Family History

Joseph Whitehead

In 1850, Joseph Whitehead brought his wife and four children to Canada. Settling in Montreal, he quickly set himself up in business, with a partner, under the name of "Whitehead & Ross"

A few years later he decided to go back to his preferred occupation of railroader. He secured a contract to build a rail line west to Clinton Ontario. When it was completed, he built his home and settled there. He ran for Parliament in the Dominion Government of 1867, and was elected as the member for Huron North. He served for 5 years.

Following this period, he, along with son Charles, and son in law David Ross, went west to Whitemouth Manitoba and set up a mill. He purchased a locomotive in Pennsylvania, drove it to North Dakota, and brought it up the Red River, on a barge, to Winnipeg. This locomotive, The Countess of Dufferin, remains on display in Winnipeg today. Together they built many miles of rail line in Manitoba. Joseph Whitehead retired to Clinton Ontario, served one term as mayor, and died there in 1894.

Charles Whitehead

The oldest son of Joseph Whitehead and a railroader himself. He purchased the first parcel of land sold by the C.P.R. docketed as "Contract NO. 1." and defined as: 3.10.19W, at Brandon. He transported a boatload of lumber up the Assiniboine River to Grand Valley where he set up a lumber business with Frank Myers. Charles farmed his land for a period of time before securing contracts to build sections of the railroad west through the Rockies. He retired from railroading, settled in Brandon, and served as President of the Board of Brandon General Hospital from 1904 - 1918. He died in Brandon in 1919.

Joseph Blyth Whitehead

Son of Charles Whitehead and Hannah Sybil Lake. "J.B." was born in1865. He worked for a period of time at The Merchant’s Bank, and served as a Treasurer for the City of Brandon. He was one of a group of four who purchased the Brandon Sun. He eventually bought out his partners securing control for the family.

Ernest Christie Whitehead

Son of Joseph B. Whitehead and Edith Hamilton Christie. Ernest worked his way up through the ranks at the newspaper, taking over for his dad when Joseph B. took ill, and eventually taking control when he died. Along with his elder son, Joseph Alexander Whitehead as assistant General Manager, he modernized the plant on 10th Street, and increased circulation significantly. He served as a Lieutenant in France during the war, was wounded and awarded the Military Cross. He died in Brandon in 1961.

Joseph Alexander Whitehead

Older son of Ernest Whitehead and Elizabeth Grace Davidson. He was Assistant General Manager of the Brandon Sun under his father Ernest. He tragically passed away in the polio epidemic of 1953.

Lewis Davidson Whitehead

Younger son of Ernest Whitehead and Elizabeth Grace Davidson. He also worked in various departments of the newspaper business, taking over as Editor & Publisher on the death of his father Ernest. He moved the newspaper to its current location at 5th and Rosser, and went on to make it one of the most respected small daily newspapers in Canada. Selling the newspaper because of ill health, he set forth the beginnings of The Whitehead Foundation for Western Manitoba Inc. putting the mandate in place, and charging his nephew Murray Whitehead with the responsibility of management and continuity. Lewis Whitehead died in 1996.

Murray Whitehead

Son of Joseph Alexander Whitehead and Geraldine P. Kerr. Murray is a retired teacher in the Brandon School Division and the current General Manager of the Foundation.

Kyle Whitehead

Son of Murray Whitehead and Linda A. McGill. Kyle is the Senior Band Director with the Estevan Comprehensive School in Estevan, Saskatchewan and the current Chair of the Foundation

Scott Whitehead

Son of Murray Whitehead and Linda A. McGill. Scott is a programmer /developer in Regina Saskatchewan and Technical Consultant to the Foundation.

The Whitehead Foundation
For Western Manitoba Inc.
32 Cobalt Cr.
Brandon, MB R7A 7W5

Current Projects

  • A Funding grant to The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Adventures in Music project in Westman schools.
  • A supporting grant to the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and Brandon University Department of Visual and Aboriginal Arts visiting artists project.
  • A supporting grant to the Brandon Folk Music and Art Society's Mentoring Workshops With Artists project.

Past Projects

  • Supporting Grant to the Carberry Seton Centre wolf sculpture project
  • Supporting Grant to the Brandon Film Festival digital projector fund
  • Supporting Grant to the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba Shirley Brown Exhibition