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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Carney (c1830-1905)

Click to enlargeMLA (1879-1883), inventor.

Born in Brantford County, Pennsylvania, and educated there. He married Mary Ann Kaufelt. They had five children: Georgiana (b 1853, Pennsylvania), James (b c1856, Minnesota), Robert (b 1861, Minnesota), Harry (b 1862, Minnesota), and Isabelle (b c1866, Wisconsin). He came to Manitoba in 1873 and in 1875 founded the Town of Emerson, along with William Newton Fairbanks. He served as Mayor from 1880 to 1883, and was in the Manitoba Legislature from 1879 to 1883. While in Emerson he conceived the idea of coin changers (cash register). He left Emerson in 1884 and joined National Cash Register Company where he worked on improvements and new inventions for their machines.

He was married to Mary Ann Kaufelt, and they had five children: Georgiana (born c1853, Pennsylvania), James (born c1856, Minnesota), Robert (born 1861, Minnesota), Harry (born 1862, Minnesota), and Isabelle (born 1866, Wisconsin).

Carney died in Dayton, Ohio, in 1905, and was buried in Chicago.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

History of Emerson, W. Carlson and Mrs. Masterson (editors), 1950. Manitoba Legislative Library, F5649.E54.

We thank Donna O’Keefe of the Pierce County (Wisconsin) Historical Society for additional information used in this biographical sketch.

Page revised: 31 December 2009

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