Hooper married Margaret Bell of Dominion City in 1899 and they had three daughters. Hooper was working in Red Deer, Alberta when he died on August 7, 1940 at the age of 65. His body was returned to Winnipeg and he was buried at St. John's Cathedral Cemetery.