William Richard Motherwell

William Richard Motherwell, PC (January 6, 1860 May 24, 1943) was a Canadian politician serving at both the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly and the Canadian Parliament. He served as Agriculture Minister for both levels of government during his career.

The Hon.

William Richard Motherwell
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Regina
In office
Preceded byWalter Davy Cowan
Succeeded byFrancis Nicholson Darke
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Melville
In office
Preceded byDistrict was created in 1924
Succeeded byJames Garfield Gardiner
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan for Kindersley
In office
Succeeded byWesley Harper Harvey
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan for Humboldt
In office
Preceded byDavid Bradley Neely
Succeeded byWilliam Ferdinand Alphonse Turgeon
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan for North Qu'Appelle
In office
Succeeded byJohn Archibald McDonald
Personal details
Born(1860-01-06)January 6, 1860
Perth, Canada West
DiedMay 24, 1943(1943-05-24) (aged 83)
Political partyLiberal
Minister of Agriculture (1921-1926, 1926-1930)
Provincial Secretary (1905-1912)
Commissioner of Agriculture (1905-1909)
Minister of Agriculture (1909-1919)


Born in Perth, Canada West, Motherwell attended the Ontario Agricultural College, graduating in 1881; then worked that summer in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.[1] The following year he spring he returned to the prairies joining settlers in who traveled by rail to Brandon, Manitoba, then by red river cart and wagon beyond to the area of Abernethy, Saskatchewan, where he settled and constructed the Motherwell Homestead.[1] In 1901, he co-founded and became president of the Territorial Grain Growers' Association. He served in the provincial legislator from 1905 to 1918, Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture from 1906-1917.[1] His resignation from the provincial legislature was in protest over the provincial Liberal Party's support for conscription and reduction in French language rights.[1]

He first ran as the Liberal candidate for the House of Commons of Canada for the Saskatchewan riding of Assiniboia in a 1919 by-election. Although defeated, he was elected in the riding of Regina in the 1921 federal election. He was re-elected in 1925, 1926, 1930, and 1935 for the riding of Melville. From 1921 to 1930, he was the Minister of Agriculture, except for a short period in 1926.


The Motherwell Homestead near Abernethy, Saskatchewan was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1966, and is now operated as a museum.[2]


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