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Memorable Manitobans: John Cowan Kelly (c1875-1960)

Municipal official.

Born in Scotland around 1875, he married Agnes Cameron (c1878-?) and had four sons; John “Jack” Kelly (c1904-?), James Kelly (c1907-?), Stewart Kelly (c1909-?) and Peter “Pete” Kelly (1912-?), all of whom played professional hockey. He moved from Glasgow to Manitoba in 1910, settling in St. Vital by 1916. There, he served as Councillor for 18 years and Reeve (1923-1924) for a few months before resigning in late March 1924, in protest of a 5:3 council vote awarding a 13-year supply and distribution monopoly to the Winnipeg Electric Company without a public referendum. He was Vice-President of the International Lithographers of America and President of its Union Local No. 27. He died at Montreal on 16 August 1960.


Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1916 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.

“St. Vital,” Manitoba Free Press, 1 December 1923, page 2.

“No referendum on electric franchise in St. Vital,” Manitoba Free Press, 1 March 1924, page 3.

“Reeve Kelly of St. Vital resigns position as protest,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 March 1924, page 10.

“Former St. Vital Reeve, J. Kelly, dies in Montreal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 August 1960, page 6.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 7 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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