Mayor Matthew Nimmo


Mr. Nimmo standing behind William Anderson welcoming Prince Edward to Ladysmith

Matthew Nimmo was born on February 22, 1877 in Kirkliston, Linlithgow, Scotland to David and Susan Nimmo. The father was a Carpenter and Joiner.

Matthew was the fourth eldest of ten children. His siblings were David, Elizabeth, Francis, Barbara, Simon, Susan, James, Robert and Roland. He became a journeyman baker in his native Scotland and on March 25, 1906 married Christina H. Armour, born in Edinburgh on July 18, 1882. They were to have only one child, Winnifred, born on August 17, 1906 in Edinburgh. The following year they set sail for Canada aboard the Mongolian arriving in Quebec on August 8, 1907 and from there proceeded out to the West Coast.

At the time of the 1911 Census they were living on White Street in Ladysmith and owned the Scotch Bakery. Grace (Kerr) Davidson was a neighbor and recalled seeing Mr. Nimmo every morning carrying a large basket of bread on his head. Matthew had his bakery in the Scott block next to the Travellers Hotel. The Roberts Street Chapel, first called the Gospel Hall, which started about 1909 first held services in the Nimmo house. There were five members including John McLeod, Hugh Davidson and Bill Chapman.

Winnifred Nimmo and another Ladysmith child, Ada Broadbent are remembered taking part in local amateur productions and school plays. Both went on to Hollywood, Winnifred as an actress and Ada as a choreographer. One of the positions Ada held was choreographer for the Theatre under the Stars in Vancouver.

In 1920 before his single term as mayor, Matthew paid a visit to his native Scotland on his own arriving in Glasgow on April 15, 1920 aboard the Sicilian, of the CPR line. He returned on June 26, 1920 at the Port of New York on the Columbia.

After Matthew served his term as Mayor, he and Christina moved to the United States to join daughter Winnifred who was now living in Hollywood. Arriving in San Francisco on May 9, 1921 they eventually settled in Long Beach where Matthew once again owned a bakery. On September 29, 1924 he filled out a Declaration of Intention to seek United States citizenship but did not become a naturalized American until April 14, 1937.

The 1930 United States Federal Census shows Matthew, now 53 years of age, living as a roomer in the home of Joseph and Charity Carringer in Long Beach. Christine is listed living with her daughter Winnifred in Honolula, Hawaii. Winnifreds occupation is given as actress.

In March 1946, Matthew, now retired again went home to Scotland arriving at Hurn, England from New York aboard American Overseas Airlines.

Matthew Nimmo died in Los Angeles on June 17, 1952 at 75 years of age. Christine died in Los Angeles on November 3, 1969 at 87 years of age. Winnifred, whose last name was now Petch died in Los Angeles on November 29, 1994. She was 88 years of age.

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