Agricultural Medals of the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition
By Ian G. Hunter
The Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition in Winnipeg, Manitoba was the largest agricultural and stock show of western Canada in the 1890’s and the 1900’s. Various prizes including cash, farm equipment, and silver and copper medals were presented to the winners of the different stock classes. The medals illustrated are medals won by the Menzies Brothers at the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition.
The Menzies Brothers homesteaded near Oakburn, Manitoba. Robert and Duncan Menzies were excellent horse breeders and showed their horses at numerous agricultural shows in southern Manitoba in the 1890’s including the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition. The CPR allowed farmers to move stock on the railroad making it easy to get to the fair.
The Menzies Brothers first showed horses at the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition in 1891. They showed 2 Clydesdales and 3 fillies. They won first prize for a two-year old gelding or filly and first prize for a yearling gelding or filly.
In 1892, they won seven prizes. They won four different first prize awards: a plow worth $33 for a 3-year old gelding or filly, a harrow worth $30 for a broad mare and foal, a springtooth harrow worth $18 for a 2-year old gelding or filly, and a rake worth $33 for a broad mare with two colts. They won second prize ($6) for a 5-year old gelding or filly. They won two different first prize silver medals for the Sweepstakes Class of General Purpose Mare and the Sweepstakes Class of Canadian Draft Mare. These two medals are the ones illustrated.
In 1893, the Menzies Brothers won a third prize for a Hackney Stallion. They did not show any horses in 1894 (Duncan got married in July of that year). In 1895, they won a third prize for a 3-year old gelding or filly Canadian Draft Mare.
In 1896, they won four prizes: a third prize for a 4-year or older Clydesdale Stallion, a third prize for a broad mare with foal Canadian Draft Mare, a second prize for a team of gelding or mares Canadian Draft Mare, and a first prize for Section 11 Canadian Draft Mare. There is no record that they showed any horses at the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition after 1896.
The obverse of the medals shows the crest of the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition showing a train above a field of wheat with three wheat sheaves, a buffalo at the top, and the motto COMMERCE PRUDENCE INDUSTRY in a ribbon at the base. Around the outside of the medal reads WINNIPEG INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION. The reverse of the two medals is engraved GENERAL PURPOSE MARE / "MAGGIE" / Menzies Bros. and CANADIAN DRAFT MARE / "BONNY JEAN" / Menzies Bros. These medals were made by Robert White Woodroffe of Winnipeg. They are 51.4 mm in diameter, 4.5 mm thick, and weigh 65 grams.
Winnipeg Free Press, 1891-1896.
"Pa" by Don Menzies, 1980. Self-published.
"The Way It Was" by Mathew Halliday, 1982. Published by Star Printing, Brandon, Manitoba.
The Story of Manitoba, V. III, 1913. Published by S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., Winnipeg.
The Grand Stands from the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition Grounds from the 1890’s