The A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. originated with the McKenzie family Flour, Grain and Seed business, started by F. B. McKenzie in the early 1880's. When F. B. McKenzie passed away in 1896, his son, Albert Edward McKenzie, assumed control of the company, and renamed it The Brandon Seed House. With its main office and plant in Brandon, Manitoba, the company specialized in the production and sale of field seeds and service exclusively to seed buyers in the prairie provinces and British Columbia. In later years, a complete line of products including garden seeds, lawn grass, and other allied lines was developed for sale across Canada.
In 1906, the company underwent a change of name when A. E. delete determined that the growth of the country demanded a larger seed institute than could be managed by one man. As a result, the company was incorporated under provincial statutes and the federal Joint Stock Companies Act as A. E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd., and new personnel were hired.
Under the Joint Stock Companies Act, A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. was required to elect a Board of Directors of not less than three, and not more than nine individuals. Only shareholders of the company were eligible for election, and election was to take place yearly with each shareholder entitled to as many votes as shares owned in the company. The Act also dictated that the directors were, from time to time, to elect from among themselves, a president of the company. They were also able to appoint and remove all other officers of the company and to create company by-laws. The directors were not obliged to pay any dividend on shares if the company should became insolvent. Under the Act, the stock of the company was deemed a personal estate and was only transferable as such. In addition, the company could acquire, hold, and transfer real estate, and was required to submit annual statements.
A. E. McKenzie was elected President of the newly constituted company. For the memaninder of his natural life he remained in this position and supervised the operation of the company. S. A. Bradford, who was given responsibility for various company departments, filled the position of General Manager. H. L. Patmore became the Vice-President, overseeing the nursery business, while W. A. McCracken was put in charge of the warehouse stock, and shipping department. McCracken also supervised the mail order department.
The Company was intially comprised of three divisions: The Brandon Seed House, Brandon Nurseries, and Brandon Greenhouses. Each division was registered under Dominion Patents. Later, the company was divided into Retail Mail Order, Wholesale and Commission Packet Trade divisions. It also undertook some export business.
By registering the divisions of the company under under federal legislation affecting trademarks and industrial designs, McKenzie and the Board,were able to register both the company’s trademarks and to protect the company’s industrial techniques. Thet company could thus patent the methods and processes of its operations so that no other individual or business could duplicate them.
Located at 30 9th Street, the head office and plant of A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. housed all the facilities and staff of the company, with the exception of the regional sales offices and warehouses. The business of the A. E. McKenzie Co. Ltd. was conducted from a frame warehouse until the current McKenzie building was constructed on the same site after a fire destroyed the original premises. Designed by architect Thomas Sinclair, and built by the Brandon Construction Company, the new building opened in 1911. In time, The A. E. McKenzie Co. Ltd. came to be known as Western Canada's Greatest Seed House.
During the 1930's, before a new building was erected in 1945, the A. E. McKenzie Co. occupied space at five different locations in Brandon, including the Massey Harris Building, the International Harvester Building and the Security Building. The last of these premises was destroyed by fire in 1972. As a result of its proximity to the Security Building, the main McKenzie Building also suffered heavy fire and water damage. A. E.
McKenzie Co. Ltd. also utilized a warehouse on the north side of Pacific Avenue alongside the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks between 5th and 6th streets. This building and its contents were destroyed by fire (1946). In May of 1949, the company purchased and erected a Quonset structure on the west side of 15th Street between Rosser and Pacific Avenues.
In 1908, the first branch of the A. E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. was established at Calgary. In the following sixteen years, additional branches were established in Edmonton and Saskatoon (1923), Moose Jaw, Toronto (1934) and Winnipeg (1935). Both the Edmonton and Saskatoon branches were seasonal, operating for a four-month period, March to June inclusive. Business in the Maritime Provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick further extended the company's operations by the mid 1940's. In 1946, the company purchased property in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, 120 miles north of Brandon. This purchase enabled the company to handle larger quantities of Sweet Clover, a popular crop that was grown in the surrounding area. Additional offices were opened in Vancouver and Quebec City in rented premises by the early 1960's.
In the years 1944-1945, the McKenzie Foundation was created. Through the Foundation, arrangements were put in place to transfer shares of the company to the Manitoba Government for the benefit of higher education, specifically Brandon College. In return for this gift, which included 90% of all capital resources of the company together with all of the income earned each year, except for the amount retained annually to ensure sufficient operating capital, the A.E. McKenzie Co. Ltd. received exemption from paying Corporate Tax.
Prior to the establishment of the McKenzie Foundation, in 1945, the National Trust for the benefit of the College held the shares of McKenzie Seeds. On April 7, 1945 the Manitoba Legislature passed legislation whereby A. E. McKenzie retained effective management control of his company, but 1031 shares out of 1145 issued shares were gifted to the Provincial Government. In return, the government agreed that all financial benefits from the shares would go to Brandon College through the A. E. McKenzie Foundation. When Mr. McKenzie passed away in 1964, the primary responsibility of appointing the Board of Directors for McKenzie Seeds passed to the Provincial government.
The remaining 114 shares of the Company were turned over to the Crown on July 16, 1975 in accordance with an agreement between Brandon University, A. E. McKenzie Co. Ltd. and the Manitoba government. The same agreement also turned the McKenzie Foundation over to Brandon University. Therefore, since 1975 the crown has held all shares of the McKenzie Co. through the Province of Manitoba.
A.E. McKenzie died on September 25, 1964 at the age of 94 and was succeeded as President of the company by J. Lasby Lowes. When Mr. Lowes retired in 1968, A. R. Swanson was appointed by the government to fill the position and was responsible for all operations of the company under a Board of Directors comprised mainly of appointees of the government. It has proven impossible to establish a complete list of those individuals who held the positions of President/General Manager of McKenzie Seeds after 1964. A partial account is as follows: Anthony J. Maruca became President of A. E. McKenzie Co. Ltd. in 1972. In 1975, the Board of Directors appointed William Moore General Manager, creating a new position to relieve the President of the company from management of plant operations. At the same time, Pat Kelleher was named new interim President. Following the resignation of Kelleher, William Moore assumed the role of President as well. Moore left the company in the early 1980s. He was later convicted of criminal misconduct as President of the company. Keith Guelpa became President/General Manager in the mid 1980's; Raymond West was his successor.
Beginning in 1969, the A. E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. began phasing out the Field Seed division of their company, including business related to forage crops and cereals. Seed cleaning equipment located in Brandon and and the company’s Calgary and Toronto cleaning plants was sold. The Company concentration its resources on the production and sale of vegetable and flower seeds, and lawn and turf grasses. It acted as a wholesaler and conducted business through chain stores, grocery, hardware and general stores.
Late in 1971, A. E. McKenzie Co. Ltd. purchased its largest competition in packaged seeds - Steele Briggs Seed Co. from Maple Leaf Mills Inc. for two million dollars. At the time of the acquisition the company changed its name to A. E. McKenzie Co. - Steele Briggs Seeds, in order to benefit from the favorable reputation held by Steele Briggs Seeds across Canada. In the early 1970s, the acquisition of Brett-Young Seeds Ltd., a Winnipeg company that dealt exclusively in the production and sale of field seed, brought the A. E. McKenzie Co. back into the field seed market.
In 1994 the Manitoba Government sold the A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. to Regal Greetings and Gifts, Canada's largest non-retail mail-order catalogue company, which is owned by MDC Corporation of Toronto.
In 2001, McKenzie Seeds is Canada's leading supplier of packaged seeds and related gardening products. It is divided into a Retail Consumer Products division which features well known seed brands including McKenzie Seeds, Pike Seeds and Thompson & Morgan Seeds from England. As well, this division also carries a complete range of lawn seeds and perishables. It also continues to ship the seed racks invented by A.E. McKenzie to numerous retail stores. The second division, Direct Mail, consists of the McFayden and McConnell catalogues which reach over 500,000 Canadian homes each year.
Following the sale of the A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. to Regal Greetings and Gifts, the records of McKenzie Seeds and its subsidiaries were retained in the McKenzie Plant on 9th Street. In April of 1997, the records were transferred to the McKee Archives at Brandon University. Because the company was a crown corporation, the records of McKenzie Seeds belonged to the Province of Manitoba and might have been placed in the Provincial Archives. However, Provincial Archivist Gordon Dodds permitted the retention of the records in Brandon at the S. J. McKee Archives. The minutes of the Board of Directors, previously transferred to the Provincial Archives, remain in Winnipeg. Until 1960 these minutes, by-laws of the Company, and the letters patent of incorporation (April 7, 1906) were in the possession of the Company's lawyers, Johnson, Garson, Forrester, Davidson, & Steen.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of textual records, photographs and artifacts from A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. The textual records include minutes, documents, financial records, administrative records, by-laws, legal records, catalogues, sales literature, seed packets, newspaper clippings, appraisals, publications, scrapbooks and miscellaneous sections.
In addition, some of the records within the fonds relate to the operations of McKenzie subsidiaries -- Brett-Young Seeds, Steele-Briggs Seeds, Pike & Co. and McFayden Seeds -- and various properties owned by McKenzie Seeds.
Fonds contains approximately 500 photographs. These depict the operations and employees of McKenzie Seeds and the seed industry in general. Artifacts contained in the fonds include blueprints, newspaper clippings, copper printing plates, seed bags and plaques.
Fonds also includes an artificially created series of records dealing with Brandon College Inc., the A.E. McKenzie Foundation, the Brandon Allied Arts Council and the Brandon Board of Trade. These records stand outside the provenance of the McKenzie Seed Co.
Of particular interest within the textual records are the transcripts of various features of the company's history as dictated, researched and recalled by its second President/General Manager, J. Lasby Lowes. The fonds also contains a collection of company catalogue which is almost complete. Outside of the seed industry, the records dealing with both Brandon College Inc. and the McKenzie Foundation are significant records relating to the history of Brandon College/University and the City of Brandon.
Because the A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. was a crown corporation, the records in the fonds are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
RG 3 A.E. McKenzie Company fonds
Additional records regarding A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. are housed at the Provincial Archives of Manitoba. In order to gain access to these records it is necessary to contact the Archives of Manitoba.
RG 3 A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. Fonds
McS 1 Board of Directors
1.3 Management Consultant Reports
1.5 Financial Records
McS 2 Office of the President/General Manager
2.1 A.E. McKenzie
2.2 J. Lasby Lowes
2.6 Reference Library
2.7 Miscellaneous Publications/Correspondence
McS 3 Acquisitions
3.1 Brett-Young Seeds/Sabetha
3.2 Steele-Briggs Seed Co.
3.3 Pike & Co.
3.4 McFayden Seeds
McS 4 Seed Marketing Co.
McS 5 Photographs
5.1 McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. Executives
5.2 Construction at McKenzie Seed Co. Brandon (two files)
5.3 Exterior Photographs of the A. E. McKenzie Co. Building
5.4 McKenzie Seed Co. Plant Operations and Workers (2 files)
5.5 McKenzie Seed Co. Equipment and Plant - Head Office 1983
5.6 McKenzie Seed Co. Field Operations and Workers
5.7 McKenzie Seed Co. Strike 1944
5.8 Fires at McKenzie Seed Co. 1910, 1945, 1972
5.9 McKenzie Seed Co. Centennial Exhibition 1996
5.10 Miscellaneous McKenzie Seed Co. Photographs
5.11 People Connected to McKenzie Seed Co.
5.12 Princess Anne's Visit to McKenzie Seed Co. 1982
5.13 Onion Set Production Book
5.14 Irene Cullen Photographs - McKenzie Seeds Employee Photos
5.15 Josiph Airey Photographs - McKenzie Product Photos
5.16 Alan R. Mundie Seed Production Photographs
5.17 Steele Robertson/Steele Briggs Seeds Photographs
5.18 Seed Packet Display Units Photographs
5.19 Product Photographs
5.20 Parade Photographs
5.21 Oversized Photographs
5.21.1 Drawer #1: Executive Photographs
5.21.2 Drawer #2: Office and Equipment/Plant Photographs
5.21.3 Drawer #3: Miscellaneous Oversized Photographs
5.21.4 Drawer #4: Artifacts
McS 6 Miscellaneous
6.1 Centennial Exhibition
6.2 Miscellaneous Publications
MG 1 A.E. McKenzie Fonds
1.1 Brandon College Inc.
1.2 McKenzie Foundation
1.3 Brandon Allied Arts Council
1.4 Brandon Board of Trade
Alfred Fowler was born in 1903, in Toronto, Ontario. At the age of 23 he began working for Canadian National Railways (C.N.R.) in the company's telegraph accounting department. He remained employed there for 45 years, with the exception of the years 1940-45 when he served with the Royal Canadian Artillery during World War II. During his service he was stationed at Shilo, Manitoba, where he met his future wife, Elsie Bowen. They were married late in 1944, and in 1945 returned to Toronto. Fowler remained in Toronto until his death in 1969. Throughout his life, Mr. Fowler was an ardent amateur photographer.
All 105 prints in this collection were created by Davidson & Gowen, a photography business located in Brandon. It seems likely that they were created for display and/or for commercial sale as part of the November 7, 1912 "Harvest" edition of The Brandon Sun. Alfred Fowler acquired a copy of the Davidson and Gowen prints during his stay at C.F.B. Shilo during the Second World War. In 1946 Alfred Fowler left Brandon returning to his home in Toronto. With the death of Alfred in 1969 the collection passed to his wife, Elsie Fowler. Elsie died in 1987, also in Toronto. Her estate passed to her nephew, Byron Forsyth, a Brandon resident. Byron brought the collection back to Brandon and in 1999 donated it to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
The prints concern various subjects in Brandon, Manitoba c. 1911-1912 including Brandon residences, store fronts/businesses, streetscapes, churches, the Brandon Fair, parks, hotels, institutional structures (ie hospitals, City Hall) and rail yards (both Canadian Northern and Canadian Pacific) in the city. These images provide a visual record of Brandon in the years just before the Great War.
CAIN No. 202647. All addresses listed for photographs in the Fowler collection were derived from Henderson's Directories (1911, 1913).
Copies of the photographs are in the green binder on the reference shelf in the reading room. Negatives for CPR photographs have been placed with 6-1999.10 (CPR Railway depot).
Archibald E. Wilson was the son of Reverend E.F. Wilson and the husband of St. Clair Vidal Wilson. Rev. E.F. Wilson was at one time in charge of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Homes at Sault Ste. Marie. Rev. E.F. Wilson moved to Elkhorn, Manitoba in 1888, to establish an educational home for Indian children. He was joined by his son, Archibald E. Wilson who was, in 1890, appointed assistant to the superintendent. A.E. Wilson became Principal of the Indian Industrial School in 1892. His wife served as Matron of the girls departments. Togerher they had three daughters: E.F. Metita, Winifred St. Clair and Murial Grace, as well as two sons: Edward Vidal, and St. Clair Vidal Wilson.
Archibald Wilson and his family lived in Elkhorn, Manitoba during the years 1892 to 1918 while he was principal. At the beginning of his term as Principal there were 12 students enrolled; enrollment reached as high as 95 students, representing eight different nations. In February of 1918, the government withdrew funding and the school closed. In September of 1918, Wilson left Elkhorn to take up his new position as a clerk at an Indian Reserve near Gleichen, Alberta.
During its years of operation, the Elkhorn Industrial School included an Athletic department, a curling team and a boys' football team. Students studied carpentry, shoemaking, harness making, tailoring, knitting and sewing. In 1893, the school was presented with a large Canadian flag for being the best Industrial School in Manitoba and the Territories. In November of 1893, a brass band was established, which provided music for the local Anglican Chruch. After a fire demolished most of the school in 1895, Wilson convinced the Federal Department of Indian Affairs to rebuild the school. In 1899, the Elkhorn Industrial School was reopened.
Most of this fonds was at one time in the possession of Principal A.E. Wilson. After Wilson passed away the pieces of the fonds were kept by one of his daughters, Winifred St. Clair Wilson, now deceased. Winifred married Mr. Frank Clark, M.D. and kept the fonds when she moved to Vancouver B.C. and then to Calgary, Alberta. Winifred Clark eventually donated the fonds to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Fonds includes four journals, one testimonial and one newspaper article. The journals include: the ‘7th Annual Report of the Washakada Indian Homet 1895-1896,' written by Principal A.E. Wilson; ‘The Greater Britain Messenger’ September and October 1899, which includes the article ‘The Elkhorn Home, Manitoba;’ ‘The National Monthly of Canada’ September 1902, which includes the article ‘Indian Children at Home;’ and the Centeneray Number (March-April 1932) issue of ‘The Algoma Missionary News,’ which includes an article giving information about Rev. E.F. Wilson and his missionary work.
Fonds also includes an article from the November 19, 1971 edition of The Vancouver Sun, entitled "Leisure's Book Reviews," which discusses Indigenous publications in Canada. The testimonial that is included in the fonds, was given to Archibald Wilson upon his departure from Elkhorn. There are 28 subscribers to the testimonial and it is dated September 19, 1918.
The Wilsons are discussed in J.R. Miller's "Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens: A History of Indian-White Relations in Canada," Miller's "Shingwauk's vision :a history of native residential schools" and John S. Milloy's "A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System 1879-1986." Description by Christy Henry.
Beverley Clare Hicks (nee Williams) was born in New Zealand in 1938. At the age of sixteen she began working as a nurse’s aide at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Auckland. From here, she began training at the same hospital and attained her Registered Nurse Diploma, after which she obtained her maternity nursing diploma from the National Women’s Hospital in Auckland.
Hicks came to Canada in 1962, and began to work at the Toronto General Hospital in the cardiac care unit. After returning to New Zealand to complete her midwifery training at St. Helens Hospital, she returned to Canada in 1964. She then completed Canadian university entrance equivalency courses in Vancouver while working at the Vancouver General Hospital emergency department. Because her nursing transcript included no psychiatric nursing, she travelled to Brandon in 1967 to participate in a six-month post-diploma course in psychiatric nursing.
Hicks’ passion was teaching, and after her six-month course was completed, she spent her time at the School of Nursing at the Brandon Mental Health Centre (BMHC), after which she was offered the opportunity to attend McGill University to obtain a Bachelor of Nursing degree with a psychiatric nursing specialty. Upon her return to Brandon, Hicks developed an in-service education program at the Brandon Mental Health Centre and began training psychiatric nurses to upgrade their skills, particularly in group therapy. She was also the first in Manitoba to train new community health workers. This community education sector of her career lasted nearly 20 years; she was responsible for travelling around Westman to deliver programs in suicide prevention, stress management along with other mental health topics.
As an educator, Hicks taught Family Life Education at Brandon University, Gerontology courses at Assiniboine Community College (ACC), and Counselling for the University of Manitoba Extension Department.
In the later part of her career, Hicks was responsible for resource and housing development for the final phase of the closure of the BMHC. While doing this, Hicks obtained a Masters Degree in Health Education in 1986 from the University of Manitoba.
The final stage of her education career consisted of being hired by Brandon University to teach in Canada’s first baccalaureate psychiatric nursing education program. Being in the education setting allowed Hicks to pursue further education at the doctorate level. Once she completed the required courses, Hicks retired from Brandon University to write her dissertation, "From Barnyards, to Bedsides to Books and Beyond: The Evolution and Professionalization of Psychiatric Nursing in Manitoba 1955-1980."
In 2020, with Lesley Peterson, Hicks published "Politics, Personalities, and Persistence: One Hundred Years of Psychiatric Nursing Education in Manitoba."
Beverley Hicks continues to live in Brandon, MB.
These records were in the possession of Beverley Hicks until she donated them to the S.J. McKee Archives at Brandon University in December 2013.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of transcripts of interviews conducted by Hicks as part of the research for her PhD dissertation. The interviews were conducted with a variety of former psychiatric nurses, directors, educators and other ward staff regarding their experiences working at the Brandon Mental Health Centre and related groups and organizations. All of the interviews took place between March 2002 and October 2007, and all of the participants were over 65 years of age and had worked or trained between the 1940s and 1980s. The interviews conducted were not formal in nature, rather they were intended to be a casual conversation between Hicks and the interviewee. Each interview begins with a brief biography of the interviewee written by Hicks.
Each interviewee was interviewed once, except for Jack Holleman and Elinor Samuels. Hicks interviewed Hollman three times over the course of approximately a year. Samuels was interviewed twice.
Below is a brief account of specific topics and subjects discussed during each interview. This does not include the standard topics discussed in each interview (schooling, experiences, etc.):
Myrtle Barnett – Barnett was the wife of the first president of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Manitoba, Alf Barnett. During the interview, she discusses when the association began, and how Alf went to war from 1942 to 1945. It was during this time, Barnett claims, that her husband began to question why men could not be formally trained as psychiatric nurses. Barnett comments on how her husband treated the patients like human beings and discusses his relationship with the Association. She also talks about her husband’s time in World War II as well as their relationship.
Remi Beaudette – Beaudette was a long-time attendant/psychiatric nurse at the Brandon Mental Health Centre. His interview describes his participation in the association as well as what duties he conducted through his many years working at the centre. Beaudette goes into detail about the various wards he worked on and what his duties were on each specific ward.
Marlene Brichon – Brichon was one of the first psychiatric nurses to graduate under the first legislation of 1960. During her interview, she discusses the changes in medication and treatments during her time working as a psychiatric nurse, some of the incidents that occurred between nurses and patients, patients with schizophrenia (and what the nurses did to treat it), and her feelings towards the textbooks used in her schooling.
Jack Holleman – During Holleman’s interview, they discuss the association, his presidency, how he commissioned the Breen Report and how much he paid for it, as well as the report itself.
John Martyniw – During his interview he discussed his presidency of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Manitoba, the different locations he worked at (Selkirk Mental Hospital, Misericordia Hospital) as well as his teaching jobs (Selkirk as per the Province of Manitoba). Martyniw discussed his displeasure with how they treated him when he first came to Canada – as an attendant rather than a registered psychiatric nurse, as he was trained. They also discussed the textbooks used during his time as a teacher.
Annette Osted – During Osted’s interview, they discuss the Breen Report, a quote from Dr. Tavener, what patients should be called, Challenge and Change, The Task Force, and changes in legislation.
Shirley-Jo Paine – During Paine’s interview, they discuss her role in proposing the program for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses to Brandon University. They also discuss how supportive surrounding universities and colleges were of the new program at Brandon University.
Gerald Pronyk – Pronyk did not actively practice clinical psychiatric nursing, he focused his attention on the administrative and education side of nursing. The interview discusses his positions as the Director of Nursing Education in Selkirk, the Senior Nursing Administrative Officer, and a mental health program specialist in the mental health directorate in Winnipeg.
Janissa Read – During her interview, they discuss how she became interested in psychiatric nursing, how spirituality relates to psychiatric nursing, the distinction between a Registered Nurse and a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, and how others felt about the profession of a registered psychiatric nurse.
Elinor Samels – The interview begins with them discussing her achievements at the beginning of her career, after she finished school post-World War II. They follow up by discussing some of the patients she had to deal with, her participation in the Association, her coworkers and how they treated her, and how the new changes affected their day-to-day work.
Walter Tetzlaff – In addition to being a psychiatric nurse, Tetzlaff was also a vocational rehabilitation counselor. He discusses how much he got paid at the beginning of his career, how much his room and board cost during school, what school was like for him, the kinds of things he did after he got his degree, and the textbooks he needed for class. They also discussed what he did as a vocational counselor.
Tom Street – Street was the fifth president of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Manitoba and graduated from the Portage la Prairie School of Psychiatric Nursing in 1967. During his interview they talk about how he became interested into psychiatric nursing, where he did his schooling, how he was involved with the union and how he didn’t like it.
History/Bio information provided by Beverley Hicks. Description by Karmelle Tower (September 2018) and Christy Henry
The Brandon College/Brandon University Women's Auxiliary was founded on February 17, 1955, with the purpose of a) foster[ing] good public relations between the university and the community, and to stress the importance of Brandon University to Western Manitoba; b) to gain a better knowledge of the functioning of Brandon University and; c) to improve the surroundings of the College/University's students and the university at large. They were to hold four regular meetings per annum, with an annual meeting in April, and one fund-raising tea a year. The organization raised money through these teas, as well as through receptions, with the intention of donating to the college/university and surrounding community, contributing to the furnishing of residences and offices at teh college/ university, as well as facilitating an annual community visitation day for the public to tour the university. The organization's name was change from the Brandon College Women's Auxiliary to the Brandon University Women's Auxiliary along with the renaming of the school itself on July 1, 1967. The organization was sometimes referred to simply as the Women's Auxiliary.
The Auxiliary was run by an elected President and Board of Executives. Its members, who were all mothers of Brandon College/Brandon University students, paid an annual membership fee. Subcommittees within the organization included those in charge of social organization, membership management, program management, phoning management, press and publicity management and project management; all of these were fronted by their own individual leaders from within the members, under the board of executives. The organization ceased meeting in 1975; the minutes from the final meeting reference difficulties filling executive offices before a motion was carried to disband.
Records were created and held by the Brandon College/Brandon University Women's Auxiliary until their dissolution on October 23, 1975, when a motion was passed to move the records to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records that relate to the organization of and activities coordinated by the Women's Auxiliary, as well as records detailing the contribution that the organization made to the university and community of and around Brandon. The records span the entire existence of the Women's Auxiliary from 1955 to 1975.
Records include meeting minutes, treasurers' statements, financial bookkeeping, correspondence, a copy of the constitution, records of members, members' addresses and phone numbers, lists of members' children attending school and their respesctive degree, lists of council members, event memorabilia, organization letter heads, donation receipts, newspaper clipplings, advertisements, publicity reports, meeting reports, visitation records, scrapbooks and scrapbook inventories.
History/Bio information taken from the records. Description by Kayliegh Penner (October 2016).
JOHN CRAWFORD AND PRAIRIE COLLEGE:
Although Brandon College was officially created in 1899, its roots go back much further to the late 1870’s and early 1880’s. It was during this time that Reverend John Crawford built Prairie College which was located in Rapid City, Manitoba .
Rev. John Crawford was born in Castledawson, Ireland. While he was at boarding school in Belfast he was converted to the Baptist faith. His later education took place at Edinburgh University, Stephany College, and Regent Park Baptist College, all of which are located in Great Britain. He became a pastor in London, England, which is where he met his wife, a prominent and cultured lady.
Crawford felt that his calling was in the backwoods of Canada, so he soon moved his wife and family to a farm near Toronto where he continued to preach. He was asked to join the faculty of the Canadian Literary Institute, a Baptist institution located in Toronto. He accepted the position and taught there for several years. The CLI, as it was commonly known, was a Baptist theological college. It was renamed Woodstock College in 1883.
In 1879, Crawford saw the need for Baptist preachers in the newly opening territories of Western Canada. He felt that a self-sustaining college was the answer. Young men could work the land and gain religious education to prepare them for the ministry at the same time. He chose Rapid City, Manitoba as the site for his new college, because it was then recognized as an integral hub of the Northwest. It was also on the proposed transcontinental railway route. The students would build the college and cultivate the land. The Ontario Baptist Convention, while shying away from giving him official approval for the proposed college, did allow Crawford the liberty to canvass the Baptist churches in order to raise up to $2000 for the venture.
Crawford secured the help of Reverend G.B. Davis, a student at Woodstock and a graduate of Morgan Park College, Chicago, to teach and help train the students. In the summer of 1879, Davis and nine students reached Rapid City. During that summer they cultivated the land and built a two-story college building out of local stone. The following spring, Rev. John Crawford sold his house in Toronto for an estimated $4000 and moved with his family to Rapid City to take up residence at the new college.
The newly formed Prairie College opened in the fall of 1880 with 15 missionary students. Rev. Crawford was the Principal, Rev. Davis was the Vice-Principal, while Misses Emily and Fanny Crawford were teachers. Although the school was a success missionarywise, it did not do well financially. In 1883, Prairie College closed, partly due to financial troubles and partly due to the Ontario Baptists deciding that one Baptist Theological College in Canada was enough, and it was located in Toronto. The students at Prairie College were urged to finish their education in Toronto . This college would soon be known as McMaster University.
S.J. MCKEE AND RAPID CITY ACADEMY:
After the closing of Prairie College, Rev. Crawford left for the United States. However, Rev. Davis still saw a need for education in Rapid City and began to build another school. The Rapid City Academy opened in 1884. Because Davis accepted a pulpit in Moose Jaw soon after, he prevailed upon his brother-in-law, S.J. McKee , to come and take charge of the academy. McKee accepted the position, and the school flourished under his guidance.
In 1890, McKee decided that the school would do better and reach more people if it was located in Brandon, Manitoba, where the railway had eventually gone through. He moved the Academy, and it was housed in various buildings in the city, until he found a permanent resting spot on the third floor of the Stewart Block on Rosser Avenue and Ninth Street .
During the 1890’s the Baptists began to reconsider their decision of having just one theological college. With the settlement of the West, the Baptists were looking to increase their congregation. It was thought that higher education for potential ministry students would greatly help the Baptist cause. Rev. A. J. Vining, who was the Baptist Superintendent of Missions for Manitoba and the Northwest at the time, strongly advocated a Baptist College in Manitoba.
In 1898, Vining interviewed Mr. William Davies, a prominent Baptist, in Toronto. Davies agreed to pledge $3500 a year for five years towards the establishment of a college in the West. His sister, Mrs. Emily Davies agreed to add $1500 to this amount. These pledges encouraged the 1898 meeting of the Manitoba Convention in Winnipeg to begin organization of a Baptist College to be located in Manitoba. A five member committee was chosen to consider the benefits of a Baptist college in Manitoba. Their report was to be read the following summer at the Portage La Prairie Convention.
At the 1899 meeting of the Convention, the five member committee recommended:
1. “That we proceed to inaugurate a movement for the establishment of a denominational school at once.
2. “That we extend a call to Dr. A.P. McDiarmid to act as Principal.
3. “That we appoint a committee of twenty-one directors.
4. “That at present the question of the site be left with the President and Board of Directors but that no site be considered permanent till endorsed by this Convention at a regular or special meeting.
On July 21st, 1899 it was resolved:
1. That we proceed to establish and develop an educational school at Brandon.
2. That the school be known as “Brandon College”.
3. That the quorum of the Board of Directors be fixed at eleven .
Because S.J. McKee already had a thriving academy in Brandon, and he was a staunch Baptist, it was decided to merge Professor McKee’s Academy with the newly formed Brandon College. The classes would take place in the Stewart Block, the site of the Academy. S.J. McKee was hired as professor in Classics, Mental Science and French, while also acting as the unofficial vice-principal. He also had a position on the Board of Directors. Arthur W. Vining, Howard P. Whidden, J.B. Beveridge, and Miss Annie Beveridge rounded out the first faculty of Brandon College.
The 1900 Brandon College Calendar states:
The College aims at not only the mental culture of its students, but at the development of right character. It recognizes the supreme importance of surrounding the student during the period of college life with positive Christian influences, and to keep before him distinctively Christian ideals. The transcendent worth of character is kept in view in molding the life of the College, while the best possible intellectual training is sought. Though Christian, the College is in no sense sectarian. Students of all denominations will enjoy equal privileges. In every department the professors and teachers must be members of some evangelical church; in the Theological Department alone it will be required that they shall be members of the Baptist denomination. The College in all its departments is open to students of both sexes. The faculty will have watchful regard to the best interests of the students in every respect. Those whose conduct and influence are found to be injurious to the welfare of the College will be dismissed if milder disciplinary methods fail to effect reform .
While the school would be run by the Baptists, it was always non-sectarian and co-educational. Students of all denominations were invited to attend Brandon College. The development of a person with the right character was as important as the mental culture of the students. Classes commenced on October 2, 1899. There were 110 students, 81 men and 29 women. Thirteen of these students had plans to enter the ministry. It soon became apparent that the building Brandon College occupied was far too small for its increasing numbers. Plans were drawn up in early 1900 to build a spacious college on the west edge of Brandon. Hugh McCowan was hired as architect and T.M. Harrington of Winnipeg was asked to build the school.
A charter creating Brandon College was written. This Act briefly defined the purposes, jurisdiction, and administrative framework of the College. The “Act to Incorporate Brandon College” was approved by the Province of Manitoba and assented to on June 1, 1900. It granted the Baptist Convention authority over all College affairs. This authority included the appointment of the College Directors and professors, the creation of rules and bylaws, as well as control over the school’s curriculum. While the Board of Directors had control over financial matters, all Board decisions had to be approved by the Convention .
The cornerstone for the new building was laid on July 13, 1900 by Mrs. William Davies. The College commenced classes in the new building, located at 270-18th street, on October 2, 1901. It cost approximately $44 000 to build. There was residence for 70-80 men as well as a dining room, kitchen, science laboratory, reception room, office, library and nine classrooms. The College consisted of an Academic Department, and Arts Department, a Theological Department, and a Business and Stenographic Department.
The Commercial courses were discontinued in 1916 due to financial difficulties during the war. In 1922, the Business Department of Brandon College was discontinued because the College could no longer afford to keep it operating.
The Academic Department consisted of Grades 9 through 12. Although it was a large and popular aspect of Brandon College, it began to decrease in size with the advent of secondary schools. Up until the early part of the twentieth century, most public schools stopped at around grade eight. After that, there were Normal schools that students could go to to become a teacher. Many students wishing to attend secondary school came to Brandon College, where a full secondary course was offered. By the 1920’s and 1930’s however, collegiates were becoming more commonplace. Students often didn’t have to travel as far to receive a higher education. By the early 1930’s most of the Academic Department had been discontinued because of lack of need and finances. By 1932, only the Grade Twelve course was still in operation.
Although one of the main intents behind building Brandon College had been to prepare students for the Baptist ministry, the Theological Department was always one of the smaller departments. By 1915, the Board of Directors had assumed authority over all College operations. However, the Baptist Union still maintained control over theological education, through the Committee on Ministerial Education created in 1908. In 1916, the department was curtailed considerably because of the war. An Educational Secretary, hired in 1919, managed the teaching of theology at Brandon College. The Educational Secretary also controlled the College Maintenance Fund, which was specifically set aside to ensure the financial health of theological education. The Baptist Union’s residual power over theological education led to the creation of the Brandon College Commission in 1923. This joint commission of the Baptist Union and College Senate examined several instructors, including Harris MacNeill, for alleged improper Biblical interpretations. These claims stemmed from Fundamentalist Baptists, who believed that the theological students at Brandon College were being taught by Modernists. The Commission found little evidence to support these allegations, and the instructors were later exonerated of all charges. Even with this decision, the College had to discontinue the Theological Department in 1927 due to lack of funds.
The College’s financial situation was very poor when Dr. Evans assumed control in 1928. The support from the Baptists was shaky, especially since the Fundamentalist-Modernist argument during the early 1920s. The Baptist Union Educational Committee recommended the Arts department be maintained as a significant training course for Christian leadership. The Committee wanted the re-establishment of the Department of Theology. In 1933, in an attempt to regain Baptist support, Rev. Ross C. Eaton was hired as Lecturer in Bible to help bring religious study back to the College. In 1934, John B. McLaurin was hired as Acting Professor in Theology. Dr. F.W. Pattison gave a Practical Theology course, while Dr. Evans made plans to increase the religious department even more. In 1935 Dr. C.B. Lumsden was appointed Professor of Theology, and in 1936, Rev. E.M. Whidden was appointed Head of the Department of Theology.
In 1905, plans commenced for the building of a Women’s Residence to adjoin Brandon College. On May 24th, 1906 Mrs. A.P. McDiarmid laid the cornerstone for what was to become known as Clark Hall. The building was named for C.W. Clark, a Winnipeg doctor who gave $30 000 of the $40 000 dollars needed to build the residence. Dr. Clark gave the money to Brandon College because he believed that women should have every chance to receive higher education. On October 18th of the same year, Clark Hall was officially opened, with room for 50 women.
With the expansion of the women’s department came programs that were geared towards young women of the era. A Music and Art Department was added to the College as was an Expression and Physical Culture Department. The heads of these departments were Abbie Helmer Vining, H. Hancock, and Gertrude Trotter. Miss Ernestine R. Whiteside was hired as Lady Principal and teacher of German and English.
With the rise in immigration during this time came the chance of expansion at Brandon College. There were large numbers of Scandinavian settlements in Manitoba, and it was thought that introducing a Scandinavian Department at the College would entice prospective Swedish missionary students. The students would return to their settlements after being educated by the Baptists, and it was hoped that they would spread the Baptist word among the Scandinavian settlers. Mr. Emil Lundquist was hired in 1907 to head the newly formed Scandinavian Department.
Physical fitness was stressed at Brandon College. Students were encouraged and expected to exercise. It was thought that a healthy body helped to create a healthy mind. There was more behind this ideal than simply healthy minds though, at least for the women students. During this period in history, it was often believed that women were not physically capable of learning to a great extent. It was thought that studying created too much of a stress on the female body, often leading to illness or permanent invalids. Before a girl was accepted to Brandon College, she had to furnish a letter from her doctor stating that she was physically able to go to school and study. As well, women were subjected to the “Clark Hall Line”, a daily two mile walk which was mandatory to all women. No matter what the weather was like they would pair up and, in a long line, walk down the streets of Brandon to the edge of the city. This line was often the cause of much amusement for the men of Brandon College. There were plenty of other sports offered at Brandon College for both men and women in an effort to keep the students physically active. This belief in physical fitness led to the development in 1908 of what was to become an annual College Field Day.
In 1908, the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories became the Baptist Union of Western Canada. This change reflected a restructuring of the Baptist organization. The Union had a meeting every three years that consisted of delegates sent from Baptist churches throughout western Canada. The Baptist Union Board carried on the affairs of the Union and met semi-annually. Each year the Board created a budget based on the needs of the Union, then allocated funds to Provincial and Conference Boards. These other Boards had the responsibility of financing their local institutions and projects. The Baptist Union was not in direct control over these expenditures. If the budget was not raised, the Union had to incur the provincial deficits. This situation of mounting debts continued for several years.
Principal McDiarmid’s title was changed to President McDiarmid in 1910. There is no document explaining this change, but it follows a trend in other colleges and universities during that period when the head of the school was known as the president.
Up until 1910, the College had been loosely affiliated with the University of Manitoba. The Baptists refused to accept the University of Manitoba model of a higher institution, and they continuously sought to get a separate University charter that would give Brandon College degree-granting privileges. It was because of the Baptists firm belief in the separation of church and state that they could not accept the University of Manitoba model, as it would place the College under state control. The college could not secure a charter of its own, so it was decided in 1910 that Brandon College would affiliate with McMaster University.
Brandon College was in debt following the construction of their first two buildings, and it became increasingly clear to the College Board that they could no longer rely solely on funding from the Baptist Union. In order to carry out their financial campaign and increase their administrative efficiency the Board felt it should control the College. In 1911 the Baptist Union was confronted with a proposal from Brandon College stating:
...in our confirmed judgment the work of the College should be under the immediate and unfettered direction of its own Board of Directors and Senate--that its Board of Directors, subject to the expressed general policy of the Baptist Union, control its business administration, and that its Senate should have direction of its education policies and work, viz., the determination of its courses of study, its curricula, its instruction, its examinations, etc.
It appears after this date that Brandon College was much more in control of its curricula and courses of study. However, the school still relied almost completely on the Union for financial support.
World War One began in 1914 and affected Brandon College greatly. Students were very patriotic to England, reflecting the ideals and propaganda of the time in their thoughts and actions. Classes shrunk as men enlisted, and military drilling in front of the College buildings became a commonplace scene. This was due to the fact that in 1915, a Canadian Officers Training Corps unit was established at Brandon College. A Brandon College platoon was organized as part of the Western Universities Battalion, the 196th.
Over thirty Brandon College men were killed during World War One. After the cessation of hostilities in Europe, the students at Brandon College began fundraising to build a memorial gymnasium to honor their classmates who died during the war.
Brandon College began to consider expansion in 1920, when an extension fund campaign was started in an effort to raise money to build a science building. Meanwhile, Dr. Whidden was involved in a continuous effort to maintain the College financially. That year, Mr. William Davies died, and in his will he left $100 000 dollars to Brandon College, on the condition that people in the west could match the amount dollar for dollar.
Contributions to the College increased substantially with the 1923 arrival of Dr. Sweet, the new College President. He quickly gained the confidence of the Board of Directors, the faculty, the students, the community, and the Baptists. The motto of Brandon College up to this point in time seemed to have been “Speaking the Truth in Love”. But with the arrival of Dr. Sweet the motto appears to have been changed to “Education Crowned by Reverence”.
After the Stock Market crash in 1929, the financial situation of the College grew even worse. The Great Depression severely limited charitable contributions for both Brandon College and the Baptist Union during the 1930’s.
In 1931, the Baptist Union indicated by resolution that Brandon College would be closed at the end of the 1930-1931 school year unless the College could find a way to pay its own maintenance bills. The final announcement from the Baptist Union Board stated:
‘RESOLVED that the Board of Brandon College be requested to endeavor to continue the College in operation until the close of the current College year, and that in view of the inability of the Baptist Union to make provision for adequate financial support, that the College cease to operate at the end of the current College year .’
It was at this time the businessmen of Brandon, through the Brandon Board of Trade, began to get involved in the College situation. An organization called the Brandon College Citizens Campaign submitted a by-law that would raise $20 000 for the College for at least five years. The by-law had to be accepted by 60% of the ratepayers before it would be instituted. Despite a huge campaign effort, the by-law was rejected, mainly by the large working-class society in the city who did not see the need for higher education and who resented not being hired to do contract work there. After the by-law failed Brandon citizens raised $20 000 on their own to keep the school open for at least another year.
By 1937, the College was still financially unstable, and although the Western Baptists supported the institution, they could no longer afford to help with the costs. In 1938 the Baptist Union passed a resolution withdrawing completely from any financial responsibility for Brandon College.
BRANDON COLLEGE AS A NON-DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOL:
The citizens of Brandon began to look for ways to keep the College open. A delegation of 60 representatives from towns in southwestern Manitoba asked Premier John Bracken and the Minister of Education for assistance to help keep Brandon College open as a Western Manitoba Arts College under the direction of an independent Board and on a non-denominational basis. The Brandon Board of Trade created a Brandon College Committee. Its members looked into ways the College could be saved. A.E. McKenzie was one of the central figures in this fight to save Brandon College .
In July, McKenzie put up an offer of a $100 000 endowment for Brandon College. Shortly after that he upped the endowment to $300 000. The provincial government agreed to give the College $15 000 annually on the condition that the city of Brandon raise that amount as well and the $300 000 endowment was accepted. In September, McKenzie increased the endowment to $500 000 dollars, $100 000 of which would be revenue-bearing at 3%, which would raise $3000 a year for twenty years. Brandon was disappointed that the provincial government only offered $15 000, as they had originally asked for quite a bit more. However, they set about on a campaign to raise their share of the funds so that Brandon College could open for the fall term .
In September of 1938, Brandon College reopened under the affiliation of the University of Manitoba. A provisional Board of Directors, consisting of Dr. J.R.C. Evans, Mayor F.H. Young, A.E. McKenzie, N.W. Kerr, K.C., E.M. Warren, H.O. McDiarmid, M.D., A.G. Buckingham, K.C., F.R. Longworth, and R.B. Alexander, was responsible for the administering of the affairs of the college. These men were all prominent Brandon citizens who had been involved in the fight to save Brandon College. They tried to complete the campaign to cover financial obligations and assure permanency of the college. The provincial government said that they would raise their support from $15 000 to $22 500 per year if Brandon could pass a by-law guaranteeing support of the college.
On April 17, 1939, Bill 104 received assent as an Act of the Provincial Legislature incorporating Brandon College Incorporated. On June 6, a Brandon Bylaw was passed that approved the levying of one mill on the dollar from taxpayers for the next twenty years to help support Brandon College. This Bylaw assured that Brandon taxpayers would raise $5000 during the first year that it was levied, and this amount would increase during subsequent years as Brandon grew and prospered. On June 13, the Board of Directors approved recording of the Bill as the Charter of Corporation. The A.E. McKenzie endowment was authorized by Bylaw #5 of the corporation on December 19.
With the outbreak of World War II in 1939 came the resurrection of the C.O.T.C. at Brandon College in 1940. Enrollment went down as young men and women joined the Armed Forces to go overseas. In order to keep the college out of debt, Dr. Evans created the War Emergency Fund in 1941. This fund raised $15 000 from 1941 to 1946. Scholarships were restarted at the college to help boost enrollment. Many of the scholarships were contingent on the recipient being a resident student in order to help raise residence numbers.
In 1945, the A.E. McKenzie Trust of 1939 was canceled, and 90% of A.E. McKenzie’s stockholdings were transferred to the control of the Province of Manitoba. The A.E. McKenzie Foundation was established using the annual declared dividends from the 90% of the stock. This foundation was administered by the Minister of Education of Manitoba, the President of Brandon College, and a third person to be decided on by both parties. The annual grant of $10 000 from the foundation would be increased by $4000 if a Social Science Chair was established at the college.
In 1946 that Brandon College hired its first Director of Public Relations. This man was Walter G. Dinsdale, a 1937 Brandon College graduate. A Guidance Committee was created in 1948. It was also during this year that Brandon College became an associate member of the National Conference of Canadian Universities. A Social Science Department was added in 1948, and the Biology Department was reorganized. In 1949 a Department of Political Science was created.
The Board of Directors passed a resolution in 1949 to create a committee to hire a director for a financial campaign. The campaign went poorly. Brandon College, although not in the same position as it had been a decade earlier, was still not secure financially. The citizens of Brandon, having been through the Depression and the war years, did not have much left to give to the College.
In 1951, the Federal Government provided the first of an annual fund of $8 000 000 to be divided between Canada’s universities and colleges based on enrollment figures. During this first year, Brandon College received $18 000 from the government.
Education was first offered at Brandon College in 1952 with the co-operation of the Department of Education and the University of Manitoba. In 1953, Brandon College became an associate member of the Association of Universities of the British Commonwealth.
The mortgage that had been assumed from the Baptists in 1939 was paid off in 1954. It was also during this year that Brandon College received its first new building since the 1922 Science Building. An “H-Hut” was moved onto the property and placed behind the Science Building. It was redecorated and used for student functions, a library, and a recreation area.
The Board of Directors increased from twenty one to thirty six in 1955. The provincial grant of $22 500 was raised to $50 000.
In 1957 the Brandon College Faculty Association was formed. This marked the beginning of the end of the ‘family’ structure of the college. A salary schedule was created in 1957 for the Arts and Science Departments. In November of 1958, the Expansion Committee of the Board of Directors was authorized to proceed with all aspects of expansion. By 1959, a new Arts and Library building was being planned.
On Thursday, July 23, 1959, Dr. Evans died suddenly while on holiday in Robson, British Columbia. Before he died he had managed to secure funding and plans for the new Arts and Library building and Lecture Theatre. The Manitoba Government granted $500 000 and the Canada Council $102 000 towards the building of a new Arts and Library Building and Lecture Theatre.
The new Arts and Library Building and the J.R.C. Evans Lecture Theatre were officially opened on January 6, 1961 by Mrs. John G. Diefenbaker (Olive Freeman, Class of 1923). It was also during 1961, that Brandon College welcomed its first overseas student. As well, J.E. Brodie, the former president of Great West Coal made a $200 000 gift to Brandon College, and gave $50 000 to the Expansion Fund.
The next several years were full of expansion for Brandon College. The Men’s Residence, Dining Hall and Heating Plant were opened in 1962. In 1963, a Women’s Residence and the Music Building were opened. A Gymnasium was opened in 1965.
The Board of Directors changed dramatically in the early 1960’s, becoming more influenced by the distribution of funds from government sources. Legislation in 1966 revised the Brandon College Act to reduce the number of members on the Board of Directors from thirty-six down to twelve. Seven of these twelve would be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council, and three would be appointed by the Brandon College Corporation. One member would be elected by the Alumni Association, and the College President would be a member ex-officio.
BRANDON COLLEGE BECOMES BRANDON UNIVERSITY:
1967 was an important year for Brandon College. Not only was a new Education Building opened, but the College ceased to exist. This was because a university charter had been granted to Brandon College. On July 1, 1967, Brandon College became Brandon University. Dr. John E. Robbins was appointed to be its first president. The university would enjoy a certain amount of freedom from the financial hardships it had endured over the past 68 years. As well, the university would no longer have its curriculum dictated to it from other institutions as it had during affiliation with McMaster University and the University of Manitoba.
The records have been located in a number of areas around the University including Clark Hall, the old Science building, the A.E. McKenzie building, and “the trailer”, which was a very old addition to Clark Hall and has now been removed from campus. The records are now in the S.J. McKee Archives located on the Brandon University campus.
Scope and Content
The fond consists of minutes, reports, correspondence, invoices, printed material, clippings and photographs. The collection spans from S.J. McKee’s personal papers from Rapid City Academy in the 1880’s through to the decision to grant university charter to Brandon College in 1967. It is a very interesting source for the history of Western Canada.
Several different themes emerge in the fond. A very central theme concerns Baptist higher education in Western Canada, higher education in general, the development of curriculum in Canada, and the Baptist Western Movement. The development of religious higher education, especially Baptist training, is well-documented.
Areas such as student associations, student life on campus, and women’s education are detailed in the collection. There is a very detailed look at the social aspects of college life, especially the difference between the genders in the realm of higher education. These themes can be found in the various Clark Hall scrapbooks and “Saturday Books” written by the lady principal.
An economic theme is prevalent for much of the early history of Brandon College due to various financial restraints that the College and Western Canada faced. These themes are especially noticed in the Bursar and Registrar records.
The administration of the corporation can be followed closely through the minutes and certain correspondence from the Board of Directors. A more in-depth look at the people involved in the running of an institution of higher learning can be found in the various personal papers of the presidents of the College.
There are also several military files, dealing with the creation and operation of a C.O.T.C. regiment on campus during both the First and Second World Wars. The fond also provides a glimpse of how the wars affected daily life on campus and their after-effects on the College.
The fonds also examines the effects that affiliation with other universities can have on curriculum, regulations and other aspects of College life.
The RG 1 Brandon College fonds description and finding aid were prepared by Karyn Taylor (nee Riedel) in August 1998.
McKee Archives: RG 6 Brandon University fonds. The Canadian Baptist Archives at McMaster University contain the following records related to Brandon College: Correspondence (1911-1936); McMaster Chancellor's Correspondence (1895-1926); McMaster Chancellor's Reports; History (1962); Stone & Garnet History (1969); Calendars (1899-1938); Report of Commission 1923 (pamphlet); Fact Concerning 1922 (pamphlet); Jesuit Methods (pamphlet); an incomplete set of the Quill; and exams. They also have The Western Baptist and the Yearbooks of the Baptist Union of Western Canada (1907-1996). (Source: Correspondence between Judith Colwell, Archivist, Canadian Baptist Archives and Thomas H. McLeod. Date: October 8, 1996).
The fonds is divided into fifteen series and two associated fonds.
The Brandon Sun transferred the original copies of the Brandon Daily Sun, 1900-1917 to the McKee Archives for the purpose of having them preserved and microfilmed.
Money provided by the Manitoba Council on Post-secondary Education for the development of Manitobia, a website created by the Manitoba Libraries Consortium, included funds for the microfilming and digitization of the Brandon Daily Sun held at the S.J. McKee Archives.
In the summer of 2009, the hard copy edition of the Brandon Daily Sun were sent to the offices of OCLC Preservation Service Center, now Backstage Library Works, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Backstage undertook to cut the bindings of the paper and prepare master and service microfilm copies of the entire run of the publication.
The microfilm copies were shipped from Backstage to the University of Manitoba and subsequently to the McKee Archives, arriving the week of January 18, 2010. The original hard copies of the Brandon Daily Sun will also be returned to the McKee Archives.
A digital version of the microfilm will appear of the Manitobia website.
Microfilm was created by Backstage Library Works in Pennsylvania from hard copies of the Brandon Daily Sun held by the McKee Archvies during the winter of 2009-2010. The master and service copies of the microfilm were delivered to the McKee Archives in January 2010.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of Archival Master copies and Service copies of the Brandon Daily Sun (February 5, 1900- December 31, 1917).
Brandon University received its charter on June 5, 1967, on the occasion of the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra and the Honourable Angus Ogilvie. The institution has its roots in Brandon College, which was established in 1899, by the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories and was administered by that authority until 1938. During these years it was an affiliate, first of the University of Manitoba and, from 1911 to 1938, of McMaster University. In 1938, it became a non-denominational affiliate of the University of Manitoba, under a board of directors elected by the Brandon College Corporation, and it continued as such until it was made a provincial university in 1967.
1967-1968 was the first year of operation as Brandon University.
The University is a co-educational, non-denominational, government-supported institution within the Province of Manitoba. It is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
As stated in The Brandon University Act (1998), the purposes and objects of the university are: (a) the advancement of learning and the creation, preservation and dissemination of knowledge; and (b) the intellectual, social, ethical and physical development and improvement of its students and employees and of society. To further its purposes and objects the university may: (a) establish and maintain such colleges, faculties, schools, institutes, departments, chairs and courses of instruction as the board considers appropriate; (b) give instruction and training in all branches of learning; (c) grant degrees, including honorary degrees, diplomas and certificates of proficiency; (d) provide facilities for original research in every branch of learning, and conduct or facilitate the conducting of such research; and (e) generally promote and carry on the work of a university.
The mission statement of the University is to shape the whole person and enable students to make a positive difference as citizens and leaders. In a welcoming and supportive setting, the University emphasizes research, scholarship, critical thinking, performance, artistic creation, communication and participation, as a means of imparting value and meaning to society and contributing to the public good. The University nurtures and develops excellence in its programs, attracts an outstanding faculty, defends academic freedom, preserves knowledge and sustains a scholarly community where cultural differences are valued. The University strives to complement its primary mission of teaching and research by sharing the expertise of its staff, its information resources and its facilities with the greater community.
1967 Brandon College became Brandon University with authority to grant degrees
1998 The Brandon University Act was passed by the Manitoba Legislature, replacing the Brandon University Regulations
1902 First Arts graduates
1975 B.A. (4 year Specialist) degree
1983 B.A. (4 year General) degree
1990 Major in Business Administration
1991 Minor in Women's Studies
1992 Minor in Aboriginal Art
1996 Major in Business Administration (4 year)
1997 4 year Bachelor of Business Admin
1975 B.Sc. (4 year Spec)
1983 B.Sc. (4 year General)
1986 Post-Diploma degree for Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses
1995 4 year degree in Psychiatric Nursing
1952 Ed courses offered for the first time
1967 B.Ed. (5 year)
1969 B.Teaching (3 year)
1972 Project for the Education of Native Teachers (PENT) initiated
1974 Brandon University Northern Teacher Education Program (BUNTEP) initiated
1978 B.Ed (4 year)
1981 B.Teaching (3 year) discontinued as at October 17, 1981
1988 Concurrent B.Music/B.Ed (AD) degree program
1994 Brandon University Hutterian Education Programme (BUHEP) initiated
1906 Dept of Music (Conservatory) established
1973 B.Mus. (4 year General)
1977 B.Mus. (5 year Music Education)
1980 Master of Music Degree offered for the first time in Manitoba
1988 Concurrent B.Music/B.Ed (AD) degree program
1998 School of Health Studies created and assumes responsibility for Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing
Interdisciplinary degree programs:
1998 Masters degree in Rural Development
1998 Bachelor of First Nations and Aboriginal Counselling degree program
On December 19, 1985, the Board of Governors approved a set of recommendations regarding the administrative structure of the university. The recommendations renamed, abolished and instituted a number of positions at Brandon University.
Records in the fonds were in the possession of the President's Office until 1980, at which point they were transferred to the McKee Archives upon its creation. Subsequently, additional records have been transferred from the President's Office, the Senate Office and some faculties. Most records transferred after 1980 have separate accession numbers.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of sixteen series, including: (1) Office of the Chancellor; (2) Board of Governors; (3) Office of the President; (4) Office of the Vice-President; (5) Office of the Registrar; (6) Brandon University Senate; (7) Faculties and Schools; (8) Library Services; (9) Department of Extension; (10) Office of Development; (11) Brandon University Foundation; (12) Student Services; (13) Miscellaneous Publications; (14) Brandon University Students' Union (BUSU); (15) Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA); and (16) Brandon University/College Artifacts.
Information for the History/Bio field was taken from Brandon University calendars 1967-2006, the Brandon University website (December 2005) and an article in "The Quill" (January 9, 1986). Description by Christy Henry, unless otherwise noted.
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, which was established in 1929, is a professional honorary Society of women educators. The Society promotes professional and personal growth of its members and excellence in education. Membership is by invitation only and considered a prestigious honor with a variety of benefits and privileges.
The document was in the possession of Merle Orth, Chair of the Archives Committee for the chapter prior to its donation to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of the organizational charter of the Brandon chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.
History/Bio information taken from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International webpage: http://www.dkg.org/site/c.meJMIOOwErH/b.5815955/k.E082/About_DKG.htm [October 5, 2012]. Description by Tom Mitchell.
Many pages within the scrapbook are in fragile condition and some have come loose from the bindings. Several individual photographs have also become loose.
History / Biographical
Born Daniel Milton Kaufman in the Chicago area and a veteran of the Second World War, Kingsley completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and later his M. Sc. from Northwestern University before coming to Brandon College for the 1928-1929 academic year. Hired on a temporary basis to teach chemistry to replace a Mr Elsey, Kingsley came with good recommendations from Northwestern University in both teaching and laboratory management (The Quill, Sept. 27th, 1928).
In May 1929, Kingsley returned to the University of Chicago to continue his graduate studies (Brandon Daily Sun, May 21st, 1929). Following the completion of his M.D., Kingsley taught at LSU Medical School, Tulane University Medical School and Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Centre, New York City.
Moving to Alexandria, Louisiana in 1939, Kingsley's practice thrived as he was the only bone doctor in Central Louisiana at the time. Kingsley was known for operating free clinics at Huey P. Long Hospital and served as the orthopaedist for 35 years for the Louisiana Special Education Centre. For almost 50 years, Kingsley operated on children without charging for his services.
Kingsley helped found a non-profit rehabilitation centre for post-operative therapy for children with disabilities, called the Rapides Rehabilitation Centre, and served on its board for several years. He also served as president of the Rapides Parish Medical Society, chairman of the Rapides Parish Medical Society Medico-Legal Committee for 30 years, second vice-president of the Louisiana State Medical Society and president of the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association. Other organizations Kingsley was involved with include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Clinical Orthopaedic Society, American Association of Anatomists, American Academy for Cerebral Palsy, American Medical Association, Louisiana Orthopaedic Association, Rapides Parish Medical Society, the Southern Medical Association and as a founding member of the International Arthroscopy Association.
Dr. Daniel Kingsley passed away in June 1992 in Alexandria, Louisiana, and was survived by his wife, Mrs. Helen Wilson Kingsley, their two daughters Ann Lange and Katherine Kingsley, and their son Lawrence Kingsley.
Records were created and collected by Dr. Daniel Kingsley during his time at Brandon University and then later during his travels, and subsequently stored by him after their completion. Following his death, the records were stored by his daughter Ann Lange at her home near Dallas until their donation to the McKee Archives in 2017.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of one scrapbook which contains photographs of Dr. Daniel Kingsley's time as a temporary faculty member during the 1928-1929 academic year at Brandon College. Many of the photos are labelled; They depict many events at Brandon College, including activities at the Brandon College Rink (outdoor) and a faculty hike. Others records show images of the City of Brandon at this time, including various street images, Dr. Kingsley's accommodations, the Brandon Mental Hospital and the Assiniboine River. The photographs provide insight into the life of a temporary faculty member at Brandon College during this period.
The scrapbook also contains many assorted photographs and clippings from his travels and life following his departure from the College. The majority of the fonds contains photographs and clippings from 1928-1932, with others being undated.
History information provided by Ann Lange, daughter of Dr. Daniel Kingsley. Supplementary information provided by The Brandon Daily Sun and The Quill. Description by William Grant Jackson (September 2018).
Edward Walker was born in Lymm, Cheshire, England in 1836. He emigrated to Canada at age 59 in 1895, from Stockport, England. Walker came to Canada with three of his children - Dora, Daisy and Theo - and settled in Millwood, Manitoba. In childhood, Walker was a victim of polio and walked with the aid of two canes throughout his adult life. Walker was a professional photographer. Once in Canada, he also took out a homestead at N.W. 18-19-229, though it appears that his son Theo did most of the work required to gain title to the property. In addition to his work as a photographer, Walker was appointed post-master for Millwood in 1901, and operated a small store. Edward Walker retired as postmaster in 1920. He died in 1923.
The Walker fonds arrived at the S.J. McKee Archives as part of the Lawrence Stuckey Collection in 2001. While the circumstances are not known, it seems evident that Stuckey acquired the Walker negatives in the course of his professional career as a photographer and collector.
Scope and Content
Fonds contains a variety of images of Millwood, Manitoba and the surrounding agricultural community, its people, and life produced by Edward Walker in the course of his work as a professional photographer. These images were produced from gelatin dry plate negatives, a process introduced around 1880, to replace the wet collodin process in which a photographic solution was applied to a glass plate just prior to exposure. Edward Walker’s pictorial account of life in and around Millwood Manitoba circa 1900, is an important photographic legacy of pioneer life on the upper reaches of the Assiniboine Valley.
The village of Millwood was located in the Assiniboine River valley close to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border just a few miles northwest of Binscarth and a similar distance southwest of Russell. It came into existence in 1887, with the construction of the Manitoba and North-Western Railway, a road that ran diagonally through the new West from Prince Albert, North West Territories to Portage la Prairie Manitoba.
Description by Tom Mitchell.
Several prints were located with the Walker Negatives. These were created by Lawrence Stuckey and have been located with the Lawrence Stuckey collection and identified as "Edward Walker" prints.
RG 6, 8.2.4 (Library - S.J. McKee Archives - Archival displays).
Edward Walker – Millwood negatives
1. Manitoba and Northwestern railway steam shovel loading flat cars for the “fill” c. 1900
2. Completed “fill” near Millwood c. 1900
3. Steam shovel filling flat cars for the “fill”
4. Boy and pony
5. Farmer in field
6. Portrait – man
7. Portrait – man and woman
8. Portrait – man and women
9. Portrait – man
10. Portrait – little girl
11. Baseball game in progress
12. Cottage home
13. Portrait – man
14. Portrait – little girl
15. Gentlemen, horse and dog.
16. Portrait – two men
17. Portrait – mother and daughter
18. Mill and new Mill elevators c. 1896
19. Horse power in harness
20. Construction of railway bridge
21. Construction railway bridge
22. First automobile Millwood
23. Man, horse, carriage
24. Horse, sled filled with dead moose
25. Harvest scene reaper in action
26. Aboriginal people, tee pee
27. North Western railway bridge over the Assiniboine c. 1900
28. Railway trestle near the “Clay Dump”, on west hill near Harrowby
29. Team of horse in harness drawing a sled
30. Boy, horse with steer tethered to horse’s tail
31. Horse drawn wagon with children, woman and dog
Hilton "Hilt" Friesen was born on September 19, 1932 in Steinbach, MB. He owned an independent furniture business in Winnipeg before opening a hobby store in Elmwood. He was an active member of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club and an amateur photographer who documented historic buildings, especially those relating to railways, around the province. Hilt Friesen died on July 23, 2008 in Winnipeg, MB.
The 35 mm slides in the collection were taken by Hilt Friesen. His widow gave them to Morgan Turney who then passed them on to Gordon Goldsborough of the Manitoba Historical Society. Goldsborough gave them to the McKee Archives in January 2019.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of 735 colour slides. The slides primarily depict railway subdivision stations along the Canadian National Railway (CNR) lines in Manitoba, but there are also stations from Saskatchewan. Additional subject matter includes grain elevators, steel through truss bridges, railway bridges, brickworks, signs, trains and buildings (the Prince Edward Hotel, Cumming & Dobie Coal). The images were taken by Friesen as a result of his hobby interests in railways and photography.
History/bio information taken from the Manitoba Historical Society website.
Music in the Brandon Community was created by Brandon University student Richard Bee for the course Advanced Topics in Oral History. The project was conducted under advisement from Dr. Rhonda Hinther, BU History Department. Interviews were conducted by Bee with members of the Brandon community - Bill Campbell, Elizabeth Grant, Bill and Sue-On Hillman, Ian Robinson and Bill Turner - between June 9-July 7, 2015, about their experences in the local musical community.
Following the completion of the interviews, Bee created a transcript of the Hillman interview, at their request. Interview logs were created for all other interviews. Bee used the interviews to write an essay titled "Oral History and Community Music: A Case Study of Brandon, MB," which he submitted to Hinther to meet course requirements.
As part of the ethics approval for the project, records created were slated for donation to the SJ McKee Archives. Bee donated the materials to the McKee Archives in July 2015.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of consent forms, interview logs, one interview transcript, a copy of Bee's case study and the six audio recordings of interviews conducted with community members.
All of the interviews detail the interviewee's experiences in and around Brandon regarding music in the community: Brent Campbell’s interview discusses his life as a music teacher in Brandon, his life, and his participation in Brandon Jazz; Dr. Elizabeth Grant’s interview discusses her life, her teaching career at Brandon University and her musical career, including the Brandon Conservatory Chorale, which she founded; Bill and Sue-On Hillman’s interview discusses their lives individually and together, their careers, and how music influenced their lives; Ian Robinson’s interview discuses the operation of Ted Good Music, his life and performances in Brandon; and Bill Turner’s interview discusses his life, radio career, and the Brandon community.
Bee's case study primarily covers first-person accounts of people in the Brandon Community involved in music. It includes topics such as faculty at BU's School of Music, performance experiences, and personal experiences of interviewees in and around Brandon and Canada.
Description by Hope Penner (September 2018) and Christy Henry
The interviews and interview logs are available in Branond University's institutional repository, IRBU at: https://irbu.arcabc.ca/islandora/object/irbu%3ARBeeC
6 cm textual records, including architectural plans
History / Biographical
Norma Laird's mother, Irene Clarke, was a daughter of Mr and Mrs John Clarke, who were pioneers in the Brandon region. Irene married David Black. Norma Laird was their daughter.
The records passed from Irene Clarke to her daughter Norma, who donated them to the McKee Archives on January 15, 2007.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of two historical accounts, one of the beginnings of Grand Valley, and a second of the Grand Valley School (author(s) unknown); architectural plans for the brick residence of Mr. Clarke, Farmer on section 35, township 10, range 19, county of Brandon by W. Richard Marshall, Architect, Brandon (1892); a newspaper clipping from the Brandon Sun, June 8, 1972 depicting the fire that destroyed the Clarke residence; a Three-Quarter Century Farm Ownership certificate to M. Irene Black from the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba (1967); a certificate to John T. Clarke to honour the significant contribution the family had made to the founding of Brandon from the Brandon Centennial Board (1982); two Grand Valley honorary Goodwill Ambassador of Grand Valley certificates for Mrs. J. Clarke and Mr. D. Black (1970).
The first photograph is a 8x10 b&w mounted photo of the counsellers of the Municipality of Elton with names on the back (1912). The second photograph is a 5.5 x 3.5 b&w postcard of a bus of some kind with numerous men and women standing in front of it (ca. 1914).
The Archives anticipates the donation of a photograph of the Clarke residence from Norma Laird at a later date.
9.46 m textual records; 1919 photographs & graphics
History / Biographical
Brandon, Manitoba was incorporated as a city in 1881. In 1882, led by Charles Whitehead and a small Board of Directors that included J.W. Vantassel, Charles Pilling, George Halse, J.E. Smith, William Johnson, R.T. Evans, and Thomas Lockhart, it was decided to hold an agricultural exhibition. These men were all involved in the farm business in one way or another, and they wanted an opportunity to help residents realize the agricultural potential of the region. In October of that year, the fledgling community held its first agricultural exhibition . The fair was held in downtown Brandon at what was known as “Market Square.” Market Square was two acres of land located on Princess Avenue between Eighth and Ninth Streets. Due to poor weather, and the fact that not many people were ready to show animals and grain, there was a relatively small turnout. The following year was much improved. There were 730 entries into the exhibition. By 1884, the Board of Directors of the Brandon Agricultural Society, which was in charge of the exhibition, realized that they were in poor financial shape, to the point of being personally out of pocket. It was realized that October was not the best time for farmers to be leaving their farms to go to an exhibition. In 1888, it was decided to move the exhibition to the summer time, when it was much easier for people to attend.
The first Brandon Summer Fair was held in July 1889, and it was a resounding success. The Board of Directors had added many items of interest to appeal to the entire public, not just agricultural people. In 1892, the Western Agricultural and Arts Association (WAAA) was formally established to take over duties from the Brandon Agricultural Society. However, it was not until 1897 that the WAAA held its first meeting. There is no explanation as to why there is a five year gap between the formation and the first meeting of this organization. 1897 was the turning point of the Brandon Exhibition. The fair was now firmly established in Brandon, and the Board of Directors was instrumental in ensuring that it remained so. This was done by petitioning to both the municipal and provincial governments for grant money. As well, the Board booked midway and grandstand acts that would bring the city dwellers to the agricultural exhibition.
There were also early attempts at holding an agricultural exhibition in the winter. The first such attempt was in 1884. There was also a Spring Stallion show held in 1891. By 1904, however, a petition by J.D. McGregor had gone out to formally establish a winter exhibition. This effort also failed, but by 1906, it was decided by businessmen, politicians, and farm representatives in Brandon, including McGregor, to organize a winter fair. Rather than seeing this new fair as competition, the Board of Directors of the summer fair felt that it would complement their exhibition. The new fair would remain primarily agricultural. The first winter fair was held in 1906. While the two fairs were not amalgamated, they did share the same secretary-manager. The secretary-manager was responsible for the day to day management of the fair, as well as keeping track of meetings and decisions reached by the various fair boards and committees. In 1907, the Brandon Winter Fair and Livestock Association (BWFLA) was formed to act primarily as a land-holding joint stock company. The following year the Provincial Winter Fair and Fat Stock Association (PWFFSA), an entirely separate organization from the BWFLA, was formed to manage the activities of the winter fair. The PWFFSA name was soon changed to the Manitoba Winter Fair and Fat Stock Association (MWFFSA).
By 1906, Brandon could boast two full size exhibitions, one in the summer and one in the late winter, both of which were considered to be premiere events. In 1908, the Brandon summer fair was renamed the Inter-Provincial Exhibition, and in 1912 it held it’s first Traveller’s Day, an event which would soon become an important addition to the fair and is still in existence today. It is thought that the name “Traveller’s Day” came from the fact that it was held on a Saturday, a day when many people could travel to Brandon for the exhibition.
In 1913, Brandon was bestowed with the honour of hosting the Dominion Exhibition. This was a national exhibition sponsored by the federal government. It was held in a different city every year. There were several cities vying for the 1913 Dominion Exhibition, but it was Brandon that impressed the sponsors the most. With the government funds received for this honour, the Board of Directors supervised the building of a new grandstand, display buildings, and racetrack, as well as the general expansion and improvements to the fairgrounds.
In the spring of 1912, it was decided by the Board of Directors of the winter fair that the facilities they were currently housed in were inadequate for their needs. The mayor and city clerk of Brandon went to the provincial legislature in order to request that there be an amendment added to the Brandon city charter. This amendment would allow the city to guarantee bonds issued by the winter fair board to help pay for the construction of a new facility. This request was granted, and a $70 000 addition was built next to the original winter fair building. The new building was opened in 1913.
Throughout the First World War, both the winter fair and Provincial Exhibition buildings were used for the war effort. There was one distinct difference however. The summer fair Board was able to negotiate a deal with the army that enabled it to reclaim the fair buildings during fair week. The winter fair, however, had to give up the idea of holding fairs in 1915 and 1916. It was not until 1917, that the winter fair was able to resume.
During this time, due to the financial problems that had beset the winter fair, the two exhibitions considered amalgamation. The Board of Directors of the winter fair felt that because they were the smaller of the two fairs, their interests would be swallowed up by the summer fair. The winter fair withdrew from the negotiations to amalgamate. With this rather sudden turn of events, the Board of Directors of the summer fair petitioned the government to be allowed to incorporate. This was granted, and in 1920, the WAAA was incorporated as the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba. From 1920, the summer fair was officially known as the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba. This was the first time that the summer fair was incorporated, and received the “status and financial assistance” that came with incorporation.
More problems beset the winter fair in the 1920s. In 1920, a fire burned down the winter fair pavilion, located at the south end of the winter fair buildings, and caused the Board to cancel the 1921 winter fair. It was not until 1922, that a new building was completed. By 1929, both fairs were well regarded throughout Canada. In 1929, a decade long Depression hit the west. While many fairs closed during this time, Brandon struggled to keep its open. The Directors of both fairs felt that the agricultural shows “encouraged excellence at a time when faith and enthusiasm were at a low ebb.” The summer fair proved to be quite successful during the Depression, likely as a result of the few moments one was able to forget one’s troubles while there. The winter fair was not quite as successful, although both fairs received government grants and work relief projects. There was little new entertainment in these exhibitions.
There were changes about to manifest themselves at the summer fair, however. While the winter fair had representatives from various associations on its Board of Directors, the summer fair Board of Directors was a small close-knit group of men. Citizens saw entry into this elite group as elusive and difficult. To ward off the possibility of the Board becoming a “self-sustaining clique,” that only chose Directors from within, it was decided by several citizens to try and elect some new blood into the fair Board. In 1933, there was a general election for the Board. Instead of the usual men shuffling positions, there were forty-four nominations for the twenty positions. When the voting was all over, seven new men sat on the Board. Despite some inner rumblings, especially on the summer fair Board over the next few years, both exhibitions survived the Depression.
During the Second World War the fairs once again were forced to operate under adversity. Once again, the buildings were requisitioned for the army, although they were released during fair week. The summer fair was forced to make several concessions, and the winter fair was relocated to the summer fair grounds for the duration.
The winter fair did not survive the Second World War intact. Due to financial reasons, in December of 1945, the Board of Directors turned the winter fair buildings over to the City of Brandon. By 1946, the BWFLA, which was the joint-stock land holding company, had ceased operations because the city now controlled the winter fair land and buildings.
The next fifteen years would be a time of rebuilding for both of Brandon’s exhibitions. Children especially were more active participants in the agricultural exhibitions. The summer fair continued to diversify and look for new ways of entertaining the public at large. The winter fair remained primarily agricultural. By the end of the 1950s the winter fair, which was used to struggling, was now both successful and stable; and the summer fair, a perennial success, was starting to fade.
By 1969, both the winter and summer fair Boards had realized that amalgamation was the best possible decision, both practically and financially, for the future of the two fairs. On 29 October, 1969, the two exhibitions amalgamated to become the Manitoba Exhibition Association. The reconstituted Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba was now responsible for both the winter and summer fairs. A new building was erected on the summer fair grounds to house both of the exhibitions. On 2 April 1973, the Keystone Centre was officially opened at the winter fair, although it had been in use since October of the preceding year.
In 1970, Manitoba’s Centennial, it was decided that an organization in Manitoba would receive the title of “Royal,” as a way to celebrate the centennial. Although many organizations applied for the honour, it was the Brandon winter fair that received the accolades. The winter fair was bestowed with the title “Royal”, and became known as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair.
In 1975, a third exhibition was added, this time a purely agricultural fall show known as the Agricultural Exhibition, or AgEx. This fair was partly organized on behalf of the cattle growers, who found that the summer and winter fairs did not give them adequate time and space to properly show their cattle. The return to a fall show, which had not existed since 1888, would be the return to a purely agricultural exhibition. This show was to be primarily a show and sale event. On 3 November 1975, the first AgEx was opened to resounding success.
The Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and AgEx are all still in existence in Brandon. They are regarded as three of the most important events to take place annually in the city.
These files were housed with the Manitoba Exhibition Association until c1986 when they were transferred to the S.J. McKee Archives at Brandon University.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of textual records and photographs comprised of the records from the three annual exhibitions that are held in Brandon, Manitoba: the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, and the Agricultural Exhibition (Ag-Ex). The textual records include prize lists, programs, minutes, financial, administrative files, original results, scrapbooks, tickets, news releases, contracts, by laws, documents as well as a miscellaneous section. There are approximately 1846 photographs that include scenes from these three exhibitions. These records provide a unique perspective on the development of agriculture and rural life in southwestern Manitoba. Fairs such as these have been and remain prime media of farm improvement, technological and scientific advancement in rural Canada, and the promoters of country living. These fairs also reflected the long tradition inherited from Britain and Europe of country fairs as centers of entertainment, social interchange and diversion. These records are a principal source of information about the most broadly based vocational, entertainment and social events held on an annual basis in southwestern Manitoba over the last century. The records are vital to academic research on agriculture or fairs, individual biography, or community history.
The RG 2 Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association finding aid was created by Karyn (Riedel) Taylor with the exception of Series 9 and the accompanying database, which were created by Donica Belisle. This finding aid was created in August 1999.
Researchers are responsible for observing Canadian copyright restrictions.
RG 2 Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association fonds
RG 2 Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association fonds
Additional records regarding the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, and AgEx are housed at the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association offices. To gain access to these records, it is necessary to contact the general manager of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba Association.
The fonds is divided into sous-fonds by exhibition. There is a Provincial Exhibition sous-fonds, a Royal Manitoba Winter Fair sous-fonds, an Ag-Ex sous-fonds, and a Miscellaneous sous-fonds that holds information that could not be easily broken down into one exhibition. The arrangement is as follows:
RG 2 Provincial Exhibition Association of Manitoba fonds
RG2SF1 Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba
1.3 Financial Records
1.4 Administrative Files
1.5 Prize Lists and Programs
1.6 News Releases
1.7 Original Results
RG2SF2 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair
2.3 Financial Records
2.4 Administrative Files
2.5 Prize Lists and Programs
2.6 News Releases
2.7 Original Results
3.4 Administrative Files
3.5 Prize Lists and Programs
3.6 News Releases
3.7 Original Results
4.3 Financial Records
4.4 Administrative Files
The forerunner of Manitoba Pool Elevators (MPE), the Manitoba Wheat Pool was created in 1924 as a mechanism to allow for the co-operative marketing of wheat by Manitoba producers by the United Farmers of Manitoba. The Manitoba Wheat Pool was initially intended to be a provisional organization until the establishment of an interprovincial Pool, but when Alberta and Saskatchewan established their own permanent Pools the United Farmers decided to do the same. The Manitoba Pool was different from the SK and AB Pools in that the municipality was the primary unit of organization; members belonged to their municipal Pool associations first, rather than having direct membership with the central Manitoba Wheat Pool. Manitoba Pool Elevators was established in 1925 as a subsidiary of the Pool in response to local members complaints about the unfair business practices of privately owned elevators. The private elevators also slowed up the shipment of grain to the Central Selling Agency employed by the Wheat Pool, acting as a barrier between the local Pools and the Manitoba Wheat Pool. Once established MPE quickly began to build new elevators and aquire privately owned elevators.
MPE's approach to marketing grain promised to stabilize the market price of grain and ensure a fair market price to producers. Initially the Manitoba Wheat Pool was very successful. However, in 1930, the Manitoba Wheat Pool found itself burdened with an unsold surplus from the preceding year that had been bought from the farmers at a price that was significantly higher than any possible return during the Depression. As a result, in 1931 the Manitoba Wheat Pool's Central Selling Agency defaulted on its bank loans. Despite attempts to save the organization, it was forced to declare bankruptcy in November 1932. The financial difficulties of the Wheat Pool had little to no effect on the Pool Elevators, and so this former subsidiary organization became the main Manitoba Pool organization. This change meant MPE had to reorganize, which they were able to do with funds from the provincial government. The company was successful enough in subsequent years that it was able to finish repaying the Manitoba government a full year early in 1949.
MPE did not limit itself to grain handling; they wished to enrich the lives of rural families through education and to provide economic stability through diversification.
MPE established a lending reference library for members and a traveling library for rural families in 1926. With the passing of the Public Libraries Act in 1948, the province took over responsibility for providing rural families with books. MPE decided that since their traveling library would no longer be needed when rural libraries were established, the best course of action was to donate their library to the Provincial government. They also established and supported programs that educated young people about agriculture and ag business.
Subsidiary companies that dealt with course grains, livestock, packing and fertilizer were established by MPE to streamline and stabilize business for its members.
1961 marked the high water mark for the number of local associations within Manitoba Pool Elevators with 225 local associations. After this date the associations began to amalgamate and consolidate. Improvements in rural roads and rail systems and increases in the size of farms and mechanization of farm labour meant that fewer elevators were needed to service all members and regions. These changes led to an organizational restructuring of Manitoba Pool Elevators in 1968. Membership became direct, and the main unit of organization became the central office. The central office administrated the Pool through districts, which were further subdivided into sub-districts. The locals which were formally the main organizational unit came under the immediate direction of the sub-district they were located in. Local association could opt out of this system if they wished, but by 1975 all but 29 associations had become part of the new structure.
In 1998 Manitoba Pool Elevators merged with the Alberta Wheat Pool to form Agricore Co-operative, Ltd. In 2001 this organization merged with the United Grain Growers to become Agricore United, and in 2007 AU was taken over by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool; the new company is currently known as Viterra.
The bulk of this fonds was accessioned in 1975, when the forerunner to the McKee Archives at Brandon University, the Rural Resource Center, was founded. The original mandate of the Rural Resource Center was to house the records of the Manitoba Pool Elevators. Previous to this, most of the fonds was stored at MPE's head office in Winnipeg. Many accruals to this collection have since taken place, with some of the larger ones being received in 1997, 2001, and 2002.
Scope and Content
Fonds contains records dealing with every aspect of the Manitoba Pool Elevators organization, from the events leading to its formation in the 1920's, to its amalgamation as part of Agricore beginning in the late 1990's.
Fonds includes records of the local co-operative elevator associations established in the period 1925 - 1968 under the Co-operative Associations Act including: organizational papers; minutes of executive boards; minutes of shareholders annual meetings; financial statements; correspondence; membership lists; and miscellaneous documents.
Also to be found are: documents related to the Royal Commission re the Manitoba Pool Elevators Limited ca. 1931; miscellaneous reports and submissions documents (1925 -1952); central office papers consisting of annual reports, circulars to local co-operative elevator associations and documents related to various other activities of the Manitoba Pool Elevators organization. Fonds also contains documents pertaining to the Manitoba Co-operative Poultry Marketing Association Limited and its successor, the Manitoba Dairy and Poultry Co-operative Limited, and related agencies.
Other items in the fonds (dating from the 1890's to 2001) include: books acquired for the Manitoba Pool Elevator Library, including a complete run of both the Scoop Shovel (MPE's first newspaper)and the Manitoba Cooperator; photographs; slides; audiotapes; and reel-to-reel videos.
Finally, the fonds contains a small number of miscellaneous items such as banners, and company issued briefcases.
This fonds is organized into four series, (A) Local Association records, (B) Central Office Records, (C) Subsidiary Companies and Co-operatives, (D) Commissions, Committees and Inquiries
Description by Mike White (2002), revised and enlarged by Jillian Sutherland (2009-2010).
History/Bio taken from F.W. Hamilton, "Service at Cost: A History of the Manitoba Pool Elevators 1925-1975" (Saskatoon: Modern Press) and from records within the fonds.
Preparation of this description made possible in part by a generous grant from the Brandon University Student's Union Work Study Program 2009.