Born in Winnipeg, John Jackson was an active sportsman and strong supporter of the Manitoba sports community for more than half a century. An athlete in his younger days, he was a champion bowler, an ardent curler, and a top baseball and hockey player. He played professional hockey with the Brandon Maple Leafs (1907-09), but was not allowed to play amateur hockey when he returned to Winnipeg. In 1970 at age 83, he finally was reinstated as an amateur after clearing NHL waivers.
Jackson loved horse racing and in the 1920s, he and his brother Jim operated standard bred races on the ice of the Assiniboine River. He was a part owner of the great Canadian-bred pacer, Winnipeg. After Winnipeg won major U.S. derbies on three consecutive Saturdays in 1928, the partners sold the standard bred to an American millionaire for a record-setting $25,000. The horse they purchased in Portage la Prairie for $750 set a world pacing record and won 107 races en route to the Canadian and US Racing Halls of Fame. For many years, the “Coal Hole” in the backroom of the family business, Thomas Jackson and Sons, on Colony Street was a meeting place for the sporting fraternity of the Prairies and the Jackson family seldom turned down an appeal for help from amateur sports organizations. He received a Honourary Life Membership from the Winnipeg Football Club in recognition of his long involvement and support of the team. John Jackson also served as a director of the Winnipeg Maroons professional baseball team and the well-known amateur baseball team, Rosedales.
b. March 29, 1887
d. January 7, 1986