John Niddrie was born on September 24, 1863
in the Scottish Highlands. In 1876 his family immigrated to Canada.
However, less than two weeks after their arrival John's father died of
smallpox and his brother, similarly afflicted, barely survived. Reeling from
these tragedies, the Niddrie family returned to Scotland, where John converted to Methodism
and, after considerable time in training, became an accredited preacher.
In 1885 the family journeyed once more to Canada, where John spent the
next few years working on the Canadian Pacific Railway and at his
brother's dairy at Winnipeg
(Red River Settlement). By 1889, Niddrie resumed his religious work, moving
to the McDougall Mission in Morley where he spent many years
teaching day school and Sunday school. Perhaps for his diligent work
ethic, in 1898 he became principal of
the McDougall Institute.
The year 1910 found
Niddrie working as a missionary at Oxford House in northern Manitoba. He
was finally ordained in 1915 and remained at Oxford House for five years,
at which time he was transferred to Berens River to continue his missionary work.
John Niddrie retired in 1938 and died two years later. Although he never married, he helped raise more than a few
children-much to his pleasure he was admired as a father and
grandfather by many.