Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Emerson Jonathan Heaney (1889-1963)

Lawyer, judge.

Born at Meadow Lea in the Rural Municipality of Woodlands on 5 April 1889, son of Jonathan Heaney and Elizabeth Davis, he graduated from Wesley College, then received a law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1916, receiving the gold medal that year. During the First World War, he served in France with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, rising to the rank of Lieutenant and being wounded at Cambrai. Returning to Winnipeg in 1919, he began private law practice with the firm of Hough, Campbell and Ferguson, and later with Macdonald, Craig, Tarr and Hughes. In the early 1930s, he became a crown attorney. In January 1947, he succeeded F. A. E. Hamilton as Judge of the Juvenile Court in the Eastern Central and Southern Judicial District of Manitoba, retiring in 1959 then serving as magistrate in rural court circuits.

He was a member of the Masons (Northern Lights Lodge), Khartum Shriners, Law Society of Manitoba, and University of Manitoba Alumni Association. During his term as Potentate of the Khartum Shrine, he was instrumental in organizing the Shrine Pipe band of which he was an honorary member. He was also a member of the Optimist Club, Royal Order of Scotland, Red Cross of Constantine, Royal Canadian Legion, Fellowship Club, Patron of the Boy Scout Association, Rossmere Country Club, and Motor Country Club. He served on the Boards of Hugh John Macdonald Hostel for Boys (now Macdonald Youth Services) and Roslyn House.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 303 Ash Street, on 5 February 1963 and was buried in the Garry Memorial Park.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Judge Hamilton retires,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 December 1946. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 February 1963, page 24.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 March 2017

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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