PeopleBlack and white banner for Richard Gilhuly

Richard Henry Gilhuly is best known by the community as the owner of Gilhuly’s Drug Store.

He was born in Carleton Place, Ontario in 1857, and moved to Selkirk in his mid-twenties. To begin his career, he took a job in 1881 as an assistant in James Colcleugh’s store on Eveline Street. Shortly afterwards in 1885, he purchased the store from Colcleugh and renamed it Gilhuly’s Drug Store. Under the Gilhuly family’s ownership, the store ran for almost a century. The success of his business may be in part to Gilhuly’s ‘modern and well-appointed store’, the impressively stocked shelves, and his strong attention to detail.

Written drugstore receipt from Gilhuly
Gilhuly Drug Store Receipt, 1921, Stories of Selkirk's Pioneers and Their Heritage, Kenneth G. Howard

In 1887, he was appointed postmaster of Selkirk, to which he applied the same attention to detail he employed at his store. This characteristic marked him as a “conscientious public official”. In addition to this, he also took over the telephone business from James Colcleugh where he worked as a manager for two years. He also did work as a telegraph manager for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Personal Life

Gilhuly married Margaret Morrison, and they had three children together. One son, Roy, a civil engineer, was the first Selkirk soldier to be killed in action in World War I. When Margaret died in 1894, Richard married her sister, Mary Morrison, and together they had four more children. Their youngest child, George would eventually own and operate Gilhuly’s Drug Store, and establish a reputation of his own of being “exceptionally astute and respected, [a] gracious and effective community leader.”

Other community endeavors of his included being a member of the Hospital Board and the President on the Board of Trade, where he stayed for 32 years. Gilhuly was part of the Selkirk Hunt Club as well as the Selkirk Cycle Club. He also joined Macfie’s band where “they used to walk three or four miles to band practice at Macfie’s. Across the river by trail in the winter, and by ferry in the summer.” – George Gilhuly. The Gilhuly home became the first manse for the Knox Presbyterian Church.

Richard Gilhuly Collection

Sources

Manitoba Historical Society – Richard Henry Gilhuly

Selkirk’s 75th Anniversary, Elsie MacKay ed.

Stories of Selkirk’s Pioneers and their Heritage, Kenneth G. Howard