Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Edward Cannell (1852-1910)

Steamboat operator.

Born in Montreal, Quebec in 1852, a third-generation Canadian, he lived at Gravenhurst (Ontario), married Janet D. Cannell (c1853-1947), and had three children. In 1880, the family moved to western Canada with the intent to homestead. Instead, they settled in Winnipeg and added a further nine children to their family. He became a ship’s captain, commanding the Cheyenne, Assiniboine, and Alexandra. He sailing the Red and Assiniboine rivers, going as far west as Portage la Prairie and as far south as Emerson. He also worked as the caretaker of Fort Rouge School for multiple years, and during the Klondike Gold Rush, he resided in the North West Territories (now Yukon) for at least three years prior to 1901, working there as a riverboat captain.

The family resided at the intersection of Main Street and River Avenue, now the site of the Canadian National Railway main line. The twelve Cannell children, five of whom were surviving as of 1942, included Ethel Cannell (c1874-?), Euretta Susan Cannell (1881-?, wife of John Henry Michell Kennedy, son of J. W. Kennedy), James Frederick Cannell (1883-1913), Olive Cannell (1885-?, wife of R. Molton), Edward Douglas Cannell (1887-?), Genevieve Cannell (1888-?), Jarrett Cannell (1889-?), Augustus “Gus” Cannell (1889-1982, father of Douglas John “Doug” Cannell), William Cannell (1891-?), and George Ellison Cannell (1895-1964).

He died at Rossland, British Columbia on 30 March 1910 and was buried there.


1881 & 1891 Canada censes, Library and Archives Canada.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Winnipeg to Emerson,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 9 May 1883, page 7.

“Steamer Assiniboine,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 July 1896, page 4.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

“Good old days are recalled at Fort Rouge School reunion,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 1941, page 3.

“Mrs. Janet Cannell marks her ninetieth birthday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 December 1942, page 8.

“Mrs. Edward Cannell dies, aged 94,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 June 1947, page 25.

Obituary [George E. Cannell], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 January 1964, page 25.

Obituary [Angustus Cannell], Winnipeg Free Press, 23 April 1982, page 26.

Columbia Cemetery (Rossland, British Columbia), FindAGrave.

Brookside Cemetery Listings, City of Winnipeg.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 29 June 2015

Memorable Manitobans

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