Hugh McKay Sutherland

Roche Percee, Saskatchewan

Mr. Hugh McKay Sutherland
b- Feb. 22, 1843 in New London, P.E.I.,
d- Aug. 14, 1926, Croydon (London) England.

His family having originally came from Sutherlandshire, Scotland in 1816. His father was a Farmer.

His father and family moved to Oxford County, Ontario, In 1849, when he was 9 years old, after leaving PEI.
His father died in the spring of 1879. He was educated in Ontario, and first became a School Teacher.

He married first Mary Dickie, Feb 10, 1864, daughter of Alexander Dickie, of Brantford, Upper Canada, now Ontario.
She died Oct 11, 1875.

In 1868 he moved to Orillia, Simcoe County, ON, and was involved in Lumbering Operations. In 187? he moved to the West, living in Winnipeg

Remarried 2nd time Dec 10, 1878 to May Banks,
She was born June 1855, in the USA.
Daughter of Hon. R. T. Banks of Baltimore USA.
She immigrated to Canada in 1873.

Married for a 3rd time, Sept 3, 1921
Constance Margaret Denholm
sister to Mrs. C.V. Alloway in Winnipeg.
She died in 1925 in London England, and like Hugh, her body was brought to Winnipeg for burial.

He lived at 81 Roslyn Road, Sutherland House, in Winnipeg, torn down in 1958 to make way for apartments.
My father-in-law, Paddy Twomey, actually lived in one of these apartments, a few years ago, before his death.
Great view of the Red River, and across from the Manitoba Parliament buildings.

He appears in the 1901 census with his 2nd wife may and daughter Janet.
1906 census just shows Hugh and May.
But then in 1911 census, his information is shown as unobtainable.

At the time of his death in 1926, he had 2 daughters living:

Janet Sutherland,
b- Aug 6, 1875 in Ontario.
she married June 8, 1901,
Walter Percy Helliwell of Winnipeg MB
She lived in Calgary AB in 1925.
Her mother would have been Mary Dickie.

Helen Euphemia Sutherland
she married Oct 23, 1890 to Brigadier-General Victor Arthur Seymour Williams.
b-1867 in Port Hope ON,
d- Dec 12, 1949 in Toronto ON.
Chief Commander of the Ontario Provincial Police in 1926.
Commissioner 1922-1939.
Helen lived in Toronto ON
Mr. Williams fought in WWI and was seriously wounded in the face and head, by German bombing June 3, 1916,
He was with Major-General Malcolm Smith Mercer, who died.
He was a graduate of the Royal Military College, Kingston, and the Adjutant-General of the Canadian Militia.
He was in command of the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Battalions of the 8th Brigade. He was captured by the Germans, and became a prisoner of war.

Florence Anna Sutherland,
b- ca 1872
d- Dec. 28, 1917 in Winnipeg, age 45.
She married Nov 11, 1899, to a Mr. Thomas Richard Billett, who lived in Winnipeg.
T. R. Billett remarried Gladys Willan Nov 17, 1923.

Oct 18, 2009- from Lorne MacFarlane, Dartmouth NS, this update:
I believe there was also another daughter in the family which you don't show
- Nina Elizabeth Sutherland (Aug 28, 1865 - Aug 26, 1922)
married Thomas Brown Lafferty in Winnipeg on Nov 17, 1887.
They lived in Calgary for a period of time where Lafferty's older brother was Mayor and where their first 2 children were born.
They then moved back to Orillia, ON where 3 more children were born in the 1890's.
The family moved to Seattle, Washington in the early 1900's and lived there until the 1920's when they moved to BC, where they both died.
Nina Aug 26, 1922 in Naramata, and Thomas May 24,1925 in Vancouver.

Hugh Sutherland was into everything, and owned it all.
Below is a list of some of his credentials.
I'm not sure if he even knew all he was in charge of.

Superintendent of Dominion Public Works 1873-1878, from Lake Superior to the Rockies
While in the job he travelled all over the country, building all sorts of Government buildings, in Fort Francis and Battle River to name 2.
Including Mounted Police barracks.
He was in charge of building the locks at Fort Francis, April 18, 1876

Established the First Saw Mill in Winnipeg, in 1878

Between 1879 and 1883, he vastly increased his holdings, building large lumber mills at Rat Portage (Kenora) and Winnipeg.
Founded the Rainy River Lumber Company. President of the Rainy River Lumber Company, where he made his money to get his start in Manitoba.

July 9, 1879 ad

Elected member of Dominion Parliament for Selkirk MB, in 1882 for the Liberal party.

President of the Winnipeg and Hudson Bay Railway and Steamship Company, incorporated in 1880.
His lifelong dream was a railroad to the Hudson Bay, from Winnipeg.
Line of road projected- Winnipeg MB, to Port Nelson, Hudson Bay- 650 mi
completed- Winnipeg to St. Laurent on -Lake Manitoba, as of Sept 1887.
President- Hugh Sutherland, Winnipeg, MB
Secretary- J. R. Sutherland, Winnipeg, MB
Land Commissioner- Edward Philip Leacock, Winnipeg MB
Principal Office and Address- Winnipeg, MB
Hugh Sutherland obtained the first charter of the Hudson’s Bay Railway, now Canadian Northern Railway.

ca 1901 became Chief Executive agent for the Canadian Northern Railway

President Canadian Northern Coal and Ore Dock Company,

President of The Canadian Northern Prairie Lands Company.

Corporate Member of the Manitoba Land Co. Ltd.

Vice-President of the Manitoba South-Western Colonization Railway, the first local railway in MB, incorporated in 1879.
It was this railway that was going to extend to the Coalfields, Bought by the CPR in 1884, and it was the CPR that extended to the coalfields.
If it wasn't for his push, and this local railroad, the CPR would have bypassed Winnipeg, and went through Selkirk instead.
His foresight saved Winnipeg, which ended up to the Railroad Capital of Canada..

President British and North-West Colonization Company

President of the Prince Albert Colonization Company

First to develop the Souris Coal fields, in 1879, barging coal 900 miles to Winnipeg.

President of the Roche Percee Coal Company

1926- Head of the Long and Red Lakes Mining syndicate.

Director of many Mining Companies in Ontario

Involved in horse racing as a Honorary Steward at Whittier park

Member of the Manitoba, the Carlton and St. Charles Clubs in Winnipeg

Member of the St. Andrews Society in Winnipeg

Member of All Saint's Anglican Church in Winnipeg.

Life Governor of the Winnipeg General Hospital when he died

Nickname “Hudson Bay Sutherland”

He died of heart trouble, Saturday August 14, 1926, at Croydon, (London) England, age 83

Funeral was held Thursday, Sept 2, 1926, at 3:30PM at All Saint's Anglican Church in Winnipeg.

He is buried in St John's Cemetery, Winnipeg MB

Estate Auction Sale, Oct 25-26, 1926, List is in 2 parts

Would have loved to attend that one!

Most of what is above is what I found in existing history books.
everything below is what I have now found in old newspaper clippings.
Obviously now, some of the dates don't match.
Some of the info below might not be correct, but the dates on the paper do not lie.

Mr. Hugh McKay Sutherland, from Winnipeg, came west, with several men to see what all the excitement was about for himself.
He actually started to ship coal to Winnipeg in 1879. Some history books say via log barges, built from trees on the river bank,
on the Mouse, or Souris river as it is known now. But as you will see below, they used flatboats.
He was the first to mine the coal, ending up with a 70 ft tunnel. But the river was not always high enough for the loaded barges/ flatboats.
Also they claimed the coal was not of good enough quality to mine. Lignite coal is the least quality of all the coal family.
They obviously had access to better coal elsewhere.

This scheme failed, but Hugh Sutherland was instrumental in building the Hudson Bay Railway from Winnipeg north.
Imagine he had plans to ship this coal maybe out on this railroad?

Dec 1, 1879
Looks like now he has had men working at the mine at Roche Percee through the summer of 1879. Not 1882 as previously thought.
They couldn't spell La Roche Percee is all. Looks like he used a steamer named Marquette, plus the flat boat barges, used in the shallow waters.
Shipping was to begin in spring 1880.

Hugh Sutherland, Dr. Schultz, P. J. Brown, David Young, and George Brown, all of Winnipeg and Ingersoll, with Hon. R. T. Banks of Baltimore USA,
form a new Company, The Souris Coal and Fuel Company. Mr. Banks being his father-in-law

Sept 22, 1880

Dec 9, 1880

Dec 10, 1880

Jan 23, 1907
President of the Roche Percee Coal Company

Aug 21, 1907
the Roche Percee Mine
Output was 100 cars per day in winter of 1906/07
Output 1907/08 will be 200 cars per day.

Then his last appearance in the area, May 25, 1923, He appears at a Mine Owners meeting in Estevan.

In Alfred R. C. Selwyn, LL.D. F.R.S., Geological Survey of Canada Report, May 1880, he says W. D. Sutherland of Winnipeg,
was mining a 5 ft seam, a level 78 feet in length, and 3ft wide. He states in the report in the spring of 1880,
the coal was barged down the Souris River, by Sutherland, and a large heap of the coal was still piled up when Selwyn arrived.
His mine was at the junction of Short Creek and the Souris River


  • Last modified: 2017/10/07 13:26
  • by dlgent