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Brown, George William (1860–1919)

The Honourable George W. Brown, Saskatchewan’s second Lieutenant-Governor, was born May 30, 1860, at Holstein, Grey County, Ontario. Educated at Mount Forrest High School, Brantford College, and the University of Toronto, he journeyed west in 1882 and settled at Rose Plain, a community ten miles north of Regina. Although he experienced some success as a farmer, Brown moved to Regina in 1889 to article in law. Three years later he joined Norman Mackenzie in what was to become a flourishing legal practice.

An ambitious and able leader, Brown was elected as a Liberal member of the Territorial Assembly in 1894, but illness forced him to withdraw from politics in 1903. His debilitation, however, was short-lived. As the partnership with Mackenzie prospered, Brown invested in Métis scrip and amassed a considerable holding in land that he later sold for profit. His firm foothold in Regina’s business and professional realm resulted in appointments to various boards and directorships. Brown’s official appointment as Lieutenant-Governor on October 14, 1910, came at the recommendation of Walter Scott, his good friend and frequent travelling companion.

Brown, his wife Annie, and their two children moved into Government House in December 1910. The vice-regal residence was the focal point of numerous social functions throughout Brown’s tenure, including popular New Year’s Levees. With the onset of World War I, however, the Browns became more visible outside Government House, attending benefit concerts, visiting wounded soldiers, and supporting the war effort. George William Brown’s term as Lieutenant-Governor ended on October 17, 1915. He remained a resident of Regina until his death on February 17, 1919.

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Further Reading

Hryniuk, Margaret and Garth Pugh. 1991. “A Tower of Attraction”: An Illustrated History of Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan. Regina: Government House Historical Society/Canadian Plains Research Center, 1991.
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University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
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