Gustave Bellegro “Gus” YAEGER (1877-1942)

Gustave Bellegro “Gus” YAEGER (1877-1942)

Born at Genoa, Italy on 15 August 1877, he was the son of Swiss parents, Carl YAEGER and Barbara LITSCHER. He emigrated to the United States in 1879 with his parents.

On 25 September 1907 in Bangor, Wisconsin, he married Sarah Ellen WILLIAM (1883-1966), of Big Rock, Idaho and they had two children: Karl William Yaeger (1908-1975) and Barbara Jeanette Yaeger (1913-1981, wife of Henry Harcourt Ricketts).


He traveled North America as a ‘Hobo’ until he arrived in Brandon in 1910. He then worked a variety of jobs until 1919 when he opened Yaeger’s Furs located in the Yaeger Block at 602 Rosser Avenue, the former Arlington Hotel. The store was an outgrowth of a wholesale furrier owned by Frank Massin when the demand for furs required a retail store. They sold one-of-a -kind furs which were made upstairs by trained artisans, as well as, furs made by well-known designer. There customers were both local and international. He had a knack for promotions and his slogan was “From trapper to you”. He was a fur-buyer pioneer who travelled to northern communities, joshed with the trappers and was known to pick up a pelt, blow it, heft it and estimate its quality in two seconds.

He was one of Brandon’s most colourful characters and was usually seen with a cigar in his mouth and wearing a fur coat on the streets of Brandon, even on the hottest days of summer.

He died at Brandon on 25 March 1942 and was buried in the Brandon Municipal Cemetery.


  • Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
  • “Yaeger’s Furs, Name of New Fur Shop Recently Opened on Rosser Ave”, The Brandon Daily Sun, Brandon, 12 May 1919, page 8.
  • “Gus Bellegro Yaeger, an early Brandon entrepreneur”, eBrandon, posted 25 Mar 2011.
  • “Yaeger Block”, Heritage Brandon.
  • “Furrier’s name gained international fame”, Brandon Sun, Brandon, 30 Nov 1981, page 6.
  • Obituary, The Eye-Witness, Birtle, Manitoba, 31 Mar 1942, page 3.
  • Obituary [Sarah E Yaeger], The Brandon Sun, 04 Jul 1966.
  • Obituary [Barbara Jeanette Ricketts (nee Yaeger)], Calgary Herald, Calgary, Alberta, 07 Dec 1981, page 46.
  • Obituary [Karl Yaeger], The Leader-Post, Regina, Saskatchewan, 06 September 1975, page 40.


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