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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas John Barnardo (1845-1905)


The founder of one of many child-saving institutions in Britain devoted to the care of orphans and waifs, Barnardo established an industrial farm of 10,000 acres at Russell, Manitoba, which provided work for about 40 boys. When a boy had saved $150 and taken up a homestead, the farm manager outfitted him with a house and supplies, including farm machinery, which could be paid off by easy installments. There were charges that Barnardo’s people often separated children from their parents and generally rode roughshod over what remained of family life in Britain’s slum districts. By 1893, however, his operation had sent more than 6,500 children to Canada.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Barnardo Industrial Farm Monument (RM of Russell)

Dr. Barnardo: The Foster Father of Nobody’s Children by J. H. Barr (1904).


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 November 2012

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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