Sous-fonds 060 - Dr. William & Helen Sinclair fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Dr. William & Helen Sinclair fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds

Level of description



Reference code

CA SWM RG4-060

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1916-1961 (Creation)
    Sinclair, Dr. William and Helen

Physical description area

Physical description

24 cm of textual records, 1 photograph

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1871-1922; 1879-1961)

Biographical history

Dr. William Sinclair was born on the Isle of Eday in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, in 1871. He came to Canada with his parents in 1884 and grew up on a farm. He graduated from the Manitoba Medical College in 1902 and was licensed to practice medicine in the Northwest Territories in 1904, later becoming licensed to practice in Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905. He also took a post-graduate course in internal medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland. William and Helen were married on July 29, 1903 in Kildonan, Manitoba. Together they had a son, Floyd, who died at the age of 5, and two daughters, Tannis (Bickford) and Isabel (Arbuckle). In 1910, the Sinclairs moved to The Pas, where Dr. Sinclair started his medical practice. He founded the Gateway Drug Store on Fischer Avenue in 1911, one year before the Town of The Pas was incorporated. In 1912, he served on the Town Council, actively promoted the completion of the Hudson Bay Railway (traveling to Port Nelson to check the surrounding terrain), and served on the Board of Trade. He and his brother James eventually established the Gateway Wholesale Company, which was later taken over by Western Grocers. Upon the death of Dr. Sinclair in Winnipeg on May 17, 1922, the Gateway Drug Store was taken over by Tannis’s husband, Harry Bickford.

Mrs. Christian Helen Sinclair (nee McBeth) was born in 1879 in Touchwood Hills, Saskatchewan. She was active with the Red Cross and a supporter of the Westminster United Church in The Pas. She was also a fully-accredited member of the Canadian British Israel Association for the year 1959 (Prince David Branch). She died on June 27, 1961 in Winnipeg.

Custodial history

This collection of financial documents was brought to the museum at an unknown date (probably the late 1980s or early 1990s) likely by Beth Butcher, granddaughter of the Sinclairs. In 2012, Beth’s daughter, Cathy Hickey, was asked to sign a gift receipt form since none had been signed at the time the documents had been dropped off.

Scope and content

Consists of the personal financial records of Dr. William and Helen Sinclair as well as business records pertaining to the Gateway Drugs Company, which includes receipts, expenses and revenue statements, personal investments, cheques, tax notices and receipts, bank/cheque books, correspondence, invoices, subscriptions, business account statements, bank account statements, certificates, licenses, hospital registration receipts, and a ration book. Also includes a document on medicine men in Manitoba written by Dr. Ross Mitchell, and ephemera such as recipe books, T. Eaton Company order papers, and an income tax instruction booklet.

Notes area

Physical condition

Upon acquisition, the documents were rolled and in poor condition. In December 2000, the documents were removed from the original box that was bent and torn, flattened as best as possible, and put into a new box. From August 16 to September 21, 2011, they were humidified and flattened. Staples and paperclips were also removed.

Immediate source of acquisition


As there was no extant arrangement, the fonds was arranged chronologically. Bank/cheque books are filed according to beginning date, since some dates extend beyond the range attributed to the file.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Sam Waller Museum

Rules or conventions

Rules for Archival Description


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created August 7, 2012.

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres