Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Kenneth McKenzie [Mackenzie] (1822-1911)

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Kenneth McKenzie
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Cattle rancher, MLA (1875-1878), MLA (1878-1879), MLA (1886-1888), MLA (1888-1892).

Born at Invernesshire, Scotland on 5 January 1822, the second son of John McKenzie, he was educated at Common-bridge, Ross-shire and at Dunfermline Academy.

He came to Red River around 1867 and settled with his family on the banks of the Rat Creek near Portage la Prairie in 1869. He was an English delegate to the 1870 Convention of Forty from St. Mary’s. In 1873, he and Walter Lynch brought the first herd of registered shorthorn cattle to Manitoba. He was President of the Provincial Agricultural and Arts Society of Manitoba, Marquette St. Andrews’ Society, and Marquette Agricultural Society. He was the first postmaster at Burnside, and the first President of the Portage Mutual Insurance Company.

He was elected to the provincial legislature in December 1874 and December 1878, and in 1886 was elected MLA from Lakeside, replacing Isaiah Mawhinney, being re-elected in 1888. During a discussion on prohibition in 1892, he asserted that the legislature “would never have the right sentiment of the country until the fair sex had the franchise.” He was a candidate in an 1897 federal by-election but was defeated by John Gunion Rutherford.

On 12 December 1844, he married Jane Condy (1822-1898, eldest daughter of Adam Condy of Bartonville, Ontario). They had eight children, including James McKenzie and Jean McKenzie (1861-1948, wife of John Daniel Gillies). His second wife was Annie McKenzie (1850-1916).

He died at Victoria, British Columbia on 5 April 1911 and was buried in the Burnside Cemetery. He was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Sources:

A Political Manual of the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories by J. P. Robertson, Winnipeg: Call Printing Company, 1887.

“For prohibition,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 13 April 1892, page 5.

Obituary [Jane McKenzie], Winnipeg Tribune, 20 January 1898, page 5.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“A grand old man has passed over to the silent majority,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 April 1911, page 1.

“Kenneth McKenzie buried,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 April 1911, page 7.

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

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

Annie McKenzie, FindAGrave.

We thank Linda McDowell and Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 April 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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